Straight Talk

San Diego County to Launch Rating System for Assisted Living

CARR completed San Diego County's 6 month pilot program to develop and test a rating system for local assisted living facilities in October 2015. CARR is now under contract for Phase II to implement this premier rating system. The program will now be referred to as the Choose Well Program. Facility recruitment begins at the end of May 2016 with the anticipated website launch date set as early September 2016. To learn more, email or call 619/795-2165.

CARR's Board Member, Dr. Anguera, Appointed by Governor Brown to CA Commission on Aging

CARR would like to extend our warmest congratulations to our Board of Director's member, Dr. Joaquin Anguera, for his recent appointment by Governor Brown to the California Commission on Aging.  CARR has had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Anguera for the past 7 years and knows firsthand how beneficial Dr. Anguera's experience and perspective will be to California's senior community.

The Story Behind CARR's SAVE OUR GRANNIES Campaign

CARR's First Crowdfunding Effort: 

CARR wishes (with eyes shut tight) to afford one Exhibitor Table at an upcoming local aging conference. From this coveted spot, CARR's 2 advocates will wear mildly comfortable heels but friendly smiles to canvas the trade show floor for 17 hours & present to senior advocates our meaningful work & innovative approach to advocacy.

Due to a shoestring budget, CARR is restricted to local events & it is unprecedented good fortune that such a significant one IS LOCAL this year! This is a networking opportunity we really have a chance at. Could you please help us get there? Could you please help us spread the word about caring for our grannies & grandpas? Below are 3 bullet points to help you wrap your mind around a donation to this campaign:

CARR Has An App For That - "Assisted Living 101"

Thanks to the generosity of our volunteer, Padma, CARR can now offer consumers the “Assisted Living 101” App available for download on any Android device.

Seniors, families and professionals will find answers to the most fundamental questions about California’s assisted living industry. One more way CARR is empowering consumers using innovation and education.

Watch tutorial &/or download here.

(And for iPhone users, please know we are currently working on being able to assist you as well. We invite you to follow us for updates.) 

Understanding CARR

We publish the compliance histories, plus other relevant organization information, on all facilities in San Diego & Imperial Counties and a growing number of other CA counties.

We educate seniors and families on how to make informed placement decisions. 

We build confidence and compassion in our students interns. 

We code data to study problem areas of senior care and inform policy changes. 

And, many times, we just listen and give families a space to air their frustrations. 

It is our personal commitment to integrity, transparency, accountability and quality of life for dependent seniors that keeps us going.  We are thankful our hard work is earning CARR a special place in communities throughout California.

"CARR is providing a service that is long overdue. Providing care for your aging relatives should not be as difficult as it is. Thanks to their work, hopefully it will be much easier to make the right decisions in the future."

INTERACT: A Protocol for Delivering Better Care

CARR's mission is to improve resident care in assisted living by educating consumers and providers.  One of the ways we can achieve that is by promoting tools providers can use to elevate the quality-of-care they deliver, while educating consumers that they should be asking providers whether they use the INTERACT protocol.  And if not, why not?

INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) is a quality improvement program that is a product of a contract between the Georgia Medical Care Foundation and the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Funding for adaptation of INTERACT for assisted living and home health settings was provided by a CMS Innovation Award.  

The fundamentals of the program include early identification, assessment, documentation and communication about the changes in a resident's condition with the goal of "improving care and reducing the frequency' of avoidable trips to the hospital.  As assisted living facilities in California continue to admit residents having higher acuity levels into a non-medical setting, it becomes increasingly important for providers to 'amp up' their caregivers' professionalism, training, and ability to quickly and accurately identify a resident's change of condition.   INTERACT Assisted Living Version 1.0 Tools is easily accessible, free, and can be immediately implemented in any assisted living setting.  

Video Surveillance In Assisted Living: Know Your Rights Under New State Guidelines

Despite the ongoing concerns of CARR and other statewide advocates, California’s Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) recently released a set of guidelines permitting assisted living facilities to use video surveillance in both common and private areas of facilities.  The set of guidelines was reported to have been issued in response to the growing use of video surveillance systems in California’s assisted living facilities by facilities themselves.

CARR takes issue with both (1) the state’s creation of generic guidelines, rather than explicit statutory authority and regulations, and (2) the set of guidelines themselves.  CARR submits that the policy is a quick fix that neither promotes resident safety nor mitigates resident risks.  Instead, these guidelines provide facilities with unlimited discretion to monitor consenting residents. (You can read and evaluate CARR’s position paper here.)

As a service to residents and their families, CARR provides below an overview and itemized summary of DSS/CCL’s guidelines to ensure you are fully informed of your rights and areas where they might be limited.  Actual guidelines may be found on DSS/CCL’s website using the link provided here.  

Overview Summary—DSS/CCL’s video surveillance guidelines:

Flu Season in Assisted Living, Tips for Residents & Families

'Tis the season.  Flu season, that is.  And for the elderly, this means additional vigilance to safeguard their health. How well prepared is your facility as we enter flu season?  What preventive measures is the facility taking?  Is the facility prepared to handle an outbreak?

It is well known seniors are at a greater risk of complications should they contract influenza.  And group settings, like assisted living facilities, may increase a senior's exposure to contagious diseases. According to the CDC, it is estimated that between 80-90% of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older and between 50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations occur within this same age group.  


UPDATED on 6/11/2016:   Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) reports that thirty-two (32) residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) are On Probation by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL).  Four of the facilities (Amber House, Anna House, Ashley House, and Birdie House) are owned by Mildred C Wilson-Woltering, also known as M. Christine Wilson-Woltering, and M. Christine Woltering.  Facilities on this list, rolled over from the past month are in black.  Facilities new to the list are in blue. 

For families throughout the state shopping for an assisted living placement, and who may not visit the state's website (, CARR will will regularly update this information during the first week of each month.  You are always recommended to check directly with the facility or with your local DSS/CCL office for interim updates to this list.

A Plus Loving Home, 10584 Fuerte Drive, La Mesa, CA 91941, License 374601314, San Diego County.

San Diego County Awards Contract to CARR for Development of Assisted Living Rating System

"CARR is honored to be the County of San Diego's vendor entrusted with developing a fair rating system deserving the confidence of the public and providers." --Chris Murphy, CARR's Executive Director

SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 5, 2015 -- The County of San Diego, Aging & Independence Services awarded Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) a fixed price contract for a pilot project to create a rating system for the County's assisted living facilities, and to develop a consumer-friendly website to display the ratings and facility information.  The pilot program is a six-month effort with a current contract value of $50,000.