There are distinctly different operational practices for assisted living communities and 6-bed board and care homes.

By Pam McDonald

[This is the second of a two-part series describing a new association in California for small Board and Care owner-operators. See Part 1 here.]

The significant differences between large assisted living communities and 6-bed board and care homes are the number of residents served and the revenues and resources available. This means there are distinctly different operational practices for each.

Operational Differences

California Board and Care Association President, Mylene Lee, says, “Understanding these operational differences – and, therefore, the most helpful kind of support – is what will enable CBCA to best serve its members.

“As an owner-operator of multiple board and care homes for over 12 years, I’ve belonged to several industry associations, but I felt alone and not well-supported. The leadership of those groups did not necessarily own small communities. They wanted quite a bit of money for services I didn’t particularly want. But, all of CBCA’s board are owners, which give us the perspective to really assist and champion our members.”

CBCA Initial Focus

Currently CBCA has 36 members who own 76 board and care homes. They also have 14 associate partners, vendors including home care, hospice, pharmacy, landscapers, etc. Initially, the Association will concentrate on:

  1. Advocacy;

  2. A united focus on improving board and care throughout California;

  3. A coordinated approach to resources and reduced costs through economies of scale; and

  4. Providing support, training, technology and professional development.

Mylene says making sure Association members understand and comply with regulations is a priority. “We want to get as close as possible with our regulators. That’s why our guest speaker at this month’s meeting was the Licensing Program Manager of the Sacramento Regional Office.

“We want greater familiarity with our evaluators so our members won’t be afraid they’ll ‘get in trouble’ just by talking with Licensing. We will keep them up to date on regulations, answer any questions they may have, and even contact Licensing on their behalf,” Mylene states.

CBCA Membership Benefits

Among other benefits of CBCA membership, Mylene lists:

  • monthly meetings with knowledgeable speakers

  • breakfast networking meetings

  • a talent bank of caregiving staff

  • discounts or special programs from referral agencies

  • prospect bank and commission-free referrals

  • information and referrals to affiliated vendors

  • professional development and training from experts to streamline practices and maximize profits

  • temporary management so owner/operators can go on vacation

  • updates and explanations of changes and additions to licensing regulations

  • tools for compliance

  • marketing assistance

  • in-service training of staff

Life Enrichment Activites Program

Also in development is a “life enrichment” activities program – that will include an activities director and, when membership reaches 300, a dedicated bus – to make outings to restaurants, movies and shopping, as well as excursions, more economically feasible.

Mylene believes that at least among the Association’s members, board and care homes serve the highest acuity residents. She says, “We offer seniors lower rates, but can provide better care. A 1 to 3 staffing ratio is common. Also we don’t have to describe our environments as homelike – which is what most seniors want – because our communities actually are homes.

“It’s time,” Mylene concludes, “for owner/operators of board and care homes to be heard, to be recognized, and to be valued. CBCA really understands what board and care operators need and desire so they are able to be the better, smarter, more innovative business owners, licensees, and administrators of this generation.”

For additional information, contact Mylene Lee at (916) 295-0135 or visit the California Board & Care Association CBCA page on Facebook.