> Alternatives to Nursing Home Care

One of the most difficult decisions faced by family members is the thought of having to move a family member into a long- term care facility. Many older adults and their loved ones may not be familiar with making this kind of decision or the alternative care options available to them.

Those alternatives include, but are not limited to:

Community Choice Program

The Community Choice program offers MassHealth standard enrollees who are nursing home eligible the choice of receiving their care at home, which can delay or prevent imminent placement in a long-term care facility. The Community Choice Program provides assistance with daily living and personal care needs. MassHealth recipients must be 60 years of age or older.

A Care Manager/Nurse team from Elder Services will conduct a needs assessment to determine eligibility. This team will work with the elder and his/her family members to determine a plan of care and offer ongoing case management support.

Services may include:

  • Homemaker
  • Personal care
  • Adult Day Health and Dementia Day Programs
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Home Health Services
  • Personal Emergency Response System
  • Laundry Services
  • Medical Transportation

Congregate Housing

An alternative living environment that integrates supportive services and offers the choice of independent living for people who cannot live alone but do not require 24-hour care. This option provides opportunities for socialization and companionship as well as supportive services for those who qualify.

Congregate units are usually located within public housing facilities with each resident having a private bedroom and sharing the kitchen, dining and/or bathing facilities. Some sites offer a private half bath. Rent for these apartments is 30% of the applicant’s income and also includes heat and electricity. Most sites offer a meal program as well for an additional cost to the congregate resident. An Elder Services Congregate Coordinator helps to determine if Congregate Housing is an appropriate option and will assist with arranging home care services at the congregate site.

Enhanced Community Options Program

The Enhanced Community Options Program is designed to address the needs of nursing home eligible elders who do not qualify for Mass Health standard and who require additional supports and services to remain safely and independently at home. A Care Manager/Nurse team from Elder Services will conduct a needs assessment to determine eligibility. This team will work with the elder and his/her family members to determine a plan of care and offer ongoing case management support.

The eligibility requirements are:

  • Meet the eligibility guidelines for the state Home Care Program;
  • Meet clinical eligibility requirements for nursing facility placement, and;
  • Require home care services greater than two times those available through the general state Home Care Program.

Group Adult Foster Care

The Group Adult Foster Care Program provides support and services to those who require daily personal care assistance. The consumers requesting this service must have at least one medical diagnosis, and as a result of that diagnosis, need daily personal care. To be eligible for this program, a consumer must be 22 years or older, require personal care assistance on a daily basis and be a MassHealth standard recipient who resides in a privately managed housing or a public housing authority building. Services are provided seven days per week allowing individuals to remain safe and independent at home.

Home Care Program

The state funded Home Care Program provides in-home services and supports to elders that meet program eligibility criteria. The Home Care Program offers a range of in-home services designed to help older adults maintain their independence at home and in the community.

Services are provided by community agencies selected for quality and cost. Elders must meet specific guidelines for need and financial eligibility to receive services under the Massachusetts Home Care Program. Assistance may be offered wherever an elder lives in a community setting: in their own home, with family members, or in elder housing. Click here to learn more about Home Care Services.

Options Counseling

Options Counselors provide information and make referrals on behalf of consumers, caregivers and families seeking independent living options such as supportive housing, congregate housing or community services. We serve both disabled adults and people 60 years of age or older. Counselors connect consumers with resources, services and information to meet their long-term care needs. Our visits are conducted in a home environment, nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, acute hospitals, assisted living centers, or community settings. Options counseling is free of charge, regardless of the consumer’s income or insurance coverage.

Supportive Housing

Supportive Housing offers elders an opportunity to be well cared for in their own home, whether it is public or private housing. A team of care managers and nurses work closely with caregivers, families and community agencies to coordinate and monitor care plans to meet eligible elder’s needs. Additionally, a resident service coordinator is available onsite to assist all residents with managing community supports. The resident service coordinator is responsible for the direct coordination of services and supports to residents at the assigned supportive housing site. Services are provided by community agencies selected for quality and cost and may include the following:

  • 24-hour on-call system for non-emergencies
  • Grocery shopping/laundry/light housekeeping
  • Meal programs
  • Evidence-based health programs
  • Socialization programs
  • SHINE counseling
  • Access to personal care homemakers on-site