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HOME ALONE:ELDER SERVICES AND MASSHEALTH CAN KEEP YOU THERE

New Picture.pngMany Seniors who live alone need help, not a move to a nursing home. Due to a physical disability, they may be unable to go grocery shopping, run errands, pick up prescriptions, cook, do laundry, shower or take a bath safely, or keep their home clean. With a little (or a lot) of help, they can remain in their homes. Their children, other family members or friends may not live close enough to help on a day to day basis, or they may not be aware that help is needed. Many Seniors reach a crisis point, when their doctor files a report with the local Elder Services Agency that their living situation is not safe. The good news is that the Elder Services Agency is there to help Seniors remain in their homes. The agency will send a Social Worker to visit the Senior in his or her home to evaluate the situation and determine what services are needed. These services include: 

  • Home Health Aides, to assist with dressing, bathing, and personal care
  • A Homemaker to do cleaning, laundry, and other chores
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Adult Day Care (including transportation)
  • Medication Dispensing
  • Medical Emergency Response System
  • Transportation to Doctors Visits and Physical Therapy
  • Grocery shopping and other errands
  • A Wanderer Locator
  • Modifications to the home to make it handicapped accessible
  • Respite Care
  • Behavioral Counseling

Most of these services are provided through MassHealth. The cost of the services depends on monthly income. For low income Seniors, these services are provided free of charge. Seniors with higher income must pay a deductible every six months before MassHealth picks up the cost. For more information, go to http://www.mass.gov/elders/healthcare/masshealth/ . Funds for a home health aide can also be obtained through the Veterans Aid and Attendance program, which pays up to $2,000/month to qualified wartime veterans and their widows. See my article titled Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits for a description of this program. You can also choose a private agency that will provide a home health aide for $15 to $20 an hour. Many Seniors struggle from day to day, afraid or ashamed to ask for help. If you or a family member needs help to stay in your home, call your local Elder Services Agency. For a list of the Massachusetts Elder Services Agencies, follow this link: http://www.seniorconnection.org/aaa_asap.htm.

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Roberta A. Schreiber, P.C.
Suite 108
348 Park Street
North Reading, MA 01864-2153

Phone: (978) 664-2552
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