Board and Care Homes – a Great Option for Seniors
You've likely come across various senior living options when searching for senior care. Independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities are the most common care services available to seniors and their families. But they aren’t the only options. In fact, a little-known alternative called a board and care home can be the perfect choice for those who don't feel that the traditional options are the right fit for their preferences.
A board and care home is a good option for seniors who prefer to live in a smaller setting. These facilities are residential houses that have been outfitted and staffed for a small group of seniors to live in a family-like setting.
Board and care homes go by many different names, depending on the area they are located. In some states, they are most commonly referred to as group homes or residential care homes. In California, “board and care home” is the most commonly used terminology.
What’s Included In a Board & Care Home
Board and care homes are meant for seniors who need some assistance with daily activities but do not require skilled nursing assistance, similar to an assisted living community. Typically, all three meals and snacks are included in the cost of rent, and most homes include cleaning and laundry services as well. Caregivers are on standby to assist with activities like eating, medication management, toileting, and personal grooming.
Licensing requirements vary by state. In California, licensing is handled by the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services. Your local CarePatrol representative will be able to help you find a reputable board and care home that meets your loved one's needs.
Is a “Board & Care Home” a Good Alternative to Other Senior Housing Options?
When looking at alternatives to nursing homes, you must consider how much medical care your family member will need. For example, if a senior has dementia, then a memory care community is likely their best option.
So while board and care homes shouldn't be viewed as an alternative to a memory care facility, they can be a great alternative to an assisted living facility as both communities commonly offer similar features.
Board & Care Home vs. Assisted Living Community
Though there is no standard definition for board and care homes throughout the United States, there are three main differences between them and assisted living communities. Assisted living communities are more well-known than board and care homes because they house more residents – often 50 to 200 or more. They also have robust activity programs and typically serve food in a main dining room.
In California, a board and care home is a senior living facility licensed to care for six to 20 residents who need some assistance but do not require ongoing skilled nursing care. Outside of California, the requirements and terminology do change a little. So keep that in mind if you live out of state or are helping a senior loved one living in another state. Residential care homes, group homes, and personal care homes all refer to essentially the same thing.
An Alternative to Assisted Living
Board and care homes are a great option for seniors who are transitioning from independent living to long-term care. While researching options available in your area, make sure any board and care homes you look at meet the following criteria:
- It has a cozy environment that feels more like a home than an institution.
- It has adequate staffing so that all residents get plenty of attention.
- Residents can relax and spend the day how they choose.
Now, board and care homes are not the best options for all seniors. It's important that you consider assisted living facilities as an option as well.
How Does Assisted Living Differ
- Assisted Living options have more amenities and planned recreational activities.
- Board and care homes typically have shared kitchen and living spaces, whereas some assisted living residents have their own full apartment or attached kitchenette.
- The smaller population at board and care homes can make it more difficult for seniors to find friends.
Get Help Choosing from a Local Senior Care Advisor
No matter what type of assistance your loved one needs, your local CarePatrol representative can help you find the perfect fit. Set up a time to talk with us if you have questions about board and care homes, assisted living, or any other concerns.
Find the Perfect Senior Living Option in Your City
With locations in all 50 states, CarePatrol has a senior care advisor near you! We will create personalized recommendations for your loved one based on their unique needs and preferences and can help you navigate every step of the journey. Best of all, we offer our services at no cost to you. Find your local CarePatrol to get started today!