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As with care communities, residential care homes go by several names, depending on where you live; they are also commonly called personal care homes, adult family homes or adult foster homes. These homes are smaller in size—typically anywhere from 1-5 residents—and may provide a more homelike environment for residents. Costs for care homes are substantially lower than for skilled care facilities, and often less than assisted living facilities.

Residential care homes typically provide all room and board accommodations such as meals, housekeeping and laundry. These homes also provide non-medical personal care, activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Each state differs regarding licensing requirements, and some have classifications for different levels of care that require additional training or experience. Often the owner of the home acts as both the resident manager and the care provider. In many cases, particularly where clients have complex care needs, there are also additional care providers in the home.

Often these homes are family residences that have been converted to meet state licensing requirements for a care home. Residential care homes provide a smaller, more intimate care setting with more of a family atmosphere. Amenities are more limited in these care homes, but most provide some level of activities and entertainment. Residential care homes are an alternative for those that prefer a more private, low-key lifestyle in a smaller traditional home setting.

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