Board and Care: Is It All Inclusive or a La Carte?


Board and Care: Is It All Inclusive or a La Carte?

New Year's is a lot happier for me this time around. It's the first time in 17 years that I wasn't wiping up someone's poop as the clock struck 12.

My mom Grace was placed in a board and care facility the last day of November 2016. I figured a smaller care home would suit her needs. I thought having it close by would be an added plus as well. The caregivers are nice and treat her more like a relative than a patient. The house is adorable like a hobbit cottage in the shire. Couldn't think of  a better place for Graceldoor. (Her given elvish  middle earth name). This  also means I won't have to deal with certain relatives. They can just pop into the care home without visiting me. They even had a holiday caroling party and invited all of the patient's families for dinner the week before Christmas. The facility has a  very pleasant atmosphere any time I have dropped in.

All of this is well and good, except last week the owner of the facility was out of town and her assistant asked if I could bring larger diaper wipes because my mom poops more than the other residents. I thought that was odd. I thought large wipes would be included in the monthly fee? Another day they asked if I could bring large bed pads. I dropped them all off but I am still wondering why these items aren't included in the monthly fee. We pay out of pocket because Mom doesn't qualify for Medi-Cal. Mom has Kaiser from her last employer and Medicare.

Tonight before dinner the owner called and scared me saying she thought mom was having a heart attack. I got worried and asked why tjey didn't they call 911 first and then have me meet them at the hospital? She called right back and said Mom just threw up and seemed fine. Maybe it's the flu? We went over there since it's a few blocks away and Mom was fast asleep as if nothing happened.

I've been Mom's caregiver  so many years. I don't know how board and care for the elderly works. I will add that they gave us a huge monthly  discount because they said mom is so nice and pleasant. Maybe I should just suck up buying the extra toiletries because they knocked off at least $300 a month going forward.

What do you think? I'd appreciate any advice.

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Thank you Deborah.


Hi Deborah,\n\nI appreciate you and Denise's suggestions. The owner of the Board and care home,gave me a copy of the agreement. My copy was in my mom's patient file at the facility and I didn't have one before. The contract stated that if there are supplies that are only required by one patient the family will be required to provide them. I met with her and we got it straightened out. All in all it is a very reasonable monthly fee almost half of what a memory care or assisted living community would cost. Like I said before for patients that thrive in smaller communities that feel like home, in my opinion a board and care home is the best option. Should she get to the point of needing hospice, the hospice service will just provide care in the same board and care without her having to change locations. Thanks again for the advice.


Hi Angie! I'm a newbie so I can't give you any insight on board and care facilities (honestly, this is the first time hearing the term!). I'm a fan or your blog and eBooks. Your humor gives me hope and provides much needed escape from the stress we all know as people caring for others.\r\n\r\nI know you've been a back-to-back caregiver and I'm curious as to how you are adjusting to not having your beloved Graceldoor in your home and how you came to that decision. I apologize if I'm being too nosey. Feel free to respond with one of your hilariously inspiring blog entries.


I recommend a sit down talk with facility owner. Bring a notepad, ask lots of questions, and write down the answers. Bring your copy of the contract or agreement which should have been signed by both parties and given to you at the beginning. If the agreement was for all-inclusive, any departure from that needs to be addressed right away.