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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 696 (January 28, 2023).

55 Pa. Code § 2600.4. Definitions.

§ 2600.4. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   ADL—Activities of daily living—The term includes eating, drinking, ambulating, transferring in and out of a bed or chair, toileting, bladder and bowel management, personal hygiene, securing health care, managing health care, self-administering medication and proper turning and positioning in a bed or chair.

   Abuse—The occurrence of one or more of the following acts:

     (i)   The infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.

     (ii)   The willful deprivation by the personal care home or its staff persons of goods or services which are necessary to maintain physical or mental health.

     (iii)   Sexual harassment, rape or abuse, as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. Chapter 61 (relating to protection from abuse).

     (iv)   Exploitation by an act or a course of conduct, including misrepresentation or failure to obtain informed consent which results in monetary, personal or other benefit, gain or profit for the perpetrator, or monetary or personal loss to the resident.

     (v)   Neglect of the resident, which results in physical harm, pain or mental anguish.

     (vi)   Abandonment or desertion by the personal care home or its staff persons.

   Adult—An individual who is 18 years of age or older.

   Ancillary staff person—An individual who provides services for the residents other than activities of daily living.

   Agent—An individual authorized by the Department to enter, visit, inspect or conduct an investigation of a personal care home.

   Appropriate assessment agency—An organization serving adults who are older or adults with disabilities, such as a county mental health/intellectual disability agency, a drug and alcohol agency, an area agency on aging or another human service agency, or an individual in an occupation maintaining contact with adults who are older and adults with disabilities, such as medicine, nursing or rehabilitative therapies.

   CAM—Complementary and alternative medications—Practices, substances and ideas used to prevent or treat illness or promote health and well-being outside the realm of modern conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is used alone or instead of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used along with or in addition to conventional medicine.

   CPR—Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

   Commercial boarding home—A type of residential living facility providing only food and shelter, or other services normally provided by a hotel, for payment, for individuals who require no services beyond food, shelter and other services usually found in hotel or apartment rental.

   Complaint—A written or oral criticism, dispute or objection presented by or on behalf of a resident to the Department regarding the care, operations or management of a personal care home.

   Day—Calendar day.

   Dementia—A clinical syndrome characterized by a decline of long duration in mental function in an alert individual. Symptoms of dementia may include memory loss, personality change, chronic wandering and the loss or diminishing of other cognitive abilities, such as learning ability, judgment, comprehension, attention and orientation to time and place and to oneself.

   Department—The Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth.

   Designated person—An individual who may be chosen by the resident and documented in the resident’s record, to be notified in case of an emergency, termination of service, personal care home closure or other situations as indicated by the resident or as required by this chapter. A designated person may be the resident’s legal representative or an advocate.

   Designee—A staff person authorized in writing to act in the administrator’s absence.

   Direct care staff person—A staff person who directly assists residents with activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living and provides services or is otherwise responsible for the health, safety and well-being of the residents.

   Emergency medical plan—A plan that ensures immediate and direct access to medical care and treatment for serious injury or illness, or both.

   Financial management—

     (i)   A personal care service provided whenever the administrator serves as representative payee or as a guardian or power of attorney assigned prior to December 21, 1988, for a resident, or when a resident requests and receives assistance in budgeting and spending of the personal needs allowance.

     (ii)   The term does not include solely storing funds in a safe place as a convenience for a resident.

   Fire safety expert—A member of a local fire department, fire protection engineer, Commonwealth-certified fire protection instructor, college instructor in fire science, county or Commonwealth fire school, volunteer trained and certified by a county or Commonwealth fire school, an insurance company loss control representative, Department of Labor and Industry building code inspector or construction code official.

   IADL—Instrumental activities of daily living—The term includes the following activities when done on behalf of a resident:

     (i)   Doing laundry.

     (ii)   Shopping.

     (iii)   Securing and using transportation.

     (iv)   Managing finances.

     (v)   Using a telephone.

     (vi)   Making and keeping appointments.

     (vii)   Caring for personal possessions.

     (viii)   Writing correspondence.

     (ix)   Engaging in social and leisure activities.

     (x)   Using a prosthetic device.

     (xi)   Obtaining and keeping clean, seasonal clothing.

   Legal entity—A person, society, corporation, governing authority or partnership legally responsible for the administration and operation of a personal care home.

   License—A certificate of compliance issued by the Department permitting the operation of a personal care home, at a given location, for a specific period of time, for a specified capacity, according to Chapter 20 (relating to licensure or approval of facilities and agencies).

   Long-term care ombudsman—A representative of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in the Department of Aging who investigates and seeks to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of individuals who are 60 years of age or older who are consumers of long-term care services. These complaints may relate to action, inaction or decisions of providers of long-term care services, of public agencies, of social service agencies or their representatives, which may adversely affect the health, safety, well-being or rights of these consumers.

   Mobile resident

     (i)   A resident who is physically and mentally capable of vacating the personal care home on the resident’s own power or with limited physical or oral assistance in the case of an emergency, including the capability to ascend or descend stairs if present on the exit path.

       (A)   Physical assistance means assistance in getting to one’s feet or into a wheelchair, walker or prosthetic device.

       (B)   Oral assistance means giving instructions to assist the resident in vacating the personal care home.

     (ii)   The term includes an individual who is able to effectively operate an ambulation device required for moving from one place to another, and able to understand and carry out instructions for vacating the personal care home.

   Neglect—The failure of a personal care home or its staff persons to provide goods or services essential to avoid a clear and serious threat to the physical or mental health of a resident. The failure or omission to provide the care, supervision and services that the personal care home has voluntarily, or by contract, agreed to provide and that are necessary to maintain the resident’s health, safety and well-being, including personal care services, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision and medical services. Neglect may be repeated conduct or a single incident.

   OTC—Over the counter or nonprescription.

   Personal care home or home—

     (i)   A premise in which food, shelter and personal assistance or supervision are provided for a period exceeding 24 hours, for four or more adults who are not relatives of the operator, who do not require the services in or of a licensed long-term care facility, but who do require assistance or supervision in activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living.

     (ii)   The term includes a premise that has held or presently holds itself out as a personal care home and provides food and shelter to four or more adults who need personal care services, but who are not receiving the services.

   Personal care home administrator or administrator—An individual who is charged with the general administration of a personal care home, whether the individual has an ownership interest in the personal care home, and whether functions and duties are shared with other individuals.

   Personal care services—Assistance or supervision in ADL or IADL, or both.

   Premises—The grounds and buildings on the same grounds, used for providing personal care services.

   Protective services unit—The local area agency on aging unit designated by the Department of Aging to investigate allegations of abuse of adults who are 60 years of age or older and assess the need for protective interventions.

   Referral agent—An agency or individual who arranges for or assists, or both, with placement of a resident into a personal care home.

   Relative—A spouse, parent, child, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

   Resident—An individual, unrelated to the legal entity, who resides in a personal care home, and who requires personal care services, but who does not require the level of care provided by a hospital or long-term care facility.

   Resident with mobility needs—An individual who is unable to move from one location to another, has difficulty in understanding and carrying out instructions without the continued full assistance of other individuals or is incapable of independently operating an ambulation device, such as a wheelchair, prosthesis, walker or cane to exit a building.

   Restraint—A manual, chemical or mechanical device used to limit or restrict the movement or normal function of an individual or a portion of the individual’s body.

   SSI—Supplemental Security Income.

   Secretary—The Secretary of the Department.

   Staff person—An individual who works for the personal care home for compensation either on payroll or under contract.

   Support plan—A written document that describes for each resident the resident’s care, service or treatment needs based on the assessment of the resident, and when the care, service or treatment will be provided, and by whom.


     (i)   An individual who, of his own free will, and without monetary compensation, provides direct care services for residents in the personal care home.

     (ii)   The term does not include visitors or individuals who provide nondirect services or entertainment on an occasional basis.


   The provisions of this §  2600.4 amended under sections 211 and 213 and Articles IX and X of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. § §  211, 213, 901—922 and 1001—1088).


   The provisions of this §  2600.4 amended June 17, 2016, effective June 18, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 3177. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (375633) to (375634), (311267) to (311268) and (348665).

Cross References

   This section cited in §  2600.29a (relating to hospice care and services—statement of policy).

Notes of Decisions

   Definition Meets Statutory Requirements

   Department of Public Welfare (DPW) regulation defining personal care home did not impermissibly broaden definition of what constitutes a personal care home as set forth in the authorizing statute; regulation was within DPW’s delegated powers, was not in conflict with but supplemented the enabling statute, and was rationally related to the statutory purpose. Northern Area v. Department of Public Welfare, 899 A.2d 1182, 1189 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).

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