What Is An Adult Foster Home?

When elderly people or adults with physical disabilities are no longer able to care for themselves in their own homes, adult foster care may be an option. Adult foster homes are single-family residences that offer 24-hour care in a home-like setting. The goal of an adult foster home licensee is to provide care and services to residents while supporting their independence, choice and right to make decisions.

Adult foster home providers may help with eating; dressing; bowel and bladder care; bathing and grooming; walking, which may include getting in or out of a bed or a chair; and behavioral issues; as needed. They perform general tasks including laundry, medication management, and meal preparation and making transportation arrangements. Adult foster homes provide the opportunity for residents to reside in a safe and caring family-like environment.

A wide variety of residents are served in adult foster homes, from those needing only room, board and minimal personal assistance to those residents needing full personal care, or skilled nursing care with the help of community-based registered nurses.

For older adults who wish to live in a more independent, homelike environment, an adult foster care home can be attractive. One study finds that “moving to an adult foster care home—at least in contrast to moving to a nursing home—can be an experience that allows many older adults to see themselves in control and that such perceived control is associated with higher satisfaction and activity following the transition.”