← Back to Blog

What is CARF Accreditation & Why Does it Matter?

two grandparents smiling with their kids and grandkids behind them

When it comes to choosing a senior living community, you and your loved ones deserve the very best. And while you can learn a lot by visiting a community, how do you measure quality behind the scenes? And how can you be sure it will measure up to your high standards, lifestyle expectations and future needs? We suggest starting with communities that have been accredited. Because having the peace of mind and confidence of accreditation is important.

About Senior Living Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary process and designation that requires communities to exceed specific standards and qualifications. It’s an important indication demonstrating a commitment to providing the highest standards of quality, service, and care—and an important consideration in the decision-making process when choosing a senior living community.

And while Federal and State guidelines don’t require licensed senior communities to be accredited, beginning in 2004, SRG put its communities to the test and voluntarily asked the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to review and rate just how well we were doing. Not only were we one of the first nationwide providers of senior living to initiate the process, but we’re also one of the few licensed providers to have all its eligible assisted living and memory care communities accredited. SRG took the lead again in 2014, when CARF initiated new standards of quality for independent living communities; becoming the first senior living provider in the nation to achieve the highest level of accreditation for independent living.

At the end of the day, we don’t pursue accreditation because it’s required, we do it because it’s important. Because you’re important.

What Is CARF Accreditation?

Established in 1966, CARF is an international, independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits providers of services focused on the areas of aging, rehabilitation, behavioral health, employment, and child and family services. CARF is widely recognized as the leading accreditation body for providers of health and human services. Its mission is to promote and ensure quality of service and care. It’s a lot like an accreditation for a hospital. Or a five-star rating for a hotel.

What Does CARF Do And Why Is It Important?

CARF Accreditation ensures providers meet elevated standards of care, quality, and service, and their audit and review process is rigorous. The provider’s staff, management practices, activity choices, physical environment and overall service must be remarkable. When it comes to choosing retirement living, we suggest starting with communities that have been CARF accredited, then you’ll know you’re looking at options that put you and your family first, every day.

Why Aren’t All Retirement Communities CARF-accredited?

Good question, and one you should keep in mind as you look around. The simple answer is, it’s hard. It requires an extremely high level of time, attention and dedication from a community’s management and staff. It’s no small feat. But if you ask us, it’s absolutely worth every bit of effort to offer residents and their families the peace of mind and confidence of CARF accreditation.

So, when you’re searching for a senior living community for yourself or a family member, be sure to ask, “are you accredited?” For the same reasons you would select an accredited hospital or college, accreditation provides you the assurance that the highest standards of quality, care, services, and safeguards are maintained. And though federal and state guidelines don’t require senior living communities to be accredited, we think it’s an important distinction.

What Are CARF Standards?

CARF standards serve as the guidelines for service and care. Each set of standards are reviewed and updated annually to ensure they are current and provide the highest level of excellence. They help organizations like ours focus on things like improved service outcomes, satisfaction of those served, and quality care and service delivery. These standards provide a blueprint for continuous improvement and a positive impact on the lives of our residents and team members.

CARF Accreditation At SRG Senior Living Communities

At SRG, we’re proud to announce that every eligible SRG community reviewed has met and mastered over 1,500 rigorous standards earning the highest level of accreditation. Each has been awarded the maximum three-year accreditation (some might say it’s like we received six stars). In fact, SRG is one of the few owners/operators of senior communities in the nation to receive such an honor.

And as part of our promise to you, SRG’s senior living communities will continue to voluntarily participate in the accreditation process to ensure our programs and services maintain their high-quality standards.

We invite you to visit your nearest SRG community for a private tour and to learn more about the benefits of choosing a CARF-accredited retirement community.