ElderLaw News-The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News
ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility

Determining which assisted living facility is right for you or a loved one can be a daunting task. There are so many decisions to make, factors to consider, and options to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you narrow your options.

Consider your current and future care needs.

What are your current health issues, and what do you currently need assistance with? How will that change in the future? Speak with your doctor for assistance in determining what level of care you may need if your current health conditions progress, then choose a facility that will be able to meet your future care needs, to avoid the need for a move in the near future. For example, if you have recently been diagnosed with dementia, but it is still in its early stages, it would be advantageous to select a facility that offers memory care and will be able to support you if and when the disease progresses. Be realistic about the level of care you may need in the future.

Get recommendations from trusted sources.

Speak with friends and family – and an elder law attorney – about their experiences with local assisted living facilities. You may find that a beautiful, expensive facility does not always treat its residents well, or has severe deficits in other areas, whereas a less flashy facility may have a more caring staff, less restrictive policies, etc. Don’t base your decision on a facility tour that highlights what the facility wants to highlight; do a little research to determine its true strengths and weaknesses.

Virginia’s Department of Social Services has an excellent search tool online that can help you identify facilities by location and look up reported violations at each facility. That search tool can be accessed at http://www.dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/alf.cgi.

Understand the costs and make a plan for payment.

Does the facility require a large down payment or buy-in up front, or simply a monthly payment? What does the monthly fee cover? How much does each additional level of care cost, and what type of care is provided at each level? Is laundry included? Facilities vary in their rates and billing methods. Ask questions to ensure you understand completely what you will be expected to pay and what that will cover. Next, determine how you will pay for your care expenses. Will you be using a long-term care insurance policy, drawing from an investment account, or selling your home to cover the costs? Will you qualify for the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit available through the Department of Veterans Affairs? What steps will you need to take to qualify for that benefit? Speak with an elder law attorney for assistance in creating a plan to cover your assisted living expenses.

Consider seeking professional assistance.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm’s attorneys and social workers are familiar with local facilities, and we often hear from clients who are happy with their facilities or who believe their facilities leave much to be desired. We routinely provide suggestions of facilities for clients to consider, and sometimes we recommend enlisting the assistance of a geriatric care manager in locating a facility that is the best fit for you.


If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Elder Law News, then please e-mail us at office@chroniccareadvocacy.com, telephone us at (703) 243-3200, or fax us at 703-841-9102.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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