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Residential Care Facilities / Assisted Living

Overview

"Residential care facility" is a home that provides either of the following:

(a) Accommodations for seventeen or more unrelated individuals, and supervision and personal care services for three or more of those individuals who are dependent on the services of others by reason of age or physical or mental impairment;

(b) Accommodations for three or more unrelated individuals, supervision and personal care services for at least three of those individuals who are dependent on the services of others by reason of age or physical or mental impairment, and, to at least one of those individuals supervision of special diets or application of dressings, or provide for the administration of medication to residents, to the extent authorized.

A residential care facility may admit or retain an individual requiring medication, including biologicals, only if the individual's personal physician has determined in writing that the individual is capable of self-administering the medication or the facility provides for the medication to be administered to the individual by a certified home health agency, a licensed hospice care program, or a member of the staff of the residential care facility who is qualified to perform medication administration. Medication may be administered in a residential care facility only by the following persons authorized by law to administer medication: a registered nurse (RN); a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who holds proof of successful completion of a course in medication administration approved by the board of nursing and who administers the medication only at the direction of a registered nurse or a physician authorized to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery.

In assisting a resident with self-administration of medication, any member of the staff of a residential care facility may remind a resident when to take medication and watch to ensure that the resident follows the directions on the container; assist a resident by taking the medication from the locked area where it is stored and handing it to the resident. If the resident is physically unable to open the container, a staff member may open the container for the resident. If a resident is physically unable to place a dose of medicine to the resident's mouth without spilling it, a staff member may place the dose in a container and place the container to the mouth of the resident.

A residential care facility may admit or retain individuals who require skilled nursing care beyond the supervision of special diets, application of dressings, or administration of medication, only if the care will be provided on a part-time, intermittent basis for not more than a total of one hundred twenty days in any twelve-month period. Skilled nursing care may be provided by a certified home health agency, licensed hospice care program, or a member of the staff of a residential care facility who is qualified to perform skilled nursing care.

The Ohio Department of Health's (ODH) Bureau of Long Term Care Quality is responsible for enforcement of the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code laws and rules in about 533 licensed residential care facilities in Ohio. Each of the residential care facilities in Ohio receives at least one unannounced survey (inspection) during a 9 to 15 month survey cycle. During these surveys, all aspects of care and services are evaluated based on state laws and rules. Each residential care facility is required to display a copy of the most recent survey. This allows anyone visiting or residing in the facility to see if the facility received deficiencies on the survey. Other ways that a family or interested party can evaluate a provider is to visit the facility at different times of the day to observe staff interacting with residents. Seeing the types of activities being provided, being present at meal times and talking with staff also offer excellent opportunities to evaluate a residential care facility.

ODH staff responsible for completing the surveys in nursing homes are highly trained professionals. Survey teams are comprised of registered nurses, registered dietitians, registered sanitarians, and licensed social workers. Team size and composition are based on the size of the facility, past history of compliance with rules, and identified areas of special need.

Investigation of a complaint in a residential care facility is completed by surveyors after receiving the written documentation from the Ohio Department of Health complaint unit located in Columbus, Ohio. The toll free number for registering complaints is 1-800-342-0553. The complainant may choose to be anonymous.
 

Mailing Address:
Ohio Department of Health
Residential Care Facilities/Assisted Living
246 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Telephone: (614) 752-9524
Fax: (614) 752-4157

E-mail: LICCERT@odh.ohio.gov

Last Updated: 10/6/11