Assisted Living

5/19/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Updated on 1/4/21

You may not even be aware of them, but nestled in traditional neighborhoods all over the country are residential care homes. Sometimes called board and care homes or adult family homes, these small elder care facilities provide a safe, home-like environment for elderly adults who are not able to live independently. If you’re looking into assisted living for a loved one, here are some of the benefits of these smaller care facilities.

What Is a Residential Care Home?

What sets these homes apart from traditional assisted living is that these homes are just that – private homes. And instead of large, institutional facilities, which may feel impersonal to some, residential care homes allow older adults to live in a traditional home, located in a residential neighborhood.

Assisted living facilities have an average of 33 residents, and nursing homes average at about 100 beds per facility. In contrast, residential care homes are much smaller. They only house a very small number of residents – usually only two to ten patients.

Residential care homes are non-medical facilities. They provide custodial care for elderly residents. Custodial care means help with preparing and eating meals, toileting, laundry, medication reminders, and other activities of daily living. Just like a larger assisted living facility, a residential care home will provide transportation to medical appointments, and might provide transportation for other activities and errands, depending on the facility. A residential care home does not provide skilled nursing care or other medical treatments like daily injections. Meanwhile, care is usually overseen by a registered nurse, but most care is provided by nursing assistants or other caregivers. The facilities have staff available 24 hours a day, with state licenses.

Home-Like Setting

Residents get personalized service with a comfortable home-like atmosphere. They get home-cooked meals, and, further, because there are drastically fewer residents, their personal preferences can be taken into account. Many residents find the transition from their own home to another house easier than a move to a larger, more institutional facility. Living in a traditional house appeals to many residents. They can sit in the backyard or on the front porch. Additionally, they can eat in a cozy dining room instead of a large dining hall.

Visitors may like the home-like atmosphere, too. Likewise, instead of navigating a large facility to visit their loved one, it’s more like visiting them at home. Residents may have more freedom to go out shopping or go for walks in the neighborhood.

High Staff-to-Resident Ratio

The staff-to-resident ratio in a residential care home is much higher than that at an assisted living facility. Usually, there is one caregiver for every three or four residents. A high staff-to-resident ratio means that patients get quick, personalized care and a stronger relationship with their caregiver. In the same vein, residents see the same faces every day instead of a rotating staff that changes all the time. Caregivers get to know their patients’ needs and personalities.

Attractive Cost

A residential care home usually costs about half of what a nursing home costs, although remember that it probably won’t offer the specialized medical care that skilled nursing facilities offer. Therefore, while costs do vary, in most states, residential care homes are comparable to assisted living facilities, at about $3,500 to $4,500 per month. The monthly average cost of an assisted living facility is $4,300, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. However, the small size, high staff-to-resident ratio, and personalized care may make residential care homes much more attractive than traditional assisted living facilities.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff