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What is the Difference Between Assisted Living and a Residential Care Facility?

Today, there are a lot of living options available for those who have reached their later years. There are a lot of people who are ready to make the transition to an elderly community. Perhaps the grind of taking care of a home has simply become too much. In that case, there are multiple options available. Two of the main choices are assisted living and residential care. What are the differences between the two? How can someone figure out if one option is better for them? Here are a few key differences.

An Overview of Assisted Living Centers

One of the most popular options is an assisted living facility. This is an option that has been specifically designed for seniors who are unable to live on their own. Every facility offers a variety of personal care support services, making it easier for people to handle their activities of daily living. A few examples of services that an assisted living facility may provide include:

  • Assistance with showering and bathing
  • Help preparing and cooking meals
  • Assistance going to the bathroom
  • Guidance when it comes to managing medications

It is also important to understand that these facilities can vary widely in size. For example, there are some assisted living communities that only have a few dozen beds. There are other assisted living centers that could have as many as 300. Furthermore, one of the main benefits of switching to an assisted living center is that there is a professional staff available at all hours. This includes nights, weekends, and holidays.

Therefore, loved ones are never going to be left unattended in this facility. Many assisted living homes are broken up into different levels of care. For example, some assisted living facilities may entirely be independent. There are other assisted living facilities that provide access to skilled nursing care that can manage a variety of chronic medical conditions to give your loved one the highest quality of life possible.

In addition, people who live in an assisted living facility will be able to socialize with one another. There is usually a central dining room. There are also social activities that are designed to keep residents socially active and entertained. The goal is to keep the mind active prevent the deterioration of neurological faculties.

Finally, there are plenty of transportation services available as well. These transportation services can take residents on errands, take them to the airport, or even take them to medical appointments it may take place outside of the facility. Because there are lots of options available, it is important to take a look at a few assisted living centers to find the best one to meet those specific needs.

What About a Residential Care Facility?

Even though residential care facilities are similar to Assisted Living centers, there are several differences. In general, a residential care facility is going to be significantly smaller. They are also specifically designed for individuals who have a wide variety of medical problems. For example, residential care facilities may be designed to give end of life care in certain situations. There are some residential care facilities that might be directly attached to the hospital. Therefore, they do not provide the same level of Independence as an assisted living center.

Even though it is true that the staff to resident ratio at a residential care facility is going to be significantly smaller, it is also true that residential care facilities are designed for people with different levels of need. If someone is still able to be active and live on their own, then it may be better to go with an assisted living community. There are lots of social activities and events, such as outings and field trips, which may be better for a better overall quality of life.

On the other hand, there are some people who are simply not able to do this anymore. They may require care around the clock. If that is the case, then it may be better to go with a residential care facility. Keep in mind that there are different levels of residential care facilities as well. Therefore, one might be better than another in certain situations.

Find the Right Living Situation

It is critical for everyone to remember that there are plenty of options available for senior citizens who have reached their later years. Two of the most popular options are assisted living facilities and residential care locations. There are situations where it may be difficult to decide which one is best for those specific needs. Anyone with questions or concerns should reach out to a professional for help. That way, they can find the best assisted living or residential care home for their needs or the needs of their family members.

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