Advantages of Board and Care Homes

| Sunday, March 27, 2011
By Janine Sanderstine

Elderly parents and their families are increasingly turning to Board and Care homes to provide the continuous assistance that is needed. Technically, they are called Residential Care Facilities for the elderly (RCFE's), because the care is provided in single family, residential homes. The government regulations for board and care homes may vary from state to state as they are regulated by the Department of Social Services in each state.

Most board and care homes serve no more than six seniors in a home-like family setting. These homes have usually be remodeled to be handicap accessible. Residents either have their own bedroom and bathroom or they share with one other senior. The doorways to bedrooms and bathrooms are widened to be wheelchair accessible and the living areas are spacious and uncluttered.

Residents are in the company of their caregivers and house mates, generally preferring to spend their waking hours in the living or family rooms. Each resident receives a great deal of individual attention due to the favorable ratio of caregivers to residents. At night, there is always at least one caregiver in the home to provide assistance during the night.

Structured activities, such as exercise routines, outings, brain games, sing-a-longs, etc. are offered at most homes. Most residents are willing to participate in these activities as they are held in the living areas of their home. There is often better participation in activities than in an assisted living facility, probably due to the limited number of residents and individualized attention given.

Board and care homes may be better able to address specific needs such as food preferences and individual schedules. There is much more room for attention to individual preferences in the smaller setting. Because of the higher ratio of caregivers to residents, and the fewer number of caregivers, they are able to better satisfy the needs of each resident.

Just like assisted living, housekeeping, laundry and meals are included. Most homes provide transportation to doctor appointments as well. The services provided include dressing, bathing, grooming, eating, medication management, hygiene and continence issues. In some, haircuts and manicures are included as well. In fact, they really address every need the senior has.

Arrangements can be made by the board and care staff to have home health care professionals like podiatrists, physical therapists and home nurses come to the home providing the services for residents that they require. Caregivers will listen carefully to these professionals and ensure that they follow up care occurs as planned.

A close bond is created between residents and caregivers in this family like atmosphere, helping to make the resident feel secure and well-cared for.

Some board and care homes prefer to specialize in one specific area of health care and the related needs. Whether it's stroke, diabetes, dementia, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, you may be able to locate a board and care homes that has expertise in that area and can provide the services needed.

Most often, board and care homes are managed and owned by an individual or family who is closely involved in the day to day care of its residents.These caregivers are deeply committed to the residents and their families.There are many of these homes spread throughout our local neighborhoods, and they are certainly worth a visit.

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