Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

Lawrence, MA   |  www.esmv.org


Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. is a private non-profit agency serving older adults and adults with disabilities who reside in Northeast Massachusetts. Established in 1974, our mission is to support an individual's desire to make their own decisions, secure their independence, and remain living in the community safely.

Our Mission is to ensure that choices of programs and services are available and accessible to meet the diverse needs and changing lifestyles of older adults.

We believe home based care, community services and supportive living programs maintain the dignity of human life by promoting self determination and by encouraging the maximum independence of the people they are designed to serve.

Elder Services Care Managers, Registered Nurses and community outreach professionals work with thousands of elders and family members each day to make sure they have the right services, living arrangements, and access to good health care and benefits. We contract with over 70 different care providers to ensure services delivered meet a variety of individual needs; as well as offer over a dozen community -based programs, free of charge, to help advocate, support and educate consumers and their families.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Rosanne DiStefano

Associate Executive Director

Ms. Anne Proli- Cataldo

Main address

280 Merrimack Street Suite 400

Lawrence, MA 01843 USA

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NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Home Care Services

We have a range of in-home services for elders to maintain their independence and continue to live at home. Our Care Managers will assist the elder with developing a plan of care that best fits their needs.

About Services
Services are provided by community agencies selected for quality and cost. Elders must meet specific guidelines for need and financial eligibility to receive services under the Massachusetts Home Care Program. Assistance may be offered wherever an elder lives in a community setting: in their own home, with family members, or in elder housing.

Home Care services may include:

Homemaker – assistance with daily tasks such as shopping, laundry, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.
Personal Care Homemaker – assistance with personal care needs including bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting. Registered Nurses develop the care plan and monitor the Personal Care Homemaker’s performance.
Chore Services – cleaning and laundry.
Home Delivered Meals – a nutritious hot meal delivered at lunch time, up to 7 days a week.
Companionship – social activities and friendship for elders who are isolated and homebound.
Care Management
Care Managers help elders, families, and caregivers access services and programs to manage care needs at home. They work as a team with Registered Nurses to conduct assessments, develop care plans, and implement services. The care management teams schedules visits and follow-up phone calls with the person to ensure the care plan is working and addresses other issues that may arise.

Elder Services covers 23 cities and towns in the northeast Massachusetts region. Click here to see our service area.

Consumer Directed Care
Some elders want to recruit, hire, and schedule their own care providers. Elder Services helps “coach” an elder with directing their care, and a fiscal intermediary manages the financial transactions between the elder and their care provider. To be eligible to participate in the Consumer Directed Program, elders must meet state eligibility guidelines.

Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program
Those elders who receive Mass Health benefits can exercise choice within the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program. Consumers hire their own personal care workers which can include family members who are not spouses, parents, legal guardians, or surrogates. Consumers must require physical assistance with two activities of daily living and have personal care services prescribed by their primary care physician.

Population(s) Served

This consortium combines the strength of two agencies, Elder Services and Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) to provide integrated services and assistance to elders, disabled adults, families, and caregivers. Services and programs support individual efforts to manage long term care needs and continue to live in the community. This collaboration creates a “no wrong door” access for people who need assistance. The ADRC also serves as a community resource for information and advocacy on issues related to aging and living with a disability. Activities include the publication of the Green Book, an extensive resource guide published in English and Spanish. Over 20,000 Green Books are distributed free of charge.

Population(s) Served

Through our Community Programs Department we offer a range of community- based programs to educate, advocate, support and empower older adults, adults with disabilities and their families. Those programs are:

Elder Brown Bag Program
Elder Food Insecurity Initiative
Family Caregiver Support Program
Healthy Living Center of Excellence Workshops
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
SHINE Program
Resident Supportive Housing Program
MA SMP Program
Volunteer Programs

Population(s) Served

The state Executive Office of Elder Affairs is required by law to administer a system for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, and for providing needed protective-services to neglected and abused elders and those otherwise at risk. Elder abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, self-neglect and financial exploitation. In the Merrimack Valley Elder Services is the designated agency to fulfill these responsibilities.

The goal of the Protective Services program is to remedy or alleviate the crisis and to prevent a reoccurrence where an elder may be vulnerable to danger or harm. Protective services may include:

Home care services
Medical treatment
Legal services
Advocacy & support
A competent elder has the right to accept or refuse protective services.

Anyone can make an elder abuse report. If you are concerned about an elder, and think they are at risk you may call the Age Information Department at 1-800-892-0890 or if calling after business hours to the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. Your confidentiality is assured, and all referrals are screened and then assigned to Protective Service Workers who investigate the situation and determine the best course of action to alleviate the risk.

Another aspect of the Protective Services Department is the Financial Resource Program. This Program can make a significant difference in an older adult’s ability to continue living independently in their own home. The service is offered at no cost to individuals age 60 and over. There are different components to the Financial Resource Program. Those service options are as follows:

Money Management

The Money Management program helps elders who have difficulty with simple financial tasks such as bill paying or budgeting. All services are free, confidential, and provided by trained and supervised volunteers. An independent review process ensures oversight and protection for the elder and volunteer.

Representative Payee Assistance

Elder Services provides Representative Payee Assistance for individuals who because of legal or medical concerns are deemed not capable of managing their money independently. The Social Security Administration appoints Elder Services to act as a representative payee for these individuals to pay bills for essential needs such as shelter, food, and health care for the remainder of their lives.

Financial Literacy

Elder Services has developed training materials in both English and Spanish that teaches adults how to manage basic money management skills: writing checks, balancing a checkbook, and managing a budget. Workshops are also offered free of charge, at a variety of community sites on topics such as financial exploitation, scams, fraud, and more. Special programs have also been developed to teach bank personnel about elder financial exploitation and the resources available if they have concern about a bank customer.

Population(s) Served

In 2012 Elder Services was among the first seven organizations nation-wide to receive federal funding to launch the Community Care Transitions Program (CCTP) in partnership with six (6) area hospitals in the Merrimack Valley. The purpose of CCTP is to help support a patient’s transition out of an institutional setting to living in the community, and avoid costly readmissions because patients were not “ready” or prepared to manage their health care needs at home.

Coaches are trained to evaluate the patient’s needs prior to discharge, and have a four week follow-up process with each patient. The coaches use four pillars to guide them to help the patient and their families. The four areas are: understanding the purpose of medication and have medication management, schedule and complete necessary office visits with PCP and health specialist, educate on red flags that lead to worsening their condition and create a Personal Health Record to facilitate communication and continuity of care. There is no cost to this program.

We work with area hospitals to offer Care Transitions Our area hospitals are:

Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport
Holy Family Hospital in Methuen
Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence
Lowell General Hospital in Lowell
Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill
Lowell General Hospital – Saints Campus in Lowell

Population(s) Served

Elder Services and Hebrew SeniorLife established the Healthy Living Center of Excellence in 2008. Hebrew SeniorLife, is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, nonprofit, and non-sectarian organization devoted to innovative gerontology and geriatric research. It also provides senior health care, long-term nursing home care, and senior housing in Greater Boston communities to improve the lives of older adults.

The Healthy Living Center of Excellence provides evidence-based workshops in both English and Spanish to teach individuals about the prevention and management of chronic diseases and other health concerns. These evidence-based workshops are the result of research and development at national universities and medical organizations that have proven positive results for participants. There are 12 workshops offered in English and some in Spanish.

Those include:

A Matter of Balance
Better Choices, Better Health
Chronic Pain Self-Management
Diabetes Self-Management
Livin la vida dulce (Diabetes Self-Management Program in Spanish)
Enhance Wellness
Fit for Your Life
Healthy Eating for Successful Living
Healthy IDEAS
Chronic Disease Self-Management
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
Tomando Contro de su Salud (Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in Spanish)
The Arthritis Foundation Exercise
The Center has received national awards for innovation in educational programming, and has helped over 3,300 individuals learn to be good health care consumers and better manage chronic health conditions. The Center also established a coalition of community organizations and trained other health care professionals to expand healthy living programming throughout Massachusetts. To learn more about the Healthy Living Center of Excellence or to access information about programs in your community, please visit, www.healthyliving4me.org.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

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Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/08/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. RoseAnn Robillard

Newburyport Council on Aging Director

Board co-chair

Ms. Nancy Gump

at large