By Richard Holstein
An adult family care home is in the assisted living category of retirement living. The services are the same and they have to abide by the same laws as an assisted living facility. The only difference is that an adult family care home can only have up to 5 residents.
True to the name, these types of homes provide family-style living in a private home. The 5 full time residents are elderly or disabled adults who are not related to the owner of the home. The residents can either share a room with another resident or they can have a room all to themselves.
The owner who lives in the home provides-by way of a contracted nurse or outsourced caregiver- the same services that are provided in a larger assisted living facility and include but are not limited to:
• Social and recreational activities
• Daily health monitoring
• Residential supervision
• Medication disbursement and/or assistance by a nurse or contracted caregiver
• Respite care (short term care of a senior meant to provide relief to a caregiver)
• Transportation arrangement and escorting to doctors' appointments
• Assistance with daily activities like walking, bathing, housekeeping, eating, and moving from one room to another, etc.
• Healthcare planning and organization
Just like and assisted living facility, an adult family care home may contract an independent skilled nurse or employ a skilled nurse to take vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, respiration and pulse. Keep in mind however, you are allowed to bring in your own home healthcare provider to administer these services.
These homes are licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration and require that residents must be able to perform with assistance, daily activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. The residents are not allowed to live in an AFCH if they are bedridden or if they need 24-hour supervision. They also can not have stage 3 or 4 pressure sores. These are minimum requirements and residents must meet other conditions as outlined in the Florida regulations.
Like a larger assisted living facility, if you end up needing more health care than allowed by law for an adult family care home, you may be asked to move on to a nursing home.
There are pros and cons associated with both assisted living facilities and adult family care homes. It would seem that one of the benefits of living in an AFCH would be that there is more of an intimate family-style atmosphere. In addition to that, these homes are typically more affordable than an assisted living facility.
Once you decide exactly which type of assisted living situation you want your loved one to settle into, it might be a good idea to talk to an elder law attorney. There is usually a bunch of paperwork to fill out before you can move in.
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