MasonicAid seeks to support quality of life for worthy and distressed Oregon Master Masons, their wives and widows, and female members of the Oregon Order of the Eastern Star. These members who are in good standing for a minimum of the previous five years are eligible to apply for either of the two programs below. MasonicAid is funded through annual earnings of the Home Endowment Fund and has provided relief to the Oregon Masonic Family since 2009.
- MESHCare partners with approved applicants who wish to live in an Oregon retirement community to provide an ongoing subsidy for room, board and care as their funds and assets decrease. Personal assets may include Social Security, pensions, etc.
- OutReach Services coordinates resources for eligible members to help them remain independent, whether living at home or in a retirement community. Primary resources include in-home care, medical equipment, and service education and referral. Additionally, if a financial need is determined assistance may be provided for rent, utility and medical bills.
Learn more about these programs below or MAKE A REFERRAL TODAY.
- Shown they are an Oregon Master Masons in good standing for a minimum of the previous five years, their wife or widow, or a female member in good standing of an Oregon Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star for the previous five years.
- Submitted a complete application and undergone a financial review and analysis. This takes all possibilities into consideration to reach an average percentage of the probability of need across many combinations of variables, determining the overall eligibility. The ideal level of need would be 35% or less, however, each case will be reviewed on an individual basis.
- Select an Oregon retirement facility that offers quality care, meeting approval of individual and the Masonic and Eastern Star Home Board. In most cases, a tour and review of the facility will take place before any final approval is given, to ensure an acceptable level of care is available.
- Use their own assets and resources for care at the approved retirement community. After personal assets decrease below a sustainable level, MESHCare will provide a subsidy to cover the difference between the cost of care and the resident’s available resources. The program supplements – but does not replace or substitute for – those resources which may be available for the resident including Social Security, Medicare, pensions, insurance, and government benefits.
- Participate in annual financial reviews to determine if there have been any significant changes to finances or health and that the level of care continues to be acceptable.
Application packets are available from the Masonic Grand Lodge office in Forest Grove, Oregon. You may either stop in to pick one up or phone the office to have a packet mailed to you. To contact a MasonicAid representative, submit a referral form.
The application includes questions relating to the value of personal property, current and past financial matters and requires documentation to support the financial information provided. There is also a form to be completed by a Healthcare Professional with some basic questions regarding your current health. This information is reviewed and analyzed to determine how much financial assistance may be required over your lifetime. Each complete application is considered to determine if the level of need will fall within the parameters determined by the Masonic and Eastern Star Home (MESH) Board.
Upon approval by the MESH Board, applicants will sign the Financial Assistance Agreement for MESHCare and work with a representative of the retirement community to complete an occupancy agreement and arrange for move-in, if not currently a resident at the facility.
The MESH Board requires an annual financial review to determine if there have been any significant changes to finances or health and that the level of care continues to be acceptable.
Will I need to move into "the Home" located in Forest Grove? With the expansion of the program, MESHCare is available at approved retirement communities throughout Oregon. Approved members are no longer limited to one facility.
How do I apply? Does it cost any money to apply? You can get an application package from the Masonic Grand Lodge office. The application includes questions relating to the value of personal property, current and past financial matters and requires documentation to support the financial information provided. This information is reviewed and analyzed to determine the statistical probability that financial assistance may be required over the resident’s lifetime. There are no fees to apply to the program.
What do you mean by “statistical probability”? There are several factors that go into the prediction of whether financial assistance would be needed. A person’s current age, income, expenses and assets, as well as general health, all has a large impact on the prediction. Each application is individualized based on many variables. The financial review and analysis takes all possibilities into consideration to reach a percentage of probability of need across all of the combinations of variables. This will determine at what point the need for financial assistance might begin, and how much financial assistance might be needed.
What might make me ineligible after I submit an application? If the financial review reveals either divestment of assets or spendthrift activity, the applicant does not qualify. Divestment refers to giving away, or selling for less than market value, any personal assets that could have been used to pay for future care. Spendthrift activity refers to spending in excess of that necessary to maintain a lifestyle to which the person would be ordinarily accustomed. This might include extraordinary travel, purchase of luxury automobiles and personal property.
What if I don’t need Assisted Living and want to live in Independent Living? All Applicants go through the same application process and financial review to be admitted. Residents who are living in Independent Living will receive financial assistance through MESHCare in the form of a subsidy against monthly rent. Allowances are calculated with regard to other expenses to ensure that personal income is sufficient to meet other obligations including the cost of food, spending money, medical insurance, medical costs and transportation.
Will I be required to sell my home and car before I apply? It is not required to sell your home, auto, or other assets prior to applying for MESHCare. However, all assets must be liquated before MESHCare assistance will begin, therefore it is recommended.
Is there a cap on how much financial assistance I can receive? There is no cap on how much financial MESHCare assistance a member will receive. Once accepted you will not be turned away from the program for any reason other than if there are signs of spendthrift activity, or it is found that you are not able to abide by the rules as set forth by the Retirement Community.
What happens to my remaining assets if I should pass away before they are depleted? If any of your personal assets are remaining at the time of your passing they will be distributed in the manner you have directed in your Will. The Grand Lodge does not become the beneficiary of your assets unless it is directed that way in a Will or other legal document.
How does the MESH Board decide who is approved to the program? The MESH Board considers applicants who have been reviewed by the Grand Secretary and the MESHCare Program Manager and who have completed all of the requirements of the application process. In order for the program to provide care and support to many residents over many years, applicants must demonstrate that the need for financial assistance over their life time will fall within the parameters as determined by MESH. Each application is individualized based on many variables.
What is required after I move in? The MESH Board requires that an annual financial update be provided to determine if there have been any significant changes to previously submitted information, including the health of the MESHCare member, or any sign of spendthrift activity that could lead to a change in the timeframe of when the need for financial assistance might begin, and how much financial assistance might be needed.
- Coordination of community and governmental services
- Assistance with applications, making connections with services providers, and solving problems in those connections
- Referral to agencies offering resources or support
- Education on issues related to accessing services and dealing with senior related issues
- Ongoing case management
Financial Assistance is limited and available for some services if resources in the community and natural supports are not available. Those services include:
- In-home care
- Respite for caregivers
- Rent & utilities
- Medical bills
- Durable medical equipment
- Cancer related expenses
SITUATION: 88, lives alone in her Rainier home. She has congestive heart failure, macular degeneration, and hypertension. Because of her failing health, Shirley has difficulty with housekeeping, making meals, and is unable to drive.
SOLUTION: OutReach visited Shirley at her home and completed an assessment that determined her needs and eligibility for the resources in her area. OutReach set her up with transportation services through Dial-A-Ride, a transportation program in Columbia County. She was also provided with an electronic monitoring unit in case of a fall or emergency, and 16 hours of in-home care each month to assist with housekeeping, shopping, and meals.
TESTIMONIAL: “OutReach Services has been wonderful to me and truly a life-saver. It has allowed me to stay in my own home an I can't be thankful enough. Love, Shirley."
SITUATION: Lives alone in her home in St. Helens and suffers from congestive heart failure, insulin dependent diabetes, and has had several surgeries on her feet. She is a widow of a Mason from St. Helens Lodge, as well as an Eastern Star member of Mizpah Chapter. Annie does what she can to remain active in her Chapter by making monthly birthday calls to her sisters in Eastern Star. Due to her limited mobility and weak heart, Annie is unable to clean her home, take showers, or make meals without assistance.
SOLUTION: OutReach went to Annie’s home and completed an assessment determining her care needs and eligibility for programs in her area. OutReach connected Annie to a caregiver who is assisting her twice a week, and daily meals from "Meals on Wheels." Annie was also set up with an electronic monitoring unit in case of a fall. With this help from OutReach, Annie is able to remain in her home, and hopes to for many years to come.
TESTIMONIAL: "Thank you OutReach Services for all your caring and support. Your help has made a great difference in my life. Sincerely with much love, Annie"
If you, or someone you know, might be interested in either of these programs, please contact:
Tammy Vanderzanden, MESHCare Program Manager
Danielle Christopherson, Director of OutReach Services
Masonic Grand Lodge of A.F. & A. M. of Oregon
2150 Masonic Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116
TEL (503) 357-3158 or TOLL FREE (800) 970-9920
FAX (503) 357-1815
YOU CAN MAKE DIRECT DONATIONS to MasonicAid to support continued improvement of the offerings to our Masonic Family. Click HERE for directions on how to make a donation by mail, phone or web.