An adult family home offers an alternative for seniors who no longer want to live alone, but do not want to live in a nursing home. Residential home care offers seniors a degree of freedom, along with the security of 24-hour supervision in a small, safe environment. Adult homes typically offer assistance with day-to-day activities, including cooking, laundering, cleaning, specialty care, respite care and transportation.

Things You Will Need
  • Business license

  • Zoning approval

  • Training

  • CPR certification

  • First Aid certification

  • License

  • Assistant

  • Staff

  • Beds

  • Meal plan

Contact your state’s Department of Social and Health Services to learn the requirements for opening an adult family home.

Verify that your home is properly zoned to be an adult family home by contacting your zoning department.

Submit to the required training, which will include a general or basic training course and a food handling safety course. In the basic training course, you will learn how to protect the health and safety of your residents and caregivers, how to problem solve between team members and residents, and how to promote respect, privacy, independence, dignity and patient’s rights. If necessary, submit to an HIV/AIDS training course. Much of the training can be found online on your state's DSHS site. Submit to specialty training if you plan to service residents with dementia, mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Obtain the necessary business licenses and permits such as CPR and First Aid certifications.

Purchase fire, theft, homeowners and liability insurance for your adult family home. If you will offer medical services, you may need to purchase malpractice insurance.

Get your home inspection-ready. Develop meal plans, transportation plans, admissions criteria and activities for your residents. Provide clean beds and amenities, as laid out by your DSHS office. At this time, apply for your home care license.

Hire a qualified assistant to act in your place in the event that you must leave the home. Hire compassionate, capable employees to cook, clean, transport and administer medications. Utilize a background screening company to thoroughly screen each employee. Submit your staff to the state-required training.

Market your adult care home by submitting it to your state's DSHS website. Develop brochures to give to local hospitals and clinics and ask satisfied residents to act as referrals.