how California rcfe administrators can use effective communication

California RCFE Administrators: The Power of Effective Communication in Residential Care

Good communication skills are necessary for any career field. However, California RCFE Administrators must employ these skills at a high level to provide quality care. Resident care administrators interact with many different people every day, each of which may factor into daily operations. These people include residents, families of residents, staff, supervising agents, and members of the community.

In this article, we will discuss why communication is so crucial in RCFEs and provide actionable tips for communicating with residents, their families, and staff members.

What Role Does Communication Play in RCFEs?

As you might imagine, communication is exceedingly important in a healthcare setting. Effective communication is ultimately the catalyst that ensures the smooth operation of your RCFE. 

Communication is effective when a message is received, understood as intended, and shared at the appropriate time. Effective communication is a skill that both administrators and staff members should possess to provide the best care.

Quality communication ensures quality of care in several different ways:

  1. Enhances resident care – Effective communication helps ensure that residents receive the care and attention they need. By listening to residents and their families, staff and administrators can better understand their needs and preferences, which can then be incorporated into individual care plans.
  2. Builds trust – Open and honest communication builds trust between residents, their families, and RCFE staff members. Trust is essential to creating a positive environment where residents feel comfortable and safe.
  3. Improves resident satisfaction – When residents feel that their voices are heard, and their needs are being met, they are more likely to feel satisfied with their living arrangements. This, in turn, can lead to improved mental and physical health outcomes.
  4. Increases family involvement – Clear communication with family members can help keep them informed about their loved one’s care and increase their involvement in decision-making processes. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety for family members and improve overall satisfaction.

Quality communication at an RCFE is key to retaining residents and staff.

A fundamental goal of all California RCFE administrators should be clear and effective communication. Communication plays a vital role in ensuring that residents feel heard and valued and that their needs are being met with. Furthermore, clear and open communication with staff members can help promote a positive work environment and improve overall job satisfaction.

Implementing Effective Communication

So, how does an administrator employ these skills? An effective administrator will determine the atmosphere and mood of their facility simply by the way they carry themselves and go about their daily duties. 

Although effective communication can manifest itself in many ways and may look different in various situations, an effective administrator will approach day-to-day tasks with genuineness and the betterment of staff and residents in mind.

Here are some tips on how to effectively communicate with residents and their families:

  1. Be available – Make yourself available to residents and their families. This can mean spending time with residents during mealtimes, participating in activities with them, or simply being available to talk and listen to their concerns.
  2. Listen – Good communication requires one to listen well. Take the time to listen to residents and their families. Ask open-ended questions, show empathy, and take their concerns seriously.
  3. Use clear language – Use clear, jargon-free language when communicating with residents and their families. Avoid using acronyms or technical terms that may be confusing. Some even recommend straying from using the term “facility” when discussing provided care.
  4. Communicate regularly – Regularly communicate with residents and their families to keep them informed about changes in care plans, schedules, or policies. This can be done through regular meetings, newsletters, or email updates.
  5. Be transparent – Be open and transparent with residents and their families. This can help to build trust and reduce anxiety about care decisions.

Here's how California RCFE Administrators can communicate with their residents.

Being honest and transparent with your residents and their family is vital. However, sometimes honesty isn’t well received and must be conveyed gently. Administrators need to understand how to deliver an honest message delicately and concisely for the benefit of residents and families.

Communication and Staff

Good communication goes a long way with RCFE residents and is crucial for managing and interacting with staff members. Effective communication between coworkers is critical in any line of work and necessary to maintain a healthy work environment. 

In a rapidly expanding field, administrators and staff must work and communicate effectively to cater to the ever-changing needs of the senior population. Staying current with your assisted living courses will help you stay current with changing trends in this field.

Here are several reasons why communication between administrators and staff is important:

  1. Providing training – Provide staff members with training on effective communication and RCFE management techniques.  Administrators cannot be in the facility at all times. Staff may need to communicate effectively with emergency personnel and families. This can include RCFE recertification classes, staff training, and other courses about assisted living. 
  2. Encouraging open communication – Encourage staff members to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Open communication can help promote a positive work environment and improve overall job satisfaction.
  3. Setting clear expectations – Set clear expectations for communication between staff members. These expectations can include regular team meetings, daily check-ins, or other forms of communication.
  4. Providing feedback – Provide regular feedback to staff members on their communication skills. This can help to identify areas for improvement and encourage continued growth.
  5. Leading by example – As the administrator, model effective communication techniques for staff members. Such techniques can include active listening, clear and concise language, and empathy.
  6. Managing conflicts – Effective communication can help to prevent conflicts and misunderstandings between staff members. By encouraging open and honest communication, administrators can create an environment where staff members feel comfortable discussing issues and resolving conflicts in a constructive manner.
  7. Maintaining safety and security – Clear and consistent communication is essential for maintaining safety and security in an RCFE. Administrators must communicate safety and emergency procedures, and any changes in policies or regulations to ensure the facility remains safe and secure for residents and staff.

California RCFE administrators should strive to make staff communication a priority.

The facility administrator can only be in so many places at once, so the importance of good communication must also be acknowledged and embodied by staff. Facility staff are the ones directly administering care to residents. 

Effective communication between RCFE administrators and staff is an essential component of facility culture. Residents will receive the best possible care when staff understand the expectations set forth by the administrator. A positive work environment and promoting safety and security within the facility is a result of effective communication.

Empathy is also very important when communicating with residents, staff, and others who may be frequenting the premises. Administrators must be able to put themselves in another’s shoes to understand situations from a different perspective. 

When dealing with an unhappy resident, staff member, or a worried family member, empathy will help you mediate the situation with kindness and compassion. Following these guidelines are part of what makes a good RCFE administrator. 

To stay on top of training requirements to ensure your effectiveness as an administrator, see the continuing education RCFE schedule.

Communication and your RCFE

Effective and efficient communication is critical to the success of any RCFE.   Prioritizing communication with residents, their families, and staff members, administrators can create a positive and supportive environment that promotes high-quality care and job satisfaction. 

Remember to be available, listen, use clear language, communicate regularly, be transparent, provide training, encourage open communication, set clear expectations, provide feedback, and lead by example.

Who is Assisted Living Education? 

If you’re interested in how to  start an assisted living facility or offering RCFE staff training to your employees, Assisted Living Education is here to assist you. As a certified vendor in California, we provide a range of state-approved learning opportunities and guidance to help you fulfill your objectives for California’s assisted living administrator certification. Reach out to us today to discover how we can support you in reaching your goals.

California assisted living administrator certification

Revolutionize Your RCFE: 5 Steps to Maximize Occupancy

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic still reverberate throughout our state, and its effect is felt in residential care facilities for the elderly as well. Whether you received your California assisted living administrator certification years before anyone heard of this virus, or you are just now pursuing your credentials, you undoubtedly understand many RCFEs still struggle to fill their rooms.

This article examines ways the pandemic has negatively impacted assisted living facilities and discusses some creative techniques to find more leads and increase the number of residents you serve in this new normal. 

You may also want to consider the approaches discussed in the article 7 Ideas for Getting More Clients Into Your RCFE.

RCFE Census Numbers Impact Your Business

Although some California businesses have recovered from the economic devastation of the pandemic, many assisted living facilities in the state have watched their RCFE census levels take a dive. 

Since the RCFE census, or the number of beds occupied on a certain day and time each week, is tied to the amount of money coming in, your census directly affects the bottom line. You must still meet loan payments, utilities, salaries, and other expenses whether your RCFE census is at 60% or 85% of available beds.

If you own or manage one of approximately 83% of California’s RCFEs that cares for 15 or fewer residents, you probably have a pretty good handle on how your home’s census is doing.

Pandemics Change Priorities

Even before COVID-19, safety and wellness were important considerations for prospective residents and their families as they sifted through options.

RCFEs have changed since Covid19

Concerns often focused on quality of care, including measures to prevent accidents, assure good nutrition, and provide exercise opportunities. At the same time, physical surroundings and special amenities often ranked very high when considering a facility.

Once the pandemic hit, beautiful surroundings, gourmet meals, and unique activities suddenly didn’t matter. Media reports highlighted care facility deaths, staff shortages, and visitor restrictions resulting in elderly residents being denied the comfort of family.

Many of these stories still linger with people, causing distrust in all healthcare facilities. If the Centers for Disease Control issue warnings such as the recent one about Candida auris infections at healthcare locations, some people may panic. 

When planning marketing and promotional strategies for your RCFE, it’s important to realize overcoming negative perceptions is a top concern.

A New Normal Necessitates Best Practices and Fresh Strategies

If you are thinking about opening an assisted living facility, improving your current one, or launching an additional location, be sure to review 10 Steps to Open an RCFE in California

Even with experience, the importance of selecting the right director with assisted living administrator certification, for example, is important to go over again.

Assisted living best practices in California

As you strive to build trust and confidence in your RCFE as a safe haven offering assistance with daily living while helping residents maintain independence, it is vital to remember these points:

  • Adult children are more involved than ever in finding the right RCFE for parents.
  • Improving the image of your assisted living home is necessary.
  • A positive attitude sets the tone for everyone involved.

While you want to put the best possible light on your RCFE, its staff, and the great care it offers, it is vital to remain honest and transparent. Work hard on every area of your RCFE and use the following ideas to highlight what you offer and deliver:

1. Revisit Your RCFE Mission Statement

Your RCFE mission statement makes a great tool to address negative perceptions of healthcare facilities and emphasize the safe, home-like environment you offer in a concise, positive way. 

The mission statement should reflect your facility’s unique strengths, values, and respect for residents and their families. Think about how it can address post-pandemic concerns by including positive attributes:

  • Welcoming
  • Safety plans in place
  • Emphasis on resident independence
  • Open communication
  • Warm, caring, and respectful involvement of staff and residents

Once you develop your mission statement and adjust it based on input from stakeholders, share it in a prominent place in your facility, post it on social media, and include it in promotional materials.

2. Design Structured Tours for Prospects and Families

You only have one chance to make a good first impression so avoid off-the-cuff tours whenever possible. Your website and social media accounts can welcome prospects, families, and interested individuals on tours while still encouraging an online appointment system.

RCFE administrator conducting a tour

You should also have a system for handling unexpected drop-ins in a welcoming but organized manner.

RCFE tour plans should include these important elements:

  • Printed map of the facility, brochures, and other handouts
  • List of tour stops
  • Points to address
  • Staff members to introduce
  • Training completed by employees

You may also hold helpful presentations to bring community members and adult children concerned about aging parents into your facility. Topics such as Tips To Help Seniors Adjust to an RCFE provide valuable information.

3. Assign a Staff Member To Communicate With Each Resident’s Family

One of the chief pandemic-induced concerns for families of prospects involves keeping in close touch once the loved one becomes a resident. 

Offering an optional program where care staff shares a weekly brief email or phone text with a family member can help overcome this fear. For example, a nursing assistant might share a photo of the resident participating in an activity.

While this program involves some organizational and training time, it builds trust with families and improves bonds between staff and residents.

4. Prioritize Staff Evaluations and Expand Training

While many certifications and assisted living courses are mandated by the California Department of Social Services, carrying out regular staff evaluations, selecting the best-required training available, and implementing additional in-house training to improve employee skills all help raise your staff’s performance to the next level. 

Promote your employees’ continuing education RCFE schedule on your website and honor staff who complete assisted living courses on social media and during tours.

5. Build Relationships With People and Organizations Who Refer Prospects

As you look for ways to grow your RCFE, it’s important to realize referrals can come from many different sources:

  • Hospital discharge planners
  • Medical clinics and physical therapists
  • Current and former residents and their families
  • Current and former employees
  • Frequent visitors

RCFE administrators can build relationships to find new leads

It’s important to cultivate relationships with these resources, express gratitude when they send prospects to you, and reciprocate when they need help.

Take Creative Steps Now To Improve Your RCFE Census

Finding new leads and increasing the resident population requires time, work, and the commitment to try out new ideas in a world that is not the same as it was just a few years ago. At Assisted Living Education, we stand ready to provide the highest-quality training, licensing assistance, and growth strategies available. 

Who is Assisted Living Education?

If you’re looking to start an assisted living facility or provide RCFE staff training for your employees, Assisted Living Education can help. We are a certified vendor in California offering  a variety of state-approved learning opportunities and guidance to help you meet your California assisted living administrator certification objectives. Contact us today to see how they can support you in achieving your goals.

running a successful RCFE

Running a Successful RCFE in a Post-Pandemic World

As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, many industries, including residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs), have had to adapt to new protocols and guidelines to ensure the safety of their residents and staff. Assisted living administrators are the first line of defense in ensuring protective protocols are applied to RCFE facilities.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, RCFE residents have been heavily impacted by the virus. In Los Angeles County, for example, almost four times as many RCFE residents have tested positive compared to RCFE staff.

The elderly are especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. The nature of facilities with large numbers of individuals living close to each other contributes to the vulnerability of residents. 

Compared to staff, this high ratio of infected residents highlights residents’ vulnerability within the RCFE ecosystem. Staying on top of post-pandemic protocols will help you keep your RCFE as safe as possible.

RCFE post pandemic protocols for seniors

In California, the Department of Social Services (DSS) has released updated guidelines and protocols for RCFEs in response to the pandemic. 

Ensuring your RCFE remains up to date on the latest protocols will help you protect your clients and your staff, as well as keep your RCFE up to code. Need help keeping your staff informed? Contact us.

In this article, we will discuss these post-pandemic protocols for RCFEs in California.

Screening of Residents and Staff

One of the most important protocols is screening residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms. RCFEs must screen all staff and residents daily for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Daily screening is not required for visitors.

This protocol includes screening for potential exposure to COVID-19, such as contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. Any staff or residents who exhibit symptoms or have been exposed to the virus must be isolated and tested immediately.

Screening can be done passively. This can be accomplished by:

  • Posting signs at RCFE entrance points to remind people to self-screen and not to visit the RCFE if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing any symptoms.
  • Exclude any visitors from entering who display COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Educating visitors on methods of self-screening before entering the facility
  • Sending information about COVID-19 self-screening information, including symptoms.

Notably, diagnostic testing is not required. This is also the case for workers exempt from vaccination for specific medical reasons or personal religious beliefs. Also, if it is decided to make testing mandatory at a given RCFE, testing must include all workers, even if they are already vaccinated.

Diagnostic testing is required for staff who have been in close contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive while infectious. This close contact is defined as being within six feet continuously for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.

How Long Do People Stay Contagious?

Different illnesses present different time windows where infected individuals may be contagious. Staying aware of these time windows will help protect everyone located at your RCFE:

  • COVID-19: 8-10 days (on average). The only way to know for certain if an individual is still contagious is through testing. A positive test tells you someone is still contagious, regardless of how long they have been sick.
  • Flu: 5-7 days
  • RSV (respiratory syncytial virus): 3-8 days

Vaccination Requirements and Recommendations

Vaccination is also an essential component of post-pandemic protocols for RCFEs in California. The state requires all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (except for those with medical or religious exemptions). Staff must have had their primary series vaccination and one booster.

ensure workplace safety for your successful RCFE

While it is strongly encouraged, it is not required for staff to be fully up to date on boosters. Additionally, residents are not required to be vaccinated, although it is also encouraged.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Another important protocol is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). RCFEs must ensure that staff have access to PPE, such as masks, gloves, and face shields, as appropriate. 

Additionally, as an RCFE administrator, it is important to establish workplace safety for your RCFE by ensuring staff receive training on the proper use of PPE and that PPE is properly disposed of after use.

Masking requirements serve as an important layer of protection. For visitors and staff:

  • Must wear when in indoor settings (unless eating or drinking)
  • Required when located with residents who are in isolation
  • Encouraged (but not required) in outdoor settings
  • Mask requirements do not change due to vaccination status
  • The most effective masks are the N95, KN95, or KF94

Cleaning and Disinfecting

RCFE administrators need to ensure their facilities adhere to strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols. High-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and handrails, must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. 

Additionally, common areas, such as dining rooms and lounges, must also be cleaned and disinfected regularly. RCFEs must ensure that all equipment and relevant supplies, such as blood pressure cuffs, are cleaned and disinfected each time they are used.

When a client has a communicable disease, areas the client may have impacted must be cleaned and disinfected. Additionally, proper cleaning should occur after personal contact with a client who has a communicable disease.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is another valuable protocol for RCFEs. Facilities should consider distancing between persons to enable individuals to maintain a safe distance from others, both inside and outside the facility for those who are:

  • Not vaccinated
  • Have not yet received an available booster, and are eligible
  • Have an unknown vaccination status

Social distancing should be enabled to the extent it is feasible.

post pandemic post reporting at RCFEs

Group activities should be conducted with these recommendations in mind, again to the extent such precautions are feasible. Additionally, staff should be trained on the proper use of social distancing measures and how to communicate the importance of social distancing to residents.

Reporting Requirements

As of March 13, 2023, facilities no longer need to report when a single resident tests positive for COVID-19.

Isolate for 5 Days

The resident that has tested positive needs to self isolate for a minimum of 5 days. The resident may leave isolation only if they have no symptoms or symptoms are mild/improving AND they have had no fever for 24 hrs without the aid of a fever-reducing medication. The person should wear a well-fitting face mask for 10 days.

Leaving Isolation

The person leaving isolation may remove their mask sooner than day 10 if they have no symptoms or symptoms are mild or improving and they are fever free without the use of a fever-reducing medication. They also need 2 sequential negative tests one day apart.


If 3 or more residents are positive for COVID-19, then reporting to the appropriate authorities for an outbreak must still occur.

These reporting requirements help to track the spread of the virus and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent further transmission.

Training and Education

Finally, RCFEs must ensure that staff receive training and education on COVID-19 protocols and procedures. 

Staff should be trained on the proper use of PPE, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, social distancing measures, and how to screen residents and staff for symptoms of COVID-19. Knowledge of the most recent training requirements will be necessary to obtain your RCFE licensure.

Running a successful RCFE training post covid

Additionally, RCFE administrators must ensure ongoing education and training are provided to staff as new information and guidelines become available. Ongoing education efforts are important to ensure workplace safety for your RCFE.

The Provider Information Notice (PIN) contains additional information regarding COVID-19 policies. Specifically, this PIN notice has further instructions covering new visitation guidance, with related clarifications and other safety information.

California RCFEs are required to subscribe to an RCFE regulation update service.

Pandemic Protocols for Assisted Living Administrators

In conclusion, post-pandemic protocols for RCFEs in California focus on screening residents and staff for COVID-19 symptoms, vaccination, the use of PPE, cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, reporting requirements, and staff training and education. 

These protocols are essential to facilitating the safety and well-being of RCFE residents and staff. By adhering to these protocols, RCFEs can help prevent the further spread of the virus and protect the vulnerable populations residing at RCFEs.

To help stay on top of changing requirements and to keep your licensure requirements current, continuing education RCFE classes are now required to include 20 hours Live and 20 hours online as of March 1, 2023. available online.

Assisted Living Education 

If you want to ensure that your facility meets regulatory compliance and provides top-quality care to its residents, then you need to work with an approved vendor who can offer comprehensive RCFE administrator certification courses and staff training. 

That’s where Assisted Living Education comes in – we’re here to help you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, provide ongoing support and consultation services, and make sure that your staff is trained to deliver the best possible care. 

Don’t wait to take the next step in improving your facility – contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

how to get RCFE certification in California

Become a Senior Care Expert: Your Path to RCFE Certification in California

There is no secret that a career in the senior care industry can be very rewarding — both personally and professionally. The senior care field offers plenty of benefits, such as job stability and the potential for growth, but getting an RCFE certification is often a crucial step towards gaining employment or owning a facility. 

Aspiring caregivers must have an understanding of the legal requirements associated with this certification process if they want to become RCFE-certified professionals. 

This article is an overview of the preliminary measures to consider before becoming RCFE certified in preparation to work for an RCFE or to start your own RCFE. 

Clarify Your Goals and Purpose for RCFE Certification

Before you move ahead with your plans, it’s important to know what you want to achieve by owning or managing an RCFE. Additionally, it’s helpful to do some self-reflection to understand why you want to pursue this path. Administrators and RCFE owners often list personal experiences or deep convictions as motivation to run an assisted living facility. Other reasons include:

  • A positive experience caring for a family member or friend
  • Satisfying employment as a caretaker or other position at an RCFE
  • A desire to help others and make a difference
  • Confidence in running a successful business

clarify goals and purpose for RCFE certification

If you’re not quite sure of the role you want to pursue in running an RCFE, mind mapping can help get your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Once you pinpoint a definite goal, such as working as an RCFE administrator, you can move on to the steps you must take to reach your objective.

Research Information and Explore the Field

If you’re feeling some apprehension about taking the next step, the act of gathering all the facts and knowing exactly what you need to do can ease your fears. Learning everything involved in your new endeavor can also provide a reality check to make sure it is a good fit.

Research RCFEs

For example, perhaps you’re thinking about becoming an RCFE owner. You might prepare by reading about five questions to ask before turning your home into an RCFE

Look At Helpful Websites

Trustworthy internet resources provide basic information such as certification requirements, course availability, and testing and licensing fees. 

Since the California Department of Social Services oversees RCFE certification in California, the CDSS website is a good place to start your research for both facility licensing and administrator certification. Take time to examine the various pages and follow the links to get a clear picture of the three necessary steps to get your RCFE license California:

  • Complete a mandatory orientation
  • Fill out the appropriate application
  • Pay the licensing fee

You must register for the required online orientation, which costs $50 for registration and $4.85 for processing. You receive important information about the licensing process during the orientation, but note that once you register, you only have 30 days to finish the online course and print your completion certificate. You can also view the actual application forms, as well as a chart of the RCFE license California fees, which vary according to the size of the facility.

Additionally, the Assisted Living Education blog is an excellent resource for practical tips and timely information about required RCFE classes, RCFE ownership and more. Get informative blog posts by signing up for our newsletter

Investigate Mandatory Course Providers

As part of the procedure in California to become an administrator, you must finish an Initial Certification Training Program offered by an approved vendor, as well as achieve a score of at least 70% on the certification exam given by the CDSS. After meeting these qualifications, you also need to complete an Application for Administrator Certification that includes a $120 processing fee.

As you research the websites of various ICTP providers, you may want to compare some important points:

  • Instructor qualifications and experience
  • Class size
  • Exam preparations
  • Course locations and times
  • Price

Remember that this training program prepares you not only to pass the certification exam but also to successfully carry out your duties once you begin your career as an RCFE administrator or owner. Assisted Living Education is a certified vendor. Certification must be through a certified vendor.

Visit Different RCFE Facilities

California licenses more than 7,400 RCFEs in the state, and they vary greatly in size, location, number of residents and employees, and types of amenities. Make appointments to visit several assisted living homes in your area to see how they differ in their indoor and outdoor environments, activities, food service, and daily schedules. You can learn a lot about the type of facility you would enjoy owning or managing.

Talk to Others in the Field

Job shadowing a working administrator or RCFE owner provides an inside look at your goal of RCFE certification. If job shadowing for a day isn’t possible, an in-depth interview that covers a typical work shift can also prove helpful. Come prepared with a list of questions in order of importance in case the time is short:

  • Why did you decide to become an RCFE administrator?
  • What made you want to start your own assisted living facility?
  • What was the most challenging part of your certification course?
  • What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
  • What is your favorite part of the workday?

Listen carefully to the answers, asking follow-up questions if something isn’t clear. Always send a brief note of thanks after someone has given you time and shared knowledge.

Get Work Experience If Needed

One of your main reasons for pursuing administrator certification or opening your RCFE may hinge on previous employment at an assisted living facility.

Explore and assisted living facility

 If you have never worked at an RCFE or similar type of operation, logging some experience provides many benefits:

  • You’ll find out if this is a good fit for your skills and temperament.
  • You’ll learn exactly what is involved in the daily operations of an RCFE.
  • You’ll gain experience to help you in your certification course and exam.
  • You’ll acquire insight into the aging process and the needs of the elderly.
  • You’ll make friends and contacts in the field.

Take the First Step Toward RCFE Certification

As you identify and work toward your new goals, selecting the right training and people to help you in your quest makes a big difference. Assisted Living Education is a CDSS-approved vendor for the RCFE administrator certification training course. Our experienced instructors present the curriculum you need in an interesting class filled with real-life anecdotes about running an assisted living facility.

You may also want to obtain professional help in completing your application for an RCFE license in California. This is a long, complicated process, and our RCFE license application service can help you get it right. Also, see our popular blog about 10 Steps to Open an RCFE in California for a thorough overview of important steps. 

Assisted Living Education provides a wide range of state-approved learning opportunities and assistance to those seeking RCFE staff training for employees or guidance on starting an assisted living facility. Contact us today to learn how Assisted Living Education can help you meet all your RCFE certification objectives. 

California RCFE license items you should know about

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 parameters x

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.

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 and why they're important

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 and RCFE application explained

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.


Understand why RCFE licensing is important in California

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.