Board and care homes are a type of assisted living facility, they may also be known as residential care homes, group care homes, or adult care homes, they all offer seniors help with daily activities.
These homes are usually set up in residential homes, they are small intimate settings, usually with shared rooms, but you can have a private room.
Board And Care Homes
Board and care homes are great for seniors who want to still live an independent life but need some help with their daily activities.
The seniors have their meals prepared for them in the home. Board and care homes are typically paid for by the family, typically Medicaid does not pay for this type of care.
As the board and care homes are more intimate, the staff-to-resident ratio is usually better than in typical assisted living facilities.
Board and care are set up in residential homes, they are about ten residents at the high end, and the attention that the seniors receive is more than at other retirement homes.
As a board and care homes are set up in residential homes, they have the feeling for the resident that they are in their own home, unlike a nursing home.
We also provide housekeeping services such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, doing the dishes, and more so residents don’t have to worry about doing these types of chores.
Some residents are more comfortable in a more intimate setting, and board and care homes can also provide memory care for seniors with dementia or Alzheimers, with more attention to the senior, some people prefer this type of senior care.
What are the benefits of a board and care home?
The biggest benefit of these residential care homes is the attention that all of the residents receive. As these senior homes are smaller there is more attention to each resident.
There is more one-on-one time for each of the seniors, but also there are still social interactions and social activities.
It can be a difficult choice when deciding what type of senior care home your loved one would be best, here are a few of the benefits for you to consider.
When you choose a board and care home, you will receive more individual attention than at traditional assisted living facilities.
As the homes are small there are lees residents, so the staff will have time to have a connection with each resident.
Also with fewer residents, there is a lower chance of health risks, such as Covid 19.
The care you will receive will be more personalized, this will also make it easier for the employees to spot if there are any emergencies.
In a board and care home, the family can be more involved with the care of their loved one, and there is better communication between the family and the management, which allows you to have peace of mind in the care of your loved one.
Board and care homes provide seniors with independence, while still giving them the help that they need, to live their lives.
The board and care homes are more flexible than traditional assisted living facilities, seniors can do the activities that appeal to them and not what the large retirement home does.
The locations of the board and care homes are in residential neighborhoods, so the overall feeling is similar to a regular home, and they are welcoming and homey.
The lifestyle that the seniors have is similar to what they had so they do feel more comfortable in these homes.
Board and care homes do provide transportation for doctor’s appointments, social activities, shopping, and religious services.
What Does A Board And Care Home Provide?
The services provided at a board and care home are similar to those provided at an assisted living facility but in a residential setting.
Staff in a residential care home help with a wide variety of personal services, though there’s no requirement for staff to be available to residents 24/7.
- Daily activities include bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming.
- Medical management with all prescriptions, when to take the medications, opening and closing the containers, and the storage of the medications.
- Meals are provided in all board and care homes, but some homes do allow their residents to prepare their own meals. Special dietary needs can also be met.
- Social activities are less than what you would get in other retirement communities, but social interaction is encouraged with movies and games.
- Transportation is provided with board and care homes for medical appointments and other activities.
- Housekeeping is also provided, this will include the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and all of the common areas.
- Laundry is typically provided too, which also includes bed linens.
- Basic supplies are also provided, such as toilet paper and other basic supplies.
Seniors have many choices when looking at senior independent living options. There are many questions to be answered and many options to choose from. Take a look at some of the different residences to understand which option is best for you or your loved one.
Both board and care homes and assisted living generally offer:
- Shared rooms
- Help with ADLs
- Medication management
Assisted living generally also offers:
- Private rooms
- Social activities
- Exercise facilities
The services and level of care provided to residents at the board and care homes are very similar to those provided at assisted living communities.
The most significant difference between these senior living options is the size of the community. Board and care homes are much smaller than most assisted living facilities, so they appeal to seniors who prefer a cozier, more homelike, and supportive environment that’s more relaxed and less structured.
In addition, monthly rent, including care costs, is usually more affordable here than at an assisted living facility.
This makes finding long-term care within reach for many seniors. Because of this, board and care homes care for a larger number of Medicaid recipients than assisted living communities do.
Seniors looking for more in the way of amenities and recreational activities are likely to prefer an assisted living community to a board and care home.
And seniors who are outgoing and socially inclined may feel constricted in the small, intimate community of a board and care home.
Board and care homes vs. independent living communities
Unlike board and care homes, independent living communities do not typically offer:
- Help with ADLs
- Medication management
- Medical care
However, an independent living community does often provide
- Exercise facilities
- Social activities
- Private rooms, apartments, or homes
While both board and care homes and independent living communities foster a sense of independence in their senior residents. Most seniors in independent living don’t require any help with the activities of daily living (ADLs).
Seniors often live in their own apartments in independent living communities, while in board and care homes, they have a private or shared bedroom within a traditional single-family home.
Many independent living communities also offer a wide range of activities, unlike board and care homes. One example is a CCRC (continuing care retirement community).
Board and care homes vs. skilled nursing facility
Both board and care home and skilled nursing facilities will often provide:
- Shared rooms
- Help with ADLs
- Medication management
However, skilled nursing facilities’ primary purpose is to provide medical care. In skilled nursing facilities (SNF) senior residents have access to 24/7 medical care, with medical professionals on duty around the clock.
These facilities are intended for seniors who need nursing care daily, perhaps while recovering from illness, surgery, or injury.
If a board and care home resident begins to require a higher level of skilled nursing care. They usually transfer to a skilled nursing facility.
In some states, arrangements can be made to provide nursing care to residents of board and care homes. Sometimes through assisted living programs funded by Medicaid assistance programs or the Veterans Administration.
How much does a board and care home cost?
The monthly fees for a senior care home can run anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. This depends largely on where you live.
While areas with a higher cost of living are likely to see higher fees. In general, most costs run between $3,500 and $4,500 per month.
You can reduce those costs a bit by sharing a bedroom with a roommate. As you explore the price of a senior care home note that additional senior care services, such as dementia care or incontinence supplies, can raise the rates.
How do I pay for a board and care home?
Medicaid can help cover the cost of senior care facilities in some states. Medicare does not normally pay for these services. So you’ll need to determine if this is available based on your income levels.
Some individuals may be able to use their Social Security funds or retirement savings towards paying for these costs as well. Most seniors are able to pay with their own savings or retirement accounts.
What questions to ask when touring a Senior care home
If you’re looking for the right senior care home, or even if you’re just considering it as a possible senior living option, you probably have a lot of questions.
At Loving Assisted Living we want to help you answer them. As you research and visit senior care homes in your area, it can be helpful to take along a set of questions so you get all the information you need.
Here’s a starter list of questions to ask at board and care homes to help you make a wise decision for yourself or your loved one:
- How do you handle billing and payment?
- What happens if my loved one is unable to pay the fees any given month?
- Is your staff permitted to administer medications? Or can they only store them?
- How do you handle medical emergencies?
- What happens if the care needs of a resident should change?
- Are additional services available, or does the resident need to look for a new place to live?
- What happens if a resident is unhappy in the board and care home?
- Are any upfront fees refunded?
- How are residents’ care needs assessed?
- Who participates in that assessment? Can family be part of any care plan decisions?
- What happens if a resident is temporarily hospitalized?
- How long have your staff members worked at the board and care home?
- What does the home’s owner do to retain them?
- What training does the staff have? Is ongoing training required?
- Are there visiting hours for family and friends? Can family or friends spend the night?
- What security measures are in place?
- How does the home handle residents with a tendency to wander?
- May residents bring their own furniture to the board and care home?
- Can the kitchen accommodate special dietary needs?
- What would cause you to discharge a resident?
Is there medical care at a board and care home?
Senior care homes don’t provide nursing or medical care. Seniors who need daily medical care beyond medication management may not be good candidates for these residential care homes. However, in most cases, the staff at senior care homes will be happy to drive residents to doctors’ or therapy appointments.
Are senior residential care homes licensed?
Not all states license board and care homes, which are sometimes also called residential care homes, residential personal care homes, or residential care facilities for the elderly. Check with your state’s Department of Aging to understand whether licenses are required.
What is a residential care home for the elderly?
The name “board and care home” is primarily used in California. In other states, this type of senior living can be called a residential care home or a residential personal care home, or some variation of that.
Use your preferred online search engine to find the right term or ask one of our Seniorly Partner Agents in your region.
Or reach out to your state’s Department of Aging for details. Regardless of the name, this type of senior housing is different from others because of its home-like, intimate setting.
Does insurance pay for Senior Care Homes?
No, they do not. Low-income residents may be eligible for financial help from Medicaid or the Veterans Administration in some cases.
While traditional health insurance doesn’t cover the costs of a board and care home, long-term care insurance policies typically do cover them.
Are pets allowed in senior care homes?
Some senior care homes only accept cats, accept cats or dogs, or have a communal pet that all the residents can enjoy.
If you or your loved one wants to bring a pet, make sure to ask who takes care of the pet and whether there’s a surcharge.
What is a care plan in a residential care home?
In addition to their room and three meals a day, senior residents in a residential care home receive the customized help they need with the activities of daily living (ADLs), which include bathing, dressing, and grooming, as well as help with medication management.
Housekeeping services, linen, and laundry are also provided. The goal is always to help senior residents maintain as much independence as possible. Some residential care homes also provide transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and entertainment.
Because these homes are small, they don’t offer a great variety of planned activities. However, many are known to welcome residents who all have something in common, like a shared passion for an activity or culture.