Residential Care Homes for Seniors: Small Group Homes with Personal Care

residential care home

Seniors get personal care in a home-like setting

Assisted living isn’t the only housing option for an older adult who needs care. Another good option is a residential care home.

These places provide care to small groups of adults over age 60. They’re also commonly known as board and care homes.

You might be surprised to find these care homes in the middle of regular residential neighborhoods. They’re private homes that were converted and staffed for small group living. In California, 90% of these homes have 6 or fewer residents.

Residents can expect:

  • A single or double room (not an apartment)
  • Shared bathroom
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care



What kind of care do residential care homes provide?

Residential care homes provide a higher level of care than assisted living, but less care than skilled nursing facilities (aka nursing homes). The biggest difference is more personalized care and staff attention because there are few residents.

Each home may offer different services. Some provide a high level of care while others focus on the basics. It’s important to find out from each place exactly what they will and will not provide.

In general, most provide supervision and help with activities of daily living, like:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Moving around
  • Storing and distributing medication (but not administering)
  • Toileting and incontinence care

Some may also provide:

  • Some level of medical services, like giving medication
  • Transportation

What’s usually not provided:

  • Certain types of medical-level care, like tube feeding or treatment of open bedsores
  • The level of amenities and recreational activities you’d find in assisted living communities


How much does it cost?

On average, residential care homes are about half the cost of skilled nursing facilities and less expensive than many assisted living communities.

The cost can range from $1500 to $4,500 a month. It will depend on the level of care needed, the quality of the home, the location, and if the room is single or shared.

Residential care homes usually don’t accept Medicare or Medicaid. They accept private payment, money from VA Aid & Attendance, and long-term care insurance.


Who would enjoy living in a residential care home?

Seniors who hate the idea of a large, institutional-type living situation
In a residential care home, your older adult can live as normal a life as they’re able. They can go shopping, have friends and family visit whenever they want, go for walks, dine out, etc.

It’s a great option for those who can’t live independently, but hate the idea of an large institutional setting.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia
For people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, living in a smaller place with fewer people can reduce anxiety and stress. They’ll get care from a few staff members who can get to know their specific needs.


Recommended for you:
7 Senior Housing Options: Which One Fits Best?
Long Term Care Cost Calculator
Senior Housing Experts Help Seniors Find the Perfect Place to Live


By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Sources: CANHR, California Registry
Image: Turning Point


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