One of the first things you probably want to consider when choosing an ALR is how much it will cost and how you will pay for it. The cost of ALRs vary due to the location, the size of the apartment, and the services included. The monthly fee for ALRs in Massachusetts is typically $3,000 or more. The majority of Assisted Living residents pay privately, but there are a few ways to receive third party assistance:

1. Group Adult Foster Care - This program, funded by Medicaid, pays for the service component of Assisted Living, (about $1,000 a month). To be eligible, adults must qualify financially for Medicaid and must also demonstrate that they need daily assistance with Activities of Daily Living (dressing, bathing, eating, daily hygiene, ambulation.).

Not every ALR accepts Group Adult Foster Care (GAFC) residents, so you should inquire as to whether this is an accepted option. For a list of ALRs that participate in the GAFC program call Elder Affairs' Information and Resources unit at 1-800-243-4636.

Many people who are eligible for Medicaid can also receive SSI-G - a subsidy of up to $1,000 per month from Social Security to cover the rent.

2. A few ALRs provide reduced rates for lower income residents. An example is ALRs which receive funds from MassHousing through a program called ElderCHOICE. At least 20% of the units within ElderCHOICE ALRs are reserved for low-income residents. Again, you should inquire as to whether the particular residence you are considering offers reduced rates.

For more information on how to choose the right assisted living residence, you may call Elder Affairs at (617) 727-7750 or 1-800-AGE- INFO (1-800-243-4636) for a free copy of Assisted Living in Massachusetts: A Consumer's Guide.