CARF Aging Services presents updated consumer guide

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The Financial Advisory Panel, industry partners, and persons served author flagship publication, the Consumer Guide to Life Plan Communities: Quality and Financial Viability

CARF International’s Aging Services department has long published the Consumer Guide to Understanding Financial Performance and Reporting in Continuing Care Retirement Communities, an in-depth publication designed to assist individuals in understanding the complexities involved in selecting a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), also referred to as a life plan community, and important factors to consider, including short- and long-term financial viability. Following a months-long review process involving the input of multiple stakeholders, the guide has undergone an extensive update to better assist consumers and their family members with navigating the complicated process of choosing a life plan community. To reflect these updates, the publication has been retitled the Consumer Guide to Life Plan Communities: Quality and Financial Viability. It is currently available for complimentary download on the CARF website:

Several contributors were part of developing the updated Consumer Guide, including persons served in CARF-accredited communities who have undergone the decision-making process of choosing a life plan community for themselves. Persons served are also important members of CARF’s Financial Advisory Panel (FAP), a group that contributes to the development of financial standards and operational indicators, as well as reviewing aggregate data to identify important trends and issues in the senior living field. Apart from persons served, the FAP comprises leading finance experts, including CFOs as well as investment banking, accounting, and other related firms. The following members of the FAP who shared their expertise in the Consumer Guide include Carolyn Buttolph (former FAP member and resident of Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads) and John Jenkins, a resident of Frasier; Timothy Myers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Baptist Senior Family; James Bodine, Executive Vice President, Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc.; and Jeffrey Boland, Partner, Senior Living Services Consulting Group, RKL, LLP.

Herbert J. Sims & Co and RKL, LLP both participated as special project partners for the Consumer Guide. “HJ Sims is a long-standing member of CARF’s Financial Advisory Panel working collaboratively with aging services providers, industry partners, and persons served to inform the organization’s Aging Services accreditation process and services. CARF’s Consumer Guide to Life Plan Communities is one of multiple resources offered in the field of aging services. Importantly, the guide identifies key considerations in evaluating and selecting a CCRC/LPC, which is often one of the most important later life decisions faced by older adults and their families. Accordingly, HJ Sims is pleased and honored to have contributed to this update and to serve as a project partner for this important publication,” said James Bodine.

Of his firm’s participation in the Consumer Guide’s update, Jeffrey Boland said, “RKL is proud to partner with CARF on this resource to support older adults, their families and professional advisors as they consider their life plans and empower them with financial and management data to make these significant decisions.”

CARF’s Senior Business Development Specialist, Aging Services, Julia Meashey, facilitated much of the project. “I’m excited about this update of the Consumer Guide. CARF staff regularly receives calls from individuals who are searching for accredited life plan communities. We have expanded information on the process and standards involved in assessing quality. And, we will continue to enhance the value of this guide by adding content that is accessible in a variety of formats beyond the traditional print version,” said Meashey.

The Consumer Guide is one of two publications produced by the FAP, which are highly acclaimed resources for both service providers and consumers. The other, Financial Ratios & Trend Analysis of CARF-Accredited Continuing Care Retirement Communities, is produced annually and distributed each fall. This award-winning publication includes information about the financial position of CCRCs that have been through CARF’s accreditation process. A valuable benchmarking resource, the information serves as a point of reference for developing internal targets of financial performance.

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