Posts

Elderly Woman Exiting Car
Elderly Woman Exiting Car

Massachusetts Kindred Healthcare Nursing Homes Close Down

The Department of Public Health has recently announced that five nursing homes in Massachusetts will be closing down. This means that more than 600 senior citizen residents will have to relocate and find new places to live. Four of the facilities are nursing, transitional care or rehabilitation centers run by Kindred Healthcare in Boston, Canton, Dedham and Needham. The Kentucky-based company has been attempting to transition out of the nursing home business nationally. Last summer, it announced that it was selling 89 nursing homes for $700 million, and the company plans to close the Massachusetts centers in late March 2018.

What Will Happen to All Of The Residents?

The care facilities will still be operating until the proposed close date, and facility officials will be finalizing the plan for closing until then. Kindred will be working with local and state departments of Public Health and Elder Affairs on plans for relocation. Relocation will be based off of individual residents’ needs and preferences. Kindred employees will arrange visitations for residents and families to other facilities, and the company has even offered to pay for moving expenses. The company will also provide job fairs and job placement support for future employees. The fifth nursing home to close is Heritage Nursing Care Center in Lowell. The center has needed significant renovations for years now, and it has experienced a severe decline in referrals and population. The center is also working with state officials to transfer residents to other facilities.

Overall decline in nursing home care can be explained by two factors: their support and needs are being met through household care, and Medicaid does not cover the cost of most care for nursing facilities. MassHealth (Massachusetts’ Medicaid program) has actually been a huge assistance in providing a trustworthy transition from inadequate facility care to suitable home care.

If you or someone you love is a Massachusetts resident and is interested in knowing more about nursing home care, contact at the North Shore Planning.

scales
scales

Would a Home Care Worker Registry Protect Seniors or Invade Worker Privacy?

scalesAs you age, your ability to take care of your physical and healthcare needs changes. When this happens, most people will turn to their families and spouses for help, but sometimes these loved ones aren’t able to handle these changes. That can leave seniors looking for in home options for care, but inviting a stranger into your home can be problematic. Now Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a home care worker registry to make hiring in home help safer, but could this solution actually invade worker privacy?

Will a Home Care Worker Registry Invade Worker Privacy?

In the 2018 fiscal budget presented to Governor Charlie Baker, language that would set up a home care worker registry was included in the bill. And though the bill passed the Legislature, the Governor vetoed it due to privacy concerns. That was because the registry that would have been set up would have included workers’ name, home and mailing addresses, gender, job title, and training certifications. This could be a problem for many home care workers all across the state.

Home health workers who have been the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking could have their private information exposed to the public. This could lead to their abusers figuring out where they live, and could result in dangerous domestic incidents.

Law makers in the House, Senate and Governor’s office are searching for a solution to this privacy concern. They believe a registry will allow seniors in the state to vet the home care aides they are looking to hire. This could improve safety for these seniors and their families while encouraging aides to pursue training that will improve their standing on the registry.

For now, the legislation is at an impasse while lawmakers work out a solution, but can they reach an agreement that both improves elder safety and protects workers’ rights? Knowing firsthand how important home care can be for elder rights, the North Shore Planning will continue to monitor this bill and others that could affect the rights of Massachusetts seniors.

Contact us with questions about this topic.
Contact us with questions about this topic.

How Fast Is the Senior Population Growing in Massachusetts?

Seniors here in Massachusetts have many needs. From estate planning to the acquisition of healthcare benefits—such as MassHealth—seniors have many concerns that must be attended to. Considering that the senior population in the commonwealth is growing, these services may be more important than you realize. But just how fast is the 60 plus population growing, and how will that affect future generations?

Do You Know How Fast the Senior Population Is Growing?

Since April 2010, the population of people in Massachusetts over the age of 60 has grown by 24.6 percent (MCOA). That’s a lot considering that between 2000 and 2010, the senior population only grew by 16 percent. So, why has the population of seniors in our state jumped so rapidly? Many believe aging Baby Boomers are at the center of the spike.

The Baby Boomer generation has been one of the most populous in American history. Now, these people born between 1945 and 1964 are reaching the age of 60 at a staggering rate. Estimates from the Social Security Administration and Pew Research says that 10,000 Baby Boomers reach age 65 and retire every day. That puts a serious strain on healthcare programs and on areas of elder law.

Previous generations of seniors were well supported by a vast younger population—the baby boomers—but that may not be true of the current generation. As of December 2016, there are more people over the age of 60 in the commonwealth than there are people under the age of 20. This has never happened before in the state’s history.

This means that planning your golden years are even more important now than they have ever been before. Establishing wills and proper estate planning will be essential to help the state avoid costly and drawn out probate litigation. It also means planning out your future healthcare needs will be equally important. Otherwise, a court appointed guardian or conservator may have to make decisions for you in lieu of your family and friends.

Learn more about these considerations by reading our FAQS page—From the North Shore Planning, helping you plan, protect and provide.