Latest Projects

New resource to promote assisted living quality and integration into other healthcare sectors

Assisted living has been in evolution for decades, and now more than ever, providers must address the quality of their services and care in light of variations across settings, increased resident acuity, and changes spurred by health care reform.

In response, the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) funded researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) to conduct a comprehensive review and critique of tools applicable for quality improvement in five domains central to service provision: person-centered care, medication management, care coordination/transitions, resident/patient outcomes, and workforce.

The final report recommends 96 measures and instruments especially well-suited for assisted living providers, and includes and/or provides links to these tools; the sheer number of them allows providers to choose the one(s) most appropriate to their setting and priorities.

CEAL and UNC expect the report will be a useful resource to promote quality improvement and participation in coordinated care efforts across the healthcare industry. Read the report here. See the full press release on CEAL.

Toolkit for Person-Centeredness in Assisted Living – An Informational Guide and Questionnaires of Person-Centered Practices in Assisted Living (PC-PAL)

Initially released for use in June 2014, the Toolkit for Person-Centeredness in Assisted Living was developed through a close partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the national Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), along with assisted living providers, residents, family members, and organizational representatives. Available for free download, the Toolkit includes questionnaires to be completed by assisted living residents and staff, and simple, easy-to-follow instructions for scoring and interpreting the results. The questionnaires measure Person-Centered Practices in Assisted Living, and are called the PC-PAL. Unlike earlier tools, the PC-PAL questionnaires are based on research evidence and have been rigorously tested for ease of use and statistical validity. Click here to access the PC-PAL. Read the entire press release on the CEAL website or on the UNC website.

National Initiatives

A part of CEAL's mission is to provide technical expertise about assisted living to help inform research and national policy initiatives. Since its inception, CEAL has been providing assisted living technical expertise through the knowledge and experience of its diverse board members. The following are descriptions of some of the efforts CEAL has supported.

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

CEAL works with this CDC agency on the development and dissemination strategy for assisted living for its biennial National Study of Long Term Care Providers (NSLTCP). NSLTCP is a groundbreaking initiative to monitor trends in the major sectors of paid, regulated long-term care services providers. NSLTCP uses data from surveys of residential care communities and adult day services centers, and administrative data on home health agencies, nursing homes and hospices. The vision for NSLTCP is to offer reliable, accurate, relevant and timely statistical information to support and inform long-term care services policy, research and practice. To learn more about NSLTCP, go to

Person-Centered Care

The Institute of Medicine deems person-centered values and practices the gold standard of care. CEAL has been a leader in bringing together diverse assisted living stakeholders to discuss and develop information about person-centered values and practices for assisted living. CEAL has:

  • Convened a thought leaders symposium to define person-centered care for assisted living and key practices needed to implement it. This information was published in the "Person-Centered Care in Assisted Living: An Informational Guide";
  • Written a chapter about person-centered care in the National Association of Boards of Examiners for Long-Term Care Administration's assisted living exam preparation guide;
  • Developed through a consensus process and published person-centered attributes for home and community-based services and specific assisted living indicators;
  • Responded to a Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposed rule to define "community-based" settings by providing the above referenced information to help guide CMS's deliberation about the definition that has the potential to significantly impact assisted living;
  • Collaborated with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on a research project to identify through an empirical process assisted living person-centered care features and measures and to field test them. Findings and information developed through this research study will be posted to the website in the Fall 2013; and
  • Presented information CEAL developed about person-centered care at a number of national conferences to further disseminate the information.

Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living (WCCEAL)

WCCEAL is an innovative collaborative including Wisconsin's regulatory and public funding agencies, the WI state ombudsman's program, and the four assisted living and residential provider associations. The purpose of WCCEAL is to support assisted living communities strive for excellence through internal quality improvement. The Collaborative developed performance measures and satisfaction surveys that can be voluntarily used by WI assisted living providers as quality assurance and improvement tools. WCCEAL is interested in conducting a demonstration project in a handful of additional states to further test the effectiveness of the program. CEAL will serve as a collaborator in a demonstration project. To learn more about WCCEAL, go to

Assisted Living Disclosure Collaborative

CEAL helped the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality convene a diverse group of assisted living stakeholders to work together through a consensus process to develop a uniform disclosure instrument. Read more...

Assisted Living Workgroup (ALW)

The ALW was a national initiative of nearly 50 organizations representing providers, consumer advocates, healthcare professionals, and regulators among others that came together at the behest of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to develop consensus recommendations to assure quality in assisted living. The initiative began in 2001 and ended 18 months later with 110 recommendations presented as testimony before the Committee in April 2003. Read the full report...


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