Care homes are small, residential communities for seniors who need some assistance with their day-to-day tasks. RCFEs typically provide a similar care level to assisted living facilities, but the communities are significantly smaller. Most care homes house ten or fewer residents, compared to dozens or even hundreds of residents in assisted living communities. The small size can be a welcome feature for seniors who are shy or prefer to keep to themselves. Residents of care homes may also receive more personalized attention than residents of larger communities.
Benefits of Residential Care Homes
Residential care homes offer some unique benefits thanks to their small size and care models. We explain some of the most prominent benefits in more detail below.
- Personal Attention: Because care homes are significantly smaller than assisted living facilities, residents get more one-on-one attention. Though care homes employ fewer staff, they have more time to dedicate to each individual resident. It also reduces the chance of a health change or illness slipping through the cracks.
- Independence and Autonomy: Like assisted living facilities, care homes allow seniors to receive the care they need while maintaining independence in other areas of their lives. Care homes also typically offer less activity programming than different types of senior living. This gives residents more freedom to pursue their interests on their own terms and not be limited to the day’s activity schedule.
- Family Involvement: Because of the smaller staff size and number of residents, residents’ families will have more direct access to the home’s director or managers. Having a direct relationship and access to the home’s upper managers can provide families with peace-of-mind and make it easier for them to stay involved with their loved one’s care.
- Location: Care homes are typically converted single-family residences, so they tend to be located in residential neighborhoods. Seniors who have always lived in rural and suburban areas may prefer this environment over the area in which one would find a large apartment complex-style community.
- Safety: Many residential care homes are outfitted with emergency alert systems and/or provide personal emergency alert devices for all residents. Having these extra measures in place can help seniors stay much safer compared to aging in place independently.
Care homes and assisted living offer a similar level of care. The main difference is the size of the communities. Care homes typically have 4-10 residents, while assisted living communities can be home to hundreds of people, though size varies. Whether one of these types of senior living is better for you comes down to personal preference, as the level of care is comparable. A large assisted living facility with a robust social calendar will likely be a good fit for seniors who want to remain active and busy. For those who are shyer or prefer to spend time independently or in small groups, a care home may feel more comfortable.
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