Consumer Support

CARR's Consumer Support articles address specific topics of interest, and trending subjects in the industry.

Flu Season in Assisted Living, Tips for Residents & Families

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

When it's flu season'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.  

CCL's Centralized Complaint Hotline

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (DSS/CCLD) launched its new centralized complaint hotline this past week. The hotline's objective is to streamline the complaint process for consumers, and to assure information about complaints is consistently collected across all complaint report types.  Once a complaint is filed through the central call office, it is reviewed by a field-seasoned CCL inspector; within a few hours after the complaint has been reported, it is directed to the appropriate regional field office for investigation.  Once in the regional office, the agency must initiate its investigation within the 10-day regulatory time frame. 

Need A Crash Course in Assisted Living 101? Watch Our Webinar.

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

CARR was recently invited to share what we know about California's assisted living industry by the Caregiver Coalition.  The Caregiver Coalition of San Diego offers a series of webinars focused on topics relevant to those caring for an aging relative and professionals in the field of aging.

You can now access valuable information about assisted living in California and making an informed placement decision anywhere you can access the internet at a time convenient for you.

Find An Ombudsman in California

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

Statewide Ombudsman Program Offices

Ombudsman are available in every county in California.  To find the office nearest you, check out our list. and click the underlined blue link to access contact information.  The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and its State companion, the Older Californians Act. The primary responsibility of the program is to investigate and endeavor to resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities and in residential care facilities for the elderly.

Cal-Vet Facilities Statewide

Consumer support / Veterans

Cal-Vet Assisted Living Facilities have been added to this site.  The public documents were obtained under California Public Act Requests (CPRAs) for seven facilities, and CARR's interns harvested the documents for the Chula Vista facility directly from the public record file.   

  • Veteran's Home of Chula Vista is # 944
  • Veteran's Home of Fresno is # 992 
  • Veteran's Home of Redding is #991
  • Veteran's Home of Ventura is #983
  • Veteran's Home of West Los Angeles is #982

Guide for Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities

Consumer support / Checklists

So, you have narrowed your search and have scheduled a handful of facility tours.  You arrive to any of these tours—introductions are made, accommodations previewed, stop and observe the staff interacting with the residents, follow-up with an invitation to stay for lunch. This is the tour you can expect.  This is the tour they have prepared.  It is called the “marketing tour”.  This is not the only tour you want.

Having worked as an administrator’s assistant, and having served as a long-term care ombudsman, I can tell you with great certainty that many facilities are doing their best . . . to hide the corners they are cutting.  Some are cutting fewer than others, it is true.

RCFE & Skilled Nursing Facility: Is There a Difference?

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

he table below shows the primary differences between an RCFE (aka Assisted Living) and a Skilled Nursing Facility.  We are hopeful the content will help your differentiate between the two.  

A Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) is the name in California's Title 22 regulations that refers to a "housing arrangement chosen voluntarily" by a resident or his guardian or other responsible party, where 75% of the residents are 60+, where care and supervision is provided to the residents in a manner consistent with their particular needs. In the vernacular, it is often called assisted living or supportive housing.  It is non-medical in

OMBUDSMAN: Resident Advocate

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

The role of the Ombudsman is to ensure dignity, quality-of-life, and care for all long-term care residents (both in RCFEs as well as in Skilled Nursing Facilities [SNFs]), through empowerment and advocacy.   Ombudsman are community volunteers who attend training before being certified for entry into the program.  

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program exists in all states under the authorization of the Older American’s Act. (Title Title VII, Chapter 2,§ 711-713). Statewide, there are 35 Ombudsman Program Coordinators;  in San Diego, the program operates under the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, office of Aging and Independence Services (858) 560-2507. Program staff and trained volunteers have an ongoing presence in long term care facilities (RCFEs and skilled nursing facilities).  

EASY as PIE: The RCFE Administrator's Certificate

Consumer support / Assisted Living Information

With over 8,000 Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) in California, there is a market for certified RCFE Administrators; each facility must have one (Title 22, §87405).  Given that 80% of the RCFEs in San Diego and Imperial counties are in the 1-to-6 bed category,  what does it take to become a certified Administrator of a six-bed1 facility?   The short answer is – not much.

The applicant has to be 21 years old, take a certification course from a state-approved vendor, get fingerprinting and have a criminal background check, then pass the state-administered test.  In about a month, start to finish, and with less than $700 in out-of-pocket expenses, any Applicant meeting these requirements can now run an RCFE, caring for your dad, mom, husband, wife or grandparents.