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An Overview of Long Term Care Options in Virginia (Part II)

More LTC optionsIt is important for the senior and family members to be clear on the services needed.  

This is the second of two blogs (yesterday and today)on this important topic.  I hope you find it helpful.

The service provider’s policies on included services must be considered.  The provider will likely have a basic services contract which lays out the services provided.  Any services falling outside of the basic agreement will be an additional charge to the senior.  It is imperative that the senior or the senior’s advocate has a clear understanding of the contract being entered into on the senior’s behalf, including who is obligated to pay for the services provided.

Another important consideration is the service provider’s policy regarding staff qualifications.  For example, some providers have staff trained in handling patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia while others may not.  It is important to find out what the facility’s training and education requirements are. 

Another consideration is whether the service provider is a freestanding facility/entity or whether it is connected to another facility.  For example, there are ALFs that are freestanding and ALFs that are associated with or somehow connected to an assisted living community and/or hospital.  This is important in the event a patient can no longer live in an ALF environment and must transfer to a facility that provides more services or a more comprehensive level of care is required.

Finally, personal preferences should be considered in determining the proper placement for anyone requiring long term care.  For example the aesthetic value of the facility, the proximity to his/her family and friends, familiarity with his/her surroundings, and the personalities of other residents and staff are all very important to consider in making a decision.

It is important that the senior’s specific needs are considered in determining a proper placement.  Preparing a list of questions to ask of residents and staff is one way to assist in making the right choice.  Also, the senior and the senior’s loved ones should make their own list of necessary services to be provided and specific preferences desired.  Financial, medical, social and spiritual needs must be considered as well as the senior’s personal preferences.

Determining the appropriate level and type of care is one of many challenges facing seniors and their loved ones.  Other challenges include figuring out how to pay for the care, knowing what rights the senior has, understanding what Medicare will and won’t pay, and making sure that the right legal documents are in place to carry out the seniors’ wishes.   We have helped numerous families overcome these challenges through proper legal planning and by taking a comprehensive look at each situation to determine the best course of action for the senior.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: elder law planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

 

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