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Board and Care Homes ? What Are They?

Board and Care homes (also known as RCFE's - Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly) are residential private homes that have been licensed by the Department of Social Services to provide services to seniors. Most accept no more than six residents, but offer a cozy, home-like setting for frail seniors. At least one caregiver is on the premises at all times to assist residents.

Board and care homes come with a variety of characteristics. Rooms can be shared or private and may include a shared or private bathroom. Limited social activities are provided, but not to the extent of an assisted living facility. Specific needs can be met in this small setting, such as language, ethnic or food preferences, even accommodating a loved pet. Meals, laundry, housekeeping, transportation to doctor appointments are usually included. Most provide assistance with dressing, bathing, grooming, eating, medication management, and hygiene and continence issues. With hundreds of these homes scattered throughout most geographic areas, there is hardly a situation that cannot be met in a board and care home.

With most board and care homes, a resident will interact with just three or four caregivers each week. This allows caregivers and residents to form a close bond, which many seniors prefer. Homes range in care giving levels, from simply providing a personal presence for seniors to dealing with severe medical conditions. If fact, some specialize in very specific areas of healthcare and their related needs, such as non-ambulatory residents, stroke or paralysis residents, diabetes care, oxygen needs, catheters, colostomy's, and cognitive and memory impairments such as dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Some medical conditions such as a feeding tubes or tracheotomies cannot be handled by board and care homes.

Generally, Board and Care homes are managed and owned by an individual or family who are closely involved in the day-to-day activities of the home. Board and care homes are a refreshing alternative to the more business like approach of an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

Alex Jensen is with http://www.careplacement.com - a free placement service for Southern California. Care Placement's staff can review your care requirements to determine whether skilled nursing care, assisted living facilities or board and care homes are a viable option for seniors.

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