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  • There are an estimated 3 million LGBT older adults in the US; by 2030, that number will double. Some of those individuals will become residents of assisted living communities, while still others will require a stay in a skilled nursing facility.  Over the last 10 years, California legislatures have enacted three statutes fostering LGBTQIA cultural competency for workers in long-term care settings, and aiming to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Two bills (SB 1729, 2008 and AB 663, 2013) require professionals in California long-term care facilities (skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care and residential care facilities for the elderly [RCFEs]) to receive cultural competency training for the underserved aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Those laws heightened awareness of LGBTQIA issues, but did nothing to stem insidious or blatant discrimination inside long-term care settings.

    50 years of human rights advances for LGBTQIA individuals can come to a full stop once an older gay man or aging lesbian moves into an assisted living community or long-term care health setting. Many times, these individuals are forced to return to the closet to avoid harassment, discrimination, isolation or worse.

    With PRIDE Season upon us, it's time to highlight the 2017 law: The LGBT Senior Bill of Rights, attempts to put an end to LGBTQIA discrimination or mistreatment.  SB 219/Chapter 483, Statutes of 2017 has been called a bellwether for the nation's long-term care industries, for its broad applicability, and razor-sharp specificity.  Specifically, the bill prevents a long-term care facility or its staff, on the basis of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status to: 

    • Deny admission to a long-term care facility, transfer or refuse to transfer a resident within a facility or to another facility, or to discharge or evict a resident from a facility;
    • Deny a request by residents to share a room;
    • Where rooms are assigned by gender, assigning,  reassigning, or refusing to assign a room to a transgender resident other than in accordance with the transgender resident's gender identity, unless at the transgender resident's request;
    • Prohibit a resident from using, or harassing a resident who seeks to use, or does use, a restroom available to other persons of the same gender identity;
    • Willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident's preferred name or pronouns after being informed of the preferred name or pronouns;
    • Deny a resident the right to wear or be dressed in clothing, accessories, or cosmetics that are permitted for any other resident;
    • Restrict medical or nonmedical care that is appropriate to a resident's organs and bodily needs or provide medical or nonmedical care in a manner than unduly demeans the resident's dignity, or causes avoidable discomfort; and requires that the facility
    • Prominently post a required notice of the facility's nondiscrimination practices along with its current nondiscrimination policy in all places and on all materials where that policy is posted.

    We are hopeful that both the California Department of Public Health, in its oversight of licensed long-term medical facilities (skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities) and California's Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing, the oversight agency for RCFEs, vigorously enforce the provisions of SB 219.  CARR will be watching and you should be too.  If you find a facility is not complying with this law, your options are to file a complaint with a) the California Department of Social Services at 1-800-LET-US-NO, or b) find and contact your local Ombudsman office

    If you identify as LGBTQIA, we are interested in your perspective on assisted living.  Please take our brief, 2 minute survey here.  Your input will help shape CARR's advocacy for the LGBTQIA community.

     

  • A recently released Bankrate survey reports Americans are saving little or nothing of their annual income and half could end up struggling in retirement.  

    20% of those surveyed save 0% of their annual income while those who do save were found to not be saving enough.  Experts recommend setting aside 15% of one’s annual income, but of those surveyed– 16% report saving at the 15% level, 25% report saving 10-6%, and 21% save 5% or less.

    The survey notes those 55-64 years of age, who do have retirement savings, have a median savings of $120,000, and those 65-74 years old have saved a median of $126,000.  Even when factoring in Social Security, these reserves will not last long in the absence of paychecks ($1,342 is the 2017 average monthly Social Security benefit) exposing seniors to the risks of a lower standard of living in retirement and/or an inability to afford an emergency expense. 

    Another risk retirees must consider is the potential need for long-term care and the associated cost.  Assisted living is an increasingly popular option within the continuum of long term care. CARR recently received funding from The San Diego Foundation to examine the affordability of assisted living in San Diego. The median lifetime cost of assisted living in San Diego is estimated as $88,000 or $4,000 per month for 22 months.  CARR’s Assisted Living Accessibility study found 32 of San Diego’s 39 communities have 20-60% of seniors, 65 years and over, unable to afford lifetime assisted living costs, even when factoring in home equity. 

    Since assisted living care remains, for the most part, a private pay option, Bankrate’s survey underscores the urgent need conveyed in CARR’s study for communities, like San Diego, to advocate for and improve access to aging-in-place for their aging population. A full copy of CARR's report is available upon request rcfereformorg@gmail.com

     

  • Aid & Attendance (A&A)

    Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.  Aid and Attendance monies increase the pension amount, therefore people not eligible for a basic pension because their income is high, may be eligible for pension at the increased rates. 

     The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has published the 2018 Aid and Attendance Rates; rates were effective 12/1/2017.  They are:

    2018 AID & ATTENDANCE
    Category Monthly Maximum A&A
     Married Veteran Couple  $2,903.00
     Married Veteran  $2,169.00
     Single Veteran  $1,830.00
     Surviving Spouse  $1,176.00

    The Aid & Attendance (A&A) increased monthly pension amount may be added to your monthly pension amount if you meet one of the following conditions:

    • You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment
    • You are bedridden, in that your disability or disabilities requires that you remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment
    • You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity
    • Your eyesight is limited to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less

    Click here to find the many other veterans resources listed on our site. 

  • THIRTEEN SD RCFEs EVACUATED DURING LILAC FIRE

    13 assisted living facilities located in San Diego's North County were under mandatory evacuation orders during the Lilac Fire.  The Lilac Fire, a fast moving blaze, was moving westward from I-15 near Bonsall,  towards Oceanside.  As of Monday 11 December, Community Care Licensing (CCL) reported all had been repopulated, following CalFire's lifting of the evacuation order.  The facilities affected were:

     

    • Amparo Senior Care, Oceanside
    • Angel in the Garden, Oceanside
    • Blue Skies of Oceanside, Oceanside
    • Casa Verdugo, Oceanside
    • Forest View Guest Home, Vista
    • Golden House Residence, Bonsall
    • ​Heaven's Grace Care Home, Oceanside
    • Melrose Place, Vista
    • Mountain View Manor, Vista
    • Pacific Breeze, Oceanside
    • Paradise Residential Care Facility, Fallbrook
    • Verdugo Boarding Home, Oceanside
    • Villa Florenza, Oceanside

    Residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs, also known as assisted living facilities) must be prepared for any emergency, as they are responsible for the health and safety of its residents in good times and in bad.  All RCFEs must have on file with the state, and prominently posted in the facility a current Emergency Disaster Plan (LIC610E).  The Licensee is responsible for maintaining the currency and accuracy of the responsibilities, names and contact numbers listed on the document.  During an emergency, each employee of the RCFE should be trained, and drilled in the procedures to safely move the facility's residents out of harm's way.   

    Given the high fire danger throughout the County, families with residents in assisted living facilities are recommended to see the Emergency Disaster Plan for the facility their loved one is in, and should verify that its been updated within the last calendar year.  It is also appropriate for the responsible party to have the discussion with the Licensee about evacuations, and where residents will be relocated.  Licensees are responsible for obtaining safe transportation for relocation, relocation accommodations, assuring resident records and sufficient quantities of their medications accompany the resident during the evacuation.  

    CARR is pleased at the state's proactive stance of posting important information regarding facilities that were evacuated during the Southern California fires over this last several weeks;  it is a continuation of the detailed evacuation and relocation information for facilities impacted by the fires in Northern California several weeks ago.  And of course, we're pleased that all of the thirteen facilities suffered no loss of human life. 

Facility Finder

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How To Use Our Statewide Facility Search

Enter values in the appropriate fields. You don't have to fill in all the fields' You can use any or all of the name, etc. For example, To find Mount Helix Manor Elder Care you could enter "Manor" in the Name field and "La Mesa" in the City field then click the "Find a Facility" button

Some names might use abbreviated words such as "Casa St. James" while others might spell out the word such as " Saint Mary Homecare" so you may try several spellings before you find your facility.

Please note: A maximum of 60 facilities can be viewed. If you have more than 60 found facilities, you may want to be more specific in your search.

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News / CARR in the news

AIS Bulletin front page
The September issue of San Diego County's Aging and Independence Services Bulletin (AIS) features CARR and the County's recently launched rating system for local assisted living facilities, the Choose Well Program.  The highlight of the feature story is a recount of the impressive spark ignited by CARR's Executive Director, Chris Murphy, to ultimately create, alongside Chrisy Selder Principal Investigator, a senior advocacy organization committed to helping an underrepresented segment of California's seniors--assisted living residents.  Read the full story here. 

News / RCFEs in the news
The Front Page

THIRTEEN SD RCFEs EVACUATED DURING LILAC FIRE

13 assisted living facilities located in San Diego's North County were under mandatory evacuation orders during the Lilac Fire.  The Lilac Fire, a fast moving blaze, was moving westward from I-15 near Bonsall,  towards Oceanside.  As of Monday 11 December, Community Care Licensing (CCL) reported all had been repopulated, following CalFire's lifting of the evacuation order.  The facilities affected were:

 

News / CARR in the news

CARR announced 13 September 2017 that it has received an AARP Community Challenge Grant.  CARR is only one of 4 AARP Community Challenge Grant recipients in California.

News / CARR in the news

On 1 August, 2017, San  Diego County made it official:  Choose Well is now a recognized public program!  

Recent CARR Blogs - see more -

Watchdog & Advocacy
Data & Research
Blog

Our review of CCL licensing data found 40% of facilities receive their license more than 120 days following their first pre-licensing visit.  Facilities may contact their local state representatives explaining to them the financial hardship associated with a delay in licensure. Contact information for your local representative(s) is available in the following article.