Board and Care: An Often Overlooked Option for Long Term Care

Home is Where the Care Is... Board and Care Homes Offer Lower Costs in the Comfort of a Home

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Board and care homes are often overlooked when weighing options for a retiree who is growing increasingly frail and can no longer manage living independently but does not need the level of medical attention provided by a skilled nursing facility.

These group homes – with two to six residents – are cozier and usually more economical than assisted living facilities. The best offer a private bedroom and bath for each resident and are state licensed, meeting set criteria for care and safety.

Staff provides help with daily activities

Often the home owner is also the live-in administrator who, along with other staff, provides:

  • Personal care such as dressing, grooming and bathing
  • Meals in a common dining room
  • Laundry and room cleaning
  • Medication monitoring
  • Socialization and recreation, based on each resident’s capabilities

Financial and healthcare management typically remain the responsibility of family members.

When deciding between an assisted living facility and a board and care home, it’s wise to assess which of the often myriad of services offered by the assisted living facility you or your family member will actually use.

Many times the home’s services are as much for the family members’ peace of mind – “I’m doing the right thing; this place is great!” – and exceed the needs of the residents.

Checklist before choosing board and care home

Before committing to a particular board and care home, you should:

  • Confirm its licensing is current
  • Talk to other families who have (or had) loved ones in residence
  • Ask current residents how they like living there
  • Determine if the care home is hospice certified (which alleviates moving your parent at end of life)

You can find out more about board and care homes near you or your parent by contacting the local Area Agency on Aging, which can be identified by visiting the Eldercare Locator online or calling 1-800-677-1116.