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When an elder or disabled individual requires 24-hour medical care or supervision a nursing home or rest home is an option they may choose. Nursing homes are primarily for people who need care on a long term basis. These facilities are licensed by the state, and provide nursing and related medical services around the clock.

Rest Homes and Nursing Homes

When an elder or disabled individual requires 24-hour medical care or supervision a nursing home or rest home is an option they may choose. Nursing homes are primarily for people who need care on a long term basis. These facilities are licensed by the state, and provide nursing and related medical services around the clock.  Residents must have one or more health diagnoses requiring daily care. The costs for this type of care can be over $95,000 annually for those individuals paying privately.  Payments may also be available through an individual’s long term care insurance plan, Mass Health, and sometimes Medicare. The basic differences  between nursing homes and rest homes are level of need and payment. Rest home residents must be independent with only one activity of daily living they cannot complete on their own.  Source of payment varies for each rest home—some are purely private and some accept Mass Health (EAEDC).

Screening for Nursing Home Care

Elder Services offers a nursing home screening for elders and caregivers to determine the eligibility for nursing home care and alternative living options to meet the medical needs. A registered nurse sits down with elders and family members to explain nursing home admission criteria, screen for eligibility, and explore the alternatives in community care that may be available to keep someone home. Elder Services’ staff conducts only Mass Health screenings. For patients who pay privately, the nursing home staff provides this service.

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Program

At Elder Services, the Nursing Home Ombudsman Program is a state sanctioned program staffed by trained volunteers that serves as a communication link between family members, residents, and staff to help resolve problems and ensure a better living experience for residents in nursing homes. Referrals for Ombudsman services are generated by elders and family members as well as nursing home staff concerned about a resident. Ombudsman services are provided free of charge to nursing home residents in 47 care facilities located in the Merrimack Valley.

Elder Services would like to share information about nursing home options as well as alternative options. Learn more by calling our Age Information Department at 800-892-0890.