If you or your loved one is dissatisfied with the services in a CCRC, there are ways to report problems and be effectively heard. Each section of the CCRC has its own licensing requirements and grievance process, but many times problems can be resolved without going through a formal grievance process.
Handling Problems on Your Own
If a problem is encountered in the CCRC, it may be best to attempt to resolve the issue yourself. Generally it is important to use the following as guidelines:
- Speak directly to the person involved. Sometimes staff may not realize there is a problem.
- Speak to the individual's supervisor if your problem is not resolved after discussion with the staff involved, or if it is of a more serious nature.
- Take complaints to the Resident Council or other resident organization that acts as a liaison to the administrative staff. This may help to resolve the matter, as others may be experiencing the same or similar problems.
- Take the matter directly to the administrative staff.
- Report the matter to the agency that has oversight for the area in which you or your loved one resides if the problem remains unresolved, or if you believe the issue warrants outside intervention.
Reporting Problems to an Outside Agency
The independent living section of retirement communities receives little regulatory oversight, except in matters that affect the health of residents. If you or your loved one has a concern about environmental conditions, such as rodents, heating problems or food safety, you may contact the Environment Health Office of the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-6006.
All assisted living facilities are monitored by state and local agencies, including those facilities located in CCRCs; the procedures for reporting problems are identical in all licensed assisted living facilities.
All nursing homes are monitored by state and local agencies, including those located in a CCRC; one should use the same protocol for reporting problems as is used in freestanding nursing homes.
If you suspect your loved one or another resident is being abused, neglected or financially exploited, call the Adult Services unit of the local Department of Social Services to make an Adult Protective Services complaint. In Baltimore County, call 410-853-3000.