What Is A Residential Care Home?

Comprehensive guide to board and care homes

Care homes, also known as residential care homes, and board and care homes offer assistance with activities of daily living, meals, and other senior care services in small single family homes.

How much do residential care homes cost?
What services are offered in residential care homes?

How do I Pay for a Residential Care Home?

Residential Care Costs

Most residential care homes are private pay with residents paying out of pocket or perhaps through long-term care insurance or other means. Residential homes tend to be a more affordable option than larger assisted living facilities.

Some states do have programs paid by Medicare or Medicaid that can help pay for care. In California for instance, Medi-cal will pay for home health care services just as if you were living in your own home. There are requirements and limitations to this service related to pre authorization, duration, and amount of visits. Requirements may change and can vary by county so it is best to visit the website directly or visit your local county office.

Who lives in Residential Care Homes?

Residential Care Services

Residential Care Homes have served a diverse group of older adults, especially those who are ill or have financial troubles. Today, the residents of residential care homes vary greatly across individual houses.

Overall they resemble the larger population of individuals living in assisted living and residential care. In 2010, residents of assisted living and residential care were mostly female (70%) and age 85 or older (54%). Three-quarters received help with activities of daily living and 425 had Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia. Nineteen percent received Medicaid assistance and 43% of facilities had at least one resident who received Medicaid.

Residential Care Definition

Residential care, in the context of elder care, refers to long-term care given to adults who stay in a residential setting rather than in their own home or family home. There are various residential care options available, depending on the needs of the individual.

What is a Residential Care Facility or Home?

A Residential Care Facility or Home is a small single family home that is used deliver care for the Elderly. Another commonly used term is Board and Care Home or a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. These homes typically have 1-2 caregivers for up to 6 residents at a time. The higher caregiver to resident ratio allows them often to deliver higher acuity care.

Featured Articles on Residential Care Homes

Traits to Look For in Senior Housing - Care homes can have more of a “bed and breakfast” feel to them. And with fewer residents, some feel they get more personal attention and are able to get to know other residents much better and experience a more “family” oriented environment.

Is Your Loved One Ready for Senior Housing? - But how do you really know when someone you love is ready to move from independent living to a senior community? Here are some of the signs to look for when you’re considering making the transition.

Consider a Roommate - Many residential care homes offer shared rooms which are typically the most affordable private pay options for families.

Other Types of Senior Living

Senior Living

There are four types of Senior Living properties that offer these assisted living services: Board and Care Home, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

Residential Care Homes are single family homes spread throughout the area. Pros: They are usually more budget friendly, have an intimate setting, and have higher staff to resident ratios (industry average 1:6). Cons: They do not have amenities, much socialization opportunities, or fine dining services.

Assisted Living Communities are purpose built properties often appearing to be a large apartment complex from the outside. Pros: They have many amenities, robust social programing and therapies, and typically offer better dining experiences. Cons: They are expensive and often have lower staff to resident ratios (industry average 1:16).

Memory Care Communities are either purpose built properties or wings within Assisted Living communities. Most large Assisted Living communities have Memory Care wings which offer 20-30 private and shared rooms to seniors. Pros: They typically have staff training in Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving, and have higher staff to resident ratios (sometimes as low as 1:5). Cons: They are very expensive and not all “training” is equal.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs or LifeCare) communities are purpose built properties meant to care for seniors when they are more independent. The concept was created to enable a new way to “age in place”. These properties have different living options that support seniors at a healthier stage all the way through very high levels of care (including medical needs). Pros: They offer a new “age in place” solution. Cons: They are very expensive with initial buy-in fees in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

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