With so many different options for senior care available, it can be very easy to get confused. One option that many families aren’t aware of is adult foster care. Adult foster care isn’t a standard term, and so it can be difficult to define, but generally it is a home where a small number of senior adults live and receive assistance with their daily tasks. Adult foster care is a good option for many seniors who need living assistance. So if you are asking "how do I find adult foster care near me" - read on to find out more about adult foster care and how it can help the senior in your life.
What is adult foster care?
The term adult foster care can be confusing at first, as foster care is typically a term used with children. Adult foster care is an environment where senior adults live in a home and receive assistance from professional caregivers with personal tasks as well as household chores. Adult foster care homes are similar to assisted living facilities in that they typically do not provide medical care on site to their patients. These facilities are located in residential areas, and there are typically five or fewer adults living together. Adult foster care is sometimes referred to as a residential care homes, personal care homes, or by other terms, depending on your location. These homes typically have to be certified by the Department of Social Services, but this varies by state. For example, Michigan, Massachusetts, Oregon and Minnesota all have different adult foster care home requirements.
Who is a good candidate for adult foster care?
Adult foster care is a great service for adults who need help with some of their daily tasks and don’t feel safe or comfortable living totally on their own, but also want to maintain some independence and flexibility with their routine. The ideal candidate for adult foster care does not need daily medical assistance, although they may suffer from a chronic condition or need general health monitoring. They also are comfortable living in a social situation, but prefer small groups and like to develop close bonds with the people around them. Adult foster care is not a good option for those who need constant medical attention, or for very active, independent seniors who want more freedom and more of a senior community around them.
What services does adult foster care offer?
Since adult foster care homes are very small, the services they offer vary by location. The caregivers at each location often have the option to personalize their services to suit the residents in their home, which doesn’t happen as often with larger assisted living facilities. Typically, adult foster care homes offer either shared or private rooms to their residents, along with three daily meals and cleaning and laundry services. Residents receive help with tasks such as dressing, bathing, and personal grooming as needed. They also are typically given transportation to run errands as necessary, and they’ll sometimes receive help with exercise and medication reminders to keep them in good health. Family and friends are able to come visit as desired, and the environment is more casual and relaxed than in a larger 55+ community. Some adult foster care centers even offer enriching activities for their residents, such as game nights, gentle workout classes, and trips to see art, music, and cultural events.
How much does adult foster care cost?
The costs of adult foster care range pretty widely depending on location and services offered. In fact, the cost of adult foster care is more dependent on your location within the US than other types of senior services, because the facilities are in residential homes, so you’re essentially paying market rent as a base, and then adding the cost of services on top of it. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1500 and $3500 for basic adult foster care, with costs going up if the adult foster care home does offer any kind of medical or memory care services. Although this may seem expensive at first glance, it’s actually one of the cheapest types of senior care on the market. Some insurance plans, both long-term care insurance and health insurance, will cover part of the cost of adult foster care, but many do not, so be sure to check with your provider first. Some adult foster care centers may also offer payment solutions or payment plans, so be sure to ask about this if you’re worried about the cost of adult foster care.
What are the benefits of adult foster care?
There are many benefits to living in adult foster care for seniors. The first is that they’ll receive help with their daily tasks as needed, so they don’t have to worry about things like bathing, cooking, and cleaning on their own. Since the environment is one of a home rather than a big senior living facility, they’ll develop a rapport with the staff members in the home and feel comfortable with them quickly. The staff at adult foster care centers are trained to manage senior care and are very comfortable around seniors. Your senior will stay safe and cared for, so you won’t have to worry about accidents or injuries.
Another benefit of adult foster care over other types of senior care is that the environment is very cozy and home-like. For seniors who are hesitant about transitioning into senior care, this can be a huge selling point. The spaces are generally much more comfortable and welcoming than you might find at a large senior living facility, and seniors may feel like they have more privacy because there are only a few people in the house. Because there are so few people in the house, the care is usually more flexible and personalized to the residents there. The seniors also have the opportunity to develop close social connections with one another. It’s very important for seniors to have these close relationships with each other, because social activity is good for both mental and physical health. The atmosphere also means that seniors can maintain more of their independence if they are able, and they can continue to enjoy hobbies and activities that they loved in the past.
Finally, many adult foster care homes are more practical for families than other types of senior care. Adult foster care is much more affordable than staying in a large senior facility with a long list of luxury amenities, so it’s ideal for families on a budget. The relatively relaxed nature of adult foster care means that families can also come visit their loved ones while they are staying in the residence as they please. Adult foster care centers are usually conveniently located in residential neighborhoods, so they’re easy to access.
What are the downsides to adult foster care?
There are a few downsides to adult foster care. The first is that there aren’t as many staff members on hand to manage the seniors as there might be in a larger assisted living facility. This means that sometimes the staff members may be very busy or overworked. This is something important to look out for when searching for the right adult foster care home. Another downside is that medical care is not offered at adult foster care centers. Because of this, patients in adult foster care centers will have to go off site for their checkups and routine testing, as well as for any treatment they might need. Luckily, staff is typically able to provide transportation for seniors to the doctor and to run any other errands they might need.
Another downside of adult foster care is that sometimes the rooms are shared, and the general close quarters of living in a house with three or four other seniors may be overwhelming for shy seniors. For seniors who want a lot of privacy, it’s important to make sure that they find a house where they can have their own private room and time to themselves. Alternatively, for seniors who are very social and like to spend time in big groups, it may be more effective to find a larger assisted living location.
What should I look for in an adult foster care facility?
When looking for an adult foster care home, there are many different things to consider. The first is the quality of the facility itself. It should be in good condition, and it should be safe for seniors to live in, with good lighting, no steep stairs, and hand rails available where necessary. The spaces should be large enough for your senior to move around easily, and the furniture and decor should be clean and comfortable. Additionally, there should be plenty of windows to let in natural light, and seniors should have access to outdoor areas.
The staff’s expertise and quality of care is another important thing to look at when searching for adult foster care. The facility should be certified by the Department of Social Services (depending on your state’s requirements), and the staff should all have training and experience in senior care. They should be personable, friendly, and comfortable being around seniors and helping them with their needs. The food served should taste good and be nutritious, and the quality of the cleaning should be good as well.
The location is another important factor to consider. The adult foster care home should be located in a safe residential neighborhood, ideally one that’s quiet, peaceful, and pretty. It’s also very helpful if the facility is close to a market and any other places where your senior might want to run errands, as well as to their doctor’s offices. It’s convenient if the home is located close to the senior’s family and friends as well. It’s important for the seniors to be able to maintain a good relationship with the people in their lives, and it’s very helpful if family can come over and visit. The price of the adult foster care facility is another important factor to consider. The facility should fit within your budget realistically, and it’s helpful if your long-term care insurance covers some of the payments. It’s also very helpful if the facility offers payment plans if your family is struggling.
How can I talk to my senior about adult foster care?
Many seniors get unhappy around the idea of going into an assisted care facility of any kind, which makes this a difficult conversation to have. It’s important that your senior understand the facts about adult foster care so they know what it is, and that they are treated with compassion and respect. Since adult foster care offers more independence than a traditional assisted living facility, seniors may be more open to it than they would be to assisted living. Make sure your senior understands that they will most likely be more comfortable receiving help with their daily tasks, and that the flexible nature of adult foster care will allow them to see you and other family and friends frequently.
It’s also very important that your senior is able to come with you to tour potential adult foster care homes. They should feel comfortable with the employees that work there and get a chance to see what the environment is like before moving in. They should help with the final decision-making process, as they will be much more likely to want to go to an adult foster care home if they picked it out themselves and it is a place where they feel safe and comfortable. It may take time to get your senior comfortable with the idea of adult foster care, but it’s something important to discuss and think about as your family members get into old age.
How do I find adult foster care near me?
If you’re looking for adult foster care services in your area, there are many resources available to help you find one. Your regular doctor may be able to suggest some adult foster care facilities if they are experienced in caring for seniors. You can also contact the Department of Social Services in your state and specify that you are looking for registered adult foster care homes. If you aren’t able to find a fit using either of those resources, you should also keep in mind that at SeniorLivingHelp.org we can help you find adult foster care services and homes in your area.