The Alternative: Board and Care Homes
As an alternative to a memory care community, there are board and care homes. These are residential care homes in a suburban setting with only a handful of residents under one roof. A majority of these board and care homes cater to residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia related illnesses. However, you should always consider the following things when touring board and care homes:
“Exit-seeking” – Is your loved one prone to leaving the premise, running away or similar physical urge that requires more attention? Board and care homes are not equipped to handle this.
Socialization – Is your loved one anti-social or aggressive? Though this can be a natural part of aging, board and care homes are very small environments. Residents share walls, the TV, and the dinner table. A larger senior living community is probably the better choice.
Why Choose a Board and Care Home
Cost – In parts of the country, like Sacramento, board and care homes usually charge
the same for a resident with or without Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Most board and care homes raise monthly fees at a much slower rate than their larger community counterparts giving families better confidence with their finances.
Employee Turnover – Most board and care homes are owner-operated, with just a few caregivers to take care of 6 residents. With one caregiver always permanent, the owner, there tends to be more employee stability than larger communities.
Caregiver to Resident Ratio – With most board and care homes licensed for 6 residents, and most having two caregivers during the day and 1 at night, the ratio is typically 1:3 or at worst, 1:6 which is at a minimum double the ratio in most larger communities. For people who are at risk for falling, a smaller environment with a higher caregiver ratio means more eyeballs on your loved one.
Care – Most metropolitan areas have hundreds of board and care homes to choose from. Their prices tend to be more reasonable. Some can provide services by acquiring a special waiver that only skilled nursing facilities can offer. This includes changing catheters or caring for someone who is a diabetic that cannot inject herself with insulin.