Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a family-type home for adults?

A family-type home for adults is a type of adult care facility provided for adults who cannot or do not want to live on their own. They are private homes or apartments, either owned or rented by the provider. Care is provided in a family-type atmosphere.

The home is limited to up to four residents unrelated to the provider. For the purposes of the FTHA program, an operator does not require licensure to care for the operator's spouse, parent or parent-in-law, child or step-child. Up to two boarders, who must be living independently and do not require care, are also permitted, with prior approval of the local FTHA coordinator.

Who can live in family-type homes?

Residents are people 18 years of age and older who cannot or do not want to live alone but are still able to live in a home-like environment. They may be unable to maintain a home because of advanced age, physical or mental health, or developmental disabilities, but do not need the skilled medical and nursing services provided in nursing homes. Some may need supervision and assistance with personal care (such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and assistance with medications).

Residents are not confined to the home. They often go to treatment programs, medical or social day care or senior citizen centers, and take part in other community activities.

Who can operate family-type homes?

Family-type homes can be operated by anyone who enjoys helping others become as independent as possible. No specialized education or experience is required beyond homemaking skills and common sense. Operators must be "natural persons" or "natural person partnerships" rather than corporations, or limited liability companies.

What kinds of services do family-type homes provide?

Family-type homes provide:

  • Meals – three meals a day and a nutritious evening snack
  • Medication management assistance for those residents who need help with medications
  • Money management – residents manage their own financial affairs but can use a home-maintained account or may have the operator safely hold property or valuables.
  • Personal care as needed (such as bathing, dressing, and grooming)
  • Supervision
  • Social support – encourage residents to maintain ties with family and friends and participate in home and community activities
  • Housekeeping and laundry
How much does it cost to live in one of these homes?

Prices are not regulated by the state, so the cost to live in a family-type home may vary from home to home or region to region.

Family-type homes are small businesses and their operators can set their own rate and negotiate a rate with a resident (or their representative). Rates are documented in writing upon admission to the home.

Also, some operators accept the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit.

How do I pay to live in a family-type home?

Family-type homes accept residents who pay privately as well as those who receive public funding, such as SSI.

Residents who receive SSI can only be charged a specific rate as determined by the state and federal government. This rate tends to change yearly. In addition to the monthly rate, the resident receives a small personal needs allowance for his/her own use. Personal allowance monies cannot be used for rent.

The SSI rates for 2016 range between $961 and $999 depending on location. See the current SSI Congregate Care Chart.

If I go into one of these homes, do I have to give up all my money?

Residents who are paying for their care privately – those who are not receiving SSI – manage their own funds. They only pay the fee for living in the home. The remainder of their income or assets is theirs to manage as they see fit.

Residents who receive SSI and who use their SSI payment to pay the FTHA operator for care have the right, by law, to keep a specific part of their SSI benefit for personal needs. This is their "personal allowance" and can be used as they wish. Operators may not accept any of this money for the services required by regulations, such as meals, housekeeping, laundry, etc.

Both private pay residents and those on SSI are offered the use of a home-maintained account for their funds. The money in these accounts may not be co-mingled with the accounts used for the operation and maintenance of the home. The operator may also hold property or valuables for the residents.

For resident protection, operators are required to keep records and issue receipts when they hold residents' money or valuables.

What are my rights as a resident of a family-type home?

Regulations give residents certain rights and responsibilities. Operators must inform residents and substitute caretakers of these rights and post a copy of them where they are visible to all.

Resident rights include civil rights and religious liberties; courteous, fair, and respectful care and treatment; the right to privacy in communication, in their room, and in tending to their personal needs; the right to present grievances, individually or on behalf of other resident without fear of reprisal; the right to manage their own finances; the right to confidentiality regarding their records; not to be restrained or locked in room; ability to come and go from the home within reasonable hours; and others.

How can I find a family-type home for adults?

See the Find a Family-Type Home page for the names and address of each licensed FTHA in each county. Just click a county on the map or the county name in the alphabetical list to find the licensed FTHAs in each county. The listing will be updated on a monthly basis.

You can also contact the local social services district FTHA Coordinator to learn about FTHAs that may be located in a given county. See the listing of Local District FTHA Coordinators.

How can I start a family-type home for adults?

See How to Apply to Operate a FTHA.