Rest homes provide 24-hour supervision and supportive services for individuals who don't routinely need nursing or medical care. Rest homes provide housing, meals, activities, and administration of medications for individuals who need a supportive living arrangement. Rest homes are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
A rest home is not merely a temporary residence but a permanent home. Therefore, good care includes not only providing care with dignity and respect, but also dietary services that provide appetizing and nutritious meals, housekeeping services that keep physical surroundings pleasant and planned activities that foster social interaction.
When you begin your search for a long-term care home, it is important to judge the opportunities for personal growth and choice as well as the care that is provided. If you are assisting a loved one with choosing a rest home, it is important to ensure their voice is heard, and that their preferences are respected as much as possible, even if you do not agree. The key to a successful transition to a new home is a sense of autonomy and involvement in the choice of where to live.
Compiling a list of homes that fit the needs and preferences of the individual is a good place to start the selection process. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides guidance to what homes are in the area and what basic services each home provides. While Ombudsman Representatives do not rate facilities, they will help sort out the information and assist you in making your decision.
People with financial resources may pay using their own resources for a stay in a rest home (or a nursing home, if nursing home care is needed). An individual signs a contract specifying services they would receive in exchange for payment. The Massachusetts Attorney General regulations (940 CMR 4.00 – 4.11) detail protections for consumers in long term care facilities, including rest homes. It is critical for someone paying privately to review their admission contract before signing it. The individual may also be required to disclose information about their financial status if they are paying privately.
If a resident’s income is limited, they may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or, in very limited instances, EAEDC (Emergency Aid for Elders, Disabled and Children). In addition, certain eligible Veterans may have their stay in either a nursing or rest home paid for through the Veterans Administration.
SSI is a federal financial assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration. Qualified individuals may utilize SSI to pay for a stay in a REST HOME. Among other things, an applicant must meet age (65 or over) and/or disability criteria. Financially, a qualified applicant may not have more than $2,000 in countable assets, and if married, a couple may not have more than $3,000 in assets. In addition, the monthly income levels must be less than the SSI payment standard, recalculated annually. People on SSI receive a personal needs allowance (PNA) to use for items not available at the home. SSI recipients are also automatically eligible for Medicaid to cover medical expenses. To apply for SSI, contact the local Social Security Office, 1-800-772-1213. Website: www.ssa.gov
Rest homes are governed by Massachusetts regulation. More information about rest homes and regulations can be found at the links below.