Whether you are looking into long term care for yourself or a loved one, the options can be overwhelming. Facilities range from small assited living homes to the larger chain facilities. You may even be hesitant about the move due to fears concerning cost, the level of care, and simply the fact that leaving one’s own personal home can be a little scary. Having some solid information about all of your choices can make the decision process much easier.
Put Your Fears to Rest
You may know it is time to seriously consider an adult home, but it is easy to put off the search. You are not alone. According to recent surveys, 85% of the families in this situation are putting off looking into long term care. Most Americans have a negative impression of what assisted living is. This only adds to their fears.
Families often cannot agree on the best option for a loved one. Small assisted living facilities seem the most like home, but they worry that they won’t provide the same care as a larger operation. In reality, small assisted living homes may offer more individual care in a more comfortable setting than bigger homes. Another fear is that they won’t be able to afford these living arrangements or they simply have difficulty finding information on their options.
There is really no need to fear this stage of life. Once a family does the necessary research and chooses the best facility for their needs, they find many benefits to the new living arrangement. Most patients experience a good overall quality of life once moved. Their social well-being along with their emotional well-being improves as does their nutrition. In fact, many find that their relationship with family members improves once the stress of facing these choices is behind them.
Small Assisted Living Homes
Large nursing facilities are not your only option when it comes to an adult home. Small assisted living facilities provide seniors with personal care within a home-like setting. Those that need care often appreciate this type of environment over a hospital-like setting.
Small assited living homes offer care to small groups of people over the age of 60. You may also hear them referred to as residential, board or care homes. Most families are surprised to discover these residential homes in the midst of ordinary neighborhoods. They are simply private homes that have been converted, as well as staffed, for senior group living.
What to Expect From Residential Homes
Within a smaller care facility like a residential home you will find several single or double rooms rather than actual apartments. These often look more like a normal bedroom than the hospital type room that most people expect. This is often comforting to those that were hesitant about leaving their own personal house. You’ll also have a common living room, dining room, and outside lawns and porches to enjoy. Residents usually share a bathroom. Home cooked meals, housekeeping, and personal care are all provided for you or your loved one.
The Care Provided by Smaller Facilities
Many families worry that choosing a smaller facility means that they are forfeiting care. In reality, these smaller assisted living homes offer a higher level of care than a bigger facility can. With fewer residents, the staff is able to get to know each individual on a more personal level. This makes the patient more comfortable, and the staff will be able to recognize any changes in their health or behavior quicker than in an over populated home.
Each residential home offers different services, but most will provide a higher level of care when it comes to help with daily activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and moving about. The staff will also supervise the distribution of medications as well as incontinence care. You’ll even find a certain level of medical care in addition to transportation to doctor appointments and nearby activities.
The Cost of Small Assisted Living Facilities
The average cost of a residential home is approximately half what you would pay at a larger nursing facility, and it is much more affordable than many of the assisted living communities. Costs fluctuate between $1500 and $4500 per month, but this will depend on the care level you or your loved one will need as well as the home’s location, quality, and whether you have a single or shared room. They may not accept Medicare or Medicaid, but private payments, long term care insurance, and VA Aid is usually welcome.
Who Can Benefit From Residential Care Homes?
Any senior that do not like the idea of a large, institutional type of nursing home will enjoy living in a smaller care facility. In these homes, older adults live as much of a normal life as their health permits. They are in a home-like setting, and they are free to have friends and family visit, go shopping, dine out, or go for walks. Anything that can make them feel like a useful member of the group is encouraged. Simple tasks like baking cookies, helping set the table, or participating in a hobby can make seniors feel like an important asset. Residential homes are ideal for anyone that is no longer able to live independently, but are not ready for the traditional nursing home atmosphere.
Seniors that are experiencing dementia or suffer from Alzheimer’s do very well in smaller facilities. The homey environment combined with fewer people reduces their anxiety and stress. The staff members that care for them will become familiar to them and understand their own individual needs.
Having a little more knowledge about all of your long term care options will help make your decisions for yourself or a loved one much easier.