What Options Are Available?
Many seniors are not aware of the options available for affordable housing and care as they age. In Massachusetts, there are a few financial-assistance programs that can assist low- to moderate-income seniors pay for both housing and care options. Residential care homes in Massachusetts offer seniors and disabled adults affordable housing options that include services such as homemade meals, snacks, scheduled activities, housekeeping, laundry, and clinical oversight with medication management.
“Many homes, like the Lathrop Home, offer private rooms, with shared common areas and daily activities to enrich the lives of the residents we serve,” said Crystal Cote-Stosz, executive director of the Northampton facility. “For many individuals, the offerings of a residential care home can bridge the care gap by providing assistance that is customized and affordable. Finances are a major consideration with life’s transitions, and for those of us needing support services such as meals, medication management, and assistance with personal care, making these choices can be difficult. Luckily for Massachusetts residents, subsidized care options are available in many residential care homes and assisted-living facilities.”
Paying for care is a significant stressor for families, especially for those who have not planned ahead or saved enough. According to a TD Bank study, one in five Millennials helps to financially support their aging parents, to the tune of $18,250 per year on average, and nearly three-quarters of the financial aid goes towards general living expenses like food and housing.
Both the state and federal government offer subsidy programs for residential care facilities, like the Lathrop Home, Cote-Stosz noted. The federal subsidy that assists individuals pay for residential care is through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program combined with the state Supplemental Security Program. Both programs work together to supplement an individual’s income to pay for the care provided by a residential care home.
The state program that assists residents in Massachusetts pay for residential care is called EAEDC (Emergency Aid to Elderly and Disabled Children). Residential care facilities like the Lathrop Home can have residents with monthly incomes up to $3,450 qualify for assistance paying for care. Many Massachusetts residential care facilities offer nursing on staff to triage residents’ clinical care needs, which allows individuals to remain independent from long-term care.
Residential care facilities provide application assistance for the financial-assistance programs available to those residents that spend down or require a subsidy application from point of admission. Individuals interested in residential care should visit the Massachusetts Assoc. of Residential Care Homes website at maresidentialcarehomes.org.