FAQs

Frequently asked questions and their answers about senior living at the Masonic Homes of California The answers below are intended to provide general information. The Care Agreement signed by residents when they move in contains specific information for the resident's individual situation.

  1. I am considering applying to the Home. I don't own my home, I have limited income, and can't afford to pay the fee-for-service monthly rate. What can I do?
  2. What are the financial options for admission?
  3. What are the criteria for admission to the assisted living level of care?
  4. Can I have a private duty nurse in assisted living?
  5. Are direct admissions to the skilled nursing facility allowed? (Union City campus only)
  6. If I live at the Masonic Home at Covina, how will I receive skilled nursing care?
  7. How do I start the application process?
  8. What are the admission criteria for mothers of Masons?
  9. After being approved for admission, should I try to sell my home and dispose of its contents before I move into the Masonic Home?
  10. If I move into the Home before my home is sold, who will take care of it in my absence until it is sold?
  11. Who takes care of my move to the Home?
  12. What happens to my entrance fee or partial assignment of assets if I leave the Home?
  13. If I enter under the fee-for-service option, what services are optional and how much do they cost?
  14. What medical services are provided?
  15. Do I keep my health insurance? Who pays the premiums?
  16. Can we have pets?
  17. Can I keep my car?
  18. Can I keep my checking account?
  19. Can the 25 percent share of my monthly income be deposited to my bank account?
  20. Do all my belongings go to the Masonic Homes upon my demise?
  21. Can we go out on pass whenever we want, and for how long?
  22. Can family spend the night?
  23. Is there a place to store extra furniture or personal items?
  24. Are there visiting hours?
  25. Are special diets accommodated?
  26. What type of transportation is available?
  27. What housekeeping services are provided?

I am considering applying to the Home. I don't own my home, I have limited income, and can't afford to pay the fee-for-service monthly rate. What can I do?
No eligible potential resident will ever be turned away from the Masonic Homes of California because of limited financial resources. You may enter the Masonic Homes under the assignment of assets payment option. There are no financial eligibility requirements under this option—it is available to all regardless of their financial resources.

Some individuals come to the Homes because they have no resources or other place to go; others come to the Homes because they choose to live out their lives in the comfort and companionship of fraternal care.

What are the financial options for admission?
Applicants work with the admissions coordinator to determine which of the following payment options best meets their needs:

  • 75 percent of assets and income assigned to the Homes
  • Entry fee combined with monthly fees
  • Monthly rental fees only

What are the criteria for admission to the assisted living level of care?
The individual requires some assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, medication management, and dressing.

Can I have a private duty nurse in assisted living?
Yes, if you choose to pay for this yourself or if you have long-term care insurance that provides this benefit. This is not a benefit provided by the Homes. You must provide background clearance information for the private duty nurse, who must work closely with Homes staff.

Are direct admissions to the skilled nursing facility allowed? (Union City campus only)
Direct admission to the skilled nursing facility is considered only when quality services are not available in the applicant's home community; if one spouse of a married couple interested in moving into the facility needs such services; for transfers from the Covina campus; and in cases of extraordinary circumstances. Our priority is to meet the skilled nursing needs of all residents.

If I live at the Masonic Home at Covina, how will I receive skilled nursing care?
You will have the option of transferring to the Union City campus or moving to a skilled nursing facility approved by the Masonic Home at Covina.

How do I start the application process?
The process begins with a call to Masonic Assistance, 888/466-3642. With your authorization, a credit check and eligibility check will be completed. If eligibility is confirmed, an application will be mailed to you.

If your debt exceeds assets by $2,500 or more, you will be referred back to your lodge, which will be responsible for developing a plan to liquidate your debt in the best
manner possible.

Applications are not processed if the applicant plans to file for bankruptcy or is in the process of bankruptcy. Once the bankruptcy proceedings have ended, an applicant may complete the application process.

What are the admission criteria for mothers of Masons?
Applications from mothers of Masons are considered on a case-by-case basis to determine the presence of extraordinary circumstances. We may request financial information from the applicant’s Mason son(s) and may also consider the presence of fraternal need on the part of the applicant or son in establishing extraordinary circumstances.

In considering the admission of the mother of a Mason, preference for admission is always given to Master Masons, their wives and widows. Because we have a waiting list at both Homes, it is unlikely that a mother of a Mason would be admitted. However, assistance may be provided by Masonic Senior Outreach.

After being approved for admission, should I try to sell my home and dispose of its contents before I move into the Masonic Home?
We do not require individuals to sell or dispose of any assets until they have lived at a Home for 90 days. Applicants do have the right, however, to sell their assets prior to moving into the Home. Masonic Homes will not be financially responsible if the resident decides to withdraw from the Home for any reason.

If I move into the Home before my home is sold, who will take care of it in my absence until it is sold?
If you are admitted under the assignment of assets payment option, Masonic Homes will work with a realtor to sell your property and will arrange for all upkeep, including landscape maintenance, house cleaning, etc., until the house or mobile home is sold.
The related expenses are tracked by the accounting department and then deducted from the total assigned assets prior to the 75/25 disposition of assets. You would be responsible for 25 percent of these expenses.

For example:
Total assets assigned: $50,000
Less expenses: $2,000 (such as final utility bill, mortgage payment)
Net assets assigned: $48,000
Resident receives 25 percent of net assets assigned: $12,000

Who takes care of my move to the Home?
If you are moving to the Covina campus, you, your lodge secretary, and Homes staff will work together to coordinate the move at no charge to you. If you are moving to the Union City campus, Homes staff coordinates the move with the moving company and you will be responsible for 25 percent of the moving cost. Applicants who enter either campus under a fee-for-service agreement will be responsible for paying the cost of the move.

What happens to my entrance fee or partial assignment of assets if I leave the Home?
Residents are entitled to a refund of the fees or assets paid at the time of admission minus the reasonable value of the services, care, and residence provided by the Masonic Homes during the stay.

If I enter under the fee-for-service option, what services are optional and how much do they cost?
A current schedule of optional services and prices is provided in the care agreement or you may request a copy of the schedule prior to your application or move in. Optional services include such things as guest meals, dry cleaning, and visits to the beauty salon or barbershop.

What medical services are provided?
Residents receive regular on-site health and well-being assessments by a licensed nurse or physician as well as preventive health services, such as minor first aid. In case of an emergency, trained staff will respond 24 hours a day and contact 911 emergency services as appropriate.

Those entering under a partial assignment of assets agreement receive lifetime medical care. Those who enter under fee-for-service arrangements are responsible for paying their medical expenses not covered by their insurance.

Do I keep my health insurance? Who pays the premiums?
You may keep your current health plan. All residents are required to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B, and D or a substitute policy that is acceptable to the Masonic Homes. Residents with Medicare only coverage must enroll in a senior HMO plan. If you have strong secondary insurance, you may maintain that coverage with the administrator's approval.

The Masonic Homes pays all health insurance premiums and copays for those who enter under a Partial Asset Assignment agreement. Fee-for-service residents pay for their own health coverage.

Can we have pets?
The Covina campus allows birds and fish only. This campus also has numerous community pets, including a dog, a cat, and birds, for the enjoyment of all residents. Only documented service animals are allowed on the Union City campus, but there are several aviaries on campus, and deer and wild turkey are often seen roaming the grounds.

Can I keep my car?
Residents in independent living may keep their car and must present proof of current vehicle registration, auto insurance, and driver’s license each year. The resident is responsible for all maintenance and insurance expenses associated with the vehicle. Residents will be asked to give up their car and have it removed from the premises if they are no longer able to drive or move to the Skilled Nursing level of care.

Can I keep my checking account?  
Yes.

Can the 25 percent share of my monthly income be deposited to my bank account?
Your monthly income can be deposited directly to the bank account, at your request and with your authorization.

Do all my belongings go to the Masonic Homes upon my demise?
During the admissions process, residents are asked to declare all antiques and possessions of a certain value. For those residents who enter under a Partial Asset Assignment agreement, 75 percent of the value of these declared possessions will go to the Masonic Homes and 25 percent to the resident's legatee.

At the time of admission, residents designate the individual responsible for vacating their apartment. The designee assumes ownership of all resident possessions that are not otherwise disposed of through a Partial Asset Assignment agreement.

Can we go out on pass whenever we want, and for how long?
Yes. We do require that residents inform staff of their plans and whereabouts. Upon request, the administrator may grant a leave of absence of up to three months.

Can family spend the night?
Yes. In Covina, rollaway beds are provided so residents can host overnight guests in their apartment at no cost, or guests may stay in the guest apartment for a fee. In Union City, guests may stay in the resident's apartment at no cost or in one of the guest rooms for a fee.

Is there a place to store extra furniture or personal items?
A very small storage area outside of the apartment is provided for items such as luggage or small boxes.

Are there visiting hours?
We do not have established visiting hours, but you must notify the front gate if you expect a visitor.

Are special diets accommodated?
Yes. Registered dieticians work with residents to ensure their special dietary needs are met.

What type of transportation is available?
Both campuses have cars, buses, and vans to transport residents to and from appointments, scheduled local activities, and special events. County transportation services, senior "dial a ride" services, and other public transit services are readily available.

What housekeeping services are provided?
General housekeeping is provided weekly and heavy cleaning is provided annually. Additional or more frequent housekeeping services are also available upon request and for an additional fee.