As more elderly people grow too frail to maintain homes and find they need help with daily tasks, group "sheltered homes" can provide a less costly alternative to nursing homes. Licensed operators of such homes provide independent living with 24-hour monitoring, congregate meals, housekeeping and help with daily tasks like eating, bathing, grooming or using the bathroom.
Any home with at least four but fewer than 12 unrelated elderly residents can be certified by the Maryland Office on Aging as sheltered housing, provided the home meets state requirements. Thirteen group homes now operate in Anne Arundel. Also, nine board and care homes operate in the county, each offering meals and assistance to fewer than four residents.
But finding a vacancy in group and licensed board homes can be difficult, and costs can run as high as $2,000 a month with little public assistance available.