- Assisted Living »
- Home Care »
- Independent Living »
- Senior Care
- Providers »
Senior home care in Massachusetts is an option for those who may need extra help around the house or as much attention as 24-hour medical care. This care type is designed to allow seniors to receive care in a familiar setting while remaining as independent as possible. Currently, there are about 669 home care agencies in Massachusetts with an average monthly cost of around $4,767.
For seniors who may be recovering from an illness, surgery, or who just need assistance in their homes, this care type can be the solution. Hiring a home care aide is a way to provide professional help for you or your loved one, ranging from bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, and general hygiene, to performing instrumental tasks like housekeeping, general shopping, transportation or meal preparation. Depending on if a caretaker is a licensed medical professional or a non-medical paraprofessional, your costs will vary in accordance with the specific services provided.
There are a number of cities throughout Massachusetts that have senior home care agencies and the median monthly cost ranges from:
City Homemaker Services Monthly Costs Home Health Aides Monthly Costs Barnstable $4,424 $5,053 Boston $4,767 $4,957 Pittsfield $4,671 $4,814 Springfield $4,528 $4,576 Worcester n/a $4,576 Rest of State $3,718 $3,909
Massachusetts has many features to offer potential residents such as Berkshires, Public Garden, New England Aquarium, Battleship Cove, The Witch House, and Martha’s Vineyard. Berkshires and the Public Park both offer beautiful, natural sights to relax, have a picnic and explore the scenery. The Battleship Cove is a war museum with the largest collection of naval vessels from World War II and is actually the largest collection in the world. The Witch House is the only building still standing that has a connection to the Salem Witch trials. Judge Jonathan Corwin owned the house and was one of the judges in the famous witch trials. Martha’s Vineyard is an island that has warm summer weather and beautiful beaches. As a state rich with American history, Massachusetts makes for the quintessential New England experience.
Massachusetts has many options for seniors. There are senior centers throughout the state that provide senior-oriented activities such as bingo, board games, exercise classes, and crafts. Specialized senior trips are also available to places such as Fenway Park, the Norman Rockwell Museum, or Tanglewood.
The overall climate of Massachusetts is considered humid continental and supports four distinct seasons. Temperatures are generally pretty regular, but extremes are always a possibility. Typically, summers are warm with the average high temperature reaching 82 degrees and winters are cold with the average low temperature around 17 degrees. The coastal areas are less prone to temperature extremes compared to farther inland. During the summer, thunderstorms are very common but usually dissipate quickly. During the winter, Nor’easters aren’t uncommon and Massachusetts receives significant snowfall every year. The fall is a very popular season because of the changing leaves. During the summer, light to medium weight clothing can be useful in the evenings and warm, heavy clothing is recommended during the winter.
With Massachusetts being the site of some of the original Pilgrims and Puritans to America, there are many historical sites to be explored. Although the state has traditionally been very conservative, Massachusetts is still a forward-thinking and progressive place in large part due to its higher education system and world-class universities like Harvard and Cambridge among others. People are generally very lively and ready to share with visitors what makes it a great place to live.
When looking for home care in Massachusetts, it can be helpful to know which areas are the safest. An environment free of crime will not only be less stressful on the individual receiving care and their caregiver, but also any family members who decide to visit. Here are some of the safer areas found throughout Massachusetts:
Location Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Wayland 0.44 0.96 Norfolk 0.17 1.86 Boxford 0.00 2.19 Hopkinton 0.06 2.65
According to federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36), Medicare-certified home health agencies are required to employ only health aides who have been trained and evaluated by the approved programs of their state of practice. These regulations provide the subject areas and required skills, as well as the qualifications for trainers approved to administer the competency evaluation process. 34 states in total along with the District of Columbia require a minimum federal standard of 75 hours of training. Additionally, 16 hours of supervised clinical training with 12 hours of continuing education every 12 month period are required to maintain a certification.
Senior paying for home care can do so in a variety of different ways, each with its own advantages based on your unique financial and health situation.
To start, Medicare does not pay for home care aides, and only covers medical home health care very selectively. The benefits of medicare just do not apply to non-medical care, period. Mostly, it is used for its Supplemental Insurances to cover Medicare copayments and deductibles. In order to qualify for Medicare coverage for in-home care, it must be deemed medically necessary.
For veterans of the U.S., the Improved Pension and Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension may be used to help pay for or cover the entire costs of home care. To apply for these benefits, contact your local Veteran’s Association or Area Agency on Aging for more details and eligibility requirements.
Paying privately is also an option for many seniors through several methods. Besides using one’s own savings to pay for care, others may choose to pay through a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit or by converting their life insurance policies.
Medicaid is another joint federal and state insurance program available to seniors and their families with low income. The rules, eligibility requirements, and benefits of Medicaid are state-specific and will vary based on your location.
Seniors receiving home care from a Medicare-approved home health agency retain a series of guaranteed rights and protections with the intention of keeping your needs met. Before receiving home care in any form, it is required that the home health care agency provides you with information detailing your rights. You will be informed that your rights are retained to choose your own home care agency and to decide which services you need. At all times, your privacy, property, and individual autonomy must be respected by your caregiver within the parameters of the care provided.
Although there may be the possibility that you will lack the ability to make reasonable or informed decisions about your home health care, you can appoint a family member or legal guardian to act on your behalf.
Remember, you also retain your Constitutional rights and those afforded to you by the Bill of Rights as a citizen of the United States. If you believe that you have experienced a violation of your rights, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer familiar with elder law or have someone advocate for you.
Seniors receiving home care in Massachusetts have the right to obtain copies of their medical records and other protected health information. Although it’s a common misconception that this information cannot be disclosed due to privacy laws, the fact is that you can submit a written request to your health care provider and actually receive copies or digital versions of this information within 30 days of your request.
Even if they ask, you don’t need to provide a reason for the request. You will likely be charged a fee and the request may be required in writing, but your records belong to you.
Details of your mental and physical health are included in your protected health information which includes medical records, billing records, claims adjudication records, and other private documents. By reviewing your information you’ll always be able to make any corrections needed with the supervision of your healthcare provider and ensure the overall accuracy of these records.