Eating Disorder Treatment

What is Residential Treatment for an Eating Disorder, and The Difference Between Residential and Inpatient Care.

I will start by saying that I will use the term “Resi” often through this post and future posts. “Resi” is a shortened term  that refers to a specific level of eating disorder treatment. “Residential Treatment” is a level of care where you are still boarding in a controlled environment. It follows Hospitalization (when necessary), AKA “Inpatient Care.”

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The two are often confused because Resi is in fact an inpatient treatment facility where ED sufferers go to seek intense 24/7 support. The only difference is the PATIENT aspect of inpatient. In Resi, we are not patients in a hospital. Our blood labs, pulse, blood pressure etc. are at this point stable ENOUGH to leave the hospital. In more rash terms, we are no longer dying.

So Resi is far more comfortable than hospital beds and IVs. Its sort of like a sorority house with a bunch of clinicians, social workers, nurses, doctors, and staff that all specialize in the mental and physical attributes of an Eating Disorder. Residential Treatment Facilities always require up-to-date lab work  from the potential client looking to go directly into Resi. Some will take lab work within 2 weeks, while others, such as Walden Behavioral Care, in Waltham MA, require labs within 24-hours of entry. Make sure you check the requirements before going in for an assessment.

Walden Eating Disorders Treatment Center is a Leader in Advanced Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge-Eating Disorders

There are a lot of options for residential care across the globe, and depending on what your insurance will pay for… you may get a good one or a bad one. Most Residential Facilities today are quite advanced. Over the last 10 years, Eating Disorders have really become mainstream. THANK GOD because before that… insurance companies didn’t even consider it a real problem. Unfortunately there are a lot of issues to still be addressed with insurance companies in the fight against eating disorders… but we will get to that in another post.

Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment Center, The Frozen Orange Society, Eating Disorder Recovery
An Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment Facility is located within an actually hospital setting. Typically, Inpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders can be found in the psyche wing of a hospital. The purpose is to have all the available resources needed to treat dangerous and life-threatening complications of an eating disorder. Inpatient is recommended when an assessment reports dangerously low blood levels – such as magnesium or potassium. Residential Programs for Eating Disorders will not accept clients until their physical assessment is no longer life-threatening (no longer patients). This typically means better blood work, better blood pressure, etc.

The Best Source to Find Inpatient and and Residential Treatment in My Opinion is through EdReferral. However, I suggest you first call you insurance provider for in-network options… as many companied have specific requirements and locations if you are seeking coverage.



One thought on “What is Residential Treatment for an Eating Disorder, and The Difference Between Residential and Inpatient Care.

  1. Thank you for the informative article about residential treatments for eating disorders. It’s cool to think that Resi, as you called it, is a lot like an inpatient treatment facility but you can get 24/7 support. Glad to know that there are ways for anyone with this disorder to get the proper treatment they need. I’m kind of interested to learn if there are any qualifications one must have before seeking this kind of treatment, or if it’s just a matter of a patient’s preference.


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