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Where do you go when you don’t know where to go?

At WestMass ElderCare, we see common concerns affecting seniors in western Massachusetts and their caregivers. “I don’t want to move into a nursing home.” “My mother is aging, and I don’t know if I can take care of her.” “How can I keep my loved one safe and independent at home?”

When your family faces challenges like these, you may feel like you don’t have any answers. Luckily, you don’t need to — just turn to our Options Counseling Program!


What is Options Counseling?

Regardless of their income or age, individuals have the opportunity to receive Options Counseling in their home, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, or hospital.

“Maintaining independence means the ability to make your own decisions and having autonomy over your own life. As we get older, the aging process can pose challenges to our independent lifestyle, therefore, the desire to live independently becomes even more crucial.” —Lydia Yanginski, Community Options Coordinator

Options Counseling was the answer for an elder in her 70s who wanted to stay independent after suffering a paralyzing stroke. Despite being told she needed complete care, she reached out to WMEC to find solutions and support that allowed her to make her own decisions. Not only did she find ways to stay in her own home, but she also came back months later to thank us personally for helping her achieve her goals.

WMEC offers this service at no charge to help older adults, persons with a disability, concerned family members, and caregivers make informed choices about services that best meet their needs. It is a great starting point for people seeking resources to help them or a loved one preserve their independence at home and in their community.

Options Counseling connects people in need to a variety of services and resources including, but not limited to:

  • In-home services
  • Caregiver support
  • Long-term care
  • Adult day programs
  • Other community living options (i.e., assisted living, rest homes, nursing homes, etc.)
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Transportation
  • Affordable housing


A Typical Conversation with an Options Counseling Specialist

The first step for an older adult in need is to realize help is needed. The next step is reaching out to a WMEC Options Counseling Specialist (OCS).

Seniors can contact us,  in person, online, or over the phone to discuss their situations and goals, , support needs, and f health-related concerns. If an individual is unable to reach us through one of these means, an OCS can meet them at home, at their Council on Aging, a hospital, or another location. Based on their feedback, the OCS provides resources and contact information for services offered by WMEC as well as other organizations in their community.

Additionally, an OCS can submit referrals to the Information & Referral Department at WMEC on behalf of the consumer. So, if they’re seeking Home-Delivered Meals, Personal Care Management, or any of the other services we offer, they have a direct line already established.


Empowering Independence No Matter the Need

WMEC’s Options Counseling services are not just for older adults in western MA. People under 60 who have disabilities or need support can also find ways to stay independent with help from our Options Counseling team.

Additionally, we are here to support individuals who are at risk of homelessness. Many consumers reach out to us inquiring about available housing services. s more and more elders face significant rent increases and affordable housing shortages our OC Team has increased their efforts to support consumers in this area during the COVID pandemic over the last two years.

Looking for choices to help you live as independently as possible? Get in touch with us today.