I. What You Should Know About Home Care in Reading, MA

Reading is a great place to retire to thanks to its friendly small-town atmosphere and handy location just 16 miles north of Boston. Nestled in the heart of historic Middlesex County, Reading is home to just over 25,000 people, and seniors aged 65 and older make up 17.5% of the town’s population.

Winters in Reading are brisk and snowy, while summers are comfortably warm and relatively dry, making for plenty of perfect days to enjoy a stroll through the trails of the 290-acre Reading Town Forest. Every autumn, the Reading Fall Street Faire transforms the downtown district into a beehive of activity, complete with a classic car show, local arts and crafts vendors and a parade.

If you need to head into Boston for a medical appointment, to watch a show or to do some shopping, you can catch a ride with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The MBTA’s Reading station is wheelchair-accessible, and there’s plenty of parking. Given Reading’s ideal mix of small-town charm and easily accessible urban amenities, it’s easy to see why many seniors in the area opt to age in place with support from home care services.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Reading, MA

According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, you can expect to pay an average of $5,720 per month for home care in Reading. This figure is based on 44 hours of care weekly at $30 per hour. If you only need a few hours of support daily or assistance a couple days each week, rather than full-time, your actual home care costs could be a fraction of the monthly average documented in the Genworth Survey.

The Cost of Home Care & Home Health Care in Nearby Cities

Reading’s home care and home health care costs average $5,720 per month, which is slightly above the state average of $5,529 for home care and $5,649 for home health care. Rates in nearby Worcester and Manchester, New Hampshire, are a little lower, while seniors in Barnstable pay the highest rates in the state for home care ($6,002) and home health care ($6,101).

Note: Data for Reading was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Boston, was used instead.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

In Reading, home care is just one of the many options for those who need assistance with managing day-to-day tasks. Adult day care, which includes non-medical support in a community-based congregate setting, is the least-expensive option at $1,782 per month. You’ll find that residential care starts at $6,100 for assisted living, while around-the-clock medical care in a skilled nursing facility costs an average of $13,383 per month.

III. How to Find Home Care in Reading, MA

Finding a home care provider for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we explain the process of how to find a home care provider in 5 simple steps. Use the infographic below to help guide your search for in-home care in Reading, MA.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

Remember that there’s not necessarily a right or wrong choice – it comes down to choosing a provider that you feel comfortable with and who’s capable of meeting your specific needs. No matter which provider you choose, you should always have a formal arrangement with your expectations and the payment rate in writing. Doing so will prevent confusion or potential disagreements down the line so that the focus remains on helping the person receiving care.

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in Reading, MA

Pleasant Street Center

Located inside the former Reading fire station, Pleasant Street Center provides older adults with a wide variety of fun and engaging activities, programs and special events. You can come down to the Center to enjoy a low-cost hot lunch with your friends and neighbors every weekday, join a crafting workshop, or kick up your heels during one of the regular dances. There’s even an outdoor dining area for you to enjoy when the weather is nice, and there’s handicap parking right outside the front door.

Center staff can help you learn about local services to help you stay independent and comfortable in your own home. There are regular support groups for family caregivers, and frequent guest speakers give presentations on topics such as Medicaid benefits, fraud prevention and healthy aging.

Who Is Eligible?
Any Reading senior can take advantage of the programs and services at Pleasant Street Center.

How to Get Started
For the latest program schedule or to make a lunch reservation, call the Center at (781) 942-6794.

Veterans’ Services Office

The Reading Veterans’ Services Office works to help vets, their spouses or survivors and their dependent children navigate all the programs, benefits and services provided by county, state and federal agencies. The Veterans’ Service Officer assists with VA benefits applications and appeals. Staff can set up free transportation to VA medical clinics and centers, apply for service records, and help eligible vets arrange for interment in a VA cemetery.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a veteran living in Reading or you’re the spouse or dependent of a vet, you’re eligible to receive services from the Reading Veterans’ Services Office.

How to Get Started
To schedule an appointment with Reading’s VSO, call the Veterans’ Services Office at (781) 942-6652.

Mystic Tea for LGBT Seniors

Mystic Valley Elder Services hosts a monthly gathering geared towards older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in order to reduce social isolation and promote community-building among LGBT seniors. Held between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, this tea service includes a hearty, hot late afternoon meal accompanied by tea or coffee. Participants are asked to make a $2 voluntary donation towards food costs if they can.

In addition to the hot meal, you can also enjoy organized games and periodic guest speakers who focus on issues related to the LGBTQ community and aging.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a senior living in the Mystic Valley region who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer, you’re welcome to participate in a monthly Mystic Tea get-together.

How to Get Started
To learn more about the monthly Mystic Tea gathering or to make a reservation for the next meal, call (781) 324-7705, ext. 161.

The Women’s Bar Foundation — Elder Law Project

The Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring low-income women, children and seniors have access to quality legal services. The WBF’s Elder Law Project can help you learn about legal issues related to aging, such as the importance of having a current will, power of attorney and other end-of-life legal documents.

Along with delivering presentations at senior centers, staff with the ELP can connect you with a volunteer attorney who will prepare the legal documents you need to ensure that your loved ones and medical providers know what your wishes are.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a low-income senior who wants to learn about wills, health care proxies and other legal documents, you can contact the Elder Law Project for personalized information, advice and assistance.

How to Get Started
To get started, call the Elder Law Project intake line at (617) 651-2357.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

One of the great things about retiring to Reading is that you can quickly and safely travel to nearby towns and cities, such as Lawrence, Wakefield or Boston, on MBTA’s commuter trains. The Reading MBTA station is on the Haverhill/Reading Line, and the station and trains are ADA-compliant and accessible to riders who use a walker, wheelchair or mobility scooter.

As a senior, you’re eligible for discounted fares on all MBTA routes with the Senior CharlieCard. You can get a Senior CharlieCard at the CharlieCard Store in Boston, or you can sign up at a Senior CharlieCard Event. The MBTA also operates The RIDE, an on-demand, shared-ride transportation service for those who cannot use the regular fixed-route service due to temporary or permanent disability.

Who Is Eligible?
If you’re a senior aged 65 and older, you’re eligible for an MBTA Senior CharlieCard. If you struggle to use the regular MBTA service due to disability, you may be eligible for on-demand curb-to-curb service through the agency’s paratransit service The RIDE.

How to Get Started
To learn more about MBTA schedules, Senior CharlieCard Events and The RIDE paratransit service, call MBTA customer service at (800) 392-6100.