Seniors who need specialized care, such as those with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, can find assistance with daily tasks in Residential Care Facilities (RCF), also known as Board and Care Homes. Many aging adults and their families prefer RCFs because they are smaller communities with a home-like atmosphere and more one-on-one care, which is often more beneficial for resident health and safety. Typically serving between six and fifteen residents, these homes provide private and shared rooms with prepared meals, custodial care, medication administration, and living activities assistance. With many similarities to Assisted Living communities, families are unsure where to begin researching RCFs in their local area. Here’s a checklist of key amenities and features you should look for when searching for a Residential Care Facility for your loved one.
Community: Even though RCFs are non-medical facilities, they must meet the state’s care and safety standards and pass regular inspections by the Department of Social Services. In addition to a safe and well-maintained community with high-end amenities, an RCF should provide the highest quality of non-medical care. Be sure to tour at least five different care homes to get an understanding of what you like and dislike about each community. OurParents Senior Living Advisors (SLAs) can help you find a RCF that meets your state’s regulations while providing the best services and accommodations for your loved one.
Staff: RCFs feature either live-in or shift caregivers. During your tour of the home, observe communication between the staff members, and take note of the interaction between staff members and residents. You should also pay attention to the staff-to-resident ratio even though most RCFs only care for a small number of patients at a time. Some RCFs may employ an on-site registered nurse (RN), or the home may have an RN make a weekly visit to assist with concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the staff’s experience, background, and references.
Services: As non-medical facilities, Residential Care Homes provide seniors with safe living environments which include private or shared rooms, prepared meals, medication management, custodial care (such as housekeeping and laundry services), and assistance with daily activities (including bathing, using the bathroom, and health care management). Because the staff-to-patient ratio is higher than with other types of elderly care communities, RCF residents experience more personal care. RCFs offer full care until end of life with some communities offering hospice care. You can ask an SLA to help you find an RCF in your area that provides hospice services if your loved one’s needs change while living in an elderly care community.
Specialized care: Many RCFs provide specialized care and skilled nursing services for those with acute or chronic diseases. Those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and other illnesses find RCFs their best option for an elderly care community. The smaller, tight-knit communities offer an opportunity for residents to receive personalized care that meets their needs. However, not all communities offer round-the-clock, specialized services for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Speak with each community’s director to determine the hours of operation for specialized care.
Other amenities: Select RCFs offer transportation services to nearby attractions, money management services, security, and financial assistance. Outdoor gardens or courtyards, scheduled activities that match your loved one’s interests, and other community extras are also nice amenities to consider in your selection.
With the correct community and caring staff, your aging parent or loved one can find an RCF that meets their health care needs. Contact a Senior Living Advisor for more information about specialized care options available at RCFs in your area.