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MassGIS Data: Long Term Care Residences

May 2019

The Long Term Care Residences point datalayer contains the locations of licensed nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residences in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents



Data on nursing homes and rest homes were provided by the Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification and the Bureau of Environmental Health within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). Information on assisted living residences was provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. The update published in Spring 2019 is based on listings as of Spring 2018, and replaces the Spring 2007 version of this dataset.

Long-term care residences provide housing and services for individuals who are managing illness and/or disability attributed to physical and/or mental health conditions. While terminology may vary, generally long-term care facilities are distinguished by the type of medical and custodial (non-medical services such as dressing, bathing, etc.) care they provide, the relative independence of their residents, and the types of on-site amenities. Furthermore, some facilities cater to specific patient populations (e.g. Alzheimer's patients).

For the purposes of this datalayer, a nursing home is defined as a residential facility that provides 24-hour nursing care, rehabilitative services and activities of daily living to the chronically ill who require a relatively high level of institutional support. A rest home provides 24-hour supervision and supportive services for individuals who do not routinely need nursing or medical care.  Similarly, assisted living residences provide residents with housing and various daily living support services, but usually do not offer medical care. Assisted living residences often emphasize greater autonomy and privacy for residents through individual apartment-style rentals.

Other residential facilities that provide long term care such as group homes (i.e. boarding homes or congregate housing) and hospice facilities are not explicitly specified in this datalayer. Many locations in this datalayer, however, may offer additional services ranging from independent retirement living to intensive skilled nursing and palliative care. Non-residential care locations such as adult day health, rehabilitation, and senior centers are omitted.

MassGIS stores the data as LONGTERMCARE_PT. The March 2007 update this layer replaced NURSRESTHOMES_PT, which did not contain assisted living residences.


MDPH staff used Accumail address correction software to clean and standardize addresses, and then geocoded the lists using TeleAtlas and/or Navteq street centerlines. Wherever possible, MDPH staff adjusted geocoded point locations to better represent actual locations of the facilities. Spatial refinement was done using a variety of sources (orthogonal and oblique aerial imagery, on-line property cards, facility websites, etc.). MassGIS staff performed additional quality assurance and adjusted the location of some features to Master Address Database building points. Attributes were verified and updated by MassGIS staff.


The layer's point attribute table contains the following fields:

Field Name Description
FAC_TYPE Type of Facility:
 ALR - Assisted Living Residence
 NH - Nursing Home
 RH - Rest Home
FAC_NAME Facility Name
ADDRESS Primary address of facility
MAIL_CITY Postal Town name (may contain unofficial town names)
MAD_ID Identifier from the Master Address Database
REGION Region in MA where the facility is located


The following fields were removed from the dataset in the 2019 update to simplify it and remove frequently changing data: GISID, FACID, PO_BOX, PLUS_FOUR, TOWN_ID, TOTAL_BEDS, METHOD, and TOTAL_UNITS.

The following fields were added to the dataset in the 2019 update: MAD_ID, and REGION. Also in the 2019 update, Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) were renamed to be Assisted Living Residences (ALR).


MDPH maintains the layer and will provide any updates to MassGIS. Updates, comments and inquiries should be addressed to:

Bureau of Environmental Health - GIS
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

617-624-5757 (voice)
617-624-5777 (FAX)

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