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Residential Care Homes

Many seniors can mostly take care of themselves as they advance into old age, but they may not require the constant supervision and monitoring provided by nursing homes. Seniors who are independent enough to mostly care for themselves are better suited for residential care communities.


Residential care communities are for seniors who need at least a little help in their day-to-day lives. Many seniors who live in residential care communities are still very able-bodied, but they may require assistance with cooking, cleaning and other household tasks. Residential care communities share several similarities with retirement communities, offering cottages, homes and apartment style units for residents with various social and medical needs. Many of these communities offer group exercise classes, shopping trips and other events which benefit residents socially and emotionally. In addition to providing trained medical personnel and various healthcare resources, some residential care communities include trails and other facilities for seniors who maintain active lifestyles. The goal of residential care facilities is to provide the support and resources seniors need as they age through their golden years.

The cost of boarding in a residential care facility varies according to the size and scope of the facility. There are scores of residential care facilities across the United States, and different communities provide varying levels of programming, services and staffing for their residents. Newer apartment-style communities with top-notch amenities are likely to be more expensive than older, smaller communities with less attractive residential units. Generally speaking, the cost of living in a residential care community is slightly more than half of the cost of living in a comparably sized nursing home. An average price range for residential care is anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month. Seniors who are willing to have roommates can stay in residential care facilities for roughly half of the usual price.

Medicare does not pay for residential care services, and Medicaid usually only pays for medical costs incurred in these facilities. In other words, the majority of the cost of staying in a residential care facility must be paid by the residents and their families.

As you look at the various residential care communities in your area, keep in mind that these facilities are not regulated by the federal government. Most states have specific guidelines that regulate operations at residential care and assisted living communities. Make sure you're aware of your state's specific regulations as you find the residential care community that best fits your needs.