RCFE means "Residential Care Facility for the Elderly." It is the term California state laws use to refer to assisted living facilities. The terms 'RCFE' and 'assisted living' mean the same thing. All RCFEs are licensed by the Department of Social Services (DSS), Community Care Licensing Division (CCL) and must comply with Title 22 regulations. RCFEs can be as small as 2 beds, or as big as 2,000 beds.