How To Choose Smaller Residential Assisted Living Homes

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Assisted living homes with 15 or fewer residents are often called group homes or family-style assisted living. Many people seeking an assisted living environment for themselves or a family member may not have investigated these homes as an option along with larger assisted living communities. Most of these homes offer the same services as larger communities, except in a smaller and more intimate setting where individual needs can be focused on.

If your loved one would prefer a smaller, home-like environment, you should consider a residential home when researching for assisted living. Some of these smaller homes have unique specialties including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease or related memory impairments, special dietary needs, and diabetic care. Many residential homes can also accept all levels of assistance, including hospice care, so that residents can remain in one place through their end of life stages. Please confirm the specialties and levels of care offered with individual assisted living residences.

Residents in these homes may enjoy participating in the preparation and serving of meals, housekeeping tasks, or gardening, plus a full array of fun activities, entertainment, and outings. Residents and families get to know each staff member well. The homes are usually nestled into neighborhoods, indistinguishable from surrounding properties.

Regulations governing these homes are the same as those covering larger facilities. A variety of agencies (county health department, social services, long-term care ombudsman) in most counties and cities provide significant monitoring of homes with four or more beds. As with all assisted living communities, it is important to visit the homes, ask lots of questions, and trust your instincts. A comprehensive guide to selecting a residence can be obtained through the Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living at www.ccal.org

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