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Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities

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Cost of Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities

According to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of assisted living in Massachusetts is $5,300 per month.

The monthly base rate for Massachusetts assisted living is typically higher when compared to neighboring states. Massachusetts is also more expensive compared to the national average.

This cost is the base cost for a one-bedroom assisted living unit in Massachusetts. Additional fees beyond the base rate may apply.

More info on Assisted Living Costs

Monthly Costs Compared to Neighboring States

New York$4,100
New Hampshire$5,103
Rhode Island$5,325

Assisted Living Regulations

Massachusetts defines an assisted living facility as one that provides room, board and assistance with ADL's in exchange for payment for three or more adults.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Scope of Care

Massachusetts assisted living residences must provide a minimum of one meal per day, timely help in case of need, supervision and assistance as needed for ADL's, and medication management as needed. Home health care agencies may provide additional services as contracted by the resident.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Admission Requirements

All residents must go through an intake assessment to determine the level of personal care needs, medication management needs, current medications, dietary preferences, allergies, and psychosocial issues. Residents must be given a full disclosure of all written policies regarding payment, lists of activities, explanation of safety features and more, upon arrival.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Care Plan Requirements

A service plan is created for all residents at the time of initial intake assessment.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Medication Management Requirements

Self-administered medication is acceptable, and assistance with medication is allowed in limited circumstances. A nurse at the assisted living facility is permitted to give medication, as long as it is not injected.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Facility Requirements

The facility must meet all safety codes and provide one bathing facility for every three residents, and a half bathroom for every unit for facilities constructed after 1995. For building built prior, only a half bathroom is required in every unit. A locking door and a kitchenette or access to kitchen facilities is also required.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Staffing Requirements

Orientation and continuing education are required for all staff, and direct care staff must consist of licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified home health aides, and qualified personal care homemakers or they must have completed a specialized training course. A manager must be 21, hold a Bachelor's degree in a related field, and have the ability to operate the facility effectively. A staff person must be on the premises 24 hours a day.

Massachusetts Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Personal care services are covered under the Medicaid state plan.

Massachusetts Alzheimer's Care Requirements

If a facility wishes to have a special unit certified as a special care residence for those with dementia or Alzheimer's, additional regulation are in effect regarding training, policies and procedures.

Massachusetts Medicaid Coverage of Assisted Living and Related Services

The State of Massachusetts pays for personal care for individuals living at home or in an assisted living community. It is called MassHealth. Massachusetts also offers several programs within MassHealth that offers assistance for older adults:

MassHealth Personal Care Attendant program gives personal care services to the elderly and the disabled residents. Its aim is to enable independent living and prevent unnecessary or early nursing home institutionalization. The Personal Care Attendant program is relevant to persons who choose to remain living in their homes or in the homes of family members.

The PCA Program allows the participants to self-direct their care. Individuals are able to hire their own personal care attendants to assist them with the activities of daily living. They are allowed to hire friends, neighbors and even some family members to work as their personal caregiver. Spouses and legal guardians are not eligible to be hired. However; the adult children of aging parents can be paid for the caregiving services they provide.

List of Benefits & Services for the Personal Care Attendant program

Individuals are medically reviewed during enrollment to determine the number of hours per week they need help. Then they are given a budget for services. Support with activities or instrumental activities of daily living are covered. They include bathing, grooming, toileting, eating and personal hygiene as well as homemaker services such as housecleaning, laundry, meal preparation, shopping and transportation.

How to apply for the Personal Care Attendant program

Here is the list of agencies and contact information for this program - downloadable PDF Consumer Handbook. Call MassHealth at 1-800-841-2900. This program is available throughout Massachusetts.

MassHealth Caregiver Homes gives participants 24/7 care but do so in the private homes of caregivers. Caregiver Homes of Massachusetts is new within the Medicaid (MassHealth) structure. It allows the elderly or the disabled to move into a caregiver's home or having a caregiver move into their home. Its common that the caregivers are friends or family members of the person needing care but it is not a requirement.

The caregivers are paid for the 24-hr personal care delivered. Usually, activities of daily living like bathing, toileting, grooming and other personal hygiene as well as the instrumental activities of daily living such as meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry are given.

The MassHealth Caregiver Homes program does not pay for the room and board of the individual. The person receiving care (care recipient) pays $400 - $500 / month to their caregivers. When family members are providing the care, they cover those costs themselves.

Eligible family members include siblings, the adult children and other relatives but not spouses, parents of minors or legal guardians. It is unclear whether ex-spouses can be paid as caregivers.

List of Benefits & Services for the Caregiver Homes

The care recipients receive 24 hour personal care services from caregivers and continue to receive trained medical professionals (nursing home type care) in the residence.

Caregivers receive payment from MassHealth starting at $8,000 and can reach upwards to $18,000 annually and two weeks of respite care per year.

How to apply for the Caregiver Homes program - learn more by calling the Mass AgeLine at 1-800-243-4636 or contact the local Aging Services Access Point. Here's a PDF brochure for download.

MassHealth Group Adult Foster Care helps elderly, low income Massachusetts residents with the cost of group adult foster care. Group adult foster care includes assisted living care provided the assisted living residence has been approved by the GAFC Program. It pays for personal care services, medication management and administration but does not cover the cost of room and board. However, Massachusetts provides financial assistance for assisted living room and board costs through Supplemental Security Income (SSI-G) which can be used in combination with the GAFC Program.

List of Benefits & Services for the Group Adult Care

The program pays for the cost of personal care and medication administration in group adult foster care or at approved assisted living communities throughout the state. It does not pay for room and board. The personal care includes assistance with the activities of daily such as bathing, transferring, mobility, dressing, eating and other areas of personal hygiene.

How to apply for the program - Call 1-800-841-2900 or visit any of the Massachusetts Area Agencies on Aging. They are available across the state.

Executive Office of Elder Affairs Phone (617) 727-7750

Contact: Duamarius Stukes Phone (617) 222-7465


Web Site:

What is the best number to call to get started? Call (617) 727-5608 or (617) 727-5608. There are also four regional offices: Central West Region (413) 205-0800; Northeast Region (978) 774-5000; Metro Region (781) 314-7500; or Southeast Region (508) 866-5000.

Is there a website?

Massachusetts Contacts

Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Phone: (617) 727-7750

Duamarius Stukes
Phone: (617) 222-7465

Much of the information above was adapted from the National Center of Assisted Living 2010 Regulatory Review.

License information source: Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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