difference between RCFE and SNF

What’s the Difference Between an RCFE and an SNF?

As an assisted living administrator, you are in a position to educate families about the different senior care options.

Families considering options for loved ones will appreciate a simple explanation of the types of facilities available to them. Demonstrate your value early on in the process by helping families navigate this complex decision. 

Additionally, you and your staff can avoid costly mistakes like admitting a resident that may really belong in a SNF. Share this handy post with potential residents so they can make informed decisions. 

Californians care about each other, and the Golden State does everything possible to provide for all its residents at every stage of their lives. This certainly includes the aging process and issues that may develop as personal strength, mental understanding, and physical health decline.

When people start finding daily activities a challenge, whether cooking, keeping up their home, or even bathing and dressing, they have a number of options for assistance. 

The facility choices are abundant, but names and acronyms make it difficult to distinguish the appropriate facility choice. 

RCFE vs SNF – A Closer Look

Let’s explore the difference between the two types of senior care facilities based on:

  • Function
  • Licensing
  • Atmosphere
  • Residents
  • Staff
  • Daily Life
  • Special Activities
  • Payment Options

Function

First off, the purpose at the heart of each of these facilities is quite distinct. The mission of the RCFE and the RCFE administrator revolves around keeping each resident as independent as feasible for as long as possible. 

By contrast, the state entrusts SNFs with providing professional medical services. To put it simply, an SNF is a medical facility, and an RCFE is not.

Licensing

Not surprisingly, California designates two different state agencies for oversight of these facilities. The California Department of Social Services regulates RCFEs, which include assisted living homes, memory care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. 

On the other hand, SNFs fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health Care Services.

The Department of Social Services has thorough application, testing, and inspection procedures in place for both the Assisted Living Facility license and the assisted living administrator certification. 

Since the process to obtain these licenses and certifications is complex, aspiring RCFE administrators should familiarize themselves with certification criteria, facility processes, and the RCFE corresponding terminology as early as possible.

Atmosphere

When you walk into an RCFE, you typically feel like you are entering a large family home with comfortable communal areas furnished like a living room:

  • Sofas or upholstered chairs
  • Appealing wall colors and pictures
  • Bookshelves and tables
  • Reading materials
  • Puzzles and games

Residents’ rooms are often private, and you may see seasonal decorations on the doors expressing the occupant’s individual taste.

Out of necessity, you may experience a more institutional feel in an SNF since appropriate medical equipment and staff stations are needed. In many facilities, rooms are shared by two patients although some may offer private quarters. Meals are served in dining areas for residents able to sit at the tables, but many occupants may eat meals in their rooms.

Residents

As a result of the purpose and limited services of an RCFE, the residents of these homes are typically capable of performing at least 2 or more ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). 

If you think of a spectrum extending from total independence to end-of-life care, an RCFE provides the first step in this progression. Each individual is different, but some may need assistance with personal hygiene or other ADLs. 

Since housekeeping and meals are generally included, residents no longer need to worry about these duties.

Most people who reside in an SNF, however, usually have medical needs and require 24-hour skilled nursing care with physician oversight on a monthly basis. Some occupants may have adequate mobility, others may need walkers or wheelchairs, and a number may be confined to their beds.

Staff

Since both types of facilities are under the umbrella of a state agency, staff must meet specific regulations.

All RCFE care staff need to complete specific training within the first four weeks on the job. 

The RCFE administrator must not only complete 80 hours of certification training for an assisted living administrator certificate but also must take continuing education courses. Online assisted living administrator courses ensure staff are trained according to state standards. Specific nursing degrees are not required for RCFE caregivers.

In general, SNFs must have a licensed vocational nurse on duty 24 hours a day while a registered nurse must be present for at least one eight-hour shift each day. Any particular medical services ordered, such as physical or occupational therapy, must be provided by certified therapists.

Daily Life

Since independence is highly valued in RCFE communities, the daily schedule of each resident may look different. In addition, many variations may exist from one RCFE to another. For example, some facilities may cater to persons of a particular religious faith or members of a certain cultural or ethnic group.

Residents have the freedom to choose their own interests and the ways they spend their days. 

Given California’s beautiful climate, many individuals may enjoy time outside whether sitting, walking, or perhaps tending to flower pots or small gardens. Others may prefer a communal room inside or their own private quarters.

Because of physical limitations, residents at an SNF may be limited to more specific routines that include time set aside for specific medical care or therapy sessions. As their capabilities allow, however, they can spend time in communal areas visiting or participating in group projects.

Special Activities

Because many RCFEs provide unique care settings, activities may also be specialized according to the interests, needs, and capabilities of the residents. 

Possibilities are endless, but some common opportunities are offered at many facilities:

  • Exercise classes
  • Book discussions
  • Bible studies
  • Craft projects
  • Group singing
  • Gardening opportunities
  • Shopping excursions
  • Field trips

Efforts are also made to engage residents at SNFs with activities and entertainment. 

When residents are unable to leave their rooms, special projects may be brought in for them to complete. Many SNFs also have volunteer programs to provide companionship and learning opportunities.

Payment Options

Another more major difference is how residents and patients pay for their care needs.  

Skilled nursing facilities are often enrolled as preferred providers for Medicare, Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), and private insurance. Private pay is also accepted. Not all SNF’s have enrolled as Medicaid providers. These insurance plans do not pay for unlimited, long-term care nor do they pay for 100% of the hospital bill. Medicare typically pays for 100 days per year and a percentage of the charges.

RCFE’s however are not covered by most major medical insurance plans (not a medical model). Some Long-Term Care insurance policies do cover RCFE charges depending on the policy.

Conclusion

Although many differences exist between a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly and a Skilled Nursing Facility, they both provide excellent care for seniors at a particular stage of life. 

If you have questions about online assisted living administrator courses or need help preparing an application for an RCFE license, please contact us. 

People Also Ask

What are the 3 main types of long-term care facilities?

Residential care facility for the elderly, skilled nursing, and independent living.

What does an assisted living facility provide?

An RCFE provides home-like personal care and assistance for people who do not require skilled nursing care. 

 

eco-friendly RCFE

How To Make Your RCFE Eco-Friendly

Green building initiatives have been around for more than 20 years, and now assisting living facilities are moving towards a new measure of sustainability. 

Given the move towards eco-friendly initiatives, it’s no surprise that RCFE administrators are looking for ways to actively promote sustainability in their communities. 

The impact of creating an eco-friendly assisted living community is twofold.  First, it helps to reduce a facility’s carbon footprint. Second, it promotes both mental and physical wellness for the residents. 

As an RCFE Administrator, you work hard to provide a warm, safe and caring atmosphere for your residents. In return, you and your staff experience the satisfaction of seeing the seniors you care for flourish, meet new friends, and engage in activities. 

Here are a few easy to execute strategies to help make your RCFE better for the planet and better for your residents. 

Improve Lives With Eco-Friendly Assisted Living

Californians have always been at the forefront of the environmental movement. As they age, they remain concerned about energy conservation, pollution, and keeping the food supply free of pesticides and chemicals. 

Operating a greener RCFE can provide small but important advantages for residents, employees, and the community at large:

  • Helps save the planet
  • Gives residents a purpose
  • Cultivates physical and emotional health
  • Offers key marketing points for the facility
  • Contributes to staff satisfaction

Start Slowly

You didn’t become an RCFE Administrator overnight. Similarly, it will take time to develop a green facility. Just as you prepared carefully for the California exam to receive an assisted living administrator certificate, it takes thought and effort to get everyone involved and to create a plan for an eco-friendly RCFE.

Invite Everyone To Get Involved

Not only is including every person the right thing to do, but it helps eco-friendly efforts to succeed. 

Keep the lines of communication open with both residents and staff and ask for their input and ideas. Present possibilities for the first initiative at a group meeting and let everyone vote for their choice on a private ballot.

Ideas to Get Your Assisted Living Facility Started 

Be Efficient 

Start with the low-hanging fruit. 

Make sure your facility is set up to be energy efficient by using LED lights and certified energy-efficient appliances and equipment, when possible. 

If you have a landscaping service, ask if they can use electric instead of gas-powered equipment. Other green practices could include collecting rainwater for reuse on the property or making use of composting techniques.

Also, it never hurts to ask your residents for their suggestions. 

Bring the Outdoors Inside for Greener Vibes

Making the best use of natural light in an RCFE makes good sense on many levels. 

Natural light relieves eye strain, makes individuals feel happier and more energetic, and even helps people sleep better. Opening window coverings can cut down on the need for artificial lighting in the room and reduce energy costs.

Place green plants everywhere around indoor living spaces to add beautiful decorative touches and help improve indoor air quality

Seniors can maintain their personal favorites in their own rooms or help care for plants featured in shared areas. Some people believe using green plants indoors can even improve the effectiveness of air purifiers.

Change Cleaning Solutions, Switch Laundry Products and Eliminate Lawn Chemicals

You can’t become a greener RCFE without paying attention to the cleaning solutions and other chemicals used in your facility. 

While providing a clean and safe environment is essential for preventing the spread of illness, many of the products used in institutions can cause headaches, eye and lung irritation and lead to respiratory issues. Some of the worst culprits contain volatile organic compounds.

Be sure to check the labels of all products used at your facility, including dishing washing solutions and laundry detergents, for dangerous ingredients. 

Just because it’s called a natural or green product doesn’t mean that it is free of risky chemicals.

Ideas to Get Residents Involved 

Get Your Hands Dirty

Even individuals who aren’t big on committing to a group undertaking usually appreciate flower beds and vegetable gardens, especially in our beautiful California weather. 

Since every assisted living facility is different, landscape and gardening projects are bound to be unique. Sometimes a small facility with only a few residents has the perfect outdoor space for a garden plot or individual flower beds that can be adopted by a single resident.

Launch Container Gardening for Small Spaces

Even if outdoor areas and gardening spaces are limited, you can still provide opportunities for cultivating beautiful flowers.  Consider growing vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers in decorative pots and large containers. 

Even better, place some containers at waist height for easy plant care. They can also provide a constant source of flavorful herbs and can be moved inside if the weather becomes inclement.

Feature Home-Grown Vegetables and Herbs in Meals

Perhaps one of the most exciting moments takes place when residents harvest tomatoes, salad greens, parsley, or other garden produce, and the vegetables or herbs show up in the next meal. 

Everyone takes pride in this accomplishment and enjoys the tasty rewards of going green. 

Be sure and ask your Licensing Program Analyst (LPA) for an exemption to allow your residents to consume any produce grown in the community. 

Keep Learning and Growing

Incorporating an eco-friendly initiative into your RCFE is one of many ways that make for a greener environment and, ultimately, a better place for your residents to live. 

Do you have new employees? Our online assisted living courses provide complete staff training as well as CEUs for the renewal of your assisted living administrator certificate. 

At Assisted Living Education, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.

how to keep seniors mentally engaged

What Activities Can Help To Keep Assisted Living Seniors Active and Motivated?

Despite an initial hesitancy among seniors to seek assisted living situations, 73% of families report that a senior’s quality of life improves after a move to an assisted living facility. 

When seniors reach the stage of finally accepting assistance in their daily living routines, they embark on a new journey that can be extremely empowering and rewarding when managed correctly. 

Moving from their home of many decades to a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (an RCFE) is often the first step in increasing or maintaining their current level of activity.

A well-trained RCFE administrator can help the individual see this transition as an opportunity to continue to enjoy the things they love as well as to explore new and exciting experiences.

With the support of an engaged caretaking staff, seniors can feel empowered to participate in activities that maintain mobility and an active lifestyle. This can often be key to a senior’s happiness, self-worth, and overall feelings of independence.

How an RCFE Administrator and Staff Can Help Seniors Stay Mentally and Physically Engaged

Start Out Small

For the RCFE staff involved in planning meaningful activities, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s not about you. 

Learn how to properly empower those under your care to encourage mental and physical enrichment on their own terms. You may have great ideas about activities seniors ought to pursue but without mutual agreement, your efforts will fail. 

For example, you may have concerns about extra pounds an individual has gained and you would like to see them set senior wellness, exercise, or weight-loss goals.

So you conduct research about food portion control and low-impact exercises, present your findings, and discover that your senior isn’t interested.  Not everyone has an interest in pursuing fitness even if it’s the healthy thing to do. A gradual approach towards change may get better results over time. 

Getting someone mentally engaged first tends to motivate them to become more physically engaged. 

Encouraging seniors to pursue exciting pet projects or to visit with a grandchild may lead to more physical activity in a natural way. You may later come to notice that the weight gain actually stemmed from a desire to snack out of boredom. 

So remember; when you can start out small, make it about them and set realistic expectations.

Take Time To Learn About Each Individual

Knowing what activities to offer is essential to keeping your seniors engaged and interested. Getting to know your residents will help you to match seniors with compatible activities. 

Have conversations. Ask residents about their interests and passions. You would be surprised how much you can take away from a brief conversation and then use that information to plan your activity selections in the future. 

As you become more familiar with your resident’s likes and interests, planning group activities will become easier. Mr. Jones may love playing cards but Mrs. Smith does not.

Most residents who move into an RCFE usually come alone. A new environment with new people can be stressful. 

Each resident that moves into your community comes with their own unique history and life stories. Some will assimilate well while others may struggle. Knowing the kind of activities that each resident might be interested in can be just the right catalyst to activity participation.

The families may also have ideas of how their loved ones should be spending their day doing activities. Large communities offer a variety of enrichment programs that a smaller community may not be able to. But no matter the size of the community, there needs to be an activity that a resident may be interested in.

But what about the resident who does not want to participate no matter how hard you try to encourage participation?  

Dig deeper: Was this resident outgoing and had varied interests before moving into the community? The family may expect Dorothy to become a social butterfly, but Dorothy may have no interest in venturing into a group activity. Explaining to the family that if the resident was not socially active prior to the move, they will most likely not be active after the move.

Pay Attention to Clues

Being observant can often pay dividends. Look for clues about a senior’s enthusiasm. Photos and reading materials often provide tip-offs and good conversation starters. 

Magazines and books typically reflect absorbing hobbies, interests, and values. If a well-used Bible rests on the bed stand, for example, it typically indicates an interest in religious matters, and attending a Bible study or volunteering at a church may be a good future activity.

Different Activities Fulfill Different Needs

When studying to become an RCFE administrator you have a wide range of curriculum to learn in order to meet state certification requirements and receive your RCFE certification. 

Part of that required curriculum covers the needs of the residents in many important areas including:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual

The state-required RCFE administrator certification prepares future administrators on how to research, set up, and evaluate appropriate activities to help meet these needs. Online staff training and RCFE classes to meet administrator CEU requirements also provide additional resources for learning more ways to keep residents involved in fulfilling activities while meeting their different needs. 

The best way to know if you are fulfilling resident needs is to simply ask. Simple and proactive communication can go a long way in planning meaningful and entertaining activities. 

Help Seniors Set Goals

Writing down the desired goal and developing steps to accomplish it provides momentum for anyone, and this exercise can be especially helpful for seniors. 

Once you’ve identified the individual’s special interest, help the person select a simple step to get started. In order to make sure the senior chooses a reasonable objective, you can introduce the concept of SMART goals. Here’s an example:

  • Specific – Resident will participate in card games of choice
  • Measurable – Attendance in 2 activities
  • Achievable – Resident enjoys card games, needs minimal assistance to attend a card game 
  • Relevant – Bridge and poker games will occur 1-2 times per week.
  • Time-bound- Resident will attend 1 or more card games per week.

By checking that the initial target meets these guidelines, your senior can clearly define an achievable goal, and together you can track tangible progress. Remind the senior that baby steps are fine to start.

Plan Senior Activities at Different Skill Levels

Seniors can usually realize their limitations with familiar activities, but if they are starting a new hobby or interest, they may overestimate what they can accomplish. 

For example, the person may not realize how complicated a new knitting pattern or art project is to carry out. 

As a caretaker, it’s important to make sure that group activities are offered at various skill levels that are appropriate for different physical and mental abilities.

Hire Caring Staff Members

Whether you’re just learning how to start an assisted living facility or already running a busy community, you cannot perform every task yourself. You need to find the right people to help care for residents and train your employees to meet the needs of those residents. 

Keeping all the individuals in your facility involved in meaningful activities takes the time and patience of all staff members. Starting with a good team is essential.

Conclusion 

Every senior you care for in an RCFE will have unique interests, abilities, and needs. And like most everyone else, they will have ambitions and desires to fill their days with activities that match those interests and needs. 

With a little bit of planning and some time and patience, you can ensure that your residents are remaining active while getting the most out of their day-to-day activities. 

If you or your staff are interested in progressing your professional training please contact Assisted Living Education today. We are here to help!

People Also Ask:

How do seniors stay mentally active?
Mental fitness activities include learning something new, keeping stress under control and maintaining physical fitness and a healthy diet.

How can seniors keep busy?
The best activities are a blend of socializing, moving, creating and thinking. Activities might include: online learning, volunteering, participating in a book club or photography.

start an rcfe

How to Start a Successful RCFE

With over 10,000 seniors turning 65 daily in the U.S., there is a growing demand for senior care services. On the whole, the home care service industry saw a rise in revenue from $100 billion in 2016 to $225 billion in 2020, globally. 

With the RCFE industry showing continued growth, there is no better time to embark on this rewarding career. 

Here’s how to start a successful RCFE

People contemplate opening a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly for any number of reasons. Sometimes the idea occurs because an individual inherits a spacious house with multiple bedrooms, or perhaps they cared for an elderly relative and found caretaking satisfying and fulfilling. 

Regardless of the motivation, there are some commonalities throughout the licensure and management process that will help ensure your RCFE opens and operates successfully.

This article will explore both the overview of requirements to get your RCFE licensed in California, as well as the regular duties of a successful owner-operated RCFE administrator. 

First, let’s start by looking closer at how to obtain proper licensure and certification for both you and your space.

Obtaining RCFE Credentials for Your Home and for Yourself

When you turn your home into an assisted living facility, or even if you purchase an existing RCFE, you will need to apply to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to properly license your business. 

Assuming you plan to run the facility yourself, you will also personally need to complete an RCFE administrator training course and pass the certification exam. 

The CDSS also requires administrators to complete 40 hours of continuing education hours (CEUS) every two years. Your employees also have required training hours they must complete for the facility to meet compliance. 

When planning for licensure it is important to budget accordingly for all RCFE training, licensing, and certification expenses. In addition, before your RCFE license can be approved, you will be required to have three months of operating expenses set aside in a business account. 

Preparing a realistic budget is part of the license application process and is a good exercise in planning for weekly, monthly, yearly and unexpected expenses. It is important to plan ahead for these costs so they do not slow you down. 

Once financing is accounted for you can proceed with the application process.

Assisted Living License Application

With the proper guidance, completing the application for your RCFE License can be a less stressful process. In addition to filling out all CDSS required forms correctly, you’ll also want to prepare the following documentation:

  •         Admissions policies and forms
  •         Resident house rules
  •         Employee handbook
  •         Job descriptions
  •         Plan of operation
  •         Sample menu and activities calendar
  •         Employee training plans
  •         Medication policies and procedures

Due to the importance of getting application documentation correct, many applicants will choose to hire a company, such as Assisted Living Education, to assist in the application process. 

Assistance from professionals who are familiar with CDSS procedures can save you a great deal of time and stress, and help get your RCFE license application approved quickly and efficiently.

RCFE Administrator Certification

In addition to submitting your RCFE License application and waiting for the state to process it, you will also need to take the required 80 hours of certification training for an RCFE administrator.

After successfully completing the course, you then must take the required CDSS examination and pass with a minimum score of 70% within 60 days of the course completion.

In order to obtain administrator certification in California, you must be at least 21 years old and meet educational requirements that vary with the size of the facility you manage. 

For example, if operating an RCFE with 15 or fewer residents, you must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Administrators of larger facilities may also need to earn some college credits as outlined by the CDSS.

Day to Day Administrator Duties

Now that you have secured the proper licensing and certification to own and operate an RCFE, you can start to plan what the day-to-day of a successful RCFE might look like. 

Owning an RCFE is a serious commitment. You are engaged directly or indirectly in the lives of your clients 24/7.  Here is a breakdown of some of the client and business activities you will encounter on a daily basis. 

Business Demands

No matter how much fulfillment an RCFE brings to the administrator, it still needs to remain solvent:

  •         Accounting
  •         Payroll
  •         Hiring and training
  •         Admissions
  •         Marketing and tours
  •         Communication with family members
  • Communication with CDSS and completing reports timely

Resident Demands

Depending on the number of residents in your home you may sometimes have to assume some caregiving duties:

  •         Housekeeping
  •         Cooking
  •         Personal hygiene
  •         Dressing
  •         Bathing
  •         Emergency availability

Multiple Rewards

In spite of considerable responsibilities, the benefits of running an RCFE are even greater:

  •         Receiving satisfaction from helping others
  •         Operating a profitable business
  •         Seeing residents develop friendships and support each other
  •         Enjoying movies, activities, and field trips with residents
  •         Helping residents eat better and develop new interests
  •         Knowing you have made a difference

Strategies for Success

In this article, we have covered the basics of what makes a successful RCFE from licensing your space to administrator certification and even what to expect day-to-day. If you have read this far and would like to explore a possible career as an RCFE owner or administrator please consider the steps below:

  •         Visit Assisted Living Education for more information on RCFE classes and the path to becoming an RCFE administrator.
  •         Register for the online RCFE orientation on the CDSS website as the first step in applying for an assisted living license.
  •         Contact an RCFE in your area and volunteer to speak with some of the residents and employees to learn more. 

At Assisted Living Education, we’re ready to answer your questions and assist you on the path to making a difference in the lives of seniors by opening a successful RCFE. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. 

People Also Ask:

How much do RCFE owners make? 
In general, the monthly income generated by an RCFE can range from $5,000 – $15,000 per month.

Is an RCFE a good buisness? 
Due to a surging senior population, the demand for RCFEs is projected to grow by over 20% by 2030.

 

 

 

RCFE administrator role

6 Ways RCFE Administrators Can Keep Caregiver Spirits Elevated

Estimates show that between 40-to-70% of caregivers experience significant symptoms of depression

While there are RCFE classes to learn how to care for others, it is equally as important for administrators to learn how to help their caregivers practice self-care in order to remain positive and productive in their caregiver role.

Being a caregiver can be an emotionally fulfilling occupation. Providing personal assistance to enhance a senior’s life can bring joy to the senior and to his family knowing their loved one is being properly taken care of. 

However, the job can carry with it many conflicting emotions such as fear, sadness, loneliness and underappreciation. The daily tasks of taking care of an elderly or ailing person can be very challenging. Because of the complexity of what it takes to take on the role of a caregiver, some doctors think of caregivers as “hidden patients.”

As an RCFE administrator, the best thing you can do for your staff’s physical and emotional well-being is to encourage caregivers to take time out for themselves. This helps prevent burnout and allows them to rejuvenate so that they can be the best caretaker they can be.

Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

How do you know if your employees are experiencing caregiver burnout? 

Look for common warning signs that indicate an individual needs to make changes in order to protect their physical and emotional health: 

  • Experiencing overwhelming anxiety
  • Fatigue that doesn’t improve with quality sleep
  • Digestive problems
  • Escalating unhealthy habits (i.e. smoking or drinking alcohol in excess) 
  • Chronic backaches or headaches
  • A change in personality or disposition 

Here is a list of 6 things you can share with employees, so they can be more positive and productive:

  • Take time to do something you love – Being a caregiver does not mean that you have to deprive yourself of doing things you love. Participating in activities you enjoy such as reading, taking a walk outdoors or having lunch with a friend, is essential. Self-care is vital to avoiding caretaker burnout, so find something outside of caregiving that is satisfying to you. 
  • Don’t neglect your physical well-being – Eating healthy foods, getting enough rest, exercising regularly and limiting alcohol and tobacco use are all important for both your physical and mental well-being. Taking care of yourself physically helps your overall emotional health and allows you to better take care of others. 
  • Express Feelings & Emotions – Keeping your emotions bottled up is not healthy. When we suppress emotions such as grief, anger and frustration it can manifest itself into physical stress in the body. Joining a support group or confiding in a friend can be helpful ways to talk about your feelings and to connect with others going through similar situations. 
  • Practice positivity  –  Create a journal where you take a few minutes each day to write down some things you are thankful for or that make you happy. Whether that’s a beloved pet, a funny cartoon or a favorite song, jot down those things that boost your spirits. Then review your list when you are feeling extra stressed to boost your mood and shift your perspective. 
  • Keep humor in your life – Laughter has more benefits than you think. Laughter creates endorphins, reduces stress, stimulates circulation and helps to increase oxygen-rich air in your body. What makes you laugh? Whether it be a movie, a book, watching a comedy, or hanging out with a fun friend, increasing humor and laughter in your day-to-day activities will benefit you greatly. 
  • Set Boundaries – Setting realistic expectations is important for everyone, but especially for caregivers. Know your limits and give yourself permission to say “no” to activities that you do not have time for right now. Remind yourself that it’s okay to set boundaries with your time and energy as a way to focus on your own mental well-being. 

How Attitude Can Make a Difference for Caregivers

The National Institute of Health (NIH) maintains that caregivers have both positive and negative responses to their role. Your goal as an administrator is to show that caregiving doesn’t have to be a burden. Caregiving is a worthy profession and can be very uplifting. 

When it comes to caregiving it is important to release the need for perfection and adjust expectations to reflect reality. Being realistic about what can and cannot be controlled in a given situation is essential. 

While caregivers cannot control the chronic or progressive disease of the person they are caring for, or the impact it will have on that person, they can control how they respond to the situation. 

As an RCFE administrator, you can help reduce burnout and stress for employees by giving them tools to help them recognize and manage stress. 

Caregiver attitude can be the biggest factor when it comes to self-care and job performance. 

Here are helpful ways caregivers can keep a realistic and positive mindset:

  • Acknowledge your limitations
  • Listen to your body
  • Stay connected with the outside world
  • Learn the signs of chronic depression
  • Insist on getting respite care
  • Remain in the present

Help Caregivers to Better Help Others

Teach caregivers how to take care of themselves and remain positive. While the demands of being an RCFE Administrator are many, guiding staff through potentially overwhelming circumstances can decrease turnover and increase job satisfaction for all.

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. Learn more about how we help RCFE professionals.

RCFE Administrator Salary

How Much Money Can an RCFE Administrator Make?

The average salary for a certified RCFE administrator in California is more than $45,000 according to ZipRecruiter. 

Becoming an RCFE administrator can provide not only a fulfilling career that makes use of your business and people skills, and helps older individuals, but it can also provide profitable annual earnings.

California licensing regulations provide a structured path to become an RCFE administrator, and generally begin with enrolling in accredited RCFE classes.

Most people have high expectations for their chosen career path. For many, an attractive salary and good benefits top the list. The majority of individuals also prioritize work where they can help others and make a difference in their lives. 

Working as an RCFE Administrator is a good way to obtain those career goals. 

This article will explore what it takes to become an RCFE administrator, what that career path entails, and what kind of compensation you can expect. 

RCFEs Fill a Unique Niche

When deciding on a career in Residential Care, it’s important to understand what you are getting yourself into.  

Facilities for the elderly provide a special solution for persons who experience limitations as they age and can no longer live by themselves. 

They may have problems keeping their home clean, preparing nutritious meals or practicing daily hygiene such as taking a shower or even getting dressed.

As an RCFE professional, part of your job is understanding that these elderly individuals still value their independence and want to make as many of their own decisions as possible. While maintaining their household independently might be a challenge, they do not necessarily require constant supervision or daily medical care. 

A well-managed RCFE will provide its residents with a balance of supervision, assistance, and independence. As an administrator, it will be your responsibility to ensure that balance is maintained.

Special Skill Sets Help Run a Successful RCFE

To keep a facility operating smoothly, an RCFE professional needs a vital set of skills. 

Since any size RCFE is essentially a business, the administrator must have the operational and management skills required to lead it. Some of those skills include: 

  • Creating and managing a budget for the facility
  • Developing marketing strategies and activities
  • Hire, train and supervise employees
  • Establish policies and procedures
  • Ensure the facility is meeting all state regulations and requirements
  • Oversee logistics such as meal plans and resident activities

At the same time, the purpose of an RCFE is to provide for the well-being of the individuals who live there. To that end, intangibles such as compassion and excellent people skills are also essential for being a successful administrator. 

Every decision the administrator makes must have the safety, happiness, and welfare of their residents in mind. An RCFE administrator needs to provide personal leadership and support to not only the residents and families but also its employees.

California Tailors Requirements to Facility Size

So how exactly do you enter this career path? 

In order to apply for an RCFE administrator certificate in California, the applicant must be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED/HSED equivalent. 

The next steps involve passing an 80-hour certification course, earning a 70% or better score on a 100-question exam, obtaining a Live-Scan fingerprint clearance, completing the required state forms, and submitting the application with a $100 fee. 

Upon the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approval of your application, you will obtain an Administrator Certificate that will allow you to oversee an RCFE with 1-15 residents.

If you are looking to manage a larger facility, the minimum educational requirements increase depending on the number of residents that reside in the facility. 

The administrator of a facility licensed for 16-49 residents, must have completed, with a passing grade, at least 15 college or continuing education semester or equivalent quarter units and have at least one year’s experience providing residential care to the elderly; or equivalent education and experience as approved by CDSS.

To obtain certification as an administrator for an RCFE facility with 50 or more residents, the requirement increases to two years of college and three years of experience providing residential care to the elderly; or equivalent education and experience as approved by CDSS. 

Most administrators start out with the minimum requirements and begin working at a small facility to gain practical, hands-on experience. 

During this time, many administrators will decide if they enjoy working with a small RCFE, or if they prefer to work for a larger facility. They may even contemplate the idea of applying for an RCFE license and starting their own facility. 

California has many small assisted living facilities where the owner is also the administrator. There is no wrong option here and different circumstances will suit the needs of different individuals.

Salary and Job Outlook for RCFE Administrators Primed for Growth

So now that we’ve reviewed some of the requirements to become an administrator, let’s look at salaries and opportunities. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth for medical and health service managers for the 10-year period from 2019-2029 should top 30%, which is much faster than the average job growth for this period. 

A primary reason for this anticipated increase is the aging of the baby boomer generation and the resulting need for more care facilities, including RCFE facilities.

When it comes to compensation, the data on Glassdoor reports that the average salary for an RCFE administrator in California is around $45,000 a year. 

In general, salaries for this position range from a low of $27,000 annually to a high of $130,000 or more for roles at large facilities involving greater responsibilities. 

Keep in mind that starting salaries are generally adjusted according to the education and experience of the job candidate. Most large facilities also provide a bonus program structured on census retention and meeting budgetary goals. 

There are many ways to increase your value as an RCFE Administrator. 

An administrator can learn the ropes and gain valuable experience in meeting the challenges of a small care facility with a license to do business in California. At the same time, online learning offers the possibility of taking college credits while working to meet the requirements for certification at a larger assisted living facility. 

By completing college courses and gaining practical experience, an RCFE administrator can move along on a career trajectory that enhances both job responsibilities and compensation.

RCFE Classes Jump-Start a New Career Path

Ready to get your new career started? Our RCFE Certification classes give you the knowledge and means to not only pass the California Department of Social Services test but also to succeed as a caring administrator of an assisted living facility in the real world. 

We make sure you understand all the California regulations involved with an RCFE license including learning about medication responsibilities, business operations and effective marketing for assisted living facilities.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward a career as an RCFE administrator, Assisted Living Education is here to help.

senior depression rcfe

7 Ways to Help Seniors Cope With Depression

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 25% of adults 65 years and older have experienced some level of depression or anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When running an RCFE, there is no standard solution to depression that will work with all your residents. Caregivers need to recognize that every senior is one-of-a-kind. 

Each case of elderly depression is also different. An approach that is effective with one individual may not work with the next.

This post will explore several effective ways to deal with senior depression in an RCFE setting.

Implement Strategies to Assist Seniors Dealing With Depression

Although the COVID pandemic certainly contributed to depression in elderly citizens, the easing of restrictions may not instantly make those anxious and depressed feelings go away. 

Every RCFE administrator may want to put some of these suggestions into play to help their residents recover from these difficult times.

1. Adjusting Communication Skills and Activity Planning 

One of the most important things you can do when someone in your care is experiencing depression is to listen. Often what an elderly individual needs most is someone to just hear them and pay attention to the feelings they are experiencing.

By listening carefully you will often hear clues to some of the causes of their anxiety and depression.

As moods start to normalize, let your residents express preferences and help plan new ventures. It’s vital for residents to feel they still have some control over their lives.

Start simple and focus on positive activities that can have a direct reflection on their mental health like exercise, nutrition or even starting a new hobby.

As Covid restrictions ease more and more, perhaps consult with a local senior center to see what group activities and social engagements are being planned.

A safe reemergence back into a social stream can quickly resume normalcy that may spark positive emotional results.

2. Foster a Positive Mental Outlook 

If you are a caregiver to an empathetic resident, it can sometimes be tempting to unload your problems and/or stresses on this captive audience. 

While there are times you may need or want to share personal feelings, talking about issues with your job or personal life can cause worry or increase low spirits for an already emotionally compromised senior.

As much as possible, keep conversations upbeat. 

It can be something simple, such as a home repair you successfully accomplished or a new recipe that turned out well. 

Don’t forget to ask your residents to also name something they recently enjoyed. This helps to direct their focus towards something positive.

3. Help Develop Purpose 

None of us enjoy feeling useless or unwanted. 

Seniors are no exception. They need a sense of purpose.

Brainstorm ways to target goals and objectives for your residents. Hobbies are a great start. Tying them into ways to help others also adds a big dose of purpose to the activity. 

Interests and abilities may differ, but everyone likes to feel like they are making a difference. 

Small examples could include installing a hummingbird feeder. 

Even planting a few vegetable or flower seeds can create a sense of daily purpose and fruition as your resident watches his or her garden grow. 

Encourage your residents to focus on simple projects for family members or even local charities. A senior in full control of their faculties might want to consider writing a family history or personal memoir for their children or grandchildren. 

Senior care residents will often respond positively to contributing through creative efforts, utilizing their existing skills or even just volunteering their time.

4. Address Sleep Issues

Starting the day right is difficult if you’ve had a lousy night’s sleep. Working to improve your residents’ sleeping patterns and helping to overcome insomnia issues will go a long way towards helping to stabilize their moods.

You may also consider some environmental factors like eliminating caffeine after midday, omitting afternoon naps and avoiding heavy evening meals to help ensure a good night’s sleep.

5. Get Your Senior Involved With Exercise or Movement

Exercise is a great way to get endorphins flowing. 

For some seniors, this can be a “slam-dunk”, but others may express that they are not interested or that they have earned the right to just “sit back and relax”. 

Unfortunately, inactivity often goes hand-in-hand with sleep issues and depression. Try to encourage some activity and exercise while also taking care to address valid reasons for inactivity, such as pain or disabilities.

Solicit suggestions for appropriate exercise activities from a medical provider or physical therapist. 

Many RCFE continuing education classes also provide some limited information and training in this area. For example, when dealing with seniors with limited ability, try chair exercises or a pedal device for leg movement while sitting.

6. Begin or Increase Social Activities

This looks different for every senior, depending on capabilities and personal preference, but you’ll notice that most residents will enjoy informal visits with family members or other persons who share similar interests. 

For the more shy or introverted residents, start small. 

Having morning coffee with a friend or neighbor, participating in a group activity or even just a FaceTime session with a family member can make a real emotional impact.

7. Keep Up With Technology

Speaking of FaceTime, seniors who learned to make use of web conferencing through services like Zoom or who used video chat apps such as FaceTime during the pandemic should continue to utilize them regularly. 

Getting to stay connected, even virtually, with family and friends can be a huge morale booster to most residents.

Try to introduce tech-weary seniors to things like YouTube where they can watch how-to videos, live church services and other events they might otherwise be missing. 

Technology remains a good way to interact with others and help residents stay connected to the outside world. Learning new technology also helps keep a senior’s mind stimulated.

Not only does the resident feel as if they are growing mentally, but that they’re also evolving with the ever-changing times and not just feeling like they’re a relic to the past.

Devise a Plan To Help Seniors Adjust to Post-Pandemic Life

Although many factors can contribute to depression in older adults, the fear of Covid-19, the stress of the stringent lockdowns, and just the overall impact it has had on this demographic certainly intensified the problem. 

As the number of vaccinated citizens continues to increase, and the country starts to open up again, it is important for RCFE administrators and their staff to plan a smooth transition and return to normal protocols with the differing needs of elderly individuals in mind.

Even though the CDC, as well as state and local health departments, dictates many details of the gradual reopening, an RCFE administrator should still be ready to acknowledge that residents may need to adjust on their own timelines.

Part of any transition plan should include appropriate training of all caregiving staff on the signs and symptoms of depression and the appropriate ways to report and intercede. Online training is available for facilities to use to expand caregiver knowledge and meet required CDSS requirements. 

Does Your RCFE Need Help With Senior Depression?

If your assisted living facility is struggling with Post-Pandemic depression issues, or even just a general loss in community morale, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Assisted Living Education is here to help and support you while we all journey together on the path to recovery.

How to Turn Your Home Into an Assisted Living Facility

In California, there are currently 7,500 licensed Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) with occupancy levels at approximately 174,000 beds.
Other names associated with RCFE have assisted living facility, board and care home or retirement home. These are all RCFE’s and they all have the same regulations. According to a recent report by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, there is a growing demand for increased assisted living facilities and capacity.

In this demanding environment, many RCFE administrators are looking to convert their homes into an assisted living facility. Indeed, operating an RCFE out of your home can be a fruitful and rewarding endeavor, but it’s important to understand what you are getting into.

For the purpose of this article, we will explore some of the considerations of opening an RCFE in your home and provide some information that can help you decide if opening a small RCFE is right for you.

Preliminary Considerations of Opening a Home RCFE

Operating an assisted living facility is a meaningful privilege, but also a heavy responsibility and a state-regulated endeavor. Before you begin this journey here are some suggestions to consider as you begin the initial process of licensing your home as an RCFE.

  1. Make sure you are committed to the project and the thought of losing the privacy of your home life.
  2. Create a mission statement which is a set of goals you hope to achieve by opening your home as a senior facility.
  3. Research state laws and local zoning regulations about assisted living facilities and determine if your home is compatible.
  4. Take all the state-mandated RCFE classes to assure you have the proper training and information to begin the licensing process.

Like any other business, you will want to create a solid business plan. This plan will help guide you so that you will always know “what’s next.”

Evaluate the Local Need for a New Assisted Living Facility

Like most other businesses, you will want to begin by determining the need in your area for the services you are offering. Your future residents are the cornerstone of a successful RCFE, so give them top priority as you put a plan in place. 

Even with a building that meets requirements, proper licensing, administrator certification and compassionate staff, you cannot run a successful facility without an adequate number of residents. You also need to consider the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and available living space in your home.  

Keeping your rooms occupied and your residents happy is vital to the success of your RCFE.

So how can you determine the need for assisted living in your area? 

Consider these resources:

Visit the CDSS website www.cdss.ca.gov and select the “Find licensed facilities” box. You can search by city or zip code to locate facilities in your area.

  • Contact local government agencies and organizations that serve senior citizens.
  • Research and visit assisted living facilities in the area.
  • Talk with patient advocates at local clinics and hospitals.
  • Reach out to regional assisted living training institutions, including community or technical colleges.

Begin the Process for an RCFE License

Once you have done your homework, verifying that there is an adequate need in your community, then turn your attention to obtaining proper credentials. 

In California, CDSS requires that you have an RCFE license for your home before you admit any residents for care. You also personally need RCFE certification to prove you completed training and have the knowledge to safeguard the residents. As the owner of a home turned into an assisted living facility, you will need both.

It is important to keep in mind that RCFE licensing and RCFE administrator certification training takes time, patience and resources to complete. 

The process begins by taking the required orientation course on the California Department of Social Services website

Additionally, you will also have to fill out an application and sign up for an accredited RCFE administrator training course. You will also have to meet state educational and experience requirements when applicable. 

The required qualifications are generally reasonable and you should be able to obtain any that you might be missing, but this can add some time to the certification and licensing processes. 

One important requirement to plan for is the CDSS requirement that you show proof of three months of operating expenses in designated savings accounts before approving your license.

Once you have completed your certification and submitted your RCFE licensing application, CDSS will begin processing the application in Sacramento. 

Once your paperwork has been reviewed and any missing paperwork submitted, your application packet will be sent to the local CDSS office that will oversee your facility. 

A Licensing Program Analyst (LPA) will be assigned to your facility. The LPA will contact you and set up the Component II interview. Once this interview has been conducted, the LPA will order a fire inspection and verify operating funds in your account.

Finally, after you have received approval from the local fire marshal, LPA will send a checklist and schedule an on-site visit to inspect and approve your home.

Use the Wait Time Wisely

Sometimes it can seem like there is a lot of downtime in this process, but there are actually a lot of ways you can utilize that to your advantage. 

While you are waiting for the DSS to review your license application, we suggest you also work on marketing your facility to prospective residents as well as finding caring, competent and reliable employees to help run your facility. 

Although you may adjust your opening date along the way, you will want to have employees trained and your home ready for admissions when you do open your doors.

Seek Professional Assistance

As our population continues to age there will certainly be an increase in the need for high-quality RCFE’s. 

If you feel like this could be a good fit for you, then the first step is to do your homework and create a plan. 

If this process seems overwhelming, you would be correct. 

CDSS has guidelines they follow during the application process and if you do not reply or submit missing documents in time, you could be at risk for CDSS to deny your application. This would mean you are not allowed to resubmit an application for one year. 

Yikes!

To prevent this scenario from happening, you would be wise to seek the assistance of someone who has experience in licensing and working with CDSS. To ensure that you do everything correctly the first time and save precious time during the licensing process,  Assisted Living Education can help. Our experience and positive relationship with CDSS can save you time and money while you complete the process to get your building licensed. We have assisted 100’s of individuals successfully obtain a license for their buildings and helped them on the path to having a viable and safe assisted living facility.  

If this is something you are interested in, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.

RCFE Administrator License

How Do I Get an RCFE License in California?

Opening and operating an RCFE requires licensure and Administrator certification and is a great business model that benefits those receiving care as well as the investor. 

This article describes in more detail on how to obtain your RCFE license. 

 

A Closer Look at RCFEs

RCFEs are known by many names, especially in states outside California. Some examples include assisted living facilities, retirement homes and board and care facilities. 

They house elderly residents and provide assistance with things like general care, grooming, social activities, and medication assistance. Licensed facilities can be as small as one resident or as large a facility that has several hundred. 

 

RCFE Licensing — RCFE Administrator Certification Training

California requires that anyone operating the facility as an RCFE administrator be certified and the facility must be licensed.  In order to become an administrator, you must complete the 80-hour Certification course, pass the state exam with a score of 70% or better and submit a certificate application with the required documents and fee.

To open a facility, an applicant must complete the three-hour online orientation that is required by the Department of Social Services (CDSS). An application for licensure is submitted once you have legal control of the building that you plan to operate from. 

The RCFE Certification Course gives you the basic knowledge to operate an RCFE successfully and competently and to prepare for the role of an RCFE administrator. 

Why? 

Because you will have the responsibility for a number of people’s health and well-being under your care, and you need to know what you’re doing. 

 

What RCFE Training Includes

A well-structured certificate program includes both online and classroom learning. Once training is completed, you must take the exam and submit your application. Once CDSS processes the application, a certificate will be issued to you and is valid for two years.

In regard to the actual training, Assisted Living Education provides a thorough curriculum that covers all the aspects of opening an RCFE that includes laws and regulations, staffing requirements, application process and allowable and prohibited health conditions that affect client care.

These are just some of the topics you should be prepared to learn during RCFE training in preparation for your Administrator Certificate:

  • Personnel requirements, including initial and ongoing training
  • Background checks
  • Resident Records, Documentation and Privacy
  • Types of Services that can be provided in an RCFE
  • Health-related Services (and staffing requirements)
  • Compliance Requirements and Oversight

Preparing the RCFE license application to open an RCFE can be quite challenging.  The RCFE license is a necessary step to opening a facility. After you establish a facility, you’re going to need properly trained staff and possibly hiring an administrator if you are not going to manage your own facility.

The elderly population may need a variety of services and different levels of care. Assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as grooming, toileting and medication assistance are some of the common tasks that most caregivers can provide. 

As the level of assistance increases, however, so must the skillset of the caregiver.

RCFEs are not medical facilities and should not provide medical care that falls under the scope of a registered nurse or doctor unless those people are either employees of the facility, on call to the facility to provide as needed assistance or assistance is through the use of a home health or hospice agency. 

These agencies assist the facility with specific care needs that a facility is limited by or restricted from performing assistance. If caring for residents with dementia, staff are required to have a specific amount of hours of training to provide proper support and assistance. 

 

Proper Staff-to-Client Ratio  

Unlike skilled nursing facilities, RCFE’s do not have regulated staff to client ratios. 

For example, there must be at least one qualified employee (meets the required training to provide care as a caregiver) on call on the premises for 1-15 residents.

In facilities with 16-100 residents, there must be at least one employee on duty on the premises and awake. Another employee must be on call and capable of responding within 10 minutes.

In facilities with 101-200 residents, there must be one employee on call on the premises. Another employee must be on the premises awake and another employee must be on call and capable of responding within 10 minutes.

The need for elderly care will only grow in demand. If you are interested in opening and operating an RCFE in California, now is a great time to enter the industry. 

An increasing aging population will require qualified, ongoing care delivered by caring professionals. Contact Assisted Living Education or check out our upcoming RCFE classes for more information on how to get started on licensing a property as an RCFE or for online classes to maintain your current Administrator Certificate.  

 

RCFE class on online marketing

4 Key Steps to Improve Your RCFE’s Online Marketing

Today, seniors and their families are initially looking for assisted living facilities online. Therefore, it is more important than ever that your assisted living facility ranks well in Google and other places that people search for assisted living facilities.

The higher you rank and the better your online reviews, the more likely that you will attract greater interest, more visitors and qualified new residents.

We knew little about online marketing when we started but wanted to summarize the basics for you here. Even if you are new to the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or already have some knowledge, the information in this blog will provide you with key insights that can be easily accomplished.

1 – How to Get More People to Your Website

If you are still in the early stages of setting up an assisted living facility, you first need to look into RCFE certification. While getting your RCFE certification and license, you can start the process of building your website. Look at how other facilities are listed online.  Do they have a website and are they in online directories such as Yelp or Google My Business?  What do you like and not like so you can inform the people building your website?

Once the site is created and is live, you can start trying to rank for keywords. In other words, you hope to find keywords that people would logically be searching for assisted living and try to get as high on the Google search results as possible, so viewers will find you.

A good search engine strategy centers on finding the keywords that people looking to find a facility in a specific town are most often searching. Essentially, you need to comprehend what terms people are likely to type into their search engine bar so your website can appear.

Most likely, the keywords would revolve around phrases like “assisted living” or “assisted living facility” or “senior assisted living” along with the city your community resides in.

For example, if your facility was in Encino, California, you’d most likely want to show up in search results when people typed in “assisted living Encino”.

The simple strategy is then to place that keyword in the text of your home page – maybe even a couple of times. That way, Google will see that keyword on your site and make the connection to the search. Thus, you’ll have a better chance of ranking higher when that phrase is searched for.

Even if you already run an established community, you can gain a lot of potential search engine ground by adding those keywords to your existing website on several of the pages that you think would best describe your facility.

 

2 – Claim Your Google My Business & Other Directory Listings

Many of the major search engines allow you to make a specific business listing where you can include all of your facility’s key information. Google being the largest search engine in the world is the place you want to begin.

The Google My Business listing is the most popular, most visited and simplest for you to claim. It’s easy to sign your business up and costs nothing. You simply go to Google, search “Google my business” and click on the “manage now” button.

The rest of the process will take minutes by just following the directions on each screen. Enter your business’ information along with contact details, and you will immediately have a new presence with Google My Business (GMB).

Often, these listings also automatically display a map of your location. Further enhancing your GMB presence, you can easily upload photos of your facility or your staff to personalize the listing further.

Now, when someone types in the name of your facility, this listing will be near or at the top of the results. Over time, other keywords that you have been adding to your website pages may also display this GMB page increasing your prospective clients even further.

Here is an example of Google’s local search results for “assisted living Encino”

Note how the facility with the most reviews showed up at the top of list.  More about reviews below.

While Google may be the biggest directory in the world, we’d also suggest setting up similar profiles on other directories such as:

Yelp for Business

Better Business Bureau

Assisted Living Directory

Caring.com

Taking the time to get your assisted living business noticed is almost as important as the RCFE licensing process if you want to be successful.

RCFE online reviews

Reading online RCFE reviews help people find the best assisted living facilities near you.

3 – Solicit Reviews From Satisfied Clients

The importance of online reviews cannot be understated.

A recent survey showed that people were 270%  more likely to purchase a good or service that had at least one five-star review as compared to a company that had no reviews at all.  Almost three times more likely to choose your facility just because of reviews.

Once you have set-up your directories, engage with your satisfied clients – both past and present – and ask them to please post a positive, five-star review on these places. (To make it simple for them to do, you may want to email them the request with a series of direct links to your Google My Business, Yelp and other business directory pages.)

You also want to manage the reviews – both favorable or unfavorable – in a timely fashion. This direct interaction with your audience shows you care about your quality of service and care what your customers think.

If you have any negative reviews, it is a good idea to address these directly. Offer an apology or explain the circumstances behind this complaint. Online reputation management is key to growing the word-of-mouth and credibility of your facility.

In addition, placing any positive reviews on your website in a testimonial section also helps enhance the selling of your service.

4 – Engage Visitors on Your Website

So you’ve started getting potential new clients to come to your website after seeing you rank high in search results and reading all your positive reviews. Now the goal is converting them from visitors into customers.

You want to make your site easy to comprehend with a very clear “call to action”. In other words, you should quickly and clearly make the case why your facility is the best one for mom or dad. Then get the web user to call your business or fill out a contact form.

The phone number and contact form should be present at all times on the page. Your web developer should recognize that the forms and phone should be at the top of the page in a stationary spot that doesn’t move out of the reader’s eye even if he or she scrolls down the page.

The other key to closing new leads is a lightning quick response. If a call is made after hours and a message is left, that lead should be the top priority for a recall first thing in the morning.

Similarly, when the contact form is filled out, there should be a follow-up action (preferably a phone call to the person) within minutes, even seconds. With so many search results out there for assisted living facilities, chances are the same family that reached out to you also did so to several other facilities.

In this case, it’s often a race as the first facility to contact that potential client will more often than not win the client’s business.

It is optimal to have a member of your RCFE administrator staff who can be tasked with managing and following up with interested parties right away.

Conclusion

These are just some of the basics that can seriously help improve your online marketing. It may seem intimidating at first but it gets easier once you start.  If you would like to know more than I recommend you reach out to great people and the company we use for digital online marketing.

Please let us know if you found this blog helpful.

 

About Assisted Living Education

Assisted Living Education is the premier provider of RCFE certification, RCFE 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. They offer RCFE consulting services and share real RCFE experience that will help you be successful in this fast growing career industry.

Good luck!