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How is a Board and Care Home different from Assisted Living?

In California, Board and Care Home (B&C) is the most popular term for a smaller group living home. Also known as a Residential Care Home or Group Home in other states, Board and Care Home offer a smaller, cozier environment of fewer residents and more individualized attention from caregivers. (B&C) may have six residents in a single house or up to 20 residents in a converted house in a residential neighborhood. Individuals may prefer to live in a more intimate home setting than a larger place like an Assisted Living (AL) with separate apartments or they may need to transition from an AL because they need more supervision with ADLs or are reaching the end of life. Board and Care are privately operated but many are required to be state-licensed and are inspected routinely.

What services does a Board and Care Home offer?

Different from AL with individual apartments, (B&C) are private or shared rooms in a house with more staff to care for individuals. Meals, laundry, and other amenities are provided but may not include the same structure of regular social and recreational opportunities as AL. Staff is 24-hour care but often do not include nurses or medical care depending on which state you live in. Board and Care Home should offer transportation to and from doctors’ appointments, however.

On average, some Board and Care Homes are a less expensive option than AL and may have a higher number of Medicaid patients living there. As a more affordable option, Residential Care Homes care offers an environment for seniors that may feel more comfortable in a smaller setting where patients share a room or have a single bedroom in a larger house.

How do I find a good (B&C)?

As is the case for all types of senior living, our advisors will help you determine the right fit for you or your aging parent/relative, as well as escort you to on-site visits free of charge.

Questions to ask about a (B&C) when visiting

  • How do you handle medical emergencies?
  • How do you assess a senior’s medical needs, and how often?
  • What kind of training does your staff have?
  • What security measures are in place?
  • How do you handle residents who wander/get lost easily?
  • Can residents bring their own furniture/furnishings for their rooms?
  • Are dietary restrictions/needs accommodated by the kitchen staff?
  • Do you have visiting hours for family and friends?
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Types of Care

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Call to speak with a Senior Care Advisor, who will complete an over-the-phone consultation with you to help us understand your physical, financial and geographic needs.


We will explain the various Senior Living and Care options available to you, and match you with the options that best meet your needs and preferences.


On our complimentary guided tours, a Senior Care Advisor will personally drive you to the senior living options that you select. All senior living communities have been pre-screened and evaluated by Placement Helpers to ensure a high quality of care.


We will be in touch with you throughout the entire process, helping you with any questions or concerns you may have, and can speak with communities on your behalf. Once you or your loved one has moved in, we will follow up with you to make sure you are highly satisfied with your new community.

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