Massachusetts Elder Care Options

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The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) is responsible for the planning and implementation of service programs for the elderly.  Access to these services is through the information and referral line at 1-800-Age-Info (243-4636).  This line is staffed nights and weekends. Virtually all services that are funded by the State flow through one of 27 non-profit regional agencies called Aging Service Access Points or ASAPs.  These agencies are assigned distinct and separate coverage areas. To find the one covering your town click on the link at the bottom of this page.

All the ASAP's work essentially the same way.  When you call they will attempt to determine if you or your elderly relative is qualified to receive subsidized services.  An elderly person will be eligible for all services if their annual income is below $20,778 if single or $29,402 if married.  If a Caregiver is involved (including family members) ASAP's also have a Respite program which will fund a sliding scale amount over these limits.  For purposes of determining eligibility no consideration is given for any assets that might be held by the individual.

If the elderly person is eligible for State services  a case manager will be assigned.  That Case manager will determine the type and level of services the Senior is eligible to receive.  Some of those services may be provided through agencies such as Home Instead Senior Care on a contract basis with the ASAP.

Generally there is a $250 monthly limit on the amount of subsidized services an income eligible Senior can receive however a new program called Community Choices can blow that limit away.  If a Senior would otherwise be eligible for Nursing Home Care BE SURE to ask whether they might be eligible for the Community Choices program. The intent of this program is to keep Seniors out of Nursing homes and provides a much higher level of in home care.

These services are provided on a contracted basis by local home care agencies.  Most of the Home Instead Senior Care Offices in Massachusetts have ASAP contracts.  This means that if the State awards your Senior services you can request Home Instead Senior Care provide those services.  This would allow you to pay for additional hours if needed on a private pay basis and keep the same Caregiver.

 Last year for example, Springwell provided support services to 2,000 Seniors.  These services included 100,000 hours of homemaking, 57,000 hours of personal care and over 200,000 meals through Meals on Wheels or at Senior luncheon sites. In addition to subsidized services, such as homemaking, area ASAPs will likely offer a variety of other Elder services.  These could include services such as tax help, bill paying, shopping assistance, or geriatric care management.  Even if you are not income qualified many of these services are available to any elderly resident. You should also be aware that there can be a significant difference in the quality of advice you will get from the same ASAP.  Some area ASAPs have a very high turnover of their counseling staff which negatively impacts the advise they dispense.  If you are dissatisfied it may pay to call back a second time.

Find Your Regional ASAP/Elder Care Agency

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