Assisted Living Residences

Assisted living residences are for older people who no longer feel comfortable or safe living alone, but do not need 24-hour nursing and medical care. While assisted living residences monitor the well-being of their residents and help coordinate health services by licensed outside agencies or providers, they do not provide these services directly and are not designed for people with serious medical needs. State law prohibits assisted living residences from admitting or retaining individuals who need skilled nursing care for more than 90 days in a 12-month period.

Assisted living residences combine apartment-like living with a variety of support services, including:

  • meals.
  • assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing.
  • on-site staff to respond to emergencies and help with medications.
  • housekeeping and laundry services.
  • social and recreational programs.
  • 24-hour security.

Assisted living residences have one or two-bedroom units with private bathrooms and entry doors that lock.  Some units may also have a living or sitting room. In addition to a group dining area, assisted living residences typically provide either a private kitchenette or access to a communal cooking area. Units are usually furnished with a resident’s personal belonging and furniture.


  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) is the state agency responsible for certifying all assisted living residences and offers an assisted living ombudsman program for consumers. Visit their website for additional information.

    Executive Office of Elder Affairs

    One Ashburton Place, 5 Floor, Boston, MA 02108

    Main Number (617) 727-7750

    Toll Free Number (800) 243-4636

  • National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) - Comprehensive consumer information on assisted living is available either online at or by calling 202-842-4444.

  • Alzheimer’s Association - The Alzheimer’s Association’s “Assisted Living Consumer Guide” is used in evaluating an assisted living residence for someone with memory impairment. The guide is available online at or by contacting the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at 617-868-6718.