Residential care homes instead of assisted living facilities

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Choosing residential care homes instead of assisted living facilities

Wondering about choosing residential care homes instead of assisted living facilities for your family member?  This question is valid, and when you are choosing a place for your loved one, your decision greatly affects the quality of their lives.

There are a few things that you need to consider to decide between a residential care home vs. an assisted living facility:

  • Similar license, same process:  A licensed assisted living facility holds the same license by the state of Texas as a licensed residential care home.  DADS – the Department of Aging and Disability Services – requires all facilities to go through the same process to become licensed.  The difference in the license is the number of beds that a residential care home has, which is 14 beds or less.  Most residential care homes will house 6 or fewer residents while assisted living facilities can have 50-100.
  • Different environment:  Because an assisted living facility is larger, the residents who live there will have ranges of abilities depending on their health conditions.  Some assisted living facilities will divide residents with dementia in their own area of the facility in order to provide specialized services.  A residential care home serves a smaller population and could have a mix of residents as well.  However, many homes will serve only residents with the same conditions, ie:  only dementia residents, only hospice residents, etc.
  • Staff ratios:  Most care homes will have a ratio of one caregiver to every 6 residents while assisted living facilities will have one caregiver for every 8-10 residents.  If your loved one needs more care, a residential care home will provide you with better ratios.

When choosing between these two types of senior living options, take time to visit a few of each type of residence.  Ask the following questions:

  • What is the staff to resident ratio?
  • What experience does the staff have with (my loved one’s condition)?
  • How many other residents are here with (my loved one’s condition)?
  • Do you have a referral for any families that live here?

These questions can give you a good idea of what experience your loved one will have in that environment, and help you make the best decision possible.


Have any questions about this article?  We’re happy to help. Call us – A Caring Home with Friends Residential Care Home, at 972-785-7951, or stop by for a visit! Contact us today.

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