WHAT IS A?
A Group Home is a private residence for unrelated persons living in a family or community setting, generally with the aid of a caregiver.
Some are run by the government and some are privately owned. The group usually shares a common characteristic such as:
- Developmentally disabled
- In recovery from drug or alcohol addiction
- Youths (with behavioral problems, criminal records, or history of abuse or neglect)
- Children in the foster care system
- Seniors citizens
The Group Home can house anywhere from three to sixteen residents, a resident manager, and staff. Rooms are both shared and private. Common areas such as the kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, and community rooms are shared.
Group Homes can be inexpensive, however, some are quite luxurious and costly.
FOR THE ELDERLY
A Group Home for older people can offer a range of services from a rented room, all the way through the continuum of care. Over time, it can include independent living,, home health, memory care, and hospice. Location, cost, services, licensing, personal care, transportation, entertainment, and meal options can all be part of the package. Pets are allowed in some homes.
Residents form a tight or loose community that gathers in the kitchen for meals and in the common areas for group activities and entertainment. For those who are incapacitated, health care workers may come to the house for checkups, minor medical treatment, and physical and occupational therapy. It is possible to remain in the same group home with the same friends as health needs change.
The advantage of a good Group Home is that it can feel like a real home. The same staff shows up every week, meals are planned and posted, special diets are respected, and the rooms feel like the rooms in a house, rather than in an institution. Access to the outside is provided either on a porch or with a landscaped yard.
Universal design may be incorporated for the wider doorways, roll-in showers, brighter lighting, and lever door handles. Security may be increased with call buttons and keypad codes for the entry doors. Floors are usually tile or wood to allow for easy navigation for walkers and wheelchairs. Each home is different.
GROUP HOME REGULATION
Licensing is determined at the state level. The range of vocabulary to describe the licensing level of a group home might include “assisted living”, “assisted care living facility”, “residential care home”, “personal care home”, “assisted living–memory care”, assisted living with assistance”, and “assisted living without assistance”, or “independent living”. Each state licensing agency has its own definitions to describe different levels of care.
GROUP HOME COSTS
A Group Home may charge a basic rate on a month-to-month basis. A surcharge may be added for residents who require help with the(ADL’s), daily medication delivery, incontinence, and dementia. Amenities can range from very basic to highly luxurious, and costs increase exponentially with the quality of service provided.