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"Residential care" usually - in my experience - means a "home" where a few residents, normally about 5-7, people live with care givers. I just came across one that had 16 residents with a mens wing and a womens' wing and it was the third one opened by a specific family. They are making "small" care a bigger business but they do it very well so it's a good thing.

Generally, there is NO skilled nursing care or rehabilitation provided but I've run across one or two owned/managed by RNs who opened their own homes to care for elderly and disabled people. Often they enter into agreements with physical therapists to come to the home, or they take residents there in a car or small van. These are generally good options for people who might not like crowds, who have mild to moderate dementia, who need more help than assisted living and who don't need a schedule of rehabilitation(physical therapy) or are not bed ridden. I find that these smaller homes are not as able to get people to doctor's appointments or other activities outside the home due to limited staff and vehicles like mid-sized busses - they're just too expensive and the insurance is probably a killer too.

I did meet one lady, an RN who had 5 women in her home - ONLY women and she was prepared to care for them until they passed away. She had all kinds of medical equipment for monitoring etc. She felt that the change to a nursing home just because one was close to death was cruel. So - if you're considering this for your elder, visit the facility OFTEN, ask about the skills and training of EACH staff member and ensure that they have an RN on call at all times.

Nursing homes are also called skilled nursing care or rehabilitation centers.
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