> 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 nursing home. Many older adults and their loved ones may not be familiar with making this kind of decision, or knowing what other service options exist.

Those alternatives include, but are not limited to:

Community Choice Program

For elders who receive Mass Health benefits and are nursing home eligible, the choice of receiving care at home to meet their needs may be possible. The Community Choice Program provides assistance with daily living and personal care needs. Mass Health 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 Care
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Home Health Services
  • Personal Emergency Response System
  • Laundry Services
  • Supportive Day Care
  • Medical Transportation

Congregate Housing

Some elders do not require 24-hour care but cannot live alone; they need affordable, private housing that also provides opportunities for socialization and companionship. For these individuals, congregate living arrangements may be ideal.

Congregate Housing is designed so that each resident has a private bedroom, shared kitchen and dining facilities, with some sites offering a private ½ bath. These congregate living spaces are usually located within public housing facilities, and are affordable for people with limited incomes. A congregate coordinator helps to determine if Congregate Housing is an appropriate option and assists with arranging home care services within the Congregate Housing site. A well balanced home-style meal is standard, and provided to residents daily. Typically 30% of an individual’s income covers rent and utilities.

Group Adult Foster Care

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

Enhanced Community Options Program

The Enhanced Community Options Program was created to provide more support and services for frail elders. Our care managers will assist our consumers to receive the ECOP benefit if the consumer is eligible and in need. A care manager/nurse team will assess and obtain approval from a Home Care manager.

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.

Options Counseling

Options Counselors can provide information and make referrals on behalf of consumers, caregivers and families seeking independent living options like 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.

Home – Based Care

Through our Home Care Program we have a range of in-home services for elders to maintain their independence and continue to live at home. Our Care Managers will assist the elder with developing a plan of care that best fits their needs.

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.

Supportive Housing

A Supportive Housing Coordinator establishes services in supportive housing that enrich the living environment for residents. Services are geared to both individuals and the general population. The coordinator is housed on-site to ensure easy access for residents seeking assistance and individual attention.