Comprehensive Planning. Lifelong Solutions.

Virginia Has Authorized Programs in Anticipation of the Graying of the State

By Hook Law Center

The latest population projections support researchers’ estimates that there will be more than 1.8 million people over the age of 60 residing in Virginia by 2030, an increase of 33 percent since 2000. Even more dramatic is the number of Virginians who will be over the age of 85 – a 40 percent jump in just ten years.

As part of efforts to deal with the “graying” of Virginia, the 2008 Virginia General Assembly mandated a multi-year planning process for the Virginia Division for the Aging in collaboration with a task force comprised of elder care advocates, educators, and service providers.

The jump in the number of older residents is expected to place an additional burden on senior resources; state offices are putting numerous programs in place in anticipation of future need:

The Virginia Department for the Aging has developed a Lifespan Respite Care Program, expanding their existing efforts to build a network which will offer respite services for caregivers statewide.
Connections gives practical, in-home training to family members caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia.
Virginia Parks and Recreation Society s Senior Resource Group is partnering with Senior Centers to focus on senior care best practices to help seniors stay healthy and independent.

There are numerous resources available in Virginia for seniors and their loved ones which are specifically in place to help support a productive, healthy, independent life.

The elder law attorneys and estate planning lawyers at the Hook Law Center in Virgina Beach and Suffolk, help Virginia families with trust & estate administration, guardianships, long term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. Learn more at

Posted on Friday, December 21st, 2012. Filed under Senior Law News.

Adult Day Care Question

By Hook Law Center

Question: I am the primary caregiver for my elderly mother. I have become aware of the daily stress and emotional and physical impact it is having on my health. What can I do to give myself a break?

Hook Law Center Answer: We recommend you look into an adult day care facility in your area. Adult day care respite is two-fold. It gives the caregivers much needed time to themselves, and it gives the caregivers’ loved ones social and interactive therapy with their peers.

Many adult day services offer such things as:

  • Social activities; music, movies, crafts, excursions;
  • Meals;
  • Fellowship support;
  • Assistance with daily living;
  • Nursing care;
  • Help with activities of daily living;
  • Medications;
  • Physical therapy; and
  • Transportation.

Finding an adult day care provider takes a little investigating on your part. It is important to know what you are getting and that your loved one is comfortable with his or her new surroundings.

First: Ask for recommendations. Check with your local senior center, Area Agency on Aging Services, mental health centers, physician, clinic, family, friends and neighbors. The best recommendation is by someone who has used the adult day care or is familiar with those who run it.

Second: Phone and ask the facility to send you information. Ask specifically to be sent the application, eligibility requirements and payment information. Ask to see the calendar of activities, menus, hours and days of operation to be sure they fit your schedule. Ask about availability of transportation to and from the location and what is the cost. Ask who runs the facility. Is it private, non-profit or a franchise or part of an assisted living facility or a nursing home?

Third: Visit the adult day care facility. Go visit the provider location along with the person for whom you are providing care. See if the staff is friendly. Check that it is clean and odor free. Ask about the experience of the staff. Request a list of references.

Fourth: Find out the cost and payment requirements. A survey from NCOA/NADSA provides the following information on fees: “Fees for Adult Day Care providers range from $25 per day to $70 per day, with the average around $50 per day. Many facilities provide services with a sliding fee scale.”

One last word of advice. Don’t feel guilty about taking your loved one to adult day care.

Posted on Saturday, December 15th, 2012. Filed under Long-Term Care, Medicaid.

Identity Theft Targeting the Elderly Is on the Rise

By Hook Law Center

Identity theft can occur in a number of ways, including someone hacking into an online account, stealing a credit card number or bank account number or other financial documents, applying for loans in someone else’s name, or illegally obtaining birth certificates or driver’s licenses.

Seniors tend to be targeted because they are especially vulnerable in ways that allow for easier opportunities for theft; they may be isolated, they may not be as “web-savvy” as members of a younger demographic, they may be lonely enough to ignore questionable behavior, or they may have dementia or memory loss.

There are countless ways to steal someone’s identity, including:

Mail. Shred all personal documents, including bank and credit card statements, before placing them in the trash. If you receive a solicitation letter asking for a donation, double-check the identity of the sender.

Phishing. Fake emails claiming to be from financial institutions or online companies such as Amazon or eBay ask seniors to “verify” their account information. As a general rule, companies with online payment systems do not email customers to ask for or verify payment, banking or personal information.

Credit card double swiping. It only takes a moment for a thief working behind a counter or cashing out a register bill to quickly swipe a credit card and capture the account numbers. Safety tip: Keep an eye on someone who has control of your credit card, when possible. Regularly check bank statements to ensure that no unauthorized purchases have been made.

If you are a senior and feel you may have been the victim of identity theft, contact an elder law attorney to explore any remedial measures you may be able to take to minimize the damage.

The elder law attorneys and estate planning lawyers at the Hook Law Center in Virgina Beach and Suffolk, help Virginia families with trust & estate administration, guardianships, long term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. Learn more at

Posted on Saturday, December 8th, 2012. Filed under Senior Law News.
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