A Resident’s Guide to NYS Department of Health Inspections

Inspection of Adult Care Facility/Assisted Living Residences and Your Rights as a Resident

Inspection Process

The New York State Department of Health is responsible for carrying out inspections of Adult Care Facilities including adult homes, enriched housing programs, and assisted living residences. The purpose of these inspections, also called surveys, is to ensure that your residence meets all required regulations and that your home is a safe place to live. Some homes are inspected every 12 months, while others are inspected every 18 months based on each residence's performance on previous surveys. The Department of Health determines the inspection cycle for your home. The inspection team is responsible for assessing different aspects of your home and may include a:

  • Social Worker
  • Nurse
  • Environment/Fire Safety Specialist
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian

Activities of the Inspection Team

The survey may include the following activities:

  • A walk through of your home, including visits to resident rooms
  • A meeting with the operator and other staff from your home
  • Review of the fire safety systems
  • Observation of meals, review of daily menus and evaluation of kitchen and dining areas
  • Review of medication systems and observation of medication assistance
  • Review of facility, employee and resident records
  • Interviews with residents and staff

Upon completion of the survey, the Department will issue an inspection report that will be posted in the facility.

Your Right to Participate

You have the right to take part in the inspection process at your home. As a resident, you know best what happens in your home. The inspection team relies on residents to provide information on the quality of life in the home to understand the degree to which your needs are being met. You also have the right not to participate in the process. You can decline to speak to an inspector, or end your participation at any time.

Should you decide to participate, there are several ways you can do so:

  • Taking part in an interview;
  • Requesting to speak to an inspector alone or with a group of residents;
  • Requesting that your resident council pass on information to the inspectors for you; or,
  • Encouraging family or friends who are familiar with the conditions in your home to speak to the inspectors.

Other Ways You Can Be Involved

Between inspections, you can take an active role in the care your home provides by:

  • Participating in resident council meetings;
  • Participating in the events of community groups and agencies that are interested in improving residents' home life;
  • Becoming familiar with consumer-led organizations of adult care facilities and resident council groups that are interested in addressing your needs as a resident. Please see your residence's administrator and/or case manager for further details on these forums and events; or,
  • Reporting any new or ongoing concerns to the NYS Department of Health's Adult Care Facility Centralized Complaint Intake Program at 1-866-893-6772.
    This is a good option particularly if you do not feel comfortable speaking with an inspector during the inspection. You can call the Intake Program at any time, 24 hours a day and you do not have to leave your name if you don't want to.

Your Right to Confidentiality

The Department of Health's first priority is ensuring your wellbeing and safety and protecting you from any type of retaliation from staff, other residents, or anyone else related to your home.

Therefore, it is important that you know what you tell us during the inspection process will be kept confidential.

At the conclusion of the survey, if the Department of Health determines that the operator of your home has not complied with one or more regulations, the Department will issue a citation for each violation. The results of the inspection are issued and the inspection report will be posted in the facility. Please see your residence's administrator and/or case manager if you are unable to locate the posting area of the inspection report.

Information provided by residents may be confidentially included in the inspection report. Resident names are not identified in the inspection report.

  • Western Regional Office
    NYS Department of Health
    1565 Jefferson Road, Suite 120
    Rochester, NY 14623
    Phone: (585) 423-8185
    Fax: (585) 423-8171
  • Central New York
    Regional Office
    NYS Department of Health
    217 South Salina Street
    Syracuse, NY 13202
    Phone: (315) 477-8472
    Fax: (315) 477-8583
  • Capital District Regional Office
    NYS Department of Health
    875 Central Avenue
    Albany, NY 12206
    Phone: (518) 408-5287
    Fax: (518) 408-5309
  • Metropolitan Area
    Regional Offices
    NYS Department of Health
    90 Church Street, 15th Floor
    New York, NY 10007
    Phone: (212) 417-4440
    Fax: (212) 417-2119
  • NYS Department of Health
    320 Carleton Avenue, Suite 5000
    Central Islip, NY 11722
    Phone: (631) 851-3098
    Fax: (631) 851-4323
  • Adult Care Facility Centralized Complaint Intake Program: 1-866-893-6772