Monday, August 29, 2016

What is adult day care and what services are available?

Adult Day Care Centers are intended to provide care and companionship for adults who need assistance or supervision. These programs provide caregivers and family members a temporary rest from caregiving, while the senior adult receives care in a safe environment. The senior adult benefits from staying in the community, structure to his or her daily activities, and social interaction. Placing the senior adult in a day care center allows the caregiver or family member to go to work, run errands, or just relax while their loved one is safe.

            Generally, there are two different types of Adult Day Care Centers: adult social day care and adult day health care. Adult social day care provides a social outlet for the senior and offers activities, meals, recreation, and some health-related services. Social activities can include crafts, cooking, exercise, field trips, and games. Adult day health care offers intensive health, therapeutic, and social services for adults who otherwise may need institutionalized care. Adult day care services can also include counseling, education, physical therapy, medication management, assistance with eating, toileting, and/or walking, and transportation services.

            The cost of day care services vary depending on location, the services offered, and other factors. However, adult day care services are often less expensive than hiring a home health nurse or placing the senior in a facility and day care could be a good option for families to consider. To explore Adult Day Care Centers in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Social Services maintains an online search database that can be found here:

Written by Heather W. Winter, Esquire

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What should I do after a loved one has passed away?

When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional and difficult time. The last thing someone wants to think about are the practical steps that need to be taken care of during this time of grieving. Some practical steps family members and/or friends may want to take during this time include:
  1. Request copies of the death certificate through the funeral home, mortuary or the state’s vital records office.
2.      Locate important papers, such as the decedent’s legal documents, financial records and information. 

3.      Notify any bank or credit unions where the decedent did business, any brokerage firms, and life insurance companies where the decedent maintained life insurance. Find out whether these assets had named beneficiaries or were payable on death. 

4.      Notify Social Security Administration, Department of Veteran’s Affairs (if the deceased was a veteran), Medicare/Medicaid (if applicable) and similar agencies.

5.      Start the probate process, if probate is necessary to administer the estate.

6.      The personal representative should collect the decedent’s assets that are part of the probate estate and follow the state’s laws of administration of the estate. 

7.      Safeguard the decedent’s home and vehicle(s) and protect valuables, including checking on insurance coverage for the estate or heirs for any real estate, vehicle(s) and specifically insured items. 

8.      Forward the decedent’s mail at the post office.
9.      Cancel utilities and other services when appropriate and request final bills.
Written by Heather W. Winter, Esquire