Report Finds Terrible Working Conditions Are Common in RCFEs and Contribute to Poor Care
A new report from Golden Gate University Law School's Women's Employment Rights Clinic discusses "exploitative" working conditions in California's Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) and links those conditions to poor care for the elderly residents who live there. The report, titled "Understaffed and Overworked," found that RCFE residents are sicker and more disabled than residents in the past and neither the regulatory structure nor business model for staffing levels has evolved accordingly. This means generally that understaffing in California RCFEs has increased.
Particularly harmful labor practices, like hiring caregivers to perform 24 hour shifts, failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, and completely inadequate training, leads to caregiver fatigue and frustration that ultimately results in poor quality care and resident suffering. The report recommends the adoption of mandated staffing ratios in RCFEs, like those that apply in California nursing homes and assisted living facilities in other states, and “reconceptualizing” RCFEs to offer different tiers of licensing based on varying levels of care.