Consumer Law at Your Fingertips

Health & Personal Care

Adult Residential Care

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) regulates adult residential care providers including:

  • Adult day care programs.
  • Adult family homes where 3 or 4 adult residents receive care, treatment or services (not just room and board, but not more than 7 hours of nursing care per resident per week). See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 88.
  • Community-based residential facilities where 5 or more residents receive services such as room and board, supervision, support services, but not more than 3 hours of nursing care per resident per week. See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 83.
  • Facilities for the developmentally disabled, where 3 or more residents receive treatment and services to help them maintain and increase their skills (work, social, daily living, etc.). See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 134.
  • Home health aides, hospice aides, and nurse aides. The department maintains a list of nurse aides who are eligible to work in Wisconsin licensed nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals, hospices, or intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded. See Wisconsin Statutes section 146.40 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 129.
  • Home health agencies provide visiting nurse and therapeutic services, on an occasional or part-time basis, to persons in their homes. See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 133.
  • Hospices provide care to terminally ill persons, in the person’s home or in another setting. See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 131.
  • Nursing homes, where 3 or more residents receive 24-hour services including more than 7 hours of nursing care per resident per week. See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 132. The Wisconsin Nursing Home Administrator Examining Board and the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing regulate nursing home administrators under Wisconsin Statutes chapter 456 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter NHA 4.
  • Residential care apartment complexes (also known as assisted living facilities)in which residents of independent apartment units receive room, board and up to 28 hours per week of supportive care, personal care and nursing services. See Wisconsin Statutes chapter 50 and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapter HFS 89.