How To Choose A Residential Care Facility In Denver

To schedule a free consultation with a Senior Advisor, please call Marnie Biln, (303) 222-5281 or e-mail The consultation is free to seniors, and their families and the senior advisement and placement services are also free. 

Throughout the Denver metro area – from Thornton to Centennial, Arvada to Aurora, and parts in between – there are hundreds of residential care facilities sprinkled throughout neighborhoods.

Drive by quickly, and you won’t even know that you just passed a residential care facility, because they’re single family homes that look like all of the houses around them. Except that they’ve been converted into assisted living facilities that can accommodate 6-10 residents. Also known as “personal care homes” and “board and care homes,” these “micro” assisted living facilities offer a smaller, more homey setting.

Below are questions to ask when choosing a residential care facility.

Cost And Pricing Tiers
What is the monthly cost of assisted living in a residential care facility, and what does it include? Can extra services be provided for an extra fee?

Accepts Medicaid
Does the residential care facility accept Medicaid, and if so, is there a private pay, spend-down requirement? Knowing your options ahead of time could prevent a “double-move,” if you run out of resources and need to rely on Medicaid.

Care Provided
What type of care is provided in the personal care home? Find out about dressing, grooming, bathing, using the toilet, incontinence care, assistance with medications, transfers (from wheelchair to bed), assistance with walking, light memory care, and more.

Room Choices
What room choices are available in the residential care facility, and how much do they cost? Private rooms with private bathrooms? Private rooms with shared bathrooms? Shared rooms with shared bathrooms?

Meals And Snacks
Most residential care facilities provide three meals per day, plus snacks and beverages, but are the meals all prepared in the home? Can you request special meals and/or substitutions? Can you help in preparing meals, if that’s something that you enjoy? How do the meals taste?

Some residential care facilities offer group transportation for outings and may be able to arrange individual transportation, too.

What are the other residents like who live in the home? How active and engaged are they? What are your opportunities for socialization and making friends?

Staff To Resident Ratio
What’s the staff to resident ratio, during the day and at night (e.g. 1 staff member to 6 residents)? At night, is at least one staff member awake and available to help residents?

Where is the residential care facility located? Do you like that part of town and the neighborhood? Is the facility close to your family, friends, and favorite places?

Activities And Amenities
What types of activities does the assisted living facility offer, on-site and through outings? How many activities are there per month? Are there nice, peaceful outdoor spaces for you to enjoy – in the front yard, side yard, or back yard?

Pets Allowed
Are pets allowed in the residential care facility? If so, what types of pets? Are there breed or size restrictions?

Smoking Or Non-Smoking Facility
Does the residential care facility allow smoking? If so, where are the designated smoking areas, and is supervision required?

Ratings From The Department Of Health
What’s the residential care facility’s health rating from the state? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) licenses and regulates all assisted living facilities in Colorado, including personal care homes. The health department conducts annual health surveys of each facility and also tracks occurrences and complaints. This information is available to the public, and it would be well worth your time to check out the track records of the residential care facilities you’re interested in. Click here to find out health department ratings for residential care facilities in Colorado.

Lease Terms
What lease terms are required? Most, but not all, residential care facilities only require month-to-month leases, which can be canceled by the resident or the facility with 30 days notice.

Contact A Senior Advisor For Help In Finding The Right Community Or Facility
If you would like help finding the right community or facility for yourself or a loved one, please contact Senior Advisor, Marnie Biln, (303) 222-5281. Her senior advisement and placement services are free.

Marnie helps seniors and their families find communities and facilities in the Denver metro area and Front Range, including: Denver, Aurora, Littleton, Englewood, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Denver Tech Center, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Rock, Lakewood, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Thornton, Northglenn, Brighton, Commerce City, Westminster, Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Boulder, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.

Click here to see a list of residential care facilities in the Denver metro area.

For more information on senior living options in Denver, see these related topics:
How To Choose An Independent Living Community In Denver
How to Choose An Assisted Living Facility in Denver
How To Choose A Memory Care Facility In Denver
How To Choose A Multi-Level Care Community In Denver
How To Choose A Continuing Care Retirement Community In Denver
How To Choose A Nursing Home In Denver
How To Choose An In-Home Care Agency In Denver