Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living
CCAL (www.ccal.org) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1995
to provide an independent voice in support of assisted living consumers.
The three main goals of the organization are quality of care for all
residents; affordability for people with low and moderate incomes; and
the provision of education on how to choose an assisted living
CCAL provides information and referral to all stakeholders in the assisted living industry: consumers, advocates, providers, government officials, staff in facilities and professionals in related fields such as geriatric care managers and elder law attorneys, as well as journalists writing about the field. Their telephone help line receives calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If CCAL can't answer a question directly, they will find an answer or give the caller a referral.
Another important tool for informing consumers is the CCAL assisted living checklist that helps consumers and families choose a facility that will meet their needs. CCAL, in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, produced a checklist that provides dozens of questions to ask when visiting a facility about choice, safety, staffing, activities, fees, contracts, and a host of other concerns. Bimonthly regional meetings, an annual Best Practices in Dementia Care Conference (co-sponsored with the Alzheimer's Association and the Greater Washington Geriatric Education Center) and numerous other public appearances serve to promote quality services and expand the dialogue about creating assisted living opportunities that are affordable to low and moderate income people.
A quarterly newsletter informs members about issues and events in the assisted living field. This year CCAL will be initiating its own Web site to further the availability of information. CCAL is the only independent voice solely dedicated to the needs and concerns of consumers of assisted living facilities. There are, however, a number of industry organizations addressing the needs of the industry. CCAL works to promote public policy and professional practices that support residents' needs. It strives to include all voices in the effort to improve quality and affordability, seeking participation from advocates, providers, line staff, professionals in related fields, and regulators, in addition to relatives and residents. The goal is to bring all stakeholders together in a big tent where the issues can be addressed, problems can be solved, and different ideas can contribute to the quality and availability of the services provided by the industry.