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Selecting Long-Term Care

Deciding whether to seek placement and then selecting a long-term care facility (nursing or rest home) can be a difficult and emotional process. The move to a long-term care facility is rarely anyone's first choice.  By being prepared, individuals can have more control over their lives and the transition can be smoother. 

Long-Term Care Facilities

Nursing homes provide long-term skilled health care for residents whose needs cannot be met in the community.  They are designed to care for people who are chronically ill or recuperating from an illness and need skilled nursing care, but do not require hospitalization. Rest homes provide custodial care for those who require room and board, supervision of personal care, and medication management, but do not require routine nursing services.  Both nursing and rest homes are licensed and inspected by the state Department of Public Health.


Once the decision has been made to seek nursing home placement, medical eligibility must be determined through a long-term care “screening”.  This screening is required for all individuals applying for Medicaid.  It is also available, for a fee, to individuals who will be paying for their nursing home care with private funds.

The screening team will need to obtain information from the individual's primary health care provider, so it is important for anyone considering a move to a nursing home to inform their physician and/or nurse of the decision to seek placement.

Contact the Elder Services Information and Referral Department to arrange for a screening at 508-394-4630 or 1-800-244-4630.

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