The ideal blend between receiving personal care in a private home and a full-service residential care facility, an elder care home is a residential community for seniors, oftentimes built in a traditional single- or multi-family home, where up to 10 elderly adults can receive room, board and help with activities of daily living from professional caregiving staff.
Elder care homes are intimate places where seniors are given the supportive care they need while making new friends, socializing and engaging in the community. Many homes offer community activities, such as:
- Field trips and outings
- Social groups
- Hobby clubs
- Exercise classes
Elderly residents live in their own rooms, which can encompass anything from a simple bedroom and bathroom, to more elaborate suites with small kitchens and extra bedrooms, depending on the level of care required.
Who Lives in an Elder Care Home?
An elder care home is a great option for seniors who can no longer live safely alone in their own homes, but who may not require full-time skilled nursing care, like in a nursing home. Elder care homes are available for seniors as a planned move (i.e. "We'll go when the house sells in the spring") or unexpectedly (i.e. "Mother has not done quite as well after her hip replacement and should not be living alone anymore").
Most residents are beyond age 65, widowed (although couples may certainly go) and may not want to live with family. Many still drive short distances and may be able to manage their own finances and daily schedules.
What Makes an Elder Care Home Different?
There are several ways an elder care home is different from other types of long-term care options including number of residents, size of facility and level of care provided. Most elder care homes provide hospitality services, such as:
- Meal service
- Linen changing
- Home maintenance
They will also offer personal care services to help residents take care of the everyday chores of life, including:
- Personal hygiene
- Taking medication
Elder care homes are designed to be small, usually limited by law so that no more than 6-10 residents can live there at a time, and nursing care may or may not be provided on site.
How Much Does an Elder Care Home Cost?
The cost of an elder care home can vary widely as differing levels of amenities will have different costs based on size and location of the home. Higher levels of care will cost more. Some nursing functions may be included in the regular monthly fee, such as foot care or adaptive devices.
A stay at an elder care home is typically paid for with the personal savings of a resident and his or her family. Medicare, the government health care program for adults age 65 and older, does not cover the costs of an elder care home.
However, Medicaid, the public health care program for low-income citizens, may cover some of the costs for seniors who meet income requirements. Former servicemen and women and their spouses may also be able to receive veteran’s benefits to pay for long-term care.
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Written by senior housing staff writer.