Elder Homes: Family-Style Residences For Seniors

Elder homes, also known as adult family homes or care homes, are intimate, community-based alternatives to traditional long-term care options. Housing up to 10 residents at a time (some states limit homes to no more than six), elder homes provide 24-hour supervision and personal care to seniors.

These single-family houses are generally in residential neighborhoods and look like any other home in the area except that the interior has been specially renovated to meet the needs of seniors, with features like wheelchair ramps and barrier-free bathrooms.

Who Lives In Elder Homes?

Elder homes offer assisted living services to adults age 65 and older, who need some support with daily living and can no longer safely live independently. Residents who enjoy the elder home experience are usually those who prefer a family-type environment, where there is minimal turnover among residents. These are seniors who want to live in a community while enjoying the security of professional staff support. They also are ready to give up some of the responsibilities of living alone, such as cooking and cleaning.

Residents in elder homes may be challenged by mobility issues or minor memory problems. Others may be experiencing hearing and vision loss. Because elder homes are typically located in residential neighborhoods, they are often unable to accept residents who have severe dementia or Alzheimer’s, because the risk of wandering for the patient is too great.

What Services Are Provided In Elder Homes?

In addition to 24-hour supervision and assistance with activities of daily living, the following services are generally provided at elder homes as part of the monthly fee:

  • Three meals plus snacks served daily
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry services
  • Medication management
  • Assistance with self-care, including bathing and grooming
  • Recreational activities, such as outings to local malls and social groups
  • Transportation

How Much Do Elder Homes Cost?

The cost of living in elder homes varies significantly based on location and the level of care required by each senior. However, according to the 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, the national average cost for assisted living is $3,293 per month or $39,516 per year.

Medicare does not cover the costs of assisted living care in elder homes, so many residents pay for care using their own personal savings or those of a family member. Low-income seniors may be eligible to have their long-term care expenses covered by Medicaid if they meet certain requirements, and veterans and their spouses may also be eligible to receive Veterans Benefits that cover the cost of elder care.  

Find Elder Homes

Elder care homes began as a way to provide a comfortable, familiar setting for residents with the goal of providing a family-like environment in a cost-effective way. Browse our comprehensive directory to Find Elder Care Homes near you.

Written by senior housing staff writer.