Board and Care Homes Vary in Services Offered, Need Stricter Regulation

Health problems of chronically ill adults in board and care homes

From 1991 to 1994, researchers from Brown University Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research examined factors affecting the quality of health care in board and care homes.

Well publicized problems at these facilities—which provide room, board and other services but not medical care for chronically ill, disabled adults—have inspired tighter state regulations, which risk driving homes out of business or altering their residential character.

Specifically, the research team determined whether regulations promote interconnection between the homes and community health agencies, and whether those connections lead to better quality care for home residents.

Key Findings

  • Residents received more health and social services in larger homes and those licensed by the state, but regulatory stringency did not seem to affect the services they received.

  • There was widespread use of multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines in the homes, and a lack of training among board and care staff administering medications, although the situation is somewhat better in states with strict regulations.