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Seniorly’s Guide to Assisted Living in Boston
The city of Boston is home to more than 200 senior living communities, from small homes to large 100+ apartment buildings. Assisted living communities are residential properties that deliver non-medical care focused on Activities of Daily Living and/or memory support.
These assisted living communities are certified by the State of Massachusetts’ Office of Elder Affairs. This agency is responsible for ensuring the communities are safe and secure. The office’s database lists at least 237 certified communities in Massachusetts, a handful of which are located within the city of Boston.
There are four types of properties offer these assisted living services in Boston: Board and Care Home, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.
Board and Care Homes are single family homes spread throughout the city of Boston. Pros: They are usually more budget friendly, have an intimate setting, and have higher staff to resident ratios (industry average 1:6). Cons: They do not have amenities, much socialization opportunities, or fine dining services.
Assisted Living Communities are purpose built properties often appearing to be a large apartment complex from the outside. These communities are also spread throughout the city in neighborhoods like Cambridge, Charlestown, Somerville, South Boston, and Brookline. Pros: They have many amenities, robust social programing and therapies, and typically offer better dining experiences. Cons: They are expensive and often have lower staff to resident ratios (industry average 1:16).
Memory Care Communities are either purpose built properties or wings within Assisted Living communities. In Boston most large Assisted Living communities have Memory Care wings which offer private and shared rooms to seniors. Pros: They typically have staff training in Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving, and have higher staff to resident ratios (sometimes as low as 1:5). Cons: They are very expensive and not all “training” is equal.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs or LifeCare) communities are purpose built properties meant to care for seniors when they are more independent. The concept was created to enable a new way to “age in place”. These properties have different living options that support seniors at a healthier stage all the way through very high levels of care (including medical needs). There are three CCRCs located in Boston: Hebrew Senior Life, Lasell Village, and Carleton Willard Village. Pros: They offer a new “age in place” solution. Cons: They are very expensive with initial buy-in fees in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
The challenging part is finding a community within your budget and/or making a decision on the type of community that best fits your needs. In terms figuring out what type of community works for you, the best way to experience it is to take tours. In fact, most families tour 3-5 properties before making a decision. You can always try a community temporarily through short-term stays (typically 2-4 weeks). So there you have it. Everything you need to get started with your search process for Assisted Living in Boston. Making these decisions can be tough. Especially when you are looking for a parent. Rest assured that many of these properties are a far cry away from the modern connotation of nursing homes. From Art Deco buildings to holistic approaches to senior care, the modern Assisted Living community has a lot to offer. It’s worth exploring.
BayPath provides helpful supportive services to seniors, caregivers and their families including arranging for housekeeping, personal care, home health services, meal delivery, transportation to medical appointments, money management, and more.
Central Boston Elder Services assigns case managers to work with Boston seniors on building a personalized care plan. Supportive services include transportation, adaptive housing, dementia day care, laundry services, protective legal services, and more.
Ethos is a Boston nonprofit agency created to support seniors primarily in the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan. Services include nutritional and healthy aging support, volunteer opportunities, counselling services, and in-home care.
Learn More About the City of Boston
One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston has a rich colonial history that is evident in the architecture, customs, and events cherished by local Bostonians.
Major annual events in Boston include First Night on New Year’s Eve, the Boston Arts Festival, Italian summer feasts in the North End, as well as week-long Harborfest festivities during the Fourth of July period. The Boston Pops concert along the banks of the Charles River is a staple of summer entertainment in Boston.
Boston shares cultural roots with the greater New England area, including a regional cuisine, emphasis on higher education and religious freedom, as well as a deep regard for music and the arts.
A few of the most famous landmarks in Boston include Faneuil Hall historic marketplace, Bunker Hill Monument, Boston Common urban park, Newbury Street shopping district, and the Swan Boats located in the Public Garden.
Boston has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. The hottest month is July, with an average high temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month is January, with an average low temperature of 22 degrees Fahrenheit.
Major hospitals in Boston include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, among others.
Youville House is located 1.6 miles from Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.
Interesting Facts about Boston Assisted Living
Boston has a wide variety of assisted living communities to suit a range of lifestyle preferences, medical needs, and retirement goals.
One of the greatest benefits of choosing an assisted living community in Boston is the accessibility to some of the best health care options in the country. Boston is known for its world-class medical centers, hospitals, and research institutes geared toward supporting patients with complex health needs. When it comes to ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of as they age, there’s really no better place to be.
Furthermore, the proximity to cultural attractions such as science museums, opera houses and concert halls open up a world of possibility for assisted living residents who are active and independent, and desire to make the most of their Boston assisted living experience.