In North Carolina, an assisted living residence is defined as “…any group housing and services program for two or more unrelated adults, by whatever name it is called, that makes available at a minimum, one meal and house-keeping services and provides personal care services directly or through a formal written agreement with one or more home care agencies.” Included under the umbrella term of “assisted living” are licensed adult care homes. The homes listed in this section are all licensed adult care homes. It is important to know that there are different types of assisted living residences.
Adult Care may be the answer for the older person who is not able to live independently, but who does not need nursing home care. Commonly referred to as “Rest Homes” or Assisted Living, Adult Care Homes are licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADL).
Two types of Adult Care Homes serve older adults. Family Care Homes (FCH) are small homes that provide care for up to six people in a family-like setting. These homes are often found in residential communities and have around-the-clock or live-in staff that prepare meals, supervise medications and provide help with dressing and other needs. Homes for the Aged (HA) are larger facilities, serving seven or more people. They, too, provide assistance with meeting the residents’ daily needs, and they have staff on duty 24 hours a day. Some nursing homes have Home for the Aged beds on site for those who do not need nursing care. Often, these HA residents have priority for the nursing home beds if the need arises.
Adult Care Homes have an administrator who is responsible for managing the facility and a supervisor-in-charge (SIC) who oversees resident care. Aides provide assistance to the resident. The number of aides on duty is determined by the number of residents. Nurses are not required in adult care homes, although some have nurses on duty.
The county Department of Health and Human Services monitors Adult Care Homes at least bi-monthly and may be contacted if a resident or family member has a concern or complaint about the care being provided. Under North Carolina’s Adult Care Home Bill of Rights, all residents are to be treated with respect, consideration and full recognition of their personal dignity and individuality. The Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman (an advocate for the residents) and the local Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee work to see that these rights are respected.
The cost of adult care varies from facility to facility, ranging from $1,400 to $4,000 a month. This includes three meals daily, activities, transportation, laundry, personal care and the supervision of medications. A few facilities require an additional entry fee. For those on limited incomes, Special Assistance (SA) may help cover the cost of adult care. Residents receiving Special Assistance receive a small Personal Needs Allowance monthly to cover the cost of personal items. Contact your local Department of Health and Human Services to find out if you are eligible.
Some Adult Care Homes only accept “private pay” residents who are able to cover the cost of care themselves. Others accept those who are private pay as well as those who receive Special Assistance. All services provided in the monthly rate should be included in the contract.
How to Apply
All people applying for Adult Care are required to have an FL-2 form; a physician authorized medical form, describing residents’ care requirements. This form may be obtained from the facility administrator or the county Department of Health and Human Services. If public assistance is needed, the person seeking assistance applies at the Department of Health and Human Services in the county where he/she lives. Otherwise, the resident and the facility simply enter into a contractual agreement. Some facilities require a deposit.
A guardian must sign the contract for residents who have been declared legally incompetent.
Life in an Adult Care Home
The daily routine in adult care homes should resemble, as much as possible, routines followed when living independently. Activities are offered and residents are encouraged to participate. Some residents are able to leave the home on their own to go on walks. Most are able to participate in organized activities outside of the home such as occasional shopping trips.
Upon admission, the home will provide the resident with a copy of its policies on smoking, visitation and other matters. Private pay residents may leave the facility to visit with their families as they wish. Those who receive Special Assistance may leave for up to 30 days at a time.
Assisted Living Options in Haywood County
Arrowhead Cove, 100 Silver Bluff Drive, Canton, NC (828) 648-2044
Haywood Lodge, 251 Shelton Street, Waynesville, NC (828) 456-8365