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Updated: March 22, 2021 Senior Planning Guide

Tap into services to help you stay at home

We are all aging!

How many of us have plans to spend our golden years in a nursing home? How many of us have had conversations with our parents that going into a nursing home is built into their plans? Nursing homes are vital to the continuum of care, but they are usually the last resort.

Our mindset is to stay home. You can. Your loved ones can. 

Lori A. Richardson

I had a conversation with a woman, Anne, who was concerned with her 74-year-old mother Mary needing support. Anne expressed her fear about getting in-home services. She was overwhelmed with navigating through all the choices. Anne was in tears.

Looking up “home care” online, in a matter of one second you will have more than 90 million matches. The information can be overwhelming.

The best place to get unbiased information is right in your backyard. Throughout Massachusetts, there are 25 Aging Services Access Points. Each is a private nonprofit with a volunteer board of directors made up of representatives from the local Councils on Aging and people aged 60 and older who live in the communities. ASAPs are regulated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

The overall mission of any ASAP is to provide comprehensive information and quality services so older people and their families are empowered to make personalized choices to ensure a life of dignity, safety, and respect.

Central Massachusetts is represented by Montachusett Home Care in northern Worcester County, Elder Services of Worcester, and Tri-Valley Elder Services in southern Worcester County.

Our aging process seems to go at a faster rate the older we get. Before you realize it, like Anne, in a blink, you may have noticed your mother, your father, or a beloved relative, friend, or neighbor in need of additional supports. These supports could include basic tasks we take for granted such as cooking, cleaning, driving, laundry, or managing finances.

There is staff dedicated exclusively at Montachusett Home Care to provide comprehensive information and counseling. Our case managers and nurses assess the individual needs of older adults and develop a personalized service plan.

I entered the field of aging services because I was a caregiver for my mother-in-law Joyce, who had Alzheimer’s. My husband Jeff and I walked the walk of caregiving for seven years. We were overwhelmed, felt alone, did not know where to find the answers. Joyce died at home and remains an inspiration of the human spirit, dignity, and respect.

If you are concerned about an olderloved one, neighbor or friend needing support with daily tasks or even managing finances, please reach out to your ASAP. If you need help navigating the options, please reach out to your ASAP. If you are a caregiver or grandparent raising a grandchild, please reach out to your ASAP.

The ASAP network supports over 63,000 older adults in their own homes in Massachusetts.

Anne has hope. She is not alone; she is relieved her mom Mary is getting services in her home. Mary is at ease chatting with her MHCC case manager Stacey and MHCC nurse Suzanne. Mary enjoys her home-delivered meals and looks forward to seeing her in-home worker Sandy two times a week.

We are all aging! Know us before you need us! There is hope!

The best place to get unbiased information is right in your backyard.

Lori A. Richardson is CEO of Montachusett Home Care in Leominster.

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