Residential care programs provide a longer term treatment option for patients who are medically stable but have not been able to reach a significant degree of psychological stability or control of their eating disorder behaviors.
This level of care may be recommended if intensive outpatient or partial hospital programs have been ineffective. Residential treatment may also be recommended after inpatient hospitalization to provide additional time for recovery in a structure setting.
The length of stay may vary, but averages 30-90 days.
These settings are live-in facilities that provide 24 hr. care 7 days a week. There is constant medical supervision and monitoring of health conditions but the patient is expected to be medically stable and require no intensive medical intervention.
At this level of care, some psychiatric impairment is expected and structured programs are provided throughout the day that offer physical and psychological healing. Usually there are a wide variety of groups that include psychoeducation, various types of psychotherapy, coping skills, nutrition and body image. Additional adjunctive therapies such as art, dance and movement, music and equine may also be available.
The facility is usually staffed by skilled multidisciplinary team composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionist, physicians, nurses, social workers and other professionals.
Most programs offer a holistic approach, but some may have a particular approach, such as 12 step. Some programs will focus on a particular population- for instance, children, adult women and adolescent girls over the age of 12, athletes, Christian-based population or individuals with co-occurring addiction or mood/psychiatric disorders.