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Adult Foster Care – 2010

Overview

The number of Americans over age 65 is expected to more than double from 40 million to over 80 million by 2040. Studies show that older adults would opt to age in place if it were a viable option. This fact sheet, created by AARP, addresses the option of adult foster care (AFC) as an alternative to nursing homes for older people who wish to age in place but need assistance with daily activities.

Key Points

The report provides a summary of AFC as a means for aging in place, the advantages of AFC programs for adults who wish to live independently as they age, funding for AFC, barriers and restrictions on expanding these programs, and how to improve services offered through AFC.

Other report highlights include:

  1. AFC can be less costly than nursing homes for both state and the federal governments, in turn making them a less costly option for older adults wanting to age in their home communities.
  2. There are nearly 19,000 licensed and certified AFC homes nationwide with room to accommodate 64,000 residents.
  3. AFC’s ability to provide long-term care may be limited by state laws that prohibit AFC staff from administering certain nursing care services.
  4. Medicaid Home and Community-Based services (HCBS) waiver programs are intended to make AFC services more affordable for seniors. However, many HCBS waiver programs have long waiting lists that increased significantly (18 percent) from 2006 to 2007.

How to Use

The report offers insight regarding adult foster care as an alternative to institutional care that may better suit the needs of seniors who want to remain independent as they age. Recommendations on how to best fund services provided by AFC homes through federal and state waiver programs can be found through this report. In addition, the advantages and barriers of AFC homes are highlighted in this report, which can be used to raise awareness of local AFC programs.

View full report: Adult Foster Care – 2010 (PDF – 43 KB)