Types of Clients for a Care Home

Types of Clients for a Care Home

special needs tub

special needs tub

The type of clients is important to know for the type of care home staff, facilities features, licensing and experience needed. Each type of client requires special knowledge and training. If you are looking to own or operate a care home, the types of clients is critically important.

Types of Clients


According California Health and Safety Code Section 13131 a "Non-ambulatory person" means person who is unable to leave a building unassisted under emergency conditions. It includes any person who is unable, or likely to be unable, physically and mentally to respond to a sensory signal approved by the State Fire Marshal, or an oral instruction relating to fire danger, and persons who depend upon mechanical aids such as crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs.


The determination of ambulatory or non-ambulatory status of persons with developmental disabilities shall be made by the Director of Social Services California or his or her designated representative, in consultation with the Director of Developmental Services or his or her designated representative. The determination of ambulatory or non-ambulatory status of all other disabled persons placed after January 1, 1984 who are not developmentally disabled shall be made by the Director of Social Services or his or her designated representative.


Residents with dementia or bedridden residents are considered non-ambulatory. A person who uses postural supports is deemed non-ambulatory.  A person is not deemed non-ambulatory solely because he/she is deaf, blind, or prefers to use a mechanical aid.


Ambulatory means able to walk. The word ambulatory is an adjective that means related to walking, or ambulation. This means the patient is able to walk around. In care home patients it also has to do with the ability to leave a building under their own power and understanding in an emergency. The client has to comprehend the need to leave and have the physical ability to leave the building under their own power to be considered ambulatory.


"Adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older. "Elderly Person" means any person who is 60 years of age or older. Elderly person can also be referred to as a senior client.


"Client" means a child or adult who is receiving care and supervision in a community care facility. Client includes "resident" as used in the Community Care Facility Act.


"Client Who Relies Upon Others To Perform All Activities of Daily Living" means a client who is unable to perform all six activities of daily living without physical assistance.


"Activities of Daily Living" (ADLs) mean the following six activities:

(1) Bathing: Cleaning the body using a tub, shower or sponge bath, including getting a basin of water, managing faucets, getting in and out of tub or shower, reaching head and body parts for soaping, rinsing and drying.

(2) Dressing: Putting on and taking off, fastening and unfastening garments and undergarments and special devices such as back or leg braces, corsets, elastic stockings/garments and artificial limbs or splints.

(3) Toileting: Getting on and off a toilet or commode, emptying a commode, managing clothes, wiping and cleaning the body after toileting, and using and emptying a bedpan and urinal.

(4) Transferring: Moving from one sitting or lying position to another sitting or lying position (e.g., from bed to or from a wheelchair, or sofa, coming to a standing position and/or repositioning to promote circulation and to prevent skin breakdown).

(5) Continence: Ability to control bowel and bladder as well as to use ostomy and/or catheter receptacles, and to apply diapers and disposable barrier pads.

(6) Eating: Reaching for, picking up, grasping a utensil and cup; getting food on a utensil; bringing food, utensil, and cup to mouth; manipulating food on plate; and cleaning face and hands as necessary following meal.


“Hospice” care is a type of care that maintains or improves quality of life for someone whose illness, disease or condition is unlikely to be cured.   The chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill are why “hospice clients” are known. Hospice is personalized and competent care for individuals as they approach the end stages of life.


“Dementia” is not a specific disease. Dementia is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms linked with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. “Dementia Clients” need a care home with special training and facilities. Alzheimer is one type of dementia.


Understanding the type of clients is one key part of the due diligence needed before buying or operating a care home in California. Each type of client comes with its own cost to care for the client effectively. The staffing requirements may include experience, training, staff to client ratios and a special license. Also the care home building or facility may need many special features to meet the state requirements for a specific type of clients.