things to know about RCFE licensure

6 Things to Know About RCFE Licensure

Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) serve those who require some level of physical assistance and supervision but do not need around-the-clock medical care.

RCFEs come in several sizes from the large facilities that may have 200 residents to a small home with 6 or less residents. These smaller facilities have a better ability to provide more specialized care because of client to staff ratios of 1 to 3, in most cases.

RCFE licensure tips

If you are thinking about opening a new RCFE, you need to know a thing or two about RCFE licensure. 

An RCFE license is required to operate such a facility. All current and prospective RCFE owners and administrators should be familiar with their state’s licensing processes.  

Keep in mind that states individually regulate RCFE requirements. If you are thinking about opening your own RCFE, it’s important to stay current with laws specific to your region. For people in California, there’s a lot that goes into opening a new RCFE facility. If you need help, contact us about  RCFE licensing.

1. Regulation

RCFEs in California are regulated by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) enforces their respective laws and regulations via RCFE licensing and periodic inspections.

regulation when obtaining an rcfe license

Facilities are governed by the California Code of Regulations Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 8 and the California Health and Safety Codes. These regulations provide guidance on topics such as maintenance and operations, resident care standards, resident rights and staff training requirements, to name a few. 

See here for the full California code of regulations.

2. Assisted Living Administrator Certification

All RCFEs have an assisted living administrator. Whether you plan on hiring one or administrating your own facility, this role requires a certificate. 

Assisted living administrators are directly responsible for the care and well-being of RCFE residents. They are also responsible for overseeing operations and supervising other staff members. It goes without saying that having a qualified administrator is vital to a successful RCFE

California law mandates all RCFE administrators to be certified. To become an RCFE administrator, CDSS requires an individual to complete the 80 hour Initial Administrator Certification Course.

This program requires applicants to pass an 80-hour certification course, followed by a state exam with a score of 70% or better. This program covers most aspects of RCFE training, such as regulations, laws, employee requirements, and acceptable vs. unacceptable facility conditions.

assisted living administrator requirements in California

It is important to note that the exam must be completed within 60 days of course completion, and any supplementing paperwork and fees must be submitted within 30 days of passing the exam. 

All RCFE administrator certificate applications must be sent to the California DSS office, and newly issued certificates will be valid for a period of two years.

Administrator Requirements

Aside from certification, administrators must also meet some basic requirements. The CDSS requires the following of administrators: 

  • Administrators must hold a high school diploma or GED to care for 1-15 residents.
  • Administrators must have a minimum of 15 college units and one year of experience to care for 16-49 residents. 
  • Must have two years of college and three years’ experience for a facility with 50 or more residents. 
  • Must pass a criminal background check. 

This process certifies that administrators have the knowledge to oversee an RCFE competently and efficiently. A certified administrator will also provide peace of mind for the respective owner.

3. Facility Licensure

In California, CDSS has a three-part licensure requirement for all facilities.  

To open a new RCFE, you are first required to complete a three-hour orientation. This is a facility-specific component detailing the ins and outs of facility operation. An application for licensure should be submitted subsequently, after you have proven ownership of the facility grounds.

Facility licensure in California

The second part is a one-on-one interview conducted by a state analyst. This part is carried out once the initial application is submitted for review. 

Part three is an on-site survey consisting of category-specific training  This is designed to promote successful facility operation and is conducted prior to licensure finalization. 

The license application is tedious and can be denied if filled out incorrectly. We can help prepare your entire RCFE application and customize  it to your specific needs.

4. RCFE Staff Requirements

Although RCFE caregivers don’t need to be medically competent to the degree of a registered nurse, California does mandate minimal requirements for RCFE staff. California law states that each community must have “sufficient staff at all times and competent to provide the services necessary to meet residential needs.” 

Aside from this broad statement, RCFE staff must meet the following criteria:

  • Staff providing direct care to residents and employees who supervise employees must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Administrators must be at least 21 years of age.
  • A CPR-certified staff member is required to be on the premises 24/7. 
  • First-aid certifications are required for staffers giving care to residents.  
  • Criminal background checks are required for all facility personnel, along with a health screening and negative tuberculosis test. 
  • Additional employees may be required to perform day-to-day duties such as paperwork, cooking, cleaning, activities, etc.

Since RCFEs do not administer medical care, nurses and doctors are not required to be on the premises. If RCFE staff are caring for residents with dementia, they must have a certain amount of  training hours on dementia to  provide care. 

Also, for similar reasons, RCFEs do not need to abide by regulated staff-to-client ratios. This means that owners need to have a sufficient amount of staff based on residents’ needs.

5. Online Licensure Renewal in California

Per California law, RCFE administrators are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education units every two years, while facility licenses must be renewed annually. This is required to keep facilities and their staff current with new or changing RCFE procedures.

online licensure for California and its importance

The Importance of Licensure

Aside from it being required by law, RCFE licenses ensure facilities and staff provide the best care for their residents. Licensure ensures that facilities have the proper space and equipment to operate and that their employees can carry out their duties. These may include but are not limited to: 

  • Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and mobility.
  • Medication and Health-related services
  • Meals
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Housekeeping services
  • Dementia care

The licensing and training requirements of RCFEs, administrators, and their staff certify that all personnel are capable and competent in their duties. A study by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) concluded that well-trained RCFE staff were vital to the mental, physical, and emotional health of their residents.

6. The RCFE licensure process

Obtaining a California RCFE license is not a simple process by any means, but the care these facilities provide fills a growing need. 


The National Institute of Health projects America’s elderly population to double over the next three decades and this is especially true in California. Nearly 20% of the state’s entire population is projected to be 65+ by 2030. 


Large capacity RCFE’s become increasingly more desirable among aging adults looking to downsize. These facilities offer a variety of activity choices, dining options and assistance with personal care. 


Families have more options to choose from and care is based on a resident assessment of the specific care the resident needs assistance with. Small facilities, such as a 6-bed, often charge a flat rate that includes room and care.


Both large and small communities have the same goal: to provide care that best suits the needs of the resident. 

Assisted Living Education is the premier provider of RCFE certification, RCFE classes, licensing, products and services for assisted living. Our teachers are experienced  industry professionals that are engaging, entertaining and highly informative. We offer RCFE consulting services and share real RCFE experience that will give you an edge in this growing and highly competitive industry. Contact us today.

how to help seniors adjust to an RCFE

8 Tips to Help Seniors Adjust to an RCFE

If you received assisted living certification and manage or work for a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), you realize the residents of your community all have different needs, emotions, and temperaments. This becomes evident when you welcome seniors to their new assisted living home. 

While backgrounds and circumstances  may appear similar, no two residents take the same amount of time or assistance to adjust to this new period in their lives.

Acclimating  your newest RCFE community members to their new home and way of life not only benefits them but helps to create a better living environment for existing residents and an improved working atmosphere for staff. Implementing  an adjustment protocol reduces anxiety for residents and gives staff a replicable process to follow. 

Daily routines and activities continue smoothly, and happy residents and their families often become ambassadors for your facility. This article presents tips to ease seniors into their new life in a successful RCFE.

Undertake These 8 Strategies With a Positive Mindset

While some people naturally embrace change more readily, moving from a beloved home to a group facility is difficult for most individuals. 

Remember this important fact: new residents are often mourning losses that not only include their home but also friends and neighbors, health problems, and even their independence. As you take these measures to help seniors adapt, encourage them with an upbeat attitude but also show respect for their grieving.

1. Offer a Pre-Move Meal and Visit

A prospective resident and family may visit your RCFE and several others before deciding to join your assisted living community. Once they make a selection, however, some time may pass before the actual move. 

Inviting the future resident and a guest to meet community members and staff, share a meal in the dining area, and learn where everything is located can accomplish several purposes.

pre-move in meal for RCFE residents

A pre-move meal and visit gives future residents a chance to get comfortable with your facility before the actual transition. The resident can meet neighbors who inhabit nearby rooms, get acquainted with the activity director and administrator, and ask questions about move-in procedures. Since moving day is inevitably fraught with emotions and stress, a preview of the facility can relieve tension.

2. Present a Welcome Basket on Move-In Day

This may sound expensive, but it doesn’t cost much to show your newest resident you care. Include some appropriate snacks, a few travel-size toiletries, a word search or other puzzle book, some postcards to send friends the new address, and an activity schedule.

3. Help Make the Individual’s Room a Personalized Retreat

An adult child or family member often helps the new resident move in and set up the room to include treasured items brought from home. Even in these cases, make sure to stop in during the first weeks to see if the resident needs help rearranging anything or adding an item to feel more comfortable.

better living environment for RCFE residents

If the new arrival doesn’t have anyone to set up the room, ask a staff member to help. Choose an employee with the interest and skills to create a better living environment for residents. Making a new resident feel safe and comfortable in their private quarters is an essential part of this new transition.

4. Let the New Resident Make Decisions

Seniors often fear moving to an RCFE means loss of independence and the opportunity to make their own decisions. The best way to allay these concerns is to allow them to make choices right away. While staff can help a new community member set up personal space, for instance, the final decisions should rest with the resident unless safety is an issue.

When possible, give the resident several options rather than asking yes or no questions. For example, instead of asking if the person wants to watch the group movie, ask whether they would rather watch the movie, take a walk outdoors, or work on holiday decorations with the craft group. If the individual chooses to stay in the room to read, accept that choice graciously too.

5. Match the New Resident With Mentors Where Possible

Providing an entering resident with a mentor can give the newbie a sense of security. If questions arise, the unfamiliar person knows exactly where to go for an answer. Just as you may have needed assistance with RCFE application processes or help to make your RCFE eco-friendly, new residents often need someone to guide them too.

successful RCFE with happy residents

The feasibility of a mentor program can depend on the size of your facility, but asking an established resident or employee, or both, to help an incoming community member makes adjusting easier. As a staff mentor spends time getting to know the new resident, the employee can also inform other caregivers about any concerns or interests the recent arrival expresses.

6. Find Ways To Keep the New Resident Connected to Favorite Activities

Even in larger RCFEs with a dedicated activity department, it is impossible to plan programs for every hobby or special interest.

This does not mean, however, that you can’t still provide some ways for the new resident to stay linked to a previous pastime. You can harness the power of the internet through YouTube videos, online classes, virtual clubs, and discussion groups.

You may learn, for instance, that a new resident was active in model railroading or weaving rugs before moving to your facility. Perhaps the individual could carry out a limited version of the activity by painting small buildings for railroad layouts or weaving placemats on a small loom. If that isn’t feasible, the hobbyist can still watch videos, participate in online hobby groups, or read library books on the subject.

7. Involve the New Community Member With a Worthy Cause

Helping others or embracing a social movement is one of the best ways to get through a challenging personal situation. If a new resident experiences difficulty adjusting to assisted living, enlist the person’s help with a worthwhile project.

The possibilities are endless, so try suggesting several options that might provide a good match. These could include knitting cozy hats for newborns, writing encouraging letters to prisoners, volunteering at a nearby food pantry, tutoring children in reading, or even spearheading an effort to make your RCFE eco-friendly.


8. Stay Patient and Respect the New Resident’s Timeline

A warm welcome to all new residents when they move into your California RCFE is an important first step. Being available to the new resident as they learn to adjust to living in assisted living is also important. However, each new resident has an individual timetable for adapting, socializing, and getting involved. Be patient and positive but never pushy with recent arrivals.

Wherever You Are in Your Assisted Living Certification Journey, We Can Help

Whether you already have a successful RCFE or need assistance with RCFE application procedures or assisted living certification, we encourage and support you every step of the way. Assisted Living Education provides certification classes, CEU classes, test preparation, manuals, license application services, and other consulting assistance. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

better assisted living manager

4 Powerful Tips for Becoming a Better Assisted Living Manager

Every administrator guiding a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE)  in California has a unique story. Whether you first became involved with caregiving while helping a special relative or working at a local RCFE, making a difference in the lives of seniors is often a motivating factor for obtaining assisted living administrator certification

One thing almost all administrators have in common, however, is a desire to keep progressing and become better at their job.

assisted living manager training tips

As you carry out daily duties in your facility, it soon becomes apparent that improving your performance as an administrator affects many other people and your career. 

Not only are you responsible for the safety and well-being of the residents, but you also influence the lives of your employees, communicate with the families who’ve entrusted loved ones to your care, and interact daily with vendors and state regulators. 

This article dives into some effective actions you can take to enhance the operation of your RCFE and make living, working, and visiting in the facility more satisfying for residents, employees and families.

Assisted Living Administrator Certification Sets the Bar

The Adult and Senior Care Licensing Program of the California Department of Social Services is responsible for the certification of RCFE administrators and for issuing a California RCFE license for assisted living facilities. 

As part of the certification process for administrators, candidates must complete an 80-hour assisted living administrator certification class from a DSS approved vendor and pass the California Initial RCFE Administrator exam.

California initial RCFE exam

When you decide to pursue administrator certification, the topics and discussions covered in the certification class will give you a sound foundation for performing your duties. You  will learn the required skills for operating an RCFE as a business: caring for the residents in your facility, understanding the California laws governing assisted living facilities, and studying the state-required Core of Knowledge. As you strive to enhance your administrative skills, you can build on this information.

Effective Tips Require Effort

These strategies involve more than easy ideas such as starting a book club for residents or putting out a suggestion box. They take some time, planning, and commitment to carry out. Since running an RCFE is both a mission and a business, these methods can help you work on soft skills, such as understanding your residents’ needs, as well as hard skills, including budget creation and employee retention.

1. Build a Support System to Help Your Personal Growth

Each administrator’s support system looks different, but identifying others in the field who can answer your questions, advise you on best practices when you hit a snag, and encourage you to keep going despite setbacks definitely boosts your performance.

RCFE Administrator support system


Although you’ll want to rely on some colleagues who have more experience and knowledge than you, cultivate friendships with others who are in a similar situation and can empathize with your frustrations and struggles. 

You can build supportive relationships with co-workers in many areas of the assisted living field:

  • Instructors and fellow students from your assisted living courses 
  • Administrators in other assisted living facilities nearby or online
  • Contacts in the California Department of Social Services
  • Administrators who work under you, such as the activities director
  • Provider Membership in the California Assisted Living Association

2. Polish Your Communication Skills

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with various groups of people is vital to your work as the administrator of your assisted living facility. 

You need to build rapport and learn about the needs of your residents and their families, the employees who run the facility, state regulators who keep tabs on your operation, and vendors who are critical in furnishing supplies to keep your RCFE running smoothly.

communication skills for RCFE administrators

Good communication encompasses skills in several important areas:

  • Listening: The most important part of communicating with residents and others involves taking time to focus and to listen to what they are saying.
  • Empathizing: It can become a challenge to put yourself in someone else’s place, especially if you have never experienced what they are going through. Don’t jump to conclusions about what the other person is thinking and feeling, but ask questions to clarify what the individual is experiencing.
  • Soliciting Input: When you listen to stakeholders’ ideas about a situation, you show respect and empower them. This can become a critical component of creating a positive workplace and retaining employees.

3. Lead by Example

Few things turn employees off faster than administrators who make a big deal of implementing a new directive but never follow it themselves. Your employees are watching closely to see if you do what you tell them to do. They respect and support a leader who walks the talk.

When you set an example of living up to the values you promote for your facility, you show trustworthiness. You demonstrate you are serious about the vision you advance, and this builds a desirable work culture and boosts morale. 

Bonus: your leadership skills will attract new employees to your RCFE.

4. Prepare for Emergencies with Alternative Plans

Any administrator who takes steps to open an assisted living facility and obtain a California RCFE license must comprehend the need to create contingency plans for all possible emergencies.

emergency disaster plan at an RCFE

Few situations challenge the abilities of an administrator more than an unexpected crisis. If you want to become a better-assisted living administrator, have an emergency disaster plan in place for any situation that could arise:

  • Critical staffing shortages
  • The outbreak of a contagious illness
  • Interruption of power supplies
  • Severe supply chain issues

Work with your staff and other resources to develop a detailed plan for each situation. Once the process is in place, initiate training for employees and residents. Coordinate teams to work together as necessary and set up a clear communication process.

Don’t forget to contact colleagues in your support system if you have questions or need any advice to work out emergency plans. You may also want to choose online assisted living administrator CEU classes that can help you plan.

Assisted Living Administrator Certification is Just the Start

At Assisted Living Education, we provide the classes and tools to get you on the way to success. Whether you need help with your assisted living certification, obtaining a California RCFE license, or have other online assisted living administrator needs, contact us now to learn how we can assist you.

RCFE workplace safety

What Is the Best Way to Ensure Workplace Safety for Your RCFE?

Workplace safety is an important subject when it comes to managing a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) and needs to be considered when you want to start an assisted living business

While regulations for workplace safety are required by law, they also set the stage for a healthy and effective workplace culture at your RCFE. 

An RCFE is a complex environment to manage. Staff provide residents with personal care, meal preparation, medication assistance, activities, housekeeping, laundry tasks and facility maintenance. 

Each of these operations carries its own set of occupational hazards. By prioritizing workplace safety, you set the example for everyone at your RCFE and create many tangible benefits for your whole facility.

explainer for RCFE compliance

Remember, you must know your workplace safety regulations before you can submit your RCFE license application and open an RCFE. Additional information is available on workplace safety in the OSHA manual for RCFEs.

Prioritizing Workplace Safety Shows You Care About Your Workers and Residents

When an employer goes out of their way to ensure day-to-day tasks are being performed safely, it shows everyone that the leadership is looking out for the safety of those they are responsible for. This action has an effect on workers and residents. 

When workers know the leadership cares about their well-being and workplace safety, rules are communicated to staff along with this message. Those actions will help build relationships between workers and leadership in your RCFE

RCFE workplace relations

If you take care of your personnel, they will take care of you. You enforce safety because it keeps people safe, not just because of regulations.

Let’s review a few pieces of information about workplace safety protocols.

When to Report Injuries and Illness at an RCFE

If an incident happens at your RCFE where a worker may have been injured or becomes ill, being aware of the regulations regarding incident reporting are critical. Here are the required steps to determine if an incident must be reported at your RCFE:

  • Was it fatal?


  • Was there a hospital admission for the worker?


  • Was there an amputation or loss of an eye?


  • Did serious permanent disfigurement occur to some degree?

If the answer is no to all of these questions, the incident does not need to be reported.  But, if the answer is yes to any of these questions, you must report the incident to CA/OHSA immediately, within 8 hours at the latest.

workplace injury prevention for RCFE

Reporting incidents quickly (when required) will ensure you stay within regulations and show that you prioritize the safety of those at your RCFE.

Make Sure Patient Handling Is Being Handled Properly

Each year, thousands of injuries occur to patients due to unsafe handling. To make sure your RCFE doesn’t produce one of these statistics, know the patient safe handling regulations.

Patient safe handling regulations apply when the handling of the patient falls within one of the types of patient handling categories. There are four types of patient handling, according to first aid certificate RCFE California regulations:

  • To lift: moving the body of a patient vertically or supporting any part of the body or the entire body.


  • To mobilize: placing in motion any part of the patient’s body or to assist in doing so


  • To reposition: altering the position of the patient in a chair, gurney, bed, or another type of support


  • To transfer: moving a patient from a surface to another surface, for example, from a gurney to a bed


Make sure you review the patient handling regulations and ensure they are followed when patient assistance activities fall within one of these categories.

Also, patients might know when they are being handled improperly. Your patients should know and feel they are being cared for and that they are your priority.

Hazardous Chemicals Are Not for Consumption

Hazardous chemicals need to be properly labeled according to regulations. Don’t assume that it is obvious to everyone at an RCFE what items are hazardous and which ones are not. Below is a partial overview of how hazardous materials should be labeled according to regulations.

protect RCFE residents

Hazardous chemicals require the following elements on labels:


  • Name, address, and phone number for the manufacturer of the chemical, importer, or other party that is responsible


  • Product identifier: this is the method for how the hazardous chemical is identified. For instance, this could be the name of the chemical, batch number, or its code. The product identifier must be the same on both the label and in section one of the SDS


  • Signal words must be used on the label to communicate the level of severity of the hazard and alert the person who is reading to the potential hazard. Only two words can be placed as signal words, “danger” and “warning” 


  • For a given hazard class, “danger” is for the more severe hazards. “Warning” is for the less severe hazards.


  • Hazard statements must be present. Hazard statements outline the nature of the hazards of the chemical. 


  • When appropriate, this will describe how hazardous the chemical is. For example, a chemical might cause damage to the kidneys as a result of exposure to the skin.

These are only some of the elements required on labels! Make sure to read the Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Regulation — a Guide for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals to know the complete list of required elements!

An RCFE may have residents who have a hard time discerning hazards. A resident could have poor eyesight or be unable to tell what is dangerous because of intellectual disability, to name only a couple of reasons.

Workers might get distracted while trying to handle multiple tasks or might not be familiar with containers or chemicals. Clear labeling, proper handling, and correct storage of all hazardous chemicals are needed to create your desired safe environment.

Make Sure Your RCFE is OSHA Compliant

Again, If you are looking to open an RCFE, workplace safety regulations are just one of the subjects you will have to know. 

Make sure you are knowledgeable about workplace safety and other requirements. The assisted living administrator certification you must obtain for the RCFE license application will test your knowledge of these topics.

Taking Care of Your team

There is a lot to know when it comes to workplace safety for your RCFE! Here we briefly reviewed regulatory information for incident reporting, patient handling, and labeling hazardous chemicals.

Our brief review should remind you that there are many regulations to stay on top of. This overview only scratches the surface.

Regulations can be very detailed with their requirements. You will need to get your hands on the regulations and read through them to ensure you are following the rules correctly. 

Make sure you and your staff have the complete list of updated workplace safety regulations. Get the latest version of the OHSA manual for RCFEs

Remember, safety starts with you. It is important to understand that when you are running an RCFE, everyone will be looking to you for guidance. . 

However much you ‘let things slide’ or ignore regulations when it is convenient, your workers will match your example. Your behavior example will determine how your workers follow regulations when you are not there.

Assisted Living Education is Your Resource for RCFE Certifications, Licenses and Guidance

In the end, the responsibility falls on you. Are you looking to improve your RCFE’s performance? 

Assisted Living Education is a certified vendor providing RCFE classes for employees and guidance in keeping your RCFE compliant and running smoothly.

Contact us today.


how to start an RCFE at home

5 Questions to Ask Before Turning Your Home into an RCFE

Perhaps you’ve just started to think about converting your home into an assisted living facility (RCFE), or maybe you’ve already done much of the research but just can’t come to a final decision. Take your time and consider all the aspects and ramifications involved. The decision you make not only affects you, but also family members, future residents, and employees.

Deciding whether to start any new business is challenging, but starting an assisted living business requires particular deliberations. Running an RCFE takes dedication, tenacity, and a love for the seniors you bring into your home. This article looks at five essential questions to examine before reaching a definite conclusion.

1. Is My Home in a Good Location for an RCFE?

Since we’re focusing on turning your home into an RCFE, this question is pivotal. Although not all potential residents look for the same things when considering the location of a facility, most mention basic requirements:

  • Safe, peaceful surroundings without excessive noise or traffic
  • Interesting walking routes with sidewalks in good repair
  • Proximity to medical facilities and quick-response emergency care
  • Nearby amenities such as parks, libraries, or stores

how to start an assisted living facility

Additionally, if your home cannot meet zoning requirements or state regulations, you cannot use it for assisted living. 

2. Is There Enough Demand in This Area for Another Assisted Living Facility?

If your home, marketing research is the next critical step. You can hire a consultant or you can also find information online and through interviews yourself.

Determine the number of seniors in your area who may need assisted living services now or soon. Take a close look at current competitors and their facility occupancy rates. If facilities exist that are not operating at full capacity, it would be futile to open another RCFE.

elderly care administrator

City, county, and state government agencies as well as senior advocacy groups are good places to start your research. You can also obtain help from trade associations, such as the California Assisted Living Association. Finally, visit any nearby assisted living facilities and talk with staff members to determine if the current needs of area seniors are met.

3. Do I Have Sufficient Financial Resources for Facility Upgrades, Equipment, Licensing Fees, and Initial Operating Expenses?

If you’ve compared quotes from reputable contractors for converting your home, researched the California Department of Social Services website for licensing information, and drawn up a business plan, you should have an idea of whether you are financially ready to operate an RCFE out of your home. If you are coming up short, you can put your plans on hold until you save more money or find an investor to help get your facility running.

rcfe license application

Before your RCFE license application is approved, California regulations require evidence that you have three months of operating expenses in a savings account. This doesn’t just mean you can pay the utility bills on time so power isn’t shut off. You must have the full amount of money to cover all payroll and other expenses needed to operate your new RCFE for at least 90 days.

4. Do I Have the Perseverance and Passion For Completing the Lengthy Planning, Certification, Hiring, and Marketing Processes?

Starting a new assisted living facility is a long, complicated process that requires time, money, and research. A good barometer for determining your suitability is to obtain an RCFE administrator certification. Not only is an assisted living manager certification informational, but it is also required by California law. You or your staff member must be a certified administrator before your home can become an RCFE.

rcfe administrator

Even after opening, you may have to deal with difficult experiences such as the illness of a resident or an important employee deciding to leave. Can you manage change and stress? 

Many people open an RCFE because they find deep satisfaction in caring for a special friend or relative, but business competencies are also required to succeed. You can learn these skills, but they take work. You need a firm commitment to your mission, the ability to stay focused on your goals, and the perseverance to keep going.

5. Can I Find, Inspire and Train the Right Employees To Make This Vision a Reality?

Finding the right people to staff an assisted living facility has always been a challenge, but the current shortage of workers in all sectors has made it even more difficult. Before finalizing your decision, talk to as many prospective employees as possible to gauge interest.

RCFE leadership

Ask what is important to them in a career. Many people want to feel they are making a difference, and they prioritize work-life balance. Support potential staff members with experience by helping them enroll in RCFE continuing education classes. Your ability to arouse interest in improving the quality of life for seniors indicates how successfully you can motivate future employees. 

Several tactics can be used to retain and attract employees to your RCFE

Assisted Living Education Can Help With Decisions, Certifications, and Licenses

You are not alone in your journey to convert your home to an RCFE. We can assist you with the multiple steps involved in completing an RCFE license application and making sure you and your staff members are certified before you open. Contact us today.

Assisted Living Education is a certified vendor providing RCFE classes for employees and guidance in keeping your RCFE compliant and running smoothly.

seniors running

9 Secrets for Getting Seniors to Be More Active

As an owner, administrator, or employee of a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE), you want your residents to be physically healthy, mentally stimulated, and emotionally satisfied. That’s a tall order, and it’s always challenging for any size RCFE to meet residents’ individual needs in order to create a happy, viable community. 

Movement is crucial to a robust lifestyle, especially later in life. According to a CDC report “25% of Americans 65+ fall down and that falling is the leading cause of senior injury and death.”  Taking preventative measures like practicing balancing exercises and strength training help safeguard seniors from injury. 

Physical activity has the added benefit of improving mental health. Active seniors usually feel happier, sleep better, and are more mentally alert than those who are inactive.

senior walking activity

Provide a Positive Atmosphere for Activities

You will find it easier to get residents motivated and involved in physical activities and other pursuits if your staff is upbeat, welcoming, and exhibits a can-do attitude. Attracting the right RCFE employees in the first place makes this task much easier to execute.

Focus Staff Training on Encouraging Seniors

From assisted living classes for certification to your employee training, making certain techniques and strategies to increase the active participation of residents is a top priority. Staff members should be familiar with the needs of seniors and how seniors can be gently encouraged to participate in activities.

Emphasize the Need To Understand Residents

Although it takes time and effort, each RCFE administrator or staff member should learn about individual residents and find out what is important to them. While it’s impossible to remember everything, taking a moment or two each day provides new insights.

encourage active seniors

Create a Fun Facts Banner and Name Pin for Each Resident

A wall banner with the senior’s name and favorite activity, such as reading, yoga, or playing guitar, not only serves as a reminder to staff but also introduces the person to other residents. Likewise, a name pin with a phrase that indicates that an individual likes to read or take walks makes a great ice breaker in recreational areas.

Try These 9 Ways to Stimulate Participation

Even a small RCFE can offer a smorgasbord of physical and enjoyable activities to get residents moving and involved in new pursuits. As you look over this list, it’s important to remember that each senior is unique, and no activity will appeal to everyone.

1. Encourage Digital Photography

Residents can use a tablet, phone, or digital camera. You can conduct a class or furnish several basic photography books as resources. The seniors can print out their best efforts and hang them on the wall. Alternatively, teach them to store photos in the cloud where they can share them with family members and friends. 

Residents can enjoy the technical challenges such as composition or lighting, or they can record their particular interests by photographing flowers, birds, butterflies, or sunsets.

photography for seniors

2. Provide Gardening Opportunities

If your assisted living facility has room outside for flower beds or small vegetable plots, residents who maintained gardens in the past can enjoy bringing beauty and tasty produce to others. If outdoor endeavors aren’t possible, they can still maintain a few container plants in sunny communal areas or their rooms.

gardening activity seniors

Implement gardening classes (even for container gardening) where residents can learn how to make their plants thrive. The act of physically working with soil and the intellectual exercise of understanding how to keep plants alive is both physically and mentally stimulating.

3. Include Cooking Events

Both new and experienced cooks can enjoy interesting cuisines with different ingredients. From yeast dough to colorful salads, there is a dish to interest every palate. Choose a country or a theme for a special meal, and let each participant or a team of two make a dish.

4. Conduct Daily Steps Contests

For those who enjoy a little competition, monitoring steps get seniors moving.. Purchase some inexpensive pedometers and assign them to the participating residents. Post a chart with the competitors’ names, and see who achieves the most steps over a set period.

help seniors exercise

5. Sponsor a Little Free Library

With more than 150,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide, your residents can benefit in many ways from this project. They can help decorate the library box, solicit books from residents, staff, and family members, and keep an eye on the library to ensure a steady supply of books. Finally, they can read books exchanged in the library and hold book discussions.

6. Offer Nintendo Wii Experiences and More

These classic video games get older adults into action. Wii offers golf, tennis, and bowling for more physical activity. For newer gaming options consider introducing Minecraft to your residents. Post a chart with individual scores for those preferring to play alone or organize team competitions. Student volunteers could give the seniors tips.

7. Plan a Scavenger or Treasure Hunt

This activity gets even those with limited mobility up and moving. Provide participants with lists of items to obtain from staff members and other residents or hide items around the property for them to find.

8. Hold Holiday Parties for Neighborhood Kids

Sponsoring Christmas or Valentine’s Day parties can bring a lively event to your residents.

party ideas for seniors at RCFE

9. Develop Walking Maps to Explore the Neighborhood

Without a doubt, frequent walks offer many benefits for the seniors in your facility, and you want to encourage walking in every way possible. Creating simple neighborhood maps with routes of varying lengths provides a good way to get reluctant walkers started. Feature nearby parks, interesting buildings, and homes with beautiful landscaping and ask residents to add other ideas.

We Provide Support for Your RCFE

Whether you need RCFE staff training for new employees, RCFE continuing education for current workers, or help with how to start an assisted living facility, we offer state-approved learning opportunities and assistance. Peruse our convenient website or contact Assisted Living Education to receive immediate help with all your needs.

how to market to RCFE clients

7 Ideas for Getting More Clients Into Your RCFE

Despite the abundance of an aging population that requires help with daily living activities, finding residents for your assisted living home can still be challenging. A successful residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) depends on the ability to provide desirable services in the right location paired with creative assisted living marketing techniques.

Whether you are just getting a new facility off the ground and working on your assisted living license or caring for seniors in an established facility, taking time to promote the features you offer can help keep your home filled with happy occupants. This article offers sound strategies for locating and attracting clients for a new or established RCFE.

Develop a Plan To Guide Assisted Living Marketing Efforts

Putting together a marketing plan to make your facility attractive to seniors and their loved ones is a big undertaking. However, breaking down the project into manageable steps promotes focus and prevents overwhelm.

RCFE marketing

Once you begin, make sure your RCFE is ready to open and meets state requirements, including a qualified administrator with a current RCFE Administrator Certification. When everything is underway, put these seven strategies to work.

1. Investigate the Competition

Before you complete the steps to opening an RCFE in California and submit your assisted living license application, carefully research competing assisted living facilities in your area. In doing so, you’ll gain a better perspective on the services and amenities that are most important to potential residents. 

Try to visit a variety of care facilities from small family-run operations to large corporate chains. Pay special attention to those similar in size and style to your RCFE. Investigate price structures, competing amenities, and marketing strategies your rivals are implementing.

how to get more RCFE clients

In addition to a physical visit to an RCFE, be sure to check out the competition online. Read their reviews and take note of the services they highlight. Think about what you could do better or differently. 

By taking the time to understand the competitive landscape, you’ll be in a better position to outperform competitors.

2. Recognize the Needs of Potential Residents

Creating a profile of your ideal customer is helpful in understanding who you will be marketing to. Although this requires an investment of time, it is worth every minute. Not only do you learn what prospective residents want, but you also acquire information that’s vital to serving your assisted living clientele.

When it comes to marketing for an RCFE, recognize the life stage your prospective client is in. Remember that assisted living is sometimes the first step in the progression from total independence to nursing home care.

assisted living marketing

Many seniors considering your facility are giving up a long-term home, downsizing their possessions, and transitioning to a residential community. Since they are looking for a homelike environment, as much independence as possible, and a place they can fit in, these become important points to emphasize in your marketing.

3. Create a Website

Your assisted living marketing methods must utilize current technology and internet exposure in today’s world. Many seniors are comfortable now with computers, technology, and social media. Some probably used these tools during the latter part of their careers.

When older individuals decide to transition to an RCFE, their adult children often become involved in the search for an appropriate facility. They often get their information from online searches consisting of facility websites and third-party review sites. 

For those actively researching assisted living possibilities, your RCFE website becomes their initial contact with your facility – it will likely be their first impression before they visit your facility. 

 Since a positive online experience is so vital, make sure your website includes superior functions:

  • Exhibits professional design, effective headings, and high-quality content
  • Supplies understandable information and straightforward navigation
  • Furnishes contact details such as an address, phone number, email, and maps
  • Incorporates photos and videos
  • Contains comments and testimonials from residents and family members
  • Provides a good experience on a  mobile device
  • Includes regular updates
  • Has an activity calendar and a resident-driven menu

4. Participate in Internet Listings and Review Sites

Another valuable strategy utilizes internet directory sites such as Google Business Profile and independent third-party sites that list and review assisted living facilities. They can help prospects find your website, and provide online testimonials from others about your work.

How to get RCFE reviews

Actively respond to reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer service and promote confidence in your RCFE. One study shows that 32% of potential customers read at least 4-6 online reviews before making a decision to engage with a business.

Review management is a powerful tool when attracting new residents.

5. Choose a Social Media Site or Two

A professional social media presence that features recent activities at your facility and promotes upcoming special events keeps your RCFE familiar to people even before they may need your services. Share the values of your home through posts, photos, and videos. Social media gives you the ability to reach a wider audience than you would normally be able to reach. 

Focus on one or two sites so you can participate with regular, quality information.

6. Feature Relevant Blogs

Spotlight regular blogs on your website to familiarize prospects with your assisted living home. These articles should provide helpful information on issues older individuals may face, such as downsizing, moving, adjusting to different living environments, or making new friends. You can write the blogs yourself or hire a contract writer or service to furnish them.

assisted living marketing

Blogs not only give valuable information but also help to drive visitors to your website and help to establish you as an expert in senior care.

7. Sponsor Community Events

You can adjust the type and size of the occasion to the location, space, and interests of your residents and community members. A small RCFE might offer a Halloween party for neighborhood children, a book club for residents and community members, or a summer lawn party that includes the neighborhood. Start small, and if refreshments are planned, ask for advance reservations.

Highlight Current Training in Your Assisted Living Marketing Efforts

Whether your administrator has completed continuing education classes required to maintain a current certificate or a new employee is working on training classes, feature the information on your website and social media accounts. 

You can always contact Assisted Living Education to answer your questions and provide high-quality training classes for all your RCFE certification needs. We want to empower you to provide quality care to all your residents.

People Also Ask: 

How do I find employees for my RCFE? Finding and retaining dedicated caregivers for your RCFE can be challenging without a solid hiring process. Here are seven ways to attract employees to your RCFE.

how to hire for an rcfe

7 Ways To Attract Employees to Your RCFE

Finding and retaining dedicated caregivers has always presented challenges for administrators of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly or RCFEs. Unfortunately, events of the past several years have contributed to a situation where the number of employment openings nationwide is greater than available job seekers to fill them.

In addition, unprecedented numbers of workers continue to quit their jobs to look for better opportunities and more job satisfaction elsewhere. If you are concerned about how these trends could affect your ability to hire caring, dedicated employees for an RCFE you own, manage or plan to open in California, this article offers some strategies you can implement to attract qualified caregivers for your assisted living residents. 

Revamp Your Hiring Approach

You may feel discouraged when you read employment statistics. Be aware that many potential employees want more from a position than just a paycheck. A position at a successful assisted living facility can offer more, such as making a difference in a senior’s life.

Don’t be afraid to emphasize this as you recruit new employees with these seven strategies.

1. Devote Sufficient Time To Find the Right Staff 

Hiring employees for an assisted living facility is a time-consuming process and requires a systematic approach. At a high level, the following steps cover the essentials of the hiring process:

  • Develop an accurate job description that communicates the desired skills needed to fill the position. Involving current employees in the crafting of job descriptions gives a more accurate account of what to include. Bonus tip for standing out to prospective employees: write an engaging overview about your facility that highlights the objectives of the RCFE and highlights why the position you’re filling is important. 


  • Post the job description on various online job boards. If you have a LinkedIn profile, post the opportunity there. Also, don’t forget to tap your existing social network for introductions to potential employees. 


  • Review applications as they come in and set aside those that are a match. Consider giving preference to those who have already taken assisted living courses


  • Interview candidates. A best practice is to prepare interview questions in advance. Asking applicants the same set of questions will allow you to compare their answers and help you to address points that are most important to your organization. 

Developing an organized hiring process can help locate the right workers for your RCFE, but be realistic about the time and effort needed to fill positions.

how to attract employees to an rcfe

Prepare for inevitable disappointments when prospects decline a job offer, change their minds or quit after working a day or two. Learn from any negative experiences and try to avoid similar situations in the future.

Taking the time to carefully hire employees will reward you with less turnover and more qualified employees.

2. Research What Is Most Important to Employees

While dissatisfaction with earnings often tops reasons workers give for quitting, other causes include little hope of moving up to a better position and a lack of respect for employees and their work efforts.

Getting input from your current RCFE employees can help on several levels. Whether you conduct informal conversations or ask workers to fill out a survey, you learn what they value in the workplace and demonstrate you take your employees’ opinions seriously. 

3. Consider Characteristics You Value in Your Caretakers

Before incorporating what you learn about employee values in your recruitment strategy, consider traits you desire in an ideal employee. Next, think about where you might find people who exhibit these qualities.

assisted living courses

If you listed patience as a valuable attribute, you might contemplate recruiting experienced parents, teacher aides, or people working in customer service at big box stores. Parents whose children are now in school or burned-out workers may be prepared to make a change.

4. Be Ready To Invest in Employee Certification and Training

When looking for a competent administrator to run your facility, you may select a candidate that needs to take the RCFE administrator course. When seeking to hire a caregiver, experience is helpful, but not required. All caregivers must have the California RCFE employee training regardless of past employment in another RCFE.

5. Create a Positive Atmosphere in Your RCFE

The lack of respect many employees feel in their workplaces presents a huge opportunity to set your assisted living facility apart from the competition. Creating a culture of respect, appreciation, and warmth for every person in your RCFE family goes a long way in keeping residents and staff happy.

attract employees for assisted living

Options for showing employee appreciation are endless. Some suggestions include:

  • Create a space for staff. Transform a lackluster break room into a full-fledged staff lounge. Include comfortable seating, snacks, charging ports for electronics, and other perks that give people an opportunity to decompress and re-energize. 


  • Give awards for a job well done. Be sure to involve residents in the selection and celebration of the awards.


  • Go public with your appreciation. Highlight exemplary employees on your social media accounts. 


  • Celebrate with your staff. Birthdays and other special occasions (or even non-special occasions like “yay Tuesday”) can be celebrated as a team. 

Showing respect and appreciation begins with the RCFE administrator setting the example and expecting employees to respect and appreciate each other as well.

6. Keep the Application Process Simple

Finally, once you have made your facility as satisfying a place to work as possible, streamline the initial application and interview process.

Being available to do an interview when a potential candidate comes by to complete an application, may save you both time later on.

rcfe administrator course

Since many job seekers fill out several applications at the same time, it is important to meet them as soon as possible, talk over their needs and goals to see if they are a good fit, and pursue the next steps if you want them on your team.

7. Make Every Interview a Win-Win

While interviewing applicants before fully vetting their credentials may seem tedious, it is worth the effort. If the candidate is a good match for your facility, you can move forward before another employer snatches the worker up.

You can listen and learn about workers’ values from the applicants. You can also share information about assisted living opportunities and your facility in particular.

Work With an Experienced Training Program

Whether you are hiring an administrator or caregivers, you need a quality vendor to provide administrator certification courses and staff training. 

Assisted Living Education can assist your facility in meeting your regulatory compliance issues such as staff training, Regulation update subscription service, and consultation services

Please contact Assisted Living Education for more information.

People Also Ask

What should I look for in an RCFE administrator program? Whether you’re looking for yourself or your team members, choosing an approved provider of RCFE classes is only the first step in evaluating a program. Here’s what to look for in an RCFE administrator program

10 Steps to Open an RCFE in California

2022 Update

By the year 2035, it’s projected that there will be more than 78 million people ages 65 and older living in the United States, up almost 60% from the 46 million in 2016, according to population data. Every state is expected to see massive growth as baby boomers age into retirement, but none will see an increase quite like California. By 2036 the state will see more than 10,000,000 people 65 and older which comprises about 23% of our population.

Planning for an aging population is no longer conjecture. It is an absolute necessity. Doing so requires that we have the infrastructure in place to care for those who will need it, which means more licensed care facilities, more available beds, and more trained and certified RCFE administrators.

Getting there will not be easy, and setting out to open your own RCFE is not for the faint of heart. It’s a significant business decision, but one that carries with it one of the most rewarding acts of service one can provide:  caring for those who came before us. Here’s how you go about opening and RCFE in the state of California.

1. Find a qualified, certified administrator.  

The first and most important step is to find a certified administrator. Without having a qualified, certified administrator on your team, none of the rest can follow. In all likelihood, you’re probably intent on becoming certified yourself, but how do you go about doing that?

To become certified you must first take the DSS-required 80-hour Initial Administrator Certification Course, and then take and pass the DSS-administered 100-question test with a minimum passing score of 70%. This test must be taken within 60 days of you completing the 80-hour course, after which you must submit the required paperwork and fee within 30 days of passing the test.

open an assisted living facility

Not everyone is qualified to be an administrator of your facility. The general requirements call for a high school diploma or equivalent and being at least 21 years of age. For a 16-49 bed facility, you must have at least 15 college units and have at least 1 year of experience working in an RCFE or equivalent. To be an administrator of a 50+ bed facility, you’ll need to have a minimum of 2 years of college, and have at least 3 years of experience working in an RCFE or equivalent.

Are you qualified, and ready to take the DSS-required RCFE initial certification course for administrators?

2.  Secure the physical plant.

It will sound obvious in hindsight, but you can’t be the administrator of a residential facility for the elderly if you don’t have the actual facility part locked down. In order to submit a license application for your facility, you must show “control of property” — that is, proof that you either own the property, that you are either in the process of buying the property or that you will be leasing/renting the property.

3. Contact your local fire marshal for a pre-inspection.

The sooner you do this, the better! It’s possible that the fire marshal will charge you a nominal fee, but this inspection will let you know early on if you will need to make costly modifications to your home/facility in order to be compliant with local fire codes and state regulations. Money well spent! If you don’t make these modifications, you won’t be able to get the maximum number of non-ambulatory rooms or apartments out of your facility. You’ve already come this far! Maximize your investment by making these modifications, or find another location!

4. Take the online orientation course with DSS.

You must take the DSS Application/Component 1 Orientation course.  You only need to take this course once. There is a registration fee and access to the courses is limited to 30 days once the fee is purchased. This is all done through the DSS website.

steps to open an assisted living facility

When finished, you will submit a copy of your orientation certificate. The orientation is the beginning of the process. Stay informed about future regulation changes and updates through a certified regulation service.

5. Submit a license application to DSS.

Now we’re getting to the fun stuff. The next step in this process is to prepare and submit an RCFE license application to DSS, including parts A and B, along with the applicable fee. We won’t sugarcoat it:  this is not like filling out an application for a driver’s license. The Applications Instructions alone are 22 pages in length, and all told you’re looking at hundreds of pages to gather information for, prepare, and fill out. Attempting this on your own is a recipe for disaster — just one error could delay your facility’s opening by months!

Instead, it’s smart to consider having your RCFE license application completed by a professional. Our team has licensed hundreds of small and large RCFEs, and worked with DSS licensing personnel for more than 15 years. We have never had an application rejected due to our error!

Do you have the required 3 months’ of operating costs in the bank? You must open a bank account in your facility name and deposit at least 3 months’ operating costs into it. The DSS will verify this in the process of reviewing your application.

Be patient. This process may take 4-5 months.

6. Market your facility.

Congratulations, you’ve submitted your application! Now it is time to start meeting with the potential residents who fill your facility once you are licensed. You are NOT allowed to move residents into your facility until you secure the license from DSS, but DO start looking for residents.

Don’t wait until you secure the license, because that will just be time lost! In our post detailing 6 Steps for a Successful RCFE we talked about the importance of choosing your residents wisely. Remember, your first resident is your benchmark and will set the tone for your facility in ways you might not expect.

how to market your RCFE

Potential residents and their families will likely be searching online for information about facilities well before they call or visit. It’s necessary to cultivate potential client relationships with a robust online presence. Take steps to help your website be found via online reviews, directories, and other digital marketing strategies to improve your RCFE’s online marketing

7. DSS will schedule a Component II (face to face) meeting at their office.

This is step two in a three-part component process that must be completed by all new licensees. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be contacted by the local DSS office for a one-on-one interview with the reviewing analyst.

Component I was the orientation course you took in #4 on this list, and Component III involves  “category specific training and discussion in areas not often understood by new licensees intended to promote successful facility operation.” Basically, this is the facility tour where the Licensing Program Analyst (LPA) determines if the facility is safe, stocked, and ready to receive residents. Both components II and III will be done once DSS accepts your license application, but prior to actual licensure. These are all essential aspects of the license application process.

8. DSS will schedule a pre-licensing visit to inspect your facility.

You’re so close! You’re almost there! A pre-licensing inspection by the DSS LPA is the last step in the RCFE license application review process. DSS will send you a checklist for you to complete prior to this visit. Make sure you complete this checklist fully and have it available for their review when they come to visit.  Note:  DSS will NOT conduct a pre-licensing until your fire marshal grants their approval.

9. Hire staff and train them accordingly.

Putting together your team and training them accordingly is arguably the most important step in this entire process. We’ve discussed before the perils of fire-drilling the hiring process in our post about The 10 Biggest Mistakes RCFEs Make. You aren’t just looking for warm bodies to fill these important caretaking positions. You want a passionate team of people who want to come in every single day intent on making the lives of your residents better.

open an assisted living home

Remember, you don’t want to wait until you are licensed to build your team, because you will not be able to move in and care for residents without a staff! Once you’ve found the right people, make sure that they are properly trained and meet all the state requirements. And also, don’t forget the importance of ongoing CEU training for RCFE administrators and staff as well!

Managing your staff in the day-to-day so they thrive will produce a well-run operation that both staff and residents will appreciate. Commit to a management style that encourages communication and accountability to help reduce employee turnover

10. DSS issues you a facility license.

You did it! Yes, you! Let that feeling of pride wash over you. You are now the proud administrator of a fully licensed RCFE. This is everything you’ve worked so hard toward, and it’s time to open your doors. Now you can move in your residents that are on your waiting list!

The process to opening an RCFE facility in California may be long, but it’s rewarding. It’s okay if it takes you a year or more to get your facility off the ground — it’s not a race, and in the end it will all be worth it. The senior care industry is among the fastest-growing industries in the country, and California is no different. We must be prepared to meet the needs of seniors with the best care possible. More growth means more new facilities will be needed.


Update for 2022 RCFE Regulations & Operations During COVID-19

Given the population’s nature of an RCFE facility, the threat of contracting and spreading the coronavirus proves a tremendous challenge. Beyond the “new normal” operating procedures of enforced social distancing, mask and glove wearing, and ongoing temperature checks to better protect the residents, the staff must also take even greater precautions for their own protection. 

At the end of May, 2020, the Center for Disease Control released enhanced guidelines for every RCFE administrator and staff member to follow in the face of the pandemic. These include:

  • New regulations about visitor restrictions and updated outlines on group activities, especially as some facilities start to relax their previously mandated restrictions.
  • In addition, new information was released regarding the best practices for tracking infections and preventing infection of others in a systematic way.

This current contagion of COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges both for aspiring RCFE administrators and long-standing ones. But never has the need for dedicated RCFE workers been more urgent. Getting your RCFE license now will go a long way to helping our senior population today and tomorrow.

The need is there. Are you ready to provide it?

People Also Ask: 

What should you look for in an RCFE administrator program?  There are several factors to consider when choosing a program. Most importantly, make sure the program is administered by a vendor certified by the Department of Social Services.

Assisted Living Education is the leading provider of RCFE certification classes, licensing, products and services for assisted living. Our teachers are industry professionals with many years of experience that are engaging, entertaining and highly informative.

how to take online rcfe classes

6 Tips for Taking RCFE Classes Online

Taking all or part of your Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) certification and continuing education classes in an online format provides many advantages over in-person classes. You can save commuting time and costs while a flexible class schedule works around employment and family obligations.

Many students, however, may harbor some misconceptions about online RCFE CEUs and other virtual RCFE classes. Instructors teach these courses with the same vigor and rigorous requirements as in-person training. Not only are the teachers just as qualified and experienced, but the students are also expected to complete the same assignments and competency requirements as a traditional class. 

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many in-person activities have pivoted to online – the assisted living industry is no exception.  For the RCFE initial certification class, the California Department of Social Services (DSS) has temporarily allowed the 60-hour live class portion to be Live Streamed (Webinar) on Zoom due to COVID restrictions. This temporary allowance will expire on June 30, 2022. 

online rcfe course

No matter how many useful methods you employ for online class success, the most important factor involves making the best use of the study time you have and focusing completely on your materials. This article provides a number of strategies to help you learn, think and master the online portion of your RCFE administrator course or any online class.

6 Ways To Improve Your Online RCFE Administrator Course Outcomes

All online students are unique with individual strengths, advantages and challenges. Use the tips that best apply to your situation. 

1. Understand Your Course and Approach It With the Right Mindset

Once you enroll in an online class, carefully read the course syllabus and make note of the goals, reading assignments, and video homework. Treat the requirements with the same dedication you would give an in-person class or a work project and expect a positive experience.

2. Organize Your Space and Your Pace

If you already have a quiet corner or desk space, make sure to utilize it for your study time. Keep your computer or tablet and course resources at hand. Turn off your phone and social media notifications and avoid as many distractions as possible.

Not everyone has a dedicated study space, so you may need to think outside the box to set up a workspace. You might also consider studying at a public library or quiet corner of a coffee shop as long as it offers internet connectivity.

studying for RCFE exam

Although online classes allow you to study anytime, following a schedule makes a huge difference. Even if family responsibilities make regular study times difficult, a tentative framework helps keep you on track.

3. Connect Your Study Tasks to Your Future Work

During your review of course materials, try to connect the information to your upcoming work in an assisted living facility. As your instructor relates experiences, think about your own elderly relatives or acquaintances and how strategies might apply to them. Associating what you learn with real-life situations helps you to reinforce the information that’s being presented to you. As you advance in your classes, be cognizant of the qualities that make a good assisted living administrator.

4. Utilize All Textbooks, Videos, and Supplementary Materials

All Assisted Living Education  RCFE classes are designed to meet the requirements of the California Department of Social Services. The course videos, textbooks, and additional materials are carefully developed for a quality experience. Additionally, course materials from state-approved vendors, like Assisted Living Education, assure you that the course includes everything you need to know to pass RCFE initial certification classes or RCFE CEUs. Completing all assignments associated with these resources is vital to success. 

Online courses typically include a virtual textbook and other materials. If you prefer using printed information, however, you may want to invest in a hard copy of the textbook or print some of the other handouts so you can make notes in the margins and highlight information.

5. Participate in Discussions

If you are new to online learning, the discussion area set up by the instructor may seem a little intimidating at first, but it is another essential element of your class success. During instruction through Zoom, the chat function is available to students for questions and comments. Therefore, prepping questions in advance of class will give you an opportunity to contemplate the coursework more thoroughly. Questions and comments from fellow classmates may also aid in giving you a different perspective on the material. 

The online format allows students and instructors to maximize their time. Each participant has the opportunity to post in chat, and it avoids one or two individuals dominating the conversation.

6. Review Periodically

Before you begin each study session, take a few minutes to review any notes and materials from what was covered previously. This reinforces the concepts and may help you relate them to the new material presented. Consider preparing questions for your instructor in advance. 

If you are taking the RCFE administrator course, there are practice test questions for RCFE classes that will help prepare you for the RCFE administrator exam. The questions are similar to those in the exam and will help you pinpoint areas for further review. ALE provides a test prep as part of the online learning classes free to our students of the Initial Administrator Course. 

Succeed With Online Classes

Virtual courses can make it possible to fit the RCFE administrator course, required RCFE CEUs, or other RCFE classes into a hectic work and family schedule. By taking practical measures to focus on the instruction and avoid distractions, you can complete your courses and reach your assisted living career goals.

If you need help finding appropriate online RCFE certification and CEU classes, contact us at Assisted Living Education. We are here to support you on every step of your career path.

About Assisted Living Education (ALE):

ALE is an approved Initial Certification Training Program vendor in the state of California. Our instructors have extensive experience in RCFE Certification Training and RCFE Continuing Education. Are you thinking of operating your own assisted living facility? ALE provides RCFE Licensing assistance and RCFE Consulting Services. We have a proven track record of preparing RCFE owners and their employees for a career in assisted living. 

People Also Ask:

How do I get an RCFE license? A certified RCFE administrator must be at least 21 years old and have completed high school or acquired a GED. Additionally, you must complete the 80-hour RCFE Certification class and pass the California State exam. A background check is required. The application for the RCFE certificate is $100.