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Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly

When you or a loved one no longer feels safe living at home alone, there are senior care options to consider. One of the more popular choices for seniors who don't have the medical needs to enter a nursing home is to go to a residential care facility. Finding a residential care facility in the area can be overwhelming, and it's much easier to work with a referral service. From finding a program to strategizing how the program will be paid for, it takes time to get settled into a residential care facility.

Life Inside a Residential Care Facility

A residential care facility is designed to promote independence for all residents. Meals are prepared three times a day, and residents are given choices when it comes to meal planning. Each person lives within their own unit that has a lock and key. This means that the unit is accessible to the resident, and to the care providers who work in the facility. Programming is offered for residents, and many enjoy a very active life. There are trips out into the community and activities within the facility for residents to enjoy. A perfect resident for a residential care facility is a person who does not need hands on care, but one who will benefit from hot meals and the socialization of living among peers.

Many residents in a residential care facility are very independent and some even continue to drive. Each apartment generally has a basic cooking setup, and residents can choose to heat up meals or cook a simple meal on their own. The activities offered keep residents occupied, and cater to the specific needs and wishes of the residents who live there. For people who no longer want to live at home alone but are still very independent, a residential care facility is the answer. Residents have independence, but they also have people around at all times if there is an emergency. Staff will check on residents periodically to make sure everyone is safe and doesn't need any help.

Paying for a Residential Care Facility

In 2014, the median cost for residential care facilities in the United States was $3,500 a month. Take into consideration that the average residential care resident often brings in roughly $19,000 a year, there is an obvious need to figure out how to pay the remainder of the bill each month. For some people, this means dipping in to their large savings account and paying privately for the care. For others, this means spending down a small amount of savings and then applying for long term care through Medicaid. For individuals who invested in long term care insurance over the years, the policy may cover residency at a residential care facility. It is important to understand that Medicare does not cover the cost of long term care, whether in assisted living or a nursing home.

Is There a Residential Care Facility Near Me?

If you are interested in living at a residential care facility, it's time to talk with an area expert. With the various residential care facilities throughout the area, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. Sit down with a loved one and talk about what you are looking for in a residential care facility. You can go on tours at various facilities and ask questions. It's important to know what area of town you want to live in and to talk with residents about what living in the residential care facility is really like.

While you will get a similar level of care at any residential care facility, it is all the things that are difficult to measure that you want to try and learn about before  selecting a residential care facility. You should discuss:

  • Whether you can pay for the residential care facility through Medicaid once your savings are depleted.
  • The recreation program that is offered to residents. While a facility may boast a vibrant schedule, you'll want to ask to see recreational calendars for yourself.
  • What residents think of the food. When you are no longer going to be cooking your own meals, you'll want to know what others think of the food being served. If you have dietary restrictions, its important to learn how the facility will cater to your needs.
  • How residents feel about the facility. Residents are going to give you the inside scoop on what it's like to live in any facility. Take the time to talk with residents during a meal time to see what it's like on an average day.

As you consider your options, talk with our professional referral team by calling our helpline. We are ready to talk to you about the different residential care facilities in the area. No matter what you are looking for, we have the skills necessary to match you with the right program to meet your needs. We work within a large network of residential care facilities and we know the details you are looking for when it comes to senior residential living options in the area. You don't need to make the big decision of moving to a residential care facility alone, we are here to help you through the process.

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Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

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