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Legal Definitions of Senior Care Types of Residences

The following definitions are used on this site to distinguish between different levels of care. Many states have unique requirements that do not work well with a nationwide directory. For this reason, each listing has a legal type of care field. In Pennsylvania, they offer a level of care that is like assisted living but without the option for medication and financial management (see below) called a Personal Care Homes. Users must search for PCHs as assisted living in the national search feature as the 2 are grouped together in our database. Please Make sure to check the legal type of care facility before contact any service provider.

Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE): Also known as an assisted living facility, they provide 24-hour non-medical care, supervision, and assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and grooming. Facilities may provide incidental medical services (including medication assistance) under special care plans as well as hospice or dementia care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC): CCRCs provide long-term uninterrupted continuing care that includes independent living units, residential care/assisted living services, and skilled nursing care, usually in one location, and usually for a resident’s lifetime. Residents typically sign a contract for lifetime care. This setting provides activities, help with meals, housekeeping, and other support services.

Michigan Definitions (Source)

Adult Foster Care Homes:  These facilities provide supervision, protection, and personal care to adults 18 and over who are frail, developmentally disabled, mentally ill, or physically handicapped that require supervision on an ongoing basis but do not require
continuous nursing care. Adult foster care facility includes facilities and foster care family homes for adults who are aged, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or physically handicapped who require supervision on an ongoing basis but who do not require continuous nursing care. There are four types of adult foster care homes.

  • Family homes for 1 to 6 persons: “The licensee is generally the primary caregiver and lives in the home. This is the only category where the licensee is required to live in the home. These homes are typically single family dwellings in residential neighborhoods or rural areas. The homes generally provide private or semi-private bedrooms, semi-private bathrooms and family style common areas for social, dining and recreational activities.”
  • Small group homes for 1 to 6 persons: “The licensee may be an individual, partnership, corporation or limited liability company. Staffing is provided on a 24-hour basis by the licensee and/or qualified staff. These homes typically are also single family residences as described above.”
  • Small group homes for 7 to 12 persons: “These larger homes vary greatly in design and accommodations. Many are large single family residences while some are uniquely designed multi-occupancy buildings with private suites or apartment-style living arrangements.”
  • Large group homes for 13 to 20 persons: “These homes tend to have the greatest number of variations in floor plan and accommodations. A growing number of them offer studios or private apartment-like units. Sometimes the units have kitchen efficiencies and private living areas. Some facilities are part of a community of several large group homes located on one piece of property. For example, some developments have “twin twenties” on one parcel of land. This means that two or more homes licensed for 20 or more are located on one piece of property.”

Homes for the Aged  (HA): Homes for the Aged are licensed facilities that provide room, board, and supervised personal care to individuals 60 years of age or older. Residents receive assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) and medication administration similar to an adult foster care home. They are licensed by the Michigan Department of Human Services, Bureau of
Children and Adult Licensing.

Pennsylvania Definitions

Pennsylvania offers a level of care between independent living and assisted living called a Personal Care Home.

Personal Care Home (PCH): A residence in which food, shelter, and personal assistance / supervision are provided for a period exceeding 24 hours, for four or more adults who are not relatives of the operator, who do not require the services in or of a licensed long-term care facility, but who do require assistance or supervision in activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. This includes dressing, bathing and food preparation. It does not include financial management or medication support.

Assisted Living Residence: Any premises in which food, shelter, assisted living services, assistance or supervision and supplemental health care services are provided for a period exceeding 24 hours for four or more adults who are not relatives of the operator, who require assistance or supervision in matters such as dressing, bathing, diet, financial management, evacuation from the residence in the event of an emergency or medication prescribed for self-administration.

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