Supportive Living Facilities

Supportive Living Facilities, also known as Adult Care Facilities, serve those with disabilities, including physical, mental or behavioral health needs.

There are over 750 supportive living facilities in Ohio.  Supportive living facilities provide room, board and personal care for individuals who need assistance with daily living. Residents may have a variety of disabilities, including mental illness. These homes may be a good option for persons who want to maintain some level of independence and don’t require hospitalization or nursing home care, but still may need assistance with daily living such as meals, housekeeping, and medication management. Facilities are operated and staffed by either an agency or a home owner. Facilities that serve residents with serious mental illness are required to have their staff annually trained in the care and supervision of the needs of these residents.

These homes are licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the purpose of providing accommodations, supervision and personal care services to unrelated adults. Facilities receive a two-year license to operate and must undergo a comprehensive onsite inspection of the home in which inspectors verify the safe and sanitary condition of the facility, the capability of the operator and staff to meet their responsibilities in providing supervision and personal care services and the appropriateness of the placement of each resident in the adult care setting.


How to Select?

Review available information through this Ohio Long-Term Care Consumer Guide.  What services does the facility provide?  Use the geographic search function to find a home within a comfortable travel distance from family or friends.

Schedule a tour of the homes. Visiting the facilities you are considering is very important.  Speak with current residents and their families about their experiences.

Make an appointment to review admission criteria and housing agreement.  Read the resident agreement carefully.  This agreement spells out the home's policies, service provision, and costs and serves as a contract between the resident and the home.  Be sure any services and/or costs discussed at admission are included in the agreement.


Considerations for selecting a Supportive Living Facility

Here is a list of questions you might want to consider as you research your options or take with you as you tour the homes you consider:

Living Arrangements

  • Would you like to live in a house, apartment, duplex, etc.?
  • Would you prefer living by yourself or with other people?
  • Would you prefer your own bedroom, or would you like to share a room?
  • What would you want a roommate to be like?
  • Is it OK to have your own bedroom and share the kitchen and bathrooms with one or two other tenants?
  • Will you have a pet or service animal with you?

Features and Location

  • What features are important to you—air conditioning, laundry, cable TV, etc.?
  • Do you need any accommodations for a disability, such as ramps, etc.?
  • What sort of neighborhood do you want to live in? Near parks, shopping, church, etc.? 
  • Do you need to have easy access to any specific place such as your job, treatment facility, etc.? 
  • Would you like to have onsite staff available any time of the day or night?
  • Do you expect to have visitors and overnight guests?
  • Is a community that supports sobriety important to you?
  • Would you like to have in-house activities? Planned outings?

Supportive Needs

  • General Supportive Services such as moving in and getting settled; helping me make plans and meet goals; getting involved with other tenants and activities; finding a place of worship, etc.
  • Vocational Services such as finding a job, learning new skills, enrolling in computer classes, etc.
  • Independent Living Skills such as begetting, shopping, cooking, housekeeping, finding transportation, etc.
  • Health/Medical Services including making doctor appointments, eating healthy, etc.
  • Mental Health Services such as scheduling therapist appointments, medication assistance, learning about mental illnesses, etc.
  • Substance Abuse Services such as finding alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment centers and self-help groups such as AA

Other considerations/questions

  • Is the staff friendly?
  • How long have they been in operation?
  • Are their licenses current?
  • Who owns or sponsors the facility?
  • What is the daily cost?
  • Will insurance cover any services?
  • Ask to see a sample of menus over a period of several weeks?
  • Is the home clean and free of odors?
  • Does the facility serve special populations such as veterans, sex offenders, individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries or individuals with substance abuse disorders?
  • What is expected of the caregiver/family members?
  • What are the credentials of the staff?
  • Is the home wheelchair accessible?
  • What is the staff-to-client ratio? 
  • Is a list of references available?


Information Sources


Reviewing for Quality

Adult Care Facilities receive a two-year operating license from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  Operators must undergo a comprehensive on-site inspection of the home in which inspectors verify the safe and sanitary condition of the facility, the capability of the operator and staff to meet their responsibilities in providing supervision and personal care services and the appropriateness of the placement of each resident in the adult care setting.  You may request and review a copy of the facility's license.

It is your right to be able to tour the homes you consider.  Make an appointment and bring a list of questions you have (see above for some suggested questions).  Also, your local Mental Health Board may have information on the quality of homes and facilities in your area.


Help in Selecting

If you need further help in selecting a supportive living facility or are not sure a supportive living facility is the right home for you, contact:

  • The Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Ombudsmen link residents with services or agencies, offer advice on selecting long-term care providers, inform consumers about their rights and provide information and assistance with benefits and insurance.
  • Your case manager, if you have one through enrollment in a program.
  • The local Mental Health Board.  Most Boards have a housing specialist who will be able to provide families and clients information on what is available in each county.
  • The local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI Ohio


How to Pay

Contact the following to learn more about available housing subsidies for individuals with mental illness:

  • Your community Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board.  Your local Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board may be able to help guide you.
  • Local Metropolitan Housing Authority.  If you or your loved one is able to live independently, but does not earn enough to cover the rent, you may want to contact your local Metropolitan Housing Authority to apply for a public housing voucher.
  • Ohio Rent Assistance Programs.
  • Private Pay - Costs for care vary according to the location and type of facility and services offered.  Please contact the housing provider for details about payment options and admission requirements.
  • Residential State Supplement.  This program provides money to adults with low incomes who are over age 60 or have a disability, but who do not require nursing-home care. Participants use the supplement, along with their income, to pay for approved living arrangements.
  • Veteran’s Administration – Veterans may be eligible for support through the Veteran’s Administration. Contact the Ohio Department of Veterans Services for help in navigating veterans’ benefits.


If you have a problem or concern about a supportive living facility

Get assistance. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program can help ensure residents’ complaints are investigated and resolved.

You may also wish to complete and submit a complaint form directly to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: Complaint Form DMH-LIC-0982 (PDF)