Evaluating Board and Care Homes: Considerations for Making an Informed Decision
Sarah OrdoverAug 15th, 2023
Selecting the right board and care home for your loved one is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. These smaller, homelike settings can provide personalized care and a family atmosphere, but it's important to work with a knowledgeable professional in choosing a home. There are about 2000 board and care homes in Los Angeles County, some of them great, some of them OK, and some of them frankly, scary.
At Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles, we take the time to do an in-depth evaluation of each board and care home before we recommend it, first looking at the licensing record, then visiting to evaluate the proficiency of the care team, maintenance of the facility, engagement with the residents, and to learn how we think the particular board and care home aligns with our client’s needs. Most importantly, we have placed hundreds of clients at board and care homes around Los Angeles so we receive ongoing feedback on how they are doing, and the facility's strengths and weaknesses.
We find many board and care operators in Los Angeles open their homes without really understanding how much work is involved in running a facility catering to a frailer senior population. Having the training and experience to take care of our vulnerable older population takes commitment. Not every provider is up to the task.
Below is a list of considerations in evaluating potential board and care homes for your loved one. We have done this work for you and are always candid when discussing the pros and cons of any potential new setting. We will guide you through this list as we embark on our search together.
- Visit Multiple Homes:
- Schedule visits to several board and care homes. This will give you a better understanding of the range of options available and help you compare different settings.
- Observe the overall cleanliness, organization, and ambiance of each home. Pay attention to how residents interact with staff and each other.
- Check Licensing and Regulation:
- Ensure that the board and care home is licensed and regulated by the appropriate state agency. In California, the Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) oversees these facilities.
- Inquire about any recent inspections, violations, or complaints related to the home. This information is typically available online or upon request.
- Assess Care and Services:
- Discuss the specific care needs of your loved one with the home's administrator. Inquire about the types of services provided, including assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), medication management, and any specialized care.
- Ask about the staff-to-resident ratio and the availability of trained caregivers, especially during the night shifts.
- Evaluate Safety and Accessibility:
- Ensure the home is well-maintained, safe, and accessible for residents with mobility challenges. Check for handrails, ramps, well-lit hallways, and other safety features.
- Inquire about emergency procedures, such as evacuation plans and protocols for medical emergencies.
- Review Contracts and Costs:
- Obtain a clear understanding of the costs associated with the board and care home, including the monthly fees and any additional charges for specialized care or services.
- Review the contract thoroughly, including policies on refunds, payment schedules, and any potential rate increases.
- Engage with Residents and Staff:
- Talk to current residents and their families if possible. Their insights and experiences can provide valuable perspectives on the quality of care and the daily life within the home.
- Interact with the staff to gauge their demeanor, professionalism, and level of engagement with residents.
- Consider Social and Recreational Activities:
- Inquire about the range of social, recreational, and therapeutic activities offered to residents. Engaging activities can contribute to a higher quality of life.
- Trust Your Instincts:
- Listen to your intuition and consider how you feel during your visits. A positive gut feeling about a particular board and care home can be a strong indicator of compatibility.
- Seek Legal and Professional Advice:
- If necessary, consult legal or financial advisors to review the contract and ensure you fully understand the terms and obligations.
Remember that selecting a board and care home is a significant decision, and taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your options will help you make the best choice for your loved one's well-being and comfort.
To learn more about board and care homes, follow the links to our other posts with related articles:
Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles owner Sarah Ordover is one of LA’s top senior living advisors. Certified in dementia care, Sarah is a trained aging specialist who holds an RCFE assisted living administrators license. Sarah thoughtfully guides families through the senior living decision-making process, helping them find the best solution for their loved ones. Call Assisted Living Locators at 310-853-8282 for a consultation. Assisted Living Locators service is free to clients.