Our Vision of Caring for Arizona’s Seniors
Arizona Assisted Living Federation of America (Arizona ALFA) is a not-for-profit trade organization exclusively dedicated to representing Arizona assisted living providers and enhancing the quality of life for Arizona assisted living residents. Arizona ALFA has over 250 members, including a wide variety of assisted living, senior housing, and health care providers, as well as industry partners.
As the “Voice of Assisted Living,” Arizona ALFA provides information and education for Arizona’s seniors, and advocates for their right to independence, privacy, and choice, including their right to choose where they want to live.
Arizona ALFA embraces the right of Arizona seniors to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
In fulfilling its mission, Arizona ALFA is committed to providing industry leadership by working with:
- legislators and regulators to provide information and create solutions;
- advocates to identify and model the best care in practice for all Arizona seniors receiving assisted living services;
- medical professionals to encourage them to learn more about the aging process so they identify and prescribe the least restrictive environment to best enhance their patients’ quality of life; and
- the general public to provide education and information about the assisted living model.
Arizona ALFA Guiding Principles
Following are guiding principles that summarizes our vision of caring for Arizona’s seniors:
- Arizona ALFA believes that consumer choice is paramount to any decisions made relating to and on behalf of Arizona’s seniors.
- Arizona ALFA believes that Arizona seniors have the right to age in place.
- Arizona ALFA believes that Arizona seniors have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and to maintain their independence and participate in their care and services to the extent possible.
- Arizona ALFA believes in the value of the wellness/social model that has been developed and promoted within the assisted living industry.
- Arizona ALFA believes that assisted living staffing levels and services should be appropriate to residents served.
- Arizona ALFA believes that assisted living caregivers should receive adequate training to meet the needs of the changing assisted living resident population.
- Arizona ALFA believes that assisted living services should be evaluated primarily in terms of: 1) effectiveness (resident and family outcomes); 2) efficiency (including cost-efficiency); and 3) resident and family satisfaction.
- Arizona ALFA believes that agencies responsible for regulatory oversight of assisted living facilities should take a flexible, rather than “one size fits all” approach, and should work with providers to address industry challenges, such as the shortage of RN’s, LPN’s, and doctors facing Arizona.
Caring for Arizona’s Seniors: The Road to the Future
Key elements of the “road” to the future, as we envision it, are outlined below:
A consumer-chosen environment. As life expectancy continues to increase and baby boomers’ lifestyles reach the senior housing marketplace, there will be an ever greater need for a wide range of housing and care models to meet both the needs and desires of our senior population.
Consumer-driven quality. Improved methods to evaluate services and technology to report outcomes will enable the public to make more informed decisions. The focus of service evaluation should be on outcomes and consumer satisfaction, not process, in setting required standards of care.
Affordability. As provider costs increase and seniors’ resources to pay for these costs continue to be challenged, government, businesses, and organizations will need to work together to identify ways to keep services affordable.
Partnership. Housing developers, providers, advocates, and government agencies must work together to meet the needs of all.
Caring for Arizona’s Seniors: The Map to Get Us There
The “map” to take us to the future outlined above is likely to include the following:
A Consumer-Chosen Environment
- Recognizing the residents’ right to assume a greater level of personal risk in order to remain in or move to the environment of their choice.
- Focusing regulatory oversight on goals and outcomes related to effectiveness, efficiency, and consumer satisfaction, rather than on the process by which these goals are achieved.
- Encouraging customer satisfaction as a key quality measurement, with occupancy being the report card; providers will need to maintain high quality care to remain in business.
- Encouraging programs and providing incentives to recruit and train staff who are equipped and committed to work in assisted living, allowing providers to focus on quality and services instead of overseeing an available workforce that may be uncommitted and mediocre.
- Creating a system of professional licensing and training that responds to the needs of various models of care, supporting the appropriate recruitment and training of individuals with the desire and acumen to be managers.
- Creating a regulatory system that is consultative and outcome-oriented, rather than punitive-based, in which providers are more often encouraged and applauded, rather than threatened, in their efforts to provide quality communities and services.
- Requiring equal partnerships among government, advocates, and providers in the search for workable solutions for all.
- Allowing housing providers to shelter at-risk elderly with supportive services without undue fear of government repercussions in order to maintain an affordable model.
Arizona ALFA’s Part in the Journey
Arizona ALFA and its members look forward to lending their expertise to help realize a vision of caring for Arizona’s seniors that is responsive to consumer needs for quality, flexibility, and affordability.
For more information about Arizona ALFA’s Guiding Principles please call Karen Barno, President, Arizona ALFA, (602) 322-0100 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.