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Choosing a personal care home is critical for your family member’s health. There needs to be careful consideration taken before you start admitting your loved one into a particular facility. Have you toured the location yourself? What set of services do they provide? Do their staff have the professional competence to address your loved one’s health issues? Is their living environment safe and comfortable? All these issues have to be evaluated. We hope that this Fact Sheet will give you a detailed insight on your options which will help you make a sound decision for a family member of yourself.

1. What is a Personal Care Home

A Personal Care Home is a single home, building or group of buildings where personal services are provided to two or more adults not related to the owner or administrator by blood or marriage.

2. What are personal services?

Personal services are provided to an individual who needs help with the essential activities of daily living. These essential activities of daily living include assistance with eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, and supervision of medications.

3. How many residents can I have in my home?

The number of residents you can have in your home (i.e. your licensed capacity) is dependent on several factors. The home must provide a bathroom for every four residents and a tub/shower for every eight residents. The home must provide a living room, a dining area, a kitchen and a bedroom for all residents and any staff and family members who live in the home. The number of residents you can accommodate in each bedroom (up to a maximum of four residents except in Memory Care where the maximum is 2 residents per bedroom) is based on the size of the bedroom (at least 80 square of useable floor space per resident). Closet and bathroom space is not included in the square footage requirements. The home must also have the fire inspection, and this inspection can also determine how many residents you can have. Local requirements may also restrict you licensed capacity.

4. Will I be required to keep records?

There are several record keeping requirements. First, you must establish policies and procedures describing how you will operate your home. Second, you are required to maintain a file on every staff person and every resident. The home must also keep and maintain relevant documentation relating to the safe and efficient operation of the personal care home. The required paperwork is indicated in the Rules and Regulations for Personal Care Home, Chapter 111-8-62.

5. Where do I get residents for my Personal Care Home?

The Personal Care Home Program does not place residents in personal care homes. You are responsible for admissions into the facility.

6. What services are provided by a Personal Care Home?

Each personal care home must provide, room, three meals and snacks daily, activities, and the amount of personal care and supervision needed by each resident. Personal care includes daily awareness of the residents functioning and whereabouts, assistance in the activities of daily living. The home must provide laundry services and must arrange for or provide transportation services. A personal care home cannot provide nursing or other medical services or admit and retain residents who need continuous medical or nursing care.

7. What are the general requirements for a Personal Care Home?

Equipment and Facilities: A personal care home is required to meed safety standards. Handrails are required on all stairs, grab bars in bathrooms. Non-skid surfaces must be used in bathing areas. Water temperatures cannot exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Owners, Employees and Managers: Owners and all staff persons are checked for previous criminal history. Staff must have basic training in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medical and social needs and characteristics of the resident population, evacuation plans, resident rights, and the long-term care resident abuse reporting act; have a physical exam and TB screening; and 16 hours of continuing education yearly. A qualified staff person must be present and able to provide supervision to residents 24 hours oer day.

Food Service: Each personal care home must provide three nutritious meals and two nutritious snacks each day to residents. Menus must be posted and maintained for at least 30 days. The home must have a three day supply for non-perishable foods (including water) for emergency needs. The temperature of the refrigerator must be 41 Fahrenheit or below and freezers at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. A food service permit must be obtained for facilities serving more than 24 residents.

Health Care: A personal Care Home may not provide medical or nursing care as a service of the home. Residents needing such care must arrange for these services through other sources. The facility must provide 24 hour supervision of residents be capable of intervening in an emergency situation/

8. Are there other laws or ordinances that affect a Personal Care Home?

There are a variety of additional laws and regulations for personal care homes, depending on their size and location. Local zoning, fire safety, heating, and electrical standards must be met. If the proposed home is not served by public water and public sewer, the water supply and septic tank system will need to be evacuated and approved by the country Public Health Department. If the facility serves more than twenty-four residents, the facility must obtain a “Letter of Determination” from the Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division, Health Planning Unit.