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What is an RCFE? Assisted Living

In a previous article we took a look at the big scope answer of the question,“what is an RCFE?” Now we know that RCFE stand for Residential Care Facility for the Elderly and it’s a large umbrella license issued by California to “non-medical” facilities of all shapes and sizes. In the next few articles we’ll look at the four different varieties of RCFE: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Residential Assisted Living and Board and Care.

An Assisted Living facility is usually synonymies with “big” and “corporate” in the RCFE world. Brookdale, Sunrise and Eskaton are the most notable names. They are often big and corporate for good reasons. I’ve had a big time Assisted Living investor and developer tell me, “In California, it’s just as difficult to build a 16 bed facility as it is to build a 60 bed facility.” Government regulations and fire code present a formidable challenge to anyone wanting to enter the market of Assisted Living. For that reasons, it’s undertaken by corporations that have the man power and financial resources to take on the daunting challenge of developing and running the “big places.”

The resources of a big Assisted Living are its greatest assets. On the glamorous end, there are exercise pools, movies theaters and of course large multipurpose rooms for all sorts of activities (not only Bingo). Speaking of activities, any facility in the state of California with fifty residents or more, has to have a dedicated activities coordinator. That’s a pretty cool “big place” plus.

On the care spectrum, a large place usually has a ratio of one caregiver per 12-20 residents. A perk of a big place is that the team of caregivers is often times supervised by an LVN (licensed vocational nurse).

What kind of person might be the most happiest in a large Assisted Living? People who thrive around others and who have always been outgoing, are a great match for the socially thriving Assisted Living model. Many places are modeled after resorts and fancy hotels. If your loved one was a traveler and loved to visit new places, a big facility may be a great fit for them.

A great example of a local Assisted Living facilities that we love and point families to are, Sunrise Senior Living of Fair Oaks and Eskaton Lodge Granite Bay.