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By Assistant Secretary for Elder Affairs Ruth Palombo

Options Counseling is a gateway for many Massachusetts elders and people living with disabilities to receive community supports and services.  Launched throughout the Commonwealth in 2010, Options Counseling provides residents with objective information about long-term services and supports that can make the difference between people remaining in their homes — or other preferred residential setting — or placement in a nursing facility.  In response to the Equal Choice statute (Chapter 211 of the state Acts of 2006), the Options Counseling program is a vital part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s ‘Community First’ initiative to ensure that elders and people with disabilities who need long-term support services have the information and decision-making support they need to evaluate all of their options for a plan of action that honors consumer control and personal choice.

Options Counseling helps individuals fill the gap left by a health care system that tends to move people quickly toward nursing facility placement, leaving consumers little time to consider their choices and options.   The program ensures that elders and people with disabilities have the opportunity to consider long-term support options at a variety of points in the planning process, not just prior to nursing facility admission.  The timing and the number of counseling sessions provided depend on a consumer’s individual need for information and decision-making support.  Most importantly, consumers may receive services in a hospital, rehabilitation or nursing facility, or in their own homes.

Options Counseling promotes the “no wrong door” approach to accessing services.  Collectively administered by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), the service is accessible through the Commonwealth’s eleven Aging and Disability Resources Consortia  (ADRCs).  ADRCs are a local collaboration between Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs), Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Independent Living Centers (ILCs) throughout the state.  This alphabet soup of cooperating agencies offers Commonwealth residents a seamless, coordinated system of comprehensive support service information. 

If you are looking at long term support services or caring for someone who may need long-term supports, we urge you to consider Options Counseling, a free service open to Massachusetts residents.   Until now, options have been somewhat limited.  Today, with added emphasis on consumer empowerment and community services, as well as advances in technology, people have an unprecedented number of choices available to them. 

Following is a list of agencies offering Options Counseling. Also visit: mass.gov/elders for a list of ASAPs and AAAs. 

Massachusetts Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRC)

ADRC

Member Agency

Phone

Berkshire County 

Ad-Lib

(413) 442-7047

Elder Services of Berkshire County

(413) 499-0524

Cape Cod and the Islands

Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD)

(508) 775-8300

Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands

(508) 394-4630

Central Mass

 

Center for Living and Working

(508) 798-0350

Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging

(508) 852-5539

Elder Services of Worcester Area

(508) 756-1545

Montachusett Home Care Corporation

(978) 537-7411

Tri-Valley, Inc.

(508) 949-6654

Greater Boston

 

 

Boston Center for Independent Living

(617) 338-6665

HESSCO Elder Services

(781) 784-4944

Minuteman Senior Services

(781) 272-7177

Mystic Valley Elder Services

(781) 324-7705

Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services

(617) 628-2601

South Shore Elder Services

(781) 848-3910

Springwell, Inc.

(617) 926-4100

Greater

North Shore

 

Elder Service Plan of North Shore (PACE)

(781) 715-6608

Greater Lynn Senior Services

(781) 599-0110

Independent Living Center North Shore & Cape Ann

(978) 741-0077

Mystic Valley Elder Services

(781) 324-7705

North Shore Elder Services

(978) 750-4540

SeniorCare, Inc.

(978) 281-1750

Merrimack Valley

Elder Services of Merrimack Valley

(978) 683-7747

Northeast Independent Living Program

(978) 687-4288

Metrowest

 

 

 

 

BayPath Elder Services

(508) 573-7200

Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging

(508) 852-5539

HESSCO Elder Services

(781) 784-4944

MetroWest Center for Independent Living

(508) 875-7853

Minuteman  Senior Services

(781) 272-7177

Springwell, Inc.

(617) 926-4100

Tri-Valley, Inc.

(508) 949-6640


 

Massachusetts Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRC)

 

 

ADRC

Member Agency

Phone

Pioneer

 Valley

 

Franklin County Home Care Corporation

(413) 773-5555

Greater Springfield Senior Services

(413) 781-8800

Highland Valley Elder Services

(413) 586-2000

STAVROS

(800) 804-1899

WestMass ElderCare

(413) 538-9020

 Southeastern  MA

 

 

Bristol Elder Services

(508) 675-2101

Coastline Elderly Services

(508) 999-6400

Old Colony Elder Services

(508) 584-1561

Southeast Center for Independent Living

(508) 679-9210

Southern MA

 

 

Bristol Elder Services

(508) 675-2101

Independence Associates

(508) 583-2166

Old Colony Elder Services

(508) 584-1561

South Shore Elder Services

(781) 848-3910

Suffolk

 County

 

 

Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)

(617) 338-6665

Boston Senior Home Care

(617) 451-6400

Central Boston Elder Services

(617) 277-7416

Chelsea/Revere/Winthrop Elder Services

(617) 884-2500

Ethos

(617) 522-6700

 

 # # #

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