Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we strongly encourage you to contact the resources below to inquire about their operating restrictions during this crisis.
Caregiving MetroWest strives to be as comprehensive a resource as possible for area family caregivers. In that quest, we’ve organized nearly 20 different categories of useful resources in this section of the website.
But there are many more resources that could also be beneficial for caregivers to know, and we have gathered many of these specialized services here on this page.
Senior Living Advisors
Senior living advisors help families find the best supportive living options that fit their care needs, financial situation, and location/lifestyle preferences. Senior living advisors can help older adults find home care agencies, assisted living residences and memory care. These services usually come at no cost to elder or their family. Instead, senior living advisors are compensated by the providers with which they place their clients. Senior living advisors can help inform clients of the options available to them, recommend and tour specific communities and help coordinate services and transitions.
Senior Living Advisors serving MetroWest:
Home Renovation Specialists
Many people would prefer to stay in their own home as they age, rather than moving to a nursing home or assisted living residence. But not all homes are equipped to handle the needs of an older adult. Home renovation specialists can help ease the transition and make a home safe and comfortable to people of all ages with special needs. In MetroWest, Solace RNovations offers a unique approach to home renovation as owner Carol Marie DeRienzo is a veteran nurse who brings her medical knowledge and compassion along with the construction skills and experience of her husband, John DeRienzo, to each project.
Home Renovation Specialists serving MetroWest:
Home Maintenance and Modifications
Maintaining a home and keeping it safe and accessible becomes increasingly difficult for aging or disabled adults. There are companies that can help. One that serves the MetroWest area is Harvey Home Modifications, which offers adaptive remodeling services such as installing grab bars, widening doors, equipment installations of ramps and stair lifts, relocation services and home maintenance services such as painting, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, seasonal management and cleanup and removal.
Home Maintenance and Modification Specialists serving MetroWest:
Senior Move Managers
Senior Move Managers provide older adults and their caregivers with help in almost all aspects of moving. They can assist with downsizing, estate dispersal and pre-planning. Smooth Transitions of Massachusetts is based in Ashland and covers the MetroWest area, providing a single point of contact for anything related to moving, and describe their services as providing “individuals and families the emotional and physical assistance needed in making a change in living arrangements.” Fees for service are based on an hourly rate plus expenses, with a deposit required at the time of contract.
Smooth Transitions is a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), a non-profit professional association of companies whose goals are to help older adults and their families with all aspects of moving.
Senior Move Managers serving MetroWest:
Property Management Services
Blackstone Williams Properties, a Boston-based real estate, home care and property management firm that serves communities throughout MetroWest, has introduced a new program designed to help older adults age in place in their own home.
The Blackstone Williams Home Advocates Program is a fee-based service with plans ranging from $149 to $499 a month. Memberships include a Total Home Evaluation that analyzes imminent safety issues, home maintenance and modification needs, short term and long term projects and proposed frequency of Blackstone Williams Home Advocates’ visits. Services can then include home safety, maintenance and modifications, short and long term planning, regular inspections, short term management and sale preparation.
Property Management Firms serving MetroWest:
Personal Emergency Response Systems
Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) enables a person to call for help in an emergency by pushing a button. A PERS generally consists of three components: a small transmitter that can be worn on the wrist, as a necklace or kept in a pocket; a console connected to your phone; and an emergency response center that monitors calls.
In the case of an emergency, the wearer or someone else present can press the transmitter’s help button and be connected to the response center, which will inquire about the nature of the emergency and contact the appropriate assistance. Some PERS can be automatically activated if it senses that the wearer has fallen, connecting to the response center even if the wearer is unable to press the button for help.
PERS Programs Serving MetroWest:
Be Safer At Home
Address: 800 West Cummings Park, Suite 6950
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 1-781-938-PERS (7377)
Address: 111 Lawrence Street
Framingham, MA 01702
Search and Rescue Programs
SafetyNet by LoJack is a system developed to provide a solution for finding and rescuing people with cognitive conditions that may cause them to wander or become lost.
Clients wear a SafetyNet bracelet, which emits a specific radio frequency and ID. Should they become lost, their caregiver will notify their local public safety agency (call 911) and trained personnel are dispatched to use SafetyNet tracking equipment to locate the client.
SafetyNet is available throughout the state, including all of MetroWest. In some cases the local police are the search and rescue first responders, while in others, like Hopkinton, the fire department is. Towns where neither the police or fire departments are trained, the sheriff’s department and the Massachusetts State Police are the search and rescue teams.
Search and Rescue Programs Serving MetroWest:
SafetyNet by LoJack
Cost: $99 for enrollment and $30 a month
Independent Living Centers
Independent Living Centers are an important resource for people of all ages with disabilities. The MetroWest Center for Independent Living was created by people with disabilities seeking full integration into society. MWCIL is a community-based, consumer-controlled, cross disability center for independent living, serving the MetroWest area of Massachusetts. Its goal is to empower people with disabilities with the practical skills and self-confidence to take control over their lives and become active members of the communities in which they live.
MWCIL works to promote access and change within society and responds with programs and services to the needs of people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities and is dedicated to helping people with disabilities gain freedom from nursing homes and other institutional settings. MWCIL is a partner with BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and HESSCO in the MetroWest Aging and Disability Resource Consortium (MWADRC).
MWCIL’s services are free to residents with a disability and its service area includes the following towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Foxboro, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston and Wrentham.
The Center for Living and Working, Inc. covers the remaining towns in MetroWest, including Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Northborough and Westborough, as well as most of Central Massachusetts.
Independent Living Centers Serving MetroWest:
MetroWest Center for Independent Living
Address: 280 Irving Street
Framingham, MA 01702
The Center for Living and Working, Inc.
Address: 484 Main Street, Suite 345
Worcester, MA 01608
Video Phone: 508-762-1164
One important thing for caregivers to check is that your loved one has enough fuel to keep warm for the winter. If fuel assistance is needed, there are a number of options. Utility companies offer arrearage management programs, low-income discounts and payment plan options. Contact your utility company for more information and if you have an issue with your utility company that can’t be resolved, contact the Department of Public Utilities at 1-877-886-5066.
Massachusetts also has a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that can help with gas, oil and electricity. The program is administered through local agencies, including the South Middlesex Opportunity Council in MetroWest. SMOC can be reached at 1-800-286-6776, or call the Cold Relief Information line at 1-800-632-8175 for information for where to apply if you are outside of SMOC’s coverage area.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund can provide help for people who do not qualify for state or federal programs. Contact your local Salvation Army or call 1-800-334-3047 for more information. Citizens Energy’s Joe for Oil program provides one-time delivery of 100 gallons of home heating oil for a limited number of qualified applicants. Call 1-877-JOE-4OIL (1-877-563-4645) for more information.
Most towns also have fuel assistance programs. Contact your local town offices or Council on Aging to find out about programs in your community.
Durable Medical Equipment and Assistive Technology
There are many tools and devices that are designed to help seniors or people with disabilities lead more independent lives and aid in a better quality of living at home. While many forms of durable medical equipment and assistive technology are covered by insurance or Medicare, others are not and the costs can be daunting to many. There are options to help those in need, including the following resources.
GetATStuff: Assistive Technology Exchange in New England and New York
The Assistive Technology Exchange in New England & New York states its goal “is to put AT equipment that is not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from it. The exchange is a free ‘classified ad’ type resource designed to help people find, buy, sell or give away used AT equipment.”
The getATstuff.org site features devices in the following categories:
• Vision (Desktop & Portable Video Magnifiers, etc)
• Hearing (Assisted Listening/Alerting Devices, Amplified Phones, etc.)
• Speech Communication (Communication Devices, etc)
• Learning, Cognitive, Developmental (Literacy Software, Photo Phones, Portable Word Processors, etc.)
• Mobility, Seating & Positioning (Power & Manual Wheelchairs, Scooters, Walkers, Ramps, Canes, etc)
• Daily Living (Bathing/Toileting Aids, Lift Chairs, Patient Lifts, Adjustable Hospital Beds,Standing Frames/Aids, etc)
• Environmental Adaptations (Electronic Aids for Daily Living, Environmental Control Units, Telephone Systems, Stair Lifts, Home Modification/Adaptation Items, etc.)
• Transportation and Vehicle Modifications (Accessible Vans, Wheelchair/Scooter Lifts/Carriers, etc.)
• Computers and Computer-related (Accessible Workstations, Adjustable/Ergonomic Chairs, Computer Access Equipment, etc)
• Recreation, Sports, and Leisure (Handcycles, Adaptive Exercise Equipment, 3 Wheel Bikes, Pool Lifts, etc.)
• Other (Accessible Homes, Therapy/Rehab Devices, etc)
MassMATCH is the Commonwealth’s initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer’s Hands. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH creates new AT programs and works to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. MassMATCH’s mission is “to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life’s activities.”
REquipment offers a way to obtain free, gently-used, durable medical equipment (DME) for use by individuals and families in Greater Boston and Central Massachusetts. Donated DME is sanitized, refurbished, and available for free, though a delivery fee may apply.
Items accepted for donation and available to acquire at no cost include:
• power and manual wheelchairs
• tub seats and shower chairs
• mechanical lifts
• standing frames
• bariatric or pediatric equipment
• portable ramps
A cooking fire occurs every six seconds in the United States. Seniors are 2.5 times more likely to get injured or die in a fire. And two-thirds of all adults aged 20-70 surveyed have admitted to forgetting to turn off the stove. But there is now a new device that can help prevent such tragedies.
The Wallflower Stove Monitor is a small device that plugs into the back of your electric stove and monitors your cooking behavior. Once plugged in, it is not visible. It learns cooking behavior and beeps when the stove has been on for longer than usual. It sends notifications to one or more caregivers’ smart phones when the stove is turned on, has been on longer than usual, or if someone leaves with the stove still on.
The Smart Monitor App provides a history of stove usage so that caregivers can ensure the care recipient is eating on time and not skipping meals. A pattern of forgetting to turn off the stove can also be an early indicator that the care recipient’s dementia is progressing. Wallflower does not charge any recurring fees. For a person with dementia who is still cooking for themselves, the device beeps to remind them to turn off the stove when they forget. And if someone else is cooking for them, it also reminds them if they forget to turn off the stove before or after leaving the house.
For caregivers, whether they are living with someone with dementia or caring for them remotely, they will be able to monitor stove usage from anywhere in the world by using the app. It may even help keep the care recipient living at home longer, which is the desired goal for most.
For a limited time, family caregivers caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia can get the device at no cost through the federal Agency of Community Living’s Alzheimer`s Disease Supportive Services Program Part B (ADSSP-B) Grant. That funding is available to caregivers through the end of January.
Currently, the device works only with electric stoves, but a similar device for gas stoves is being developed.
Stove Monitor Providers Serving MetroWest:
Wallflower Labs, Inc.
Address: 1 Thompson Square
Charlestown, MA 02129
Note: To get the device at no cost through the ADSSP-B Grant, contact the caregiver specialist at your local Aging Services Access Point. For most of MetroWest, that is BayPath Caregiver Specialist Alicia Rego, who can be reached at 508-573-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Resources Throughout Massachusetts
While Caregiving MetroWest has strived to create as comprehensive a collection of information and resources as possible, there are other organizations that can complement our efforts, particularly for caregivers living outside of the MetroWest region. One such resource is the recently launched MassOptions website.
MassOptions is a free resource linking elders, individuals with disabilities, caregivers, and family members to services that help you or a loved one live independently in the setting of your choice. MassOptions is a service of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). It partners with a strong statewide network including agencies in communities throughout Massachusetts that have experience working with elders, individuals with disabilities, caregivers and families such as those associated with the Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRC) and state agencies that provide services to improve access to community long-term services and supports.
Trained specialists from MassOptions give you fast, personalized attention. You can speak to a specialist at MassOptions, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Call toll-free at 1-844-422-6277, or use the online chat feature on the site.