Assisted Living Facilities

The term "assisted living facility" is used to describe a variety of facilities that provide both housing and personal care. They include "board and care homes," which are often six bed facilities in residential housing as well as much larger facilities. Some facilities primarily serve adults under age 60 (Adult Residential Care Facilities) and others primarily serve adults age 60 and over (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly—RCFEs).

Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE)

RCFE General Services

In addition to the monthly cost for housing, which can range from a private or shared bedroom to a full apartment, these facilities usually provide the following services:

  • Assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, ambulating/transferring
  • Meals/snacks
  • Housekeeping and Laundry
  • Transportation
  • Activities
  • Assistance with Medication
  • Supervision/Preventing Wandering

Additional monthly fees may be charged for more extensive care based on the resident’s assessed care needs.

RCFE Hospice Services

Hospice services are provided to individuals in many care settings, ranging from one’s own home or apartment, to a residential care facility (if the facility has approval from the California Department of Social Service), congregate living facility or skilled nursing facility. RCFEs can receive approval to provide hospice services and care for residents who are terminally ill if the facility is in substantial compliance with existing licensing requirements; the resident will be receiving medical care from a licensed hospice agency; the facility has the capacity to meet the residents care needs; and all other requirements are met.

RCFE Referral Agencies

You may find agencies listed in magazines or online that offer to help you find a facility that best meets your (or your family member’s) needs. These Referral Agencies may only be referring you to facilities that pay them for their referral.

How do RCFEs Differ from Nursing Homes?

An RCFE provides non-medical care and supervision for persons 60 years or older who may need assistance with activities of daily living. RCFE residents should not require on-going medical assistance from facility staff. RCFEs may also serve persons under the age of 60 who have similar needs. RCFEs may care for individuals who have dementia if the facility is adequately equipped and staff are trained and sufficient to meet the needs of all residents.

State Oversight

The California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, with district offices throughout the State, is responsible for licensing all RCFEs and providing inspections to ensure compliance with licensing standards.

Click here to find RCFEs in your area and to see the State’s most recent inspection of these facilities.

Click here for a checklist when evaluating RCFE options.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman

The LTC Ombudsman staff and certified volunteers regularly visit RCFEs to meet with residents and their families and help address questions or concerns they may have. The LTC Ombudsman serves as an advocate for the residents. To locate the LTC Ombudsman in your area, refer to Find Services in My County. The LTC Ombudsman also investigates allegations of RCFE abuse or neglect and operates a 24-hour telephone hotline to address immediate issues or reports of abuse or neglect. That number is 1-800-231-4024.