About Assisted Living in Massachusetts

While the cost of living in parts of Massachusetts is astronomically higher than the national average (some places more than 138%), other parts of the state are more reasonable, although still higher than the national average. However, the state’s income tax is a fairly-low flat rate and estate-tax is exempt. Social security, civil service, and state and local government pensions are also exempt.

What Options are Available for Assisted Living?

In the state of Massachusetts, an assisted living residence provides both room and board, as well as personal care services for 3 or more adults.

Before an individual is admitted or pays for services a disclosure statement must be delivered to the potential resident or his or her legal representative. It should include information on the residence such as number and type of units, current staff, physical design, security policy, and a breakdown of pricing for services offered, payment terms, and explanation of any service limitations. It should also thoroughly explain nurse roles, rules of conduct, and provide a list of enrichment activities.

Facilities must have individual comprehensive emergency plans in place to meet potential emergencies, including communicable disease control plans.

What are the Alzheimer’s Requirements for Assisted Living Residence in Massachusetts?

Additional policies and procedures as well as staff training and certification are required to provide special care services. An assisted living residence can designate a part of the facility as a Special Care Residence for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive impairments.

Senior Assisted Living Details and Costs for Cities in Massachusetts

Listed below are some of the larger cities in Massachusetts. Each city page provides details on assisted living facilities, independent living, senior apartments and homes, and memory care facilities. Details may include costs, amenities, medical care, as well as other useful information.

What Training is Required for Assisted Living Residence Staff?

All staff, including contracted providers, must complete a 7-hour orientation before assisting residents. Personal care staff must be licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified home health aides, or complete a 54-hour training course.

Staff working in a Special Care Residence must receive at least 2 hours training on dementia/cognitive impairment, including a basic overview of the disease process, communication skills, and behavioral management as part of the orientation process. They must also complete 2 hours of ongoing dementia and cognitive impairment training each year.

Is an Assessment Required Before Move-In?

Each facility must have a quality improvement and assurance program that requires keeping records of the resident’s diagnosis, current medications, allergies, dietary needs, history of psychosocial issues, level of personal care, and the resident’s ability to manage medication.

What Care is Available in an Assisted Living Residence?

  • Regularly scheduled meals.
  • Supervision and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).
  • Assistance with the self-administration of medication.
  • Emergency response.

The facility may arrange services from a licensed 3rd party health care provider.

How is Medication Managed?

Residents are permitted to self-administer medications and limited medication administration may be provided by a family member, healthcare practitioner, or registered or licensed nurse. Facility nurses can administer non-injectable medications ordered by an authorized prescriber or personal physician.

What are the Bathroom Requirements for an Assisted Living Residence?

For facilities constructed after 1995, each unit must provide a private bathroom. All previous construction must provide a private half-bathroom for each living unit, consisting of a toilet and sink, and there must also be a tub or shower for every 3 residents.

What are the Move-In or Move-Out Requirements?

The assisted living residence may not provide, admit, or retain residents that require skilled nursing care unless care can be provided by a licensed 3rd party health care provider or hospice. The licensed provider is not allowed to train any of the facility’s staff to provide the necessary care for the resident.

Is an Assisted Living Residence Covered by Medicaid in the State of Massachusetts?

Yes. Medicaid’s state plan covers personal care services.

Who can I contact for more information?

Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Duamarius Stukes
(617) 727-7750