A Word of Caution about Residential Care Facilities in California
Residential Care Facilities (also referred to as Assisted Living Facilities) have become a fast growing industry in long-term care. There are currently 7,500 RCFE licensed in California and the number is growing. Yet, this industry is under regulated, unaccountable and the state agencies charged with overseeing these facilities has failed to make real, substantive information available to consumers so that families can make smart choices for their loved ones.
Did you know that residential care facilities are only subject to state inspections every five years? Even then, the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (the agency responsible for overseeing residential care facilities) admits that it is unable to meet even the minimal five year inspection requirement.
Further, when a senior or family member makes a complaint with Community Care Licensing against a residential care facility that is substantiated, the fines are too low, making it more profitable for residential care facilities to disregard the law. The maximum monetary penalty for regulatory violations is only $150, compared to a maximum penalty of $100,000 for nursing homes.
Even worse, the Department of Social Services does not make real information available to consumers online so that families can research residential care facilities when deciding where to place their loved ones. In fact, prior to July 2014, Community Care Licensing did not even have a website for consumers to search to get information about corrective actions taken against residential care facilities. Only recently, after getting pressure from consumer advocate groups, Community Care Licensing created a website. And, the new website still does not include substantive information regarding the inspections, complaints or citations. However, the information on the Community Care Licensing website can serve as an initial point of inquiry regarding the status of licensed facilities. You can begin your search here – http://ccld.ca.gov/PG3581.htm.
If you would like to know more information about a particular residential care facility or to investigate a possible elder neglect case involving your loved one, please contact York Law Firm at 916-643-2200. We are dedicated to representing elders and dependent adults who have been neglected or abused.