If you are seriously considering moving to a nursing home, you will need to have a Client Assessment Referral and Evaluation (CARE) assessment prior to admission. CARE is an assessment program operated by the Kansas Department on Aging and authorized by the 1994 Kansas Legislature. Everyone seeking admission to a nursing home must receive an assessment by a certified CARE assessor before they can enter.
There are three goals of this free assessment. The first goal is to help people find appropriate long-term care services. These services may be community based or in a nursing home. The second goal is to collect information about services consumers need but are not available. The third goal of the CARE assessment is to determine whether an individual has serious mental health or mental retardation needs, which may require further evaluation. Sections of the CARE assessment are required by federal law and are referred to as Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR).
Through the CARE assessment process, the assessor will give you a chance to review the services that are available in your community so that you can make an informed decision regarding what services will meet your long-term care needs. After the assessment, you may decide to remain in your home, at which time (with your permission) the CARE assessor can make referrals for the community-based services you need.
The CARE assessment takes about one hour and is designed to evaluate your health and ability to perform daily activities such as shopping, dressing, laundry, etc. The CARE assessor from the Area Agency on Aging will conduct the assessment in your home. If you are in a hospital and plan to go to a nursing home, the hospital personnel (probably a nurse or social worker) will conduct the CARE assessment before you leave the hospital. If you wish, your family, friend, or legal representative are encouraged to be present during your interview.
Once the CARE assessment is completed, you will be given a Certificate of Assessment, which will either indicate you may enter a nursing home or you need further evaluation. If you decide to enter a nursing home, you should take a copy of the certificate with you.
If you lose your certificate, you or the nursing home may contact the Area Agency on Aging for another copy. It should be noted that a CARE assessment is not Medicaid eligibility. If you believe you will need Medicaid assistance you will need to apply through your local Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) office.