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Are you planning to retire in Massachusetts and are searching for the best assisted living community to cater to your needs as you age? Then you must have explored the various senior living options in the state. At this stage, it’s good you know what assisted living communities in Massachusetts do, the services they provide, and whether you need that type of care or not. For the most part, assisted living facilities offer support with tasks related to daily living, personal care, medical management, and housekeeping. However, many of these facilities also include memory care for seniors who have dementia.
Who is the ideal senior for assisted living in Massachusetts?
Although you may not need intense care, if you struggle to have a bath, get dressed, drive, cook or even do the laundry, then you might benefit from the services offered by assisted living communities in the state of Massachusetts. Most facilities offer memory care as well, so you might not need to search for separate memory care either for yourself or for your aged loved one.
Facts about assisted living in Massachusetts
There are many assisted living facilities in Massachusetts. Generally, they have a higher occupancy rate than assisted living communities in other states. Most times, the occupancy rates can rise above 90%. Most of these facilities include Special Care Residence, too, which is designed for seniors with various mental health issues such as dementia. However, there are more communities dedicated to this type of care than others offering senior care services.
Cost and Payment Options for Assisted Living in Massachusetts
Statewide in Massachusetts, the cost of assisted living is well above the national average. The Massachusetts state average is $5,495 monthly, though it’s still much cheaper than a nursing home in the state of Massachusetts. The most expensive cities are the larger, more well-known metropolitan areas of Worcester and Boston. The range between both those metro areas swings between a very high range of $5,735 and $5,850 per month for assisted living.
The least expensive cities for assisted living in Massachusetts, which is not saying much in this case, are still far enough above the national average. They are Pittsfield and Springfield at $4,200 and $4,950 per month respectively. Looking into neighboring states may be something to research when considering assisted living for your loved one. Massachusetts is quite expensive at its base-rate and not every family can afford assisted living here. And this is not even including the possibility of Massachusetts memory care or any other specialized care.
Memory care is close to $2,000 more over the top, with a price range between $1,099 and $1,648 above assisted living per month.
Medicaid does not currently have any programs that will pay for assisted living in Massachusetts directly. But there is a waiver called Group Adult Foster Care Program that does help supplement the cost of room and board for assisted living facilities in Massachusetts. The stipulation is you have to qualify for Medicaid. The income cap is at $1,041 per month maximum. There may be programs available to assist you if your income does not meet the requirement.
If you have a challenge in paying for Massachusetts assisted living, then there are some options you may want to look into. If there are no waivers to assist you with assisted living directly, then timing of when the senior enters a senior care facility may need to be considered. Why? Because there are waivers that do cover some limited personal care in other facilities such as adult day care, adult foster care and at home care. Foster care is the same as the senior being at home in the community. Massachusetts has plenty of senior living options, but if assisted living is what your loved one needs, consider the information above in helping you research the right facility.
Questions to Ask Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities
If you are researching Massachusetts assisted living, here are some questions you need to ask either the senior living counselor or the staff at the assisted living facility.
- What is the scope of care offered in the facility?
According to the rules and regulations governing assisted living in Massachusetts, there is a minimum level of care or services that these communities must provide to their residents. It’s good if you find out what these services are and the scope of care offered.
- Ask how the facility handles medications
How does the facility care for its residents and administer their medications to them when the need arises? Do they have a standard procedure for it? If you or your loved one will need help with medication during your stay in the facility, then you must find answers to this question before choosing any community to call home.
- What is the best time to move into the facility?
Most assisted living facilities in Massachusetts tend to have a high occupancy rate during specific times of the year. It’s best you find out when they are most likely to accept new residents and the process it requires.
- What are the admission requirements to live in the facility?
Each state has different admission requirements for their assisted living communities and Massachusetts is no different. Find out if there are any restrictions regarding age or physical health status to enable you to know whether you fit in or not. Asking these questions will allow you to understand the assisted living options available and decide the one that suits your needs the most.
Assisted Living Regulations in Massachusetts
Assisted Living licensure term for the state of Massachusetts is Assisted Living Residences. In Massachusetts, assisted living communities are certified which is seen legally as licensed. The governmental department that handles assisted living certification is the Department Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA)
Whether single or double occupancy, assisted living facilities in Massachusetts must provide doors that are lockable by the resident on the main entrance of the unit. There must be a kitchen or cooking facilities. A full kitchen is not required to be present at the assisted living unit, but the access to cooking and food preparation and storage must be provided in each senior care unit.
There are no actual requirements for what the minimum square feet for each assisted living apartment needs to be. If it is considered a special care unit after October 1, 2015, there must be a secure outdoor area. Two residents are allowable per senior living unit.
If the Massachusetts assisted living facility was built after 1995, each unit must provide a full bathroom, a toilet and a bathtub or shower. Each living unit must have minimum a half bathroom with a toilet and sink. This setup is for every 3 residents.
List of Assisted Living Facilities in Massachusetts:
- Barnstable County
- Berkshire County
- Bristol County
- Chestnut Hill
- Dukes County
- East Longmeadow
- Essex County
- Fall River
- Franklin County
- Great Barrington
- Hampden County
- Hampshire County
- Middlesex County
- New Bedford
- Norfolk County
- North Andover
- Plymouth County
- South Hadley
- Suffolk County
- West Concord
- West Newton
- West Springfield
- West Yarmouth
- Worcester County