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Elderly Housing: Board and Care Homes

Board and Care homes are another option in elderly housing.  In some instances, they may be placed under the umbrella of Assisted Living or Congregate Housing.  Still, there are nuances in each category which make it unique, so let’s examine the guidelines in this particular area.

Board and Care homes cater to seniors or individuals with disabilities and may resemble group homes.  Non-medical care is available to residents (thus, the “care” aspect in the title).  People who require 24-hour medical supervision are typically not appropriate for this style of housing.

Board and Care homes could be located in large, apartment-like buildings or individual homes (although smaller, converted homes are typically what many people imagine when they visualize Board and Care).  Private bedrooms may be available to residents (although more than one individual could occupy a room).  There is a communal dining area for meals and shared living room for entertainment and socializing.

Some Board and Care homes are overseen by government agencies.  In addition, certain states require licensing for this type of residence.  Licensed facilities tend to offer more direct care staff per occupant than unlicensed homes.

Typical services available to residents in Board and Care homes are as follows:

  • Housekeeping and Laundry
  • Medication Assistance
  • Assistance with Doctors’ Visits
  • 24-hour Emergency Aid
  • Recreational Activities
  • Bathing Support
  • Daily Interaction with Staff

The environment in Board and Care homes is usually not as grand as some Assisted Living facilities; subsequently, the cost is commonly more affordable.  The price can range from $350 per month to over $3000 per month (depending upon size, services offered, and geographic location).  Because Board and Care homes do not offer medical-type skilled nursing services, Medicaid generally will not pick up the cost.  Some low-income residents may help pay for Board and Care by Supplemental Security Income.

Standards and quality in Board and Care homes vary considerably from one location to another.  Subsequently, it is very important to research reputation, certification, and/or licensing when investigating this residential area.  As the old adage goes, “Home is where the heart is.”  It is very important for our hearts to be happy in our homes.

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