What Does MCIS Lawyers Know About Residential Care Facilities?

Answer: A LOT. Ike Sherman is the partner in charge of our elder neglect practice area. He worked as a licensed Administrator of an 80+ bed residential care facility. He knows first-hand how facilities are supposed to operate, and can identify the cause of injury or wrongful death at a facility, including what the facility failed to do and how the staff neglected your loved one that contributed to the injury or death.

What is a Residential Care Facility?

A Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (“RCFE”) is an alternative to in-home care for people over 60 years old who cannot live independently at their residence and require some supervision or assistance.

RCEFs are non-medical facilities that provide:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Personal care assistance and supervision
  • Medication dispensation
  • Arrangement of care by Home Health Agencies and Hospice Agencies
  • Living accommodations, housekeeping, meals, entertainment, and other services.

Who Regulates RCFEs?

The facilities are licensed and regulated by the Department of Social Services and Community Care Licensing (CCL). The California Code of Regulations, Title, 22 Division 6, Chapter 8, provides policies and procedures that RCFEs are supposed to follow.

Are RCFEs Inspected?

The government inspects RCFEs every five years. The inspection is called a survey, which includes facility deficiencies. The current inspection system is entirely inadequate to protect the well-being and safety of the residents. As a result, negligence  occurs, which is why family members must be vigilant in watching the care the elder receives.

Are RCFEs the Same as Skilled Nursing Facilities?

No. RCFEs are not allowed to accept residents who require skilled nursing care. Unfortunately, a substantial number of facilities accept residents with acute medical problems requiring a higher level of care. They take residents they cannot adequately care for to keep their facilities filled and to make as much money as they can. They falsely advertise that they have a registered nurse on staff, or a doctor who visits the facility to alleviate any family concerns.

Accepting residents who require skilled nursing care violates California law. The violation creates significant problems for the health and safety of the residents because the RCFE cannot adequately care for the resident.

What Should Family Members Do to Select a Good RCFE?

Family members should thoroughly research the RCFE before placement, including the following:

  • Tour as many facilities as you can. Don’t rely solely on a referral agency because many have never stepped foot in the facility.
  • Ask the facility for their latest surveys.
  • Ask the facility for resident complaints filed with the Department of Social Services for the most recent three-year period.
  • Ask the facility for their caregiver per resident ratio. Many facilities do not inadequately staff.

Actions to Take if Your Loved One is Injured or Killed in an RCFE

The causes of injury or death in an RCFE can be complicated. RCFEs will do everything to hide, manipulate, or destroy evidence and documentation to escape liability. It is advisable to schedule a consultation with an attorney. You should make sure the attorney has a thorough understanding of elder law and how RCFEs operate.


Contact MCIS Lawyers for a free consultation if your elder family member has suffered an injury or death at an RCFE. No pressure, sound advice.


We have successfully handled thousands of injury cases. Our firm works on a contingency fee, which means that you do not pay a dime unless we win your case. If you have been injured in an accident, don’t wait for the insurance company to attempt to ruin your case. Contact MCIS Lawyers for a free case evaluation!

Schedule your free case evaluation with us or call (818) 999-1184.

Offices in Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Riverside, serving all surrounding areas including Agoura Hills, CalabasisCanoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Granada Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Oxnard, Panarama City, Reseda, San Bernardino, San Fernando Valley, Santa Paula, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Valley Glen, Van Nuys, Ventura, Winnetka, and more. 

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