Types Of Housing And Levels Of Care

Types of Housing And Levels Of Care:  There are a variety of living arrangements for seniors.  Options include:


 Definition: Non-licensed independent living for individuals who do not need care and supervision. Typically this style of living is month-to-month rent and may provide meals, transportation, recreational activities and housekeeping. Emergency call bell systems are frequently provided. Individuals who may need some personal care assistance can arrange for services themselves from outside home care agencies for an extra fee.


Residential Care Facility and Assisted Living Facility are used interchangeably. Under California Law both these names are referred to as RCFE’s which means they must be licensed and meet the same legal requirements set forth by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division.

  •    Definition: Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly provide non-medical care and supervision for persons 60+ who need assistance with activities of daily living. Many homes accept non-ambulatory residents. Non-ambulatory is defined as a person who is unable to leave a building unassisted under emergency conditions.
  •    License: This type of facility is licensed by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. All advertising by the facility must include their license number. Facilities are evaluated at least annually. Their office is located at 101 Golf Course Drive, A230, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Telephone # 707-588-6026.
  •    Staffing: The owner/licensee is required by the state to take a 40-hour initial training. This person may or may not provide direct care or be on the premises at all. Direct care staff must have criminal record clearance, first aid course, be at least 18 years of age and receive on the job training. There is no staff-to-resident ratio requirement at a Residential Care Facility or Assisted Living Facility.

        Day Staff :  In homes with 15 beds or less, the regulations state, “sufficient support shall be
        employed to ensure provision of personal assistance and care.” Larger facilities must have additional
        staff to clean, launder, cook and provide activities. 

        Night Staff: In facilities that care for 16 to 100 people, at least one employee must be on duty and
        awake at night.

  •    Costs:  The rates for a residential care facility/assisted living facility range between $1800- $6000 a month –payment typically is by private funds. In Sonoma County there are hardly any facilities that will accept SSI (Supplementary Security Income) payments for low-income seniors. Facilities are allowed to charge for specific services if they are listed on the admissions agreement.  Examples of additional services include incontinent care and associated products, extra bath or shower in a week, extra supervision due to memory loss or other factors. Some facilities also charge an “administration” or “community fee” upon admission.
  •   Admission Agreements/Contracts: All care homes are required to have a signed admissions agreement prior to moving in.  An admissions agreement is a legal contract and should be carefully read. If you have any questions about what is in writing, be sure to ask either an attorney or call the Ombudsman Program at 526-4108. Be sure to understand the document before it is signed.