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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

Adult Care Homes

    Adult care homes are residences for aged and disabled adults who may require 24-hour supervision and assistance with personal care needs. People in adult care homes typically need a place to live, some help with personal care (such as dressing, grooming and keeping up with medications), and some limited supervision. Medical care may be provided on occasion but is not routinely needed. Medication may be given by designated, trained staff. These homes vary in size from family care homes of two to six residents to adult care homes of more than 100 residents. These homes were previously called "domiciliary homes." Some people refer to them as "rest homes." The smaller homes, with 2 to 6 residents, are still referred to as family care homes. In addition, there are Group Homes for Developmentally Disabled Adults, which are licensed to house two to nine developmentally disabled adult residents.

    Adult care homes are different from nursing homes in the level of care and qualifications of staff. There are over 1,200 adult care homes in North Carolina. They are licensed by the state Division of Health Service Regulation (Adult Care Licensure Section) under State regulations and are monitored by Adult Home Specialists within county departments of social services. Facilities that violate licensure rules can be subject to sanctions, including fines.

    In addition, homes must also respect the rights of residents as outlined in the North Carolina General Statutes. While the Division of Health Service Regulation Adult Care Licensure Section and the Department of Social Services' Adult Home Specialists are responsible for assuring the homes' compliance with these rights and the state Licensure law, North Carolina also enjoys a well-established Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The Ombudsman Program advocates on behalf of adult care home residents and provides a variety of services and assistance to adult care home residents, families, and providers.

    To help low-income families pay for the cost of care in adult care homes, North Carolina operates the State-County Special Assistance Program. Personnel at county departments of social services can answer questions about the use of these funds.


    Last updated June 28, 2013