As seniors age, it’s very important that they have access to the physical and mental healthcare that they need. Everyone’s needs are different, but many older adults require care and assistance throughout the day. A residential care facility is a great option for seniors who need assistance with daily tasks but do not need daily medical assistance. Residential care facilities for elderly patients provide comprehensive care services in a safe and comfortable environment. Here’s everything you need to know about residential care homes for the elderly.
What is a residential care facility and what services do they offer?
Residential care facilities for the elderly are centers designed for seniors over 60 who need assistance and supervision on a daily basis, but do not require extensive medical treatment. These facilities provide 55+ senior housing, cleaning and laundry services, meals and supervision for personal tasks such as grooming, bathing, walking, and exercising. A residential care facility may be similar to an assisted living facility near you, only it is smaller in size. Residential care homes also can store medication and remind patients to take it, but aren’t always able to physically administer the medication themselves, depending on state law. Residential care facilities are licensed by the Department of Social Services, but aren’t required to have doctors and nurses on staff. Some residential care homes do have nurses or doctors in their employment, but it is not a requirement. These facilities also offer group activities and field trips to keep elderly residents entertained and happy.
How much does a residential care facility cost?
Residential care facilities range in cost depending on where they are located and the exact services they provide. Luxury senior living facilities will cost much more than non-luxury ones. Costs also vary widely on the size of the facility. Some small residential care facilities may charge as little as $1500 per month, while the average cost is closer to $4000 per month. For seniors who are looking for dementia care facilities near them that provide memory care, the cost may be as much as $6000 per month. If you have invested in long-term care insurance, your policy may cover some of the costs of a residential care facility. Some medical insurance plans may cover it as well, but this is unlikely since most residential care facilities are non-medical. It’s important to check with your insurance provider before moving into a residential care facility. Some residential care homes for the elderly may also provide assistance for those on a low or fixed income budget.
How is a residential care facility different from other forms of senior care?
Residential care facilities are different from other forms of senior care in many ways. It’s very helpful to know the differences between all the terms used for this form of care before you start looking for care for your senior loved one. Residential care facilities are very different from skilled nursing homes near you, because they do not provide medical care or have doctors or nurses on staff. Residential care homes for the elderly are also different from independent senior living or a retirement home, which don’t provide daily assistance but do offer community resources. If you’re unclear on exactly what services are offered at a residential care facility you’re looking at, be sure to clarify with the staff, as much of the jargon can be misleading.
Who is a good candidate for a residential care facility?
Residential care facilities are perfect for aging seniors who are struggling to maintain a daily routine on their own. They may be living with and receiving help from their families, so a residential care facility can take the stress off their families and provide them with better quality help every day. These seniors may struggle with symptoms of a chronic condition and need regular medical screenings, but they don’t require medical care on a daily basis. These seniors are still healthy enough to enjoy some of their favorite hobbies, but aren’t able to function completely independently. Healthy, active seniors are not usually a good fit for residential care facilities for the elderly, as they may feel limited by the amount of assistance provided.
What are the benefits of a residential care facility?
There are many benefits to living in a residential care facility. The first is that they are very safe. For seniors who are struggling with limited mobility and/or memory impairments, safety is a major concern. Residential care facilities are designed with seniors’ needs in mind, so they are kept very clean to reduce the risk of illness, and they are also designed with ADA requirements in mind. There are typically not too many stairs, if any at all, and everything is well-lit. The layout of the facility is not too confusing to aid seniors who struggle with memory issues. The staff will monitor the seniors’ activities to make sure they are not doing anything that may cause them an injury, and they’ll make sure that their medical conditions are monitored.
Another benefit of residential care is that seniors have continuous access to preventative care, so they’re able to stay healthy for a long time. For example, seniors are given healthy food, receive assistance with whatever level of exercise they can handle, and are closely monitored for new health issues. Having help with their daily activities also makes it easier for seniors to be comfortable throughout the day.
Residential care facilities for the elderly provide a community atmosphere (similar to 55 and over communities) and help seniors maintain a routine. Keeping a steady routine can be quite challenging for seniors in retirement, particularly for those that are struggling with physical or mental health. It’s also very important that seniors have social stimulation and make meaningful connections with others, which can be difficult for seniors living on their own. Group activities at residential care homes help seniors make friends, and they’re very helpful for their mental and emotional well-being.
Finally, residential care homes can reduce a lot of stress for seniors’ families and other loved ones. As seniors age, it can be very difficult for their families to help take care of them, and it can be very overwhelming. Residential care facilities will help put families at ease, knowing that their loved one is in a safe, healthy environment and they can visit as desired.
What are the downsides of a residential care facility?
There are a few downsides to staying in a residential care facility. The first is that it can be expensive for many seniors, particularly for those living on a limited income. If you’re struggling to find a residential care facility that’s in your price range, try widening your search. Many residential care facilities’ prices are directly correlated to the going monthly fees in the area, so a facility in the suburbs or out in the state may be more affordable. Another downside of a residential care facility is that they do not provide medical care on site. This can be a challenge for seniors who struggle with chronic medical conditions, because they’ll have to go off-site to receive their treatment. Luckily, most residential care homes for the elderly provide transportation for seniors to help them get to the doctor and run other errands.
What should I look for in a residential care facility?
There are many things to look for when searching for a residential care facility for your loved one. The first thing is the safety and comfort level of the residence. The facility should be clean, safe for your senior to navigate, and homey. It’s very important that the space doesn’t feel like a medical facility so that your senior can make themselves at home there. There should be plenty of light and access to an outdoor space as well. Seniors often find themselves experiencing depression if steps aren’t taken to prevent it, and having access to light and fresh air is very important for their mental health as they make the transition to a residential care facility.
It’s also very important to make sure the facility is certified by the Department of Social Services and that the staff is qualified to handle senior care. Find out what the requirements are for employees to get an idea of their qualifications. If there are doctors and nurses on staff, make sure they have the appropriate training for their jobs. You should interview some of the staff at the facility as well to make sure you and your senior feel comfortable with them. The staff should be people that your loved one can build a rapport with, since they will be spending so much time with them.
The quality of the amenities offered at the residential care facility is very important as well. Are the rooms big enough and pleasant to be in? Is the food nutritious and tasty? Do seniors get to participate in activities they enjoy or try new ones? Since your loved one will be spending most of their time in the residential care home, it is incredibly important that the quality of life provided there is good. You can ask seniors who live there already for their opinions on life in the residential care facility. Online reviews are another great source of information. While it’s important to maintain some perspective on these opinions, they are a good way to get a general idea of whether or not people are comfortable and happy there.
The final things to consider are practical ones - is the residential care facility you are considering within your budget and is it near you and close enough to family and friends? It’s important to be realistic about your budget when it comes to residential care for your senior, particularly because most seniors only have a fixed pension income, and it can be difficult for their family to provide much extra money to support them. Prices of residential care facilities vary, so don’t be discouraged if the first few you look at aren’t in your budget - you may just need a little more time to search. It’s also important to consider the location of the residential care home and how close it is to your senior’s family and friends. It’s very helpful for seniors to be able to maintain their relationships while in a residential care facility, and it’s also helpful to have people close by who can come and help in the event of an emergency.
How can I talk to my loved one about residential care?
Talking to the senior in your life about residential care can be very difficult. Many seniors are understandably resistant to the idea of giving up their independence, and it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that you need extra care throughout the day. It’s important to take it slow and be understanding of your loved one’s feelings while also being very clear and communicative about the facts. If your senior won’t commit to going to a residential care facility outright, ask them to at least come tour some potential options with you. Once they see the benefits that a residential care facility can offer, they’ll probably be less opposed to the idea.
It’s also very important that your senior is completely involved in the decision of which residential care home they go to. They should be present for the tours and interviews you take of the facility, and their opinion should be weighed in when you’re making your choices. Even if your senior is not fully mentally able to share their opinions, you should still pay attention to the way they react to different places, as this can clue you in about how they’re feeling and what their desires may be. It’s also very important to convey to them that you’ll still be around to check on them and spend time with them. Many seniors worry about being far away from their family members, so having reassurance on this topic will be very helpful for them.
How can I find a residential care facility near me?
There are a few different ways to find a residential care facility in your area that will work for your senior’s needs. If your doctor has been suggesting additional help for your loved one, try asking them if they have any recommendations. They can be a good source of information and help. You can also try contacting the Department of Social Services. Since they have to certify all residential care facilities in your city, county and state, they can provide you with a list of certified places in your area. Finally, there are online directories you can search through that provide many helpful details and information. You can narrow down your search by the type of facility you’re looking for as well as the location.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia