The Best Assisted Living Facilities in Boston, MA for 2023
Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is the most populated city in the state. The city is home to an estimated 675,647 people, including 78,000 seniors aged 65 and over. With retiree-friendly tax policies and great public transportation, Boston is a good retirement location for seniors who enjoy living in a bustling metropolis with ample amenities and events right on their doorstep.
Assisted living facilities are communities that support seniors with daily tasks such as bathing, housekeeping and medication management. Assisted living is suited to seniors who are not in need of 24/7 medical care but who require some extra daily assistance. In Boston, the average price of assisted living is $6,819 per month, which is slightly higher than the state average of $6,500.
This guide provides an overview of assisted living in Boston. To find out about average monthly care costs, the benefits and drawbacks of retiring in Boston and to learn about free local resources, read on.
What to Consider About Assisted Living in Boston
Boston-area assisted living facilities are overseen by the Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification. This agency is responsible for licensing assisted living facilities in the state, and it carries out unannounced inspections and checks to make sure that all facilities are compliant with the state rules and regulations.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Assisted Living in Boston
- Crime rates in Boston are relatively high and considerably higher than the national average. Violent crime rates in Boston are significantly higher than the state average at 6.48 cases per 1,000 residents compared to 3.03 per 1,000 residents for the state. Property crime rates are also higher than the Massachusetts average. However compared to other communities with a similar population, Boston’s crime rate is markedly lower than average, making it safer than most cities of a comparable size.
- Boston has a continental climate with large contrasts between seasons. The city enjoys hot sunny summers but has cold snowy winters. In summer, temperatures can reach 100 °F, and in winter they can get down to 0 °F, but spring and fall are pleasant.
- The cost of living in Boston is high, ranked in the top 1% of the most expensive cities in the world. Living costs are 48% higher than the national average, with utilities 41% higher and transportation 11% higher. However, Boston can still be an affordable place for seniors to live with the help of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which offers services for seniors to assist with living costs.
- Boston boasts excellent health care facilities. Massachusetts General Hospital has been ranked the best hospital in the United States and the second best in the world. Other high-quality hospitals and medical centers in the city include Boston Medical Center.
- Massachusetts is relatively tax-friendly for seniors. Although private pensions are usually taxable, government pensions are exempt. The state also fully exempts Social Security retirement benefits. Estate tax has an exemption of $1 million, which is one of the lowest in the United States. These tax policies help seniors enjoy a higher quality of life and keep more of their life earnings.
Paying for Assisted Living in Boston
Assisted living in Boston costs an average of $6,819 per month, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey. The median cost of assisted living in Massachusetts is $6,500, and the national average is $4,500 per month.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Nearby Cities
With an average monthly cost of $6,819, Boston is one of the most expensive cities for assisted living in Massachusetts. The only city that is more expensive is Barnstable Town which costs $7,000 per month. The nearby city of Worcester is significantly cheaper than Boston at $5,685 and the cheapest city in the state for assisted living is Pittsfield, where the average monthly cost is only $2,084.
The United States
The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care
Many other long-term care options are available to seniors in Boston. At $1,614, adult day health care is the cheapest option and significantly more affordable than assisted living, making it a good choice for seniors who only require assistance during the week. For seniors who prefer to stay living at home, home health aide care is available for an average rate of $6,244 per month, and homemaker services are available for an average of $6,292 per month. Seniors who require a higher level of care may choose nursing homes, where a private room typically costs $14,402 per month and a semiprivate room costs $13,155.
Home Health Aide
Adult Day Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home (semiprivate room)
Nursing Home (private room)
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Boston
MassHealth, the Medicaid program of the state of Massachusetts, covers the cost of assisted living services through the Moving Forward Plan – Residential Supports (MFP-RS) waiver for eligible seniors in Boston or through the Supportive Senior Housing Initiative for residents of state-funded assisted living residences.
Learn more about these programs, plus who’s eligible, on our Assisted Living in Massachusetts page.
More Ways to Pay for Assisted Living
While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:
- Veterans Benefits
- Life Insurance Policy
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Reverse Mortgage
For more information about different ways to finance assisted living, visit our Assisted Living in Massachusetts page.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Boston
In Boston, resources are available to support seniors who live in or are considering moving to an assisted living community. Local government agencies and several nonprofit organizations offer free services to seniors, including senior centers, benefits counseling and social activities.
|Executive Office of Elder Affairs||(617) 727-7750||The Executive Office of Elder Affairs provides seniors with resources to promote empowerment, independence and optimum well-being. Services include resources to assist seniors with dementia, nutrition programs and options counseling.|
|Long-Term Care Ombudsman||(617) 727-7750||The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program resolves problems related to welfare, health and rights of individuals in assisting living communities and nursing homes. The ombudsmen regularly visit communities so that residents can voice any concerns or complaints.|
|Central Boston Elder Services||(617) 277-7416||Central Boston Elder Services provides programs that promote dignity and independence. Seniors can learn about home care programs, senior care options and adult foster care. The office helps seniors and their families and caregivers to reduce social, economic and health disparities.|
|BCYF Golden Age Senior Center||617-635-5175||The BCYF Golden Age Senior Center is a senior center that offers a community room and kitchen where seniors can enjoy lunches and socialize. Activities include bingo, book club and walking club. The center also provides information on home repair programs and social services.|
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Boston
Boston-area assisted living communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all assisted living communities in Massachusetts are required to follow. Visit our Assisted Living in Massachusetts page for more information about these laws.