Find Residential Care Homes Near Me
What Is Assisted Living Near Me?
When an aging loved one can no longer manage daily tasks without assistance, it might be time to consider a residential care home. Care homes — also known as assisted living homes, board and care homes, or adult family homes — are a great alternative for seniors who want a similar level of care as assisted living facilities, but in a smaller, home-like setting. They are located in residential neighborhoods and provide residents with a private or semi-private bedroom, home-cooked meals, non-medical supervision, and support with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, personal grooming. Care homes typically house fewer than 20 residents (including staff) and offer a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio than other forms of senior group living.
How Do Residential Care Homes Compare to Other Senior Care Options?
When choosing a senior care option, there are several potential solutions other than residential care homes. Here is a brief comparison of some of the other most common types of senior living:
Assisted living facilities offer a similar level of care as residential care homes but in a larger community setting. For instance, rather than a room, residents enjoy their own small, private apartments. Similar to a care home, assisted living facilities provide 24/7 ADL support from trained staff, meals, and non-medical supervision. Assisted living residents also enjoy access to a wide range of amenities, such as activities and special events, housekeeping, transportation, on-site exercise rooms, beauty salons, libraries, etc. Assisted living is a great option for older adults who need extra support throughout the day (but don’t require constant medical supervision) and want to maintain a sense of independence.
Also known as retirement communities or senior living communities, independent living communities are an excellent option for seniors who can still manage their daily basic living needs independently. Residents live in a private apartment or cottage and enjoy access to various services and amenities such as housekeeping, dining, transportation, and more. Many independent living communities also offer a variety of leisure activities, wellness programs, beauty services, and even adult education opportunities. It is a good option for seniors who want to socialize with their peers, don’t need daily care assistance, and want to trade the responsibility of maintaining a home for a more carefree lifestyle.
Memory care is specialized care for those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive issues such as dementia. Memory care facilities provide a safe and secure environment where trained staff can closely monitor the health and well-being of the residents. Memory care facilities offer a similar level of care as assisted living facilities (i.e., ADL support, meals, housekeeping, etc.), but with increased supervision and personalized programs, activities, and events designed to stimulate cognitive activity (such as music, games, and crafts, etc.). They are best suited for seniors who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and need daily personal care and supervision, but otherwise don’t require medical care.
In-home care (sometimes called companion care, home care, or non-medical home care) is a supportive care service that allows seniors to safely and comfortably age in place at home for a longer period of time. Professionally trained caregivers typically help aging adults with activities of daily living (ADLs), meal preparation, medication management, as well as provide transportation and companionship. Generally, families hire caregivers to visit the home for several hours each day or a few times a week, depending on their loved one’s needs. It can be a good option for seniors who only need light assistance in managing their daily affairs and don’t require 24/7 supervision.
Adult Day Care Centers
Adult day care centers offer a safe, stimulating environment for seniors with physical or cognitive impairments or chronic health conditions. Trained staff assist with ADLs, arrange activities, and (if licensed to do so) medical supervision. Adult day care centers usually operate during normal business hours, Monday through Friday — although some offer additional services during evenings and weekends. Services vary between day care facilities, including the level of care offered. In general, a center will specialize its services to primarily focus either on social interaction, medical care, or memory care. Adult day care centers serve as an important source of respite for family caregivers, allowing them to take a break from caregiving duties while ensuring that their loved one still receives appropriate care.
Nursing homes (also called skilled nursing facilities) provide the highest level of care out of all senior living options. Unlike most other forms of senior living, nursing homes are licensed to provide medical care and are for individuals who need skilled medical support and 24-hour supervision. Some nursing homes offer residential, long-term care, while others specialize in short-term rehabilitative services (such as after a hospital discharge). For example, a senior who normally lives in a residential care home might be temporarily transferred to a nursing home after surgery but move back into their care home once they recover.
|Assisted Living/Care Homes||Independent Living||Memory Care||In-home Care||Adult Day-Care||Nursing Home|
|Assistance with ADLs|
When Is a Residential Care Home Right for Your Loved One?
Whether or not a residential care home is a good fit for your loved one will depend on their care requirements and personal preferences. Like assisted living, residential care homes are for seniors who need assistance with ADLs and regular supervision but otherwise require minimal medical oversight. The difference is that care homes cater to seniors who prefer to live in small, close-knit households rather than a larger apartment complex-like setting.
The question of when it is time for your loved one to move into a residential care home depends on several logistical, lifestyle, and safety factors. Often, seniors prefer to say in their homes as long as possible, but at the same time, you don’t want to wait too long and risk their safety and well-being. While every situation is different, here are some commons signs that it is time for your loved one to transition into a residential care home:
- They have difficulties with home maintenance and routine tasks. Things like lack of housekeeping, unpaid bills, or a decline in personal hygiene can indicate that your loved one needs additional support with ADLs.
- They are exhibiting diminishing mobility and stability. Frequent falls, trouble climbing the stairs, or difficulties standing/sitting to use the toilet are all red flags that your loved one needs to be moved to a safer environment.
- They are showing changes in behavior. Be on the lookout for symptoms like increased mood swings, abandoning hobbies, or the tendency to self-isolate. These can be warning signs of emotional health concerns.
- They are exhibiting declining memory and cognitive skills. Signs of memory loss or cognitive decline — for example, difficulties managing their finances or missing appointments — are another indication that your loved one needs assistance.
- They are mismanaging their health needs. Mixing up medications or improperly managing chronic conditions (like diabetes) is another major red flag that your loved one needs to move to a more supportive environment.
- You are unable to provide the level of care they need. If you don’t have the resources to provide a safe and environment — or caregiving becomes so stressful that it’s affecting your own health and well-being — it’s time to transition your loved one to a residential care home.
Keep in mind that a residential care home isn’t the best choice for everyone. For example, your loved one might want to live in a larger community where they can have their own apartment. In that case, an assisted living facility might be a better fit. Meanwhile, someone diagnosed with mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease will need specialized care provided by a memory care community.
Our Senior Needs Assessment Quiz will help you get started by determining if a residential care home might be the right senior living option for your loved one.
What Level of Care Is Provided With Assisted Living?
Services may vary depending on the facility’s level of care (and state regulation), but care homes generally provide:
- 24-hour support/supervision
- Assistance with ADLs (such as dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, etc.)
- Medication management
- Nutritional meals and snacks
- Housekeeping laundry services
- Transportation to appointments, shopping, etc.
- Community and social activities (though usually more limited than larger communities with dedicated activity staff)
- Some facilities may also provide hospice and palliative care
In most cases, care home facilities are not equipped to handle more intensive care needs (such as late-stage dementia or serious health issues requiring 24/7 nursing supervision). This is one of the reasons why potential residents undergo a thorough needs assessment before moving into a residential care home. The assessment process (which generally includes a medical assessment) helps the staff determine if their facility can accommodate your loved one’s cognitive, health, and personal care needs.
How To Select an Assisted Living Facility
So, what should you look for in a care home? Ultimately, you want a place that does more than just provide for basic care needs. After all, one of the draws of residential care homes is that they provide a more close-knit, family-like setting than other senior living options. As such, here are some key questions you should be asking to help you evaluate different living facilities:
Quality of Care
- How many residents are there?
- What is the caretaker to resident ratio for each shift?
- What kind of training do caregivers and staff have?
- What ADL support services do they provide?
- If your loved one has a specific diagnosis (diabetes, Parkinson’s, etc.), is the staff able to provide appropriate care?
- Can staff administer medications?
- How do staff handle difficult behaviors?
- What type of needs assessments do they require before move in?
- What type of safety measures do they have in place (in the event of severe weather, a fire, etc.)?
- What is the basic monthly fee?
- What different levels of care are available and at what rates?
- Is there a deposit or entry fee for new residents?
- How far in advance will families be notified about cost changes?
- What is their process for handling payment issues/disputes?
- What financing options does the facility accept (LTC insurance, Medicaid, etc)?
- Will your loved one have a private or shared room?
- How often are rooms cleaned?
- Do they have transportation for medical appointments?
- Do they arrange enrichment field trips for residents?
- How do they keep residents engaged and well-socialized?
- What building amenities do they offer (i.e., activity rooms, secure gardens, etc.)?
- Are they able to accommodate different food allergies, dietary restrictions?
Keep asking questions until you feel satisfied that you understand all the options available to you. If possible, try and meet with another family who has a loved one in the community and get their opinion. Also, visit the appropriate state regulatory agency (usually the health department) to look up the property and review their survey or inspection reports for issues that could impact your loved one.
During the actual tour, watch how staff members interact with residents and see if they offer personalized attention. Is there a sense of rapport and community among different residents? Do they seem happy and well-cared for? Examine how well the property is maintained and ask if your loved one can try a sample of their cooking. Also, walk around the surrounding area to get a feel of the neighborhood.
Researching and touring multiple care homes near you or your loved one can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Fortunately, a local care advisor can provide personalized guidance throughout the entire process. They will help you figure out financing options and go on tours to provide an expert opinion and make sure that key questions get answered. This will ensure you select a quality care home that meets your criteria for your loved one to feel happy and well-cared for.
Transitioning an Aging Parent or Loved One Into a Residential Care Home
Initially, older adults might be unsettled at the thought of moving into senior living. They don’t want to lose their independence or move away from their family community. However, thinking ahead can go a long way toward easing the transition and ensuring a positive outcome. Your loved one can participate in finding the right residential care home for their lifestyle needs, helping them feel more in control of the process. It is an important decision that needs to be handled with empathy and respect.
Realize that you will need to have multiple conversations with your loved one about moving into senior living — sometimes over the source of weeks, or even months. Start by openly addressing your concerns about their current living situation. If they live with you, be candid about how their care requirements impact you and whether you can ensure their safety and well-being.
After introducing the topic, allow your loved one a few days to process their initial thoughts and feelings before bringing the subject up again. Make sure to carefully listen to their objections and fears. Maybe they are afraid of not being able to make new friends. Or they are concerned about being forced into a routine that they do not like. Your loved one needs to feel that they have a say in the decision-making process to ensure they continue to have a lifestyle they enjoy while receiving the care they need.
Work with your loved one to assess their current living expenses and cost of care and compare that amount to the average cost of local care home communities. A residential care home can be a more affordable option than something like in-home care when you consider that your loved one won’t have to handle expenses like property taxes, utilities, groceries, home maintenance, transportation, etc.
Also, make sure to consult with a senior living advisor to find possible benefits or financial assistance your loved one might be eligible to receive. An advisor will also help you work through different scenarios that may arise and how they may impact your loved one’s long-term financial situation.
Once they have agreed, help your loved one downsize their household in preparation for moving into a care home. You want to ensure that they can bring their most precious treasures into their new home. If possible, begin shifting some of these items into their new room at the care home beforehand so that space feels more familiar when they arrive. A local care advisor can also help with the moving process.
Above all, be patient, remain positive and be understanding throughout the entire process. Moving can be a stressful experience, and it might take some time for your loved one to feel at home in their new environment. Stay in touch and check in with caregivers to make sure your loved one doesn’t feel alone. Keep a positive mindset throughout and use humor to lighten the situation when appropriate. After your loved one has settled in, you can transition out of the caregiver role and back to being their family.
How Much Do Residential Care Homes Cost?
The monthly fees for a residential care home can run anywhere from $2,500 to over $6,000, but most costs run between $3,500 and $4,500 per month. Location plays a large role in determining the cost due to factors like differing state regulations, the average cost of living in the area, etc. Other price factors include property amenities, the level of care your loved one requires, and whether your loved one wants a private room or is OK with having a roommate.
However, one program that can’t be used to pay for residential home care (in most cases) is Medicare. In general, the services offered by care home facilities are classified as “custodial care,” which means they aren’t medically necessary services performed by licensed nurses. That said, under certain circumstances, Medicare will help seniors pay for skilled healthcare services provided in a residential home care setting — but there are limitations. Coverage is limited to up to 100 days after the resident is discharged from a hospital and care must be performed by a licensed nurse. Moreover, the service must be medically necessary (not just assistance with ADLs).
Generally, seniors and their families will have to cover at least some of the cost of a residential care home out of pocket. Funding might come from personal resources like retirement accounts, investments, savings, etc. However, there are also various assistance programs available that can help defray the cost of nursing home care. For example, VA benefits, home equity loans, life insurance conversions, long-term care insurance, and Medicaid. A senior care advisor can provide guidance and resources for your location.
Find Residential Care Homes Nearby
Finding the right residential care home for your loved one isn’t as simple as googling “care home near me.” After all, physical proximity is only one of the factors you need to consider. As we’ve seen, you also need to think about the level of care services, cost, amenities, etc. Moreover, care homes are intimate, family-like communities, so you want to ensure you find a place where your loved one will feel welcome and be able to make friends.
However, it is unlikely you will have the time to research and personally tour every single residential care home in town — especially if you live in a different area than your loved one.
Fortunately, local Assisted Living Locators® care advisors are available to help. Unlike national placing agents, Assisted Living Locators® are senior care experts who live and work within their local community. They are familiar with the residential cares homes in their area and can help guide you through finding the right placement for your loved one — even if it is in a different city or state.
FAQs About Residential Care Homes Near Me
Residential care homes are small, assisted living communities where residents receive non-medical support with activities of daily living, meals, and transportation in a family-like setting.
Independent living is for seniors who don’t require assistance with ADLs and want to trade the responsibility of maintaining a home for a more carefree lifestyle. Residential care home facilities are for seniors who need support with ADLs or 24/7 supervision and want to live in a small, family-like community.
A residential care home is for seniors who need assistance with ADLs. Residential care is generally not equipped to safely care for seniors with mid to late-stage dementia. Memory care facilities are specifically designed to provide extra security and specialized care seniors with memory loss, dementia, or other cognitive issues need.
The monthly fees for a residential care home can run anywhere from $2,500 to over $6,000 per month, depending on a variety of factors. A local care advisor can help find residential care homes near you that fit your price point for both the short and long term.
Residential care homes provide non-medical supervision and assistance with ADLs such as bathing, dressing, grooming, walking or transferring, and medication management. Care homes also provide housekeeping, transportation, family-style meals, and offer a more intimate, family-like experience.
To start, look for residential care homes near you that provide all the services your loved one needs, are well-maintained, in a safe neighborhood, and where residents are healthy, calm, and engaged. A local care advisor can help you with the evaluation process to ensure your loved one is placed in a quality facility where they will feel at home.