The term “residential assisted living” or RAL is fairly new.
Essentially, RAL is assisted living or memory care services provided in the comfort of a residential home. RAL homes usually have ten residents or less. Most people relate assisted living to the large “big box” facilities that are popping up all around us and have never heard of, or considered a smaller, more intimate option like a RAL home for their loved one.
Below are the top five benefits of residential assisted living homes.
Safety: RAL homes are safer than larger assisted living facilities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates the fall risk to be 50% lower in RAL homes than in larger facilities. Residents don’t have to walk long distances for everyday activities since they reside in a home as opposed to a massive facility.
Fixed Cost: Most RAL homes have a simple, all-inclusive monthly rate. The cost per month for care is fixed which means that as the care level increases, families won’t have to spend more money. The monthly cost at large facilities vary from month to month and increases significantly based on level of care and amenities provided. A fixed monthly cost makes it easier for families to budget and plan.
Individualized Care: RAL homes are able to provide quicker and more individualized care. Large facilities can have resident to caregiver ratios of 20:1 during the day and that ratio can double at night. Caregivers can easily be overworked and your loved one may have to wait a while until the caregiver has free time to help them. RAL homes typically have a 5:1 ratio during the day and 10:1 at night. When your loved one needs assistance with their activities of daily living (bathing, personal hygiene, getting dressed and even going on walks in the neighborhood) a caregiver is always nearby to help them out with whatever they need.
Unique Daily Activities: With a smaller group, RAL homes provide much more personalized activities that your loved one actually enjoys instead of a generic, repetitive schedule. The lower resident to caregiver ratio enables RAL staff to learn more about your loved one and what activities they like. Examples include music therapy, aroma therapy, pet therapy, gardening, movies and other fun activities. This will help them stay active and stimulate their mind on a daily basis.
Personalized Menus: RAL homes can also design menus around what residents like to eat. As with most quality facilities, RAL staff track special diets, restrictions and allergies. The in-house chef will spend time with each resident to get an idea what type of foods they enjoy and create more personalized menus. Having good quality, tasty food is one of the highest-ranking items by residents. Additionally, your loved one won’t have to travel all the way to the cafeteria to eat – meals are served at the dining table.
To sum up, Residential Assisted Living is a safer, more intimate option when it comes to assisted living. With a lower resident to caregiver ratio, your loved one will receive more individual care, meals and activities. They won’t have to travel long distances and won’t have a rotating staff that may not care for them on a consistent basis.