What Does RCFE Mean?

Every industry adopts language and terminology specific to that industry. If you don’t work in these areas, it’s hard to know what all the acronyms and special terms mean, and it’s easy to be confused.

This is especially true of California and its special regulations surrounding assisted living and memory care. Even long-time professionals in the senior living community might be unfamiliar with the term RCFE, as it is only used in California.

What does RCFE mean?

RCFE is short for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. RCFEs are more commonly known around the country as retirement communities or senior living communities. According to the California Department of Health Care Services, RCFEs are considered “social-based facilities,” which means they provide help with the activities of daily living.

Important RCFE regulations

The term Residential Care Facility for the Elderly is more than just an acronym. In order to be considered an RCFE by the state of California, retirement communities have to follow many guidelines and safety regulations. Some of those regulations include:

  • RCFEs are required to have licensed nursing staff employed or on-call
  • Communities with 6+ residents must have an Individual Response System that allows residents to call for assistance when they need it
  • Residents must have access to private or semi-private bedrooms and bathrooms
  • RCFEs have to offer three meals a day and make snacks available
  • The RCFE designation even outlines requirements for recreation activities

While it might seem obvious to you that a senior living community ought to provide all these services, the truth is that not all of them do. A Generations retirement community follows the RCFE regulations and, in many cases, goes above and beyond what the state of California requires.

To learn more about RCFE regulations in the state of California, visit the California DHCS website.

What are RCFE classes?

Another common question we hear from the senior living community outside of California has to do with RCFE classes. In order to be an RCFE administrator, the state of California requires individuals to take an 80-hour RCFE Administrator Certification Training.

Several vendors offer this class and it can be completed online as a webinar.

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