Residential Care Homes
Residential care homes are referred to by a variety of different names, including adult care homes, residential care facilities or communities, personal care homes and care homes. But what they all share in common is the service of providing senior citizens care and support in a homelike setting.
What is a residential care home?
Care homes are residential facilities that provide individualized service to small groups of older adults. These adult care homes provide housing, dining services, medication management and administration, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
Many adult care homes are situated in one of two ways, a large single-family home and a large single family home that has been remodeled into multi-unit apartments. These homes may only have the capability to care for anywhere from 2 to 10 residents at a time, where other board and care homes can attend to 20 to 30 residents. Licensing requirements and resident capacity limits vary from state to state.
These types of care homes typically provide a level of care and supervision for seniors who are unable to live by themselves but who do not need 24-hour nursing care. They are considered non-medical facilities and are not required to have a full medical staff, although some employ registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants or healthcare aides as a precaution.
In some states, there is no apparent difference between assisted living facilities and residential care facilities. Though in some personal care homes, the level of care can vary significantly. Some care homes are simply for those who are in need of companionship, while others assist with ADL’s, such as personal care. There are even certain adult care facilities, if appropriately staffed, that will provide the administration of medications and limited medical care.
What are the costs of residential care homes?
The cost of adult family home care varies based on geographical location, choice of residence and services required. On average, the cost ranges between $2,000 and $8,000 per month. This often includes room, board and three meals a day, but each facility has its own categorization of costs. The main difference is that some residential care homes accept Medicaid to facilitate the costs of residency with the remainder paid from private funds, while others accept only private funding.
What are the services provided by residential care homes?
Residential care homes provide older adults with supervised care, meals, activities and health management services. Services provided at an adult care home may differ from state to state due to licensing regulations, but generally include the following:
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Medication management and administration
- Social and recreational activities
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided daily
- Mobility assistance
- Personal care and grooming assistance
- Access to health and medical services
- 24-hour security and assistance
Why choose a residential care home?
Adult care homes provide housing and care similar to an assisted living facility, but in a closer, more personal environment. In contrast to assisted living with its additional active and social events, care homes dedicate their focus on more personalized care and individual attention. As with other senior care communities, the level of support varies. Some care facilities specialize by medical condition and appropriately staff them to care for people with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, mental health issues and diabetes.
The environment of adult care homes often creates an “age in place” situation, frequently caring for residents through to their end of life. By providing stability and avoiding numerous moves, residents and their families enjoy decreased stress and trauma.
How do I choose the right residential care home?
As with any long-term care options, there are several important factors that should be considered when deciding on an adult care home, including mental, financial and medical condition. During the interview process, for instance, ask other residents and their family members about the quality of care and the attentiveness of the staff.
Consider the following when choosing a residential care home:
- Is the care home near family and friends?
- Is the staff at the care home compassionate and focused on the residents' individual needs?
- Can residents come and go as they please and are staff available to assist residents on outings?
- What arrangements or supervision can the care home provide for safety and security?
- Did the care home provider offer a tour and detailed description of what to expect?
- Are staff members skilled and knowledgeable of any special care needs of the residents?
- Does the care home provide choices of appetizing, healthy food, and offer a variety of social activities?
- Is the care facility kept clean and accessible?
- Is the care facility’s staff respectful of residents' privacy and dignity?