We took a closer look at San Diego’s 588 licensed assisted living facilities thanks to the information provided by California’s Department of Social Services’ website. Specifically we looked at the number of citations facilities had received over the past 5 years. A facility's citation history can tell you a lot about how well a facility is operated.

Here are some of our findings:

113 facilities in San Diego County don't have any citations. That's almost 20%! And another 40% of facilities have fewer than 6 citations.

However, almost 30% of facilities have 10 or more citations. CARR's view is that facilities with 10 to 13 citations over a 5-year period may be problematic. CARR recommends the compliance histories of those facilities be reviewed carefully to determine if, in the consumer's eyes, the facility can ensure resident health and safety.

An interesting trend we found when looking at citation averages was as a facility’s capacity increased, their citation average also increased. Citation averages for facilities based on their size are:
  • 6.6 citations for 1-6 bed capacity
  • 6.9 citations for 7-15 bed capacity
  • 7.0 citations for 16-49 bed capacity
  • 7.9 citations for 50-99 bed capacity
  • 8.5 citations for 100+ bed capacity

It is important for families to remember that citation histories should be considered snapshots of facility competence regardless of the number of citations. While the number of citations for a facility is important, many other factors go into how well a facility will care for a loved one: the administrator’s knowledge and dedication, caregiving staff turnover, and staff-to-resident ratios will all affect how well seniors will be treated and how quickly staff responses will be.

When considering facilities to tour, however, reviewing the citation history counts can help families narrow their choices of communities to a manageable number without setting foot on the property or speaking to a salesperson.

If you, or someone you know, needs help accessing or understanding a facility’s compliance history please give us a call. We are happy to help.