Types of Aging Services
What Kinds of Aging Services are Available?
There is a wide range of services and housing options available for older adults in a wide range of settings. Many older persons prefer to remain in their current home for as long as possible and are able to do this by bringing services into their home or by attending an adult day program. Others with increasing needs or a desire to live with others in a more social setting may choose to move to a continuing care retirement community, senior housing, assisted living residence or residential care facility depending upon their needs and resources. Those that need round-the-clock nursing care may find the services of a skilled nursing facility best meet their needs. Over time, options are expanding to allow elders to receive the services they need, when they need them, in the place they call home.
Click the type of service you are interested in to learn more.
2. Other community based options, including adult day health, hospice, and intentional communities, villages, or at-home programs
3. Managed long-term care programs, which include:
a. The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
4. Housing and long-term care options, which include:
a. Senior Housing (includes public, privately-owned subsidized, and congregate and supportive housing)
Services in the Home
Below is a list of some of the services available that can be provided to individuals in their own homes. Many of these services are paid for with private resources. In Massachusetts, funding through the state Home Care Program may help to pay for services for eligible individuals, while in certain circumstances, MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid program) may also be available for eligible individuals. Home health care is also covered by Medicare in limited circumstances. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, www.mass.gov/elder (or call 617-727-7750), can provide additional information on the following home and community based services:
Managed Long-term Care Programs
Housing and Long-term Care Options
Senior Housing facilities contain apartments for independent and/or congregate living for adults between the minimum ages of 55 and 62. Some senior housing facilities also house younger individuals with disabilities. They provide a secure, residential environment, but do not routinely provide the type of extensive health care or services associated with nursing homes or assisted living.
Senior housing apartments are available at market rates, or for those that meet financial eligibility requirements, at a lower rate. Some may offer a 24-hour emergency call service if residents need help right away, and some may offer or provide access to different kinds of services to the people who live there like meals, transportation, social activities and other programs usually for a separate fee.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds several rental assistance programs for seniors who qualify. These programs include:
In Massachusetts, there are two types of state funded housing programs that include additional services for those who reside there:
For more information and to get a list of state-owned Congregate Housing or State Supportive housing, contact the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 617-727-7750 or go to www.mass.gov/elder.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs are different from other types of senior housing because they provide various levels of housing, personal care services, and health care services— all usually in one location. CCRCs offer a supportive environment in which elders can live amongst their peers and receive services that will allow them to “age in place.” As their personal and health care needs change, elders may receive increasingly comprehensive care while remaining in the familiar setting of the community.
In CCRCs, the variety and intensity of health care provided varies greatly by CCRC. Some offer pre-paid insurance as a part of their regular fees; others require residents to purchase insurance on their own. Most CCRCs require a one-time entrance fee and then monthly payments thereafter. These fees vary by community, depending on the type of housing and services they offer. At some CCRCs, residents pay the same monthly fee whether they are in an independent living unit or the nursing facility, while at others, different rates apply to independent living, Assisted Living and skilled nursing care. Fees vary for services, so it is important to ask questions to be sure to understand the differences between basic and extra fees and how the fees may increase in the future.
The most common types of contracts are as follows:
Assisted Living Residences combine apartment-like living with a variety of support services including meals, assistance with personal care, housekeeping, laundry, social and recreational programs, oversight of residents’ self administration of medication, 24-hour security, and on-site staff to respond to emergencies. Some assisted living residences offer special services for residents who have Alzheimer’s Disease or other related dementias. In Massachusetts, Assisted Living Residences are regulated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Most assisted living residences are paid for privately, while some accept payment for eligible residents through the Group Adult Foster Care program at MassHealth. Some long-term care insurance policies also pay for assisted living. For more information about Assisted Living regulatory requirements and the Group Adult Foster Care program contact the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 617-727-7750 or at www.mass.gov/elder.
Rest Homes / Residential Care Facilities provide housing, meals, 24-hour supervision, social and recreational programs, administration of medications, and personal care to individuals who do not routinely require nursing or medical care. In Massachusetts, residential care facilities are licensed and regulated by the Division of Health Care Quality at the Department of Public Health (617-727-7765) www.state.ma.us/dph. Public assistance through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program (800-772-1213) and Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) is available at some residential care facilities for individuals who cannot afford to pay for their care privately and who meet financial eligibility requirements. EAEDC is administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (800-249-2007). In addition, some long-term care insurance policies may pay for residential care.
Nursing/skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities offer 24 hour nursing care, in addition to providing personal care, recreational activities, physical and occupational therapy, and all meals. Many facilities provide short-term rehabilitation services for individuals recuperating from a hospitalization in addition to longer term care for individuals. Some nursing facilities have special units for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In Massachusetts nursing facilities are licensed by the Division of Health Care Quality at the Department of Public Health (617-493-8333), www.mass.gov/dph. Some residents or their families pay for nursing facility care out of their own private funds or with private long-term care insurance. Others, who have limited finances or who “spend-down” their finances on their care become eligible for MassHealth. Medicare covers some nursing facility care for shorter-term stays following a hospitalization.
246 Walnut Street, Suite 203
Newton, MA 02460