Residential Care Homes: What You Need to Know
It’s easy to get confused about the different types of residential care facilities for older adults. You may wonder if a “residential care home” is the same as a “nursing home.” To add to the confusion, some residential care homes are one part of a larger community that offers more services as needed.
Here’s what you need to know about residential care homes.
What Are Residential Care Homes?
Residential care homes combine an independent environment with the ability to add support services as needed. They are sometimes called assisted living communities because you can get assistance as needed – unlike a retirement community.
Confused? We can see why! The terminology in this industry can often be hard to follow. But because most seniors want to live in the least restrictive environment, you must understand that there are differences among facilities.
Generally, residential care homes allow residents to choose among several different floor plans, which often range from single-room studios to two-bedroom apartments. These apartments are maintenance-free and include utilities. Some also offer housekeeping and laundry services.
The difference between a residential care home and a retirement community is that a residential care home (or assisted living facility) offers more medical and personal care services.
Types of Services Offered by Residential Care Homes
Please note that the services offered by assisted living facilities vary greatly. However, here are some services you should ask about when touring an assisted living community.
Meals: Some residents want to live as normal a life as possible when moving to a senior living community. They may want their own kitchen to prepare their meals as needed. However, some welcome the break from cooking. Ask if three meals a day are offered and ask to see the dining menu.
Transportation: Some senior living options offer covered parking for those residents with their own vehicles. However, you may enjoy being driven to the market and other places within the community by staff members.
Community events: Most assisted living communities schedule fun events that allow you to get to know other residents.
Wellness programs: Many senior living communities offer wellness programs to improve the body and the mind.
Support services: Finally, as people age, they may require more help, care, or supervision. For example, some need assistance with the activities of daily living, and others need reminders to take medications.
As those needs increase and the resident requires more medical services, they may be required to transfer to skilled nursing facilities.
What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?
As you can see from our description, residential care homes allow residents independent living. However, as those needs change, most find it preferable to stay within the same community. This concept is the basis for a continuing care retirement community.
While nursing homes of the past housed residents of many ability levels and needs, continuing care retirement communities allow you to move to different facilities within the same system. For example, you may find yourself in need of more medical care because of a recent fall. Memory care communities are available for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
To learn more about finding a residential care facility in your area, contact RUI. We have beautiful continuing care retirement communities throughout the United States. Our senior living advisor will help determine which level of care is best for you.
Key Takeaways About Residential Care Facilities
- Many seniors want to live as independently as possible.
- Some continuing care retirement communities offer levels of care that can increase over time.
- Ask for advice from your doctor and the retirement community to see which senior living option is best for you.