Famous is the capital of Virginia, Richmond is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The city is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan statistical area and offers a wide variety of unique points of interest and things to do that residents won't find anywhere else.
Richmond is home to more than 200,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in Virginia. With dozens of urban amenities, Richmond has everything a person needs to retire comfortably, including world-class shopping opportunities, fine dining, and more. Senior living communities are among Richmond's many excellent amenities, including assisted living facilities.
In Virginia, all assisted living facilities are subject to licensing provisions as designated by the state. These provisions determine the types of services and housing assisted living communities must provide, guaranteeing they meet each incoming resident’s level of care.
This guide will discuss Virginia's regulations for assisted living communities so retiring families can have an idea of what to expect when they transition from a private residence to a long-term care facility in Richmond.
Richmond Assisted Living
All assisted living facilities in Richmond are licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services. They license to levels of care in assisted living facilities, which include residential living care and assisted living care.
Communities that offer residential living care provide minimal assistance, whereas those providing assisted living care to provide at least moderate assistance. Facilities that are licensed to provide assisted living care may also provide residential care according to Virginia's licensing provisions.
If an assisted living facility cares for adults with substantial cognitive impairments who are unable to recognize danger and ensure their own safety, they must meet additional licensing requirements.
In Richmond, assisted living facilities are non-medical entities that provide personal and health care services in a residential setting. They provide around-the-clock supervision and assistance for at least for adults who are aged, disabled, or infirm.
If an assisted living facility provides residential living care, they provide minimal assistance with a resident’s activities of daily living and/or medication administration. In Virginia, minimal assistance is defined as a dependency for assistance with only one activity of daily living or one or more instrumental activities of daily living. Minimal assistance also includes services that a facility provides to residents who are capable of self-sustaining in independent living status.
Assisted Living care is defined as a moderate level of assistance for residents who need help with their activities of daily living. If a person is dependent on another individual for assistance with two or more activities of daily living, or they express abusive, aggressive, or disruptive behavior patterns as documented on a uniform assessment instrument, they may require Assisted living care.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Long-Term Care in Richmond, Virginia
Assisted Living residences are popular for many reasons, but they aren't the right choice for everyone. Depending on a person's level of care and their personal preferences, an independent living community or a nursing home may be a more appropriate type of residence for their retirement.
Independent and assisted living communities are similar in many ways. Both may provide amenities like transportation services, on-site meals, group activities, and more. However, Independent Living residences offer a lesser amount of personal care services than assisted living, making them a more suitable choice for incoming residents who are largely self-sufficient.
At an independent living community, residents do not receive assistance with their activities of daily living to the same extent as they would at an assisted living facility. They may request assistance as needed, but the staff does not intervene with their daily activities on a regular, ongoing basis.
Instead, independent living communities provide a maintenance-free lifestyle for their residence by assisting them with housekeeping, laundry, transportation services, and more. By offering these services, Independent Living creates a unique environment we're self-sufficient retirees can enjoy the benefits of community-based care without paying for personal care services they do not need.
Nursing homes stand apart from independent and assisted living communities because they provide skilled nursing care. Independent and assisted living communities are not licensed to provide skilled nursing care, meaning nursing homes may be the most suitable choice for individuals with chronic illnesses or injuries that require ongoing medical attention.
Nursing homes are subject to unique staffing requirements that make them more adequately prepared to assist with a person's health care needs. Whether a person requires skilled nursing care depends on their medical conditions, so it's important for individuals to speak with their physicians about types of long-term care before applying to any communities.
Standard Assisted Living Services and Amenities in Richmond, Virginia
To be licensed by the state to provide assisted living care, a residence must provide certain services and amenities as outlined by Virginia's regulations. All assisted living residences in Richmond must meet the state's minimum requirements for services and amenities.
In Virginia, a facility is permitted to provide all of the services as outlined by the regulations and guidelines, or they may provide partial services as long as they are appropriate for the needs of the community’s current residents.
Communities may provide skilled nursing services as long as they are offered by a an on-staff nurse or a nurse contracted from a licensed home care agency. This does not permit an assisted living community to provide continuous nursing care.
Residents must offer at least 11 hours worth of stimulating activities each week for residential living care and 14 hours of activities each week for assisted living care. These activities must be scheduled in advance and must consider general resident preferences.
Regardless of the personal care services a community provides, their program of care must meet the following requirements:
It must meet residents’ physical, mental, psychosocial, and emotional needs
It must provide guidance, protection, and supervision
It must promote a sense of self-worth and security among residents
It must promote residents’ involvement with their community
It must meet each resident’s service plan objectives
Facilities must also provide intermittent health care and oversight through a licensed health care professional, whether they are directly employed by the community or hired on a contractual basis.
Assisted Living Apartments in Richmond, Virginia
Similarly to services and amenities, assisted living residences must provide certain types of apartments to be in accordance with the state's regulations. These regulations may vary depending on the year in which a residence was constructed.
Virginia does not require assisted living residences to offer apartment-style units. Additionally, they are not required to provide solo occupancy, private rooms - although many do.
If a community was constructed after 2006, they may house up to two people in one room. they must also provide at least one toilet and one sink for every for residents in the community, and one bathing facility for every seven residents. Facilities which were constructed before that time may allow up to four occupants to share one room.
Many senior living communities provide amenities in addition to those listed above which are not required by the state. These amenities may include:
Balconies or patios
Individually controlled heating and air conditioning
Cable or internet hookups
Additional living space, like dining areas
Assisted living communities in Richmond typically offer tours where families can see their apartments before moving in. These tours are a great way to get a feel for what it’s like to live at a residence, helping families decide which community will best fit their needs.
Things to do in Richmond Virginia
Steeped in history, there are a wide variety of unique points of interest in Richmond. From museums, to parks, to historic landmarks, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this colonial city.
One of the city's most popular destinations is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1936, and has been welcoming visitors to enjoy one-of-a-kind exhibitions since. Featuring works from Picasso, Goya, and other world-renowned masters, visitors can see works of art at this museum they won't find anywhere else. The museum also includes modern art exhibitions, antiquities, and a large collection of Faberge eggs, offering guests a full day of fun when they visit the facility.
The Science Museum of Virginia is another popular destination in Richmond, known for its hands-on exhibits and interactive activities. While popular among younger audiences, the Science Museum of Virginia has something for guests of all ages to enjoy. Along with permanent exhibitions about the human body, the universe, in Earth's environment, visitors can enjoy special exhibitions and showcases that highlight certain aspects of science.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure? Be sure to see Maymont, the 100-acre Victorian estate and public park located in Richmond. It houses the Maymont Mansion, which serves as a historic house, an arboretum, formal gardens, and a native wildlife exhibit today. visitors can take a tour of the mansion and the grounds if they choose, or simply enjoy the gardens and the wildlife at their own Leisure. The grounds are home to dozens of unique events, including educational opportunities and group activities that are fun for guests of all ages.
Funding Assisted Living in Richmond, Virginia
For many families, paying for assisted living is a primary concern when choosing a community. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways families can finances their long-term care, from paying-out-of-pocket to government benefits.
Long-term care insurance is an increasingly popular way to pay for assisted living. By purchasing a policy before a person approaches their retirement, families can save thousands of dollars with the right plan. Many assisted living communities in Richmond accept long-term care insurance, depending on a prospective resident’s insurance provider and their policy.
Families who expect to use long-term care insurance to pay for assisted living should purchase their policy far enough in advance to make it worth the monthly premiums. The younger a person is when they buy long-term care insurance, the more likely they are to get affordable monthly rates. If a person is looking for short-term ways to raise funds for assisted living, long-term care insurance may not be the right choice.
If a person served in the United States armed forces and was not dishonorably discharged, they may receive exclusive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay for long-term care. This program, known as the aid and attendance program, is reserved for retiring veterans who require the assistance of another person to complete their activities of daily living. To receive the benefit, a person must meet the level of care requirement, and they must be financially eligible for the VA pension award.
For more information about the aid and attendance program, and other benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, a family should contact their assigned VA caseworker and discuss their personal eligibility.