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Keep Our Seniors Safe Act Signed by Governor Newsom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) announces that California Governor Newsom signed the Keep Our Seniors Safe Act, a part of SB 172 (Portantino) which was signed into law on 12 October, 2019.

The Keep Our Seniors Safe Act strengthens the Health and Safety Code by adding safe gun storage requirements for firearms retained by residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE - also known as assisted living facilities).

CARR sponsored this common-sense safe gun storage legislation in recognition that an estimated 70% of assisted living residents have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias (ADRD). Dementia is a primary reason families seek an assisted living placement for a family member.

Many assisted living facilities are licensed to accept and retain residents having mild to severe cognitive impairment. Common characteristics include disorientation, confusion, changes in mood or personality and impaired judgment. CARR's public records' research evidenced that some assisted living facilities were storing firearms in unlocked desk drawers, or allowing residents to retain weapons in their rooms.

The characteristics and associated behaviors of a resident with cognitive impairment, coupled with unsecured weapons inside an RCFE posed an unreasonable risk of harm to residents, families and any third party working in or visiting an assisted living facility.

The Keep Our Seniors Safe Act fills the statutory and regulatory gaps concerning firearm storage by requiring weapons to be centrally stored in the facility, in a locked gun safe meeting the regulatory standards established by the California Department of Justice.

The statute advances CARR's consumer-driven agenda focused on reducing health and safety risks to residents living in California's licensed assisted living facilities.

"This legislation (Chapter 840) gives the state's agency (Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division DSS/CCLD) responsible for licensing assisted living facilities definitive and unequivocal standards for determining compliant gun storage," said CARR's President, Christine Murphy.

This is CARR's second piece of legislation to become law; the first was AB 1523 (Atkins) requiring assisted living facilities to carry liability insurance.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization promoting transparency and accountability for consumers using assisted living services, and specializing in public document research on assisted living facilities, and the state's oversight of the industry. Learn more at: https://rcfereform.org/

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CARR Expands Board with New Members – Brings Aboard Added Legal and Real Estate Expertise

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) announced today that it has welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors.

Teri Christensen is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties. She is a seasoned not-for-profit professional, having been Senior Vice President and Director of Field Operations for Partnership for Drug-Free America, a national non-profit, for over twenty years. Her not-for-profit organizational knowledge, coupled with her degree in Communications and Media Studies from San Diego State University, offer a depth of insights and experience that will benefit CARR's growth, expanded mission, and fundraising efforts.

Daniel Shillito, Esq. has had a distinguished forty-year litigation career in both the private and public sectors. He earned his J.D. from Ohio Northern University School of Law and has served as a partner in two Washington D.C. law firms, and as Deputy General Counsel to a national trade association. His public service includes high-profile litigation (Northern Spotted Owl; Exxon Valdez), commercial Indian leases, and natural resource matters for the Department of the Interior. He is also a Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired. Mr. Shillito brings extensive practical business acumen to the board; his advice and strategic planning experience will be instrumental as CARR moves towards sustainability.

"We are excited to have Teri and Dan join our board." said Christine Murphy, CARR's Chief Operating Officer, "Their unique expertise and experience add dimension and range to the talents already resident on our board."

About CARR:

Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization specializing in public document research on assisted living facilities, and the state's oversight of the industry. Learn more at: https://rcfereform.org/

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Business, Free News Articles, Long Term Care, NonProfit and Charities

Keep Our Seniors Safe Act Passes Senate Committee – Portantino’s SB 172

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) announces its collaboration and partnership with California State Senator Anthony Portantino (D, SD 25) in the drafting of Senate Bill 172 Firearms, enhancing safe storage protections for the two most vulnerable populations in our society: the elderly and children.

Testimony on the bill was received by the Senate Committee on Public Safety during a hearing on 2 April. The bill moved out of committee with a 6-0 vote (Morrell abstaining); it now moves to Senate Appropriations before being sent to the Assembly.

CARR partnered with Senator Portantino's office to draft the bill's provisions requiring secure firearm storage in assisted living facilities - the Keep Our Seniors Safe Act. An estimated 70 percent of assisted living residents are diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias, yet California law neither defines nor mandates safe storage of firearms, ammunition or other dangerous weapons in assisted living facilities. The state's regulatory agency, Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division, also does not track the number of facilities allowing firearms. If enacted, this legislation would close these statutory gaps.

SB 172 also expands California's existing Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws creates new crimes for failures to properly secure firearms. CAP laws have been shown to be effective at reducing suicides and unintentional firearm deaths and injuries of children, citing a study of twelve states' where unintentional firearms deaths fell by 23 percent.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization promoting transparency and accountability for consumers using assisted living services, and specializing in public document research on assisted living facilities, and the state's oversight of the industry. Learn more: https://rcfereform.org/

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CARR Welcomes New Board Member, Ms. Susan Valoff

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is pleased to welcome Ms. Susan Valoff as its newest member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Valoff was installed in this role at the organization's last board meeting on 14 November 2018.

Ms. Valoff is an owner and Vice President of Windward Life Care (formerly Elder Care Guides), with over 20 years' experience working in clinical settings serving older and disabled adults. She is a graduate of Brown University and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago. Her extensive background working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and as a certified Aging Life Care Manager make her particularly well-suited to participate in the governance of the organization.

She sits on San Diego County's Aging & Independence Services Advisory Council and is a member of several national organizations. Her broad set of skills and knowledge of the elder care industry will add depth and insight to CARR's advocacy issues and serve to make the board's collective experience more diverse, better positioning CARR to serve an increasingly heterogeneous aging population.

Ms. Valoff replaces the vacancy left by the resignation of former board member Judith Wenker, Esq; we extend our sincere appreciation to Judy for her many contributions to CARR's growth over the span of her term.

With the addition of Ms. Valoff, CARR moves into 2019 with a full board including Dr. Joaquin Anguera, California Commission on Aging, Col. Richard Shigley, USMC/Ret., and Ms. Cindy Hasz, Geriatric Care Manager and President of Grace Care Management.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public benefit corporation that is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to assisted living research, education and consumer advocacy.

Learn more at: https://rcfereform.org/

Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), P O Box 82123, San Diego, CA 92138.

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CARR Welcomes New Board Member, Ms. Susan Valoff

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is pleased to welcome Ms. Susan Valoff as its newest member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Valoff was installed in this role at the organization's last board meeting on 14 November 2018.

Ms. Valoff is an owner and Vice President of Windward Life Care (formerly Elder Care Guides), with over 20 years' experience working in clinical settings serving older and disabled adults. She is a graduate of Brown University and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Chicago. Her extensive background working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and as a certified Aging Life Care Manager make her particularly well-suited to participate in the governance of the organization.

She sits on San Diego County's Aging & Independence Services Advisory Council and is a member of several national organizations. Her broad set of skills and knowledge of the elder care industry will add depth and insight to CARR's advocacy issues and serve to make the board's collective experience more diverse, better positioning CARR to serve an increasingly heterogeneous aging population.

Ms. Valoff replaces the vacancy left by the resignation of former board member Judith Wenker, Esq; we extend our sincere appreciation to Judy for her many contributions to CARR's growth over the span of her term.

With the addition of Ms. Valoff, CARR moves into 2019 with a full board including Dr. Joaquin Anguera, California Commission on Aging, Col. Richard Shigley, USMC/Ret., and Ms. Cindy Hasz, Geriatric Care Manager and President of Grace Care Management.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public benefit corporation that is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to assisted living research, education and consumer advocacy.

Learn more at: https://rcfereform.org/

Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), P O Box 82123, San Diego, CA 92138.

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Awards and Honors, Free News Articles, General Editorial, NonProfit and Charities

CARR Awarded AARP Community Challenge 2017 Grant

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is pleased to announce it has received an AARP Community Challenge Grant. AARP announced its grant recipients on its website on 7 September, 2017. CARR is one of only 4 AARP's Community Challenge Grant recipients in California.

CARR has been funded to create an innovative board game based on the "8 Domains of Livability" framework used by the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, and is designed to engage older adults in the process of making San Diego a more age-friendly city.

Christina Selder, CARR's Principal Investigator underscores the value of this program: "Our goal for the game is to engage community members in discussions to rethink San Diego's senior housing and care models in terms of age-friendliness. CARR's focus is assisted living advocacy; we believe many of the 8 domains of livability are directly relevant to improving the lives of assisted living residents."

CARR's Executive Director, Chris Murphy notes, "This is the second significant grant the organization has received this year; earlier CARR received a grant from the San Diego Foundation to investigate accessibility and affordability of assisted living in the region."

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization specializing in public document research (www.rcfereform.org) on assisted living facilities, and the state's oversight of the industry. CARR is one of two First Amendment Coalition's 2014 recipients of its Free Speech and Open Government Award. In 2014 CARR sponsored AB 1523 (Atkins) requiring assisted living facilities to carry liability insurance; the bill was signed into law in August 2014. CARR continues its evidence-based advocacy work for the benefit of Californians.

Learn more at: http://www.rcfereform.org/.

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Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR), P O Box 82123, San Diego, CA 92138.

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CARR Announces First Corporate Sponsor

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is pleased to announce Grace Care Management as CARR's first corporate sponsor. President and CEO Cindy Hasz stated, "Grace Care Management is pleased to support CARR's consumer advocacy work; it long overdue, and much needed by the growing numbers of seniors who are receiving assisted living placements in California."

On behalf of CARR's Board of Directors, Executive Director, Chris Murphy accepted the corporate donation, "CARR is extremely grateful for the financial support of Grace Care Management. It is a name synonymous with quality geriatric care management services for nearly 20 years in San Diego County. Their sponsorship of CARR is synergistic with the advocacy missions of both organizations, and will enable CARR to actively engage California's legislators on reform issues of concern to consumers of assisted living placement."

About Grace Eldercare Inc.:

Grace Care Management was founded in 2001, and offers a range of professional care and consulting services for families having aging adults. Grace Care Management has an established record of providing families with health professionals focused on creating an environment of care, protecting, surrounding and spiritually nourishing those with chronic illness, aging, or extended recovery.

Their sponsorship of CARR continues the corporation's history of philanthropic giving.

About Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform:

Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based consumer advocacy 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving resident care in California's assisted living facilities through customer education, and increasing industry accountability. Since 2009 CARR has supplied San Diego seniors, families, professionals, government agencies and officials with evidence-based information and analysis on aging trends in long term care, research on local assisted living facilities and resources on advocating for resident rights and obtaining accountability.

CARR is a 2014 recipient of the First Amendment Coalition's Free Speech and Open Government Award, sponsor of AB 1523 (Atkins legislation (Statutes of 2014, Chapter 205), and San Diego County's contractor for the Choose Well program (HHSA/AIS).

For more information visit http://www.rcfereform.org/.

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Free News Articles, Long Term Care, NonProfit and Charities

CARR Awarded Grant for Age-Friendly Community Project

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) announced today that it is the recipient of a $30,000 grant funded by the Del Mar Healthcare Fund, through the Age Friendly Communities Program at the San Diego Foundation.

The grant will move San Diego towards becoming an Age Friendly/Livable Community for All Ages, a designation of the World Health Organization and AARP. In collaboration with Civic Knowledge, a San Diego-based, California benefit corporation, CARR will identify capacity and affordability of assisted living in San Diego County.

Through this research and analysis, the project's findings will allow families, service providers, local and regional governments to understand the gaps and policy issues posing barriers to achieving an age-friendly region for seniors and disabled adults. This seminal work for the region's every growing number of 65+ residents is imperative as community collaborations strive to create affordable housing and care solutions.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based consumer advocacy not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving resident care in California's assisted living facilities through customer education, and increasing industry accountability.

Since 2009 CARR has supplied San Diego seniors, families, professionals, government agencies and officials with evidence-based information and analysis on aging trends in long term care, research on local assisted living facilities and resources on advocating for resident rights and obtaining accountability.

CARR is a 2014 recipient of the First Amendment Coalition's Free Speech and Open Government Award, sponsor of AB 1523 (Atkins legislation (Statutes of 2014, Chapter 205), and San Diego County's contractor for the Choose Well program (HHSA/AIS).

For more information, visit http://www.rcfereform.org/.

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*Photo Caption: CARR Co-Founders C Selder and C Murphy.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
C Murphy
619-795-2165
cmm@rcfereform.org

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Free News Articles, Hospitals and Nursing, Long Term Care, NonProfit and Charities

CARR Presents Paper at GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Christina L. Selder, Principal Investigator and co-founder of CARR (Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform) presented in the Assisted Living Issues of Quality and Translations to Nursing Homes session of the Gerontological Society of America's (GSA) 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting being held November 16 - 20 2016 in New Orleans, La.

Her presentation, entitled "How Can Quality in Assisted Living Be Measured," reports on the methods and findings of the County of San Diego's innovative program to develop a rating system for assisted living facilities.

The County contracted with CARR to conduct a six-month pilot program to develop a rating system tailored to reflect compliance with California's Title 22 regulations for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). The RCFE rating system provides consumers with easy access to objective information and context about care and services delivered to residents.

The rating system developed is grounded in original research, understandings, and insights about California's Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing's citation practices and protocols.

California's Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing has regulatory oversight of nearly 7,500 RCFEs. This agency is responsible for conducting inspections, complaint investigations, and other related oversight visits, and generates public records publishing the findings of the state's assessment of facility compliance with the relevant Title 22 regulations.

Ms. Selder holds a MS degree in Gerontology from San Diego State University, and is an accomplished speaker on California's assisted living care model, as well as an experienced researcher in RCFE public records.

About Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform:

Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving resident care in assisted living facilities by educating consumers and increasing industry accountability.

More information: http://rcfereform.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Murphy
(619) 795-2165
cmm@rcfereform.org

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