Nursing Home Information for Northern Virginia

Nursing homes provide residents with permanent, daily custodial care and limited medical care. Long-term nursing home care is frequently covered by Medicaid

Nursing Home Information for Northern Virginia

What kind of care do Nursing Homes provide?

Nursing homes are properties that provide residents with permanent, daily custodial care and limited medical care. These locations are typically not ideal for seniors who require extensive medical attention. However, most nursing homes can accommodate seniors who need regular medical care if they are physically able to travel to medical appointments and they have access to transportation. Many nursing homes also have specially equipped units designed for individuals with impaired memory and cognitive abilities, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nurses’ aides provide much of the care in nursing homes, and it is uncommon for a physician to be on staff. Yet, federal law does mandate that a registered nurse be present in Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes at least eight consecutive hours each day, seven days a week, with a licensed nurse (either a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse) present 24 hours a day. Nursing homes can seek federal certification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Nursing homes have made considerable strides forward in recent years, with many nursing homes adopting the residential home concept to significantly improve the overall care environment for residents.

Nursing homes generally include, but are not limited to:

  • Private or companion room/suite and utilities (gas, electric, water, sewer, and trash removal)
  • 24-hour care
  • Certified health professionals
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, and incontinence care.
  • Laundry and cleaning services
  • Meal preparation
  • Monitoring and administering medications
  • Social activities, such as crafts, exercise classes, and scenic tours

A nursing home is best suited for:

  • Seniors who primarily require routine non-medical care, such as assistance taking medication, transitioning in and out of bed, or using the restroom.
  • Patients with permanent physical injuries or conditions that leave them unable to walk, dress, or eat without assistance.
  • Elderly individuals with impaired memory or cognitive abilities (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease) and, as a result, require assistance with ADLs.

How much does Nursing Home care cost in Northern Virginia?

The cost of residing in a nursing home in the Northern Virginia area varies depending on several factors, including care needs, room/suite type and size, community amenities, and property location. Still, the costs generally range from around $200 to $325 per day.

The cost of nursing home care may be paid out-of-pocket. Many people either do estate planning a few years before transitioning into a nursing home or “spend down” personal or professional assets to pay for nursing homes care until they are eligible for Medicaid. In Virginia, Medicaid covers long-term care services in nursing homes for qualified adults who cannot afford the cost of the care. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare typically does not cover long-term care stays in a nursing home. Yet, Medicare can still pay for doctor services, hospital care, and medical supplies for individuals receiving care in a nursing home.

Are there Nursing Home resources in Northern Virginia?

Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association provides various resources for Virginia residents, including information on Alzheimer's disease and dementia, community outreach, fundraising events, volunteer opportunities, and more.
Virginia Office of Licensure and Certification
The Virginia Office of Licensure and Certification (VOLC) administers state licensing programs for hospitals, outpatient surgical hospitals, nursing homes, home care organizations, and hospice programs. The VOLC also conducts inspections to ensure compliance with state requirements, investigates consumer complaints, and evaluates compliance with state requirements.
Division of Long-Term Care Services
The Division of Long-Term Care Services enforces Virginia law that requires all nursing homes to be licensed to operate in the state.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for administering federal nursing home certifications. The CMS also operates the Nursing Home Resource Center, which includes various tools and resources for patients and caregivers, such as access to specific nursing home information and resident rights and quality of care resources.
Virginia Board of Nursing
The Virginia Board of Nursing provides a user portal that serves as the primary verification source for healthcare credentials issued in Virginia, meeting the requirements of the Joint Commission.
National Center for Health Statistics
The National Center for Health Statistics delivers comprehensive health data and tools related to, among others, providers and patients of long-term care, including home health care, nursing home care, and residential care communities.
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services provides various free services, including Adult Services and Adult Protective Services. The professional counsellors are trained to provide advice for various senior-related topics, such as long-term care insurance, Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, and prescription drug counselling.
Virginia’s Office for Aging Services
Virginia’s Office for Aging Services (OAS) provides Dementia Services to Virginia residents living with dementia (to include Alzheimer’s disease), free Senior Legal Services, Senior Health Insurance Counseling, and many others. OAS also organizes various activities, services, and initiatives, such as the Brain Health Virginia, Dementia State Plan, and dementia training.
Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging operates five local Agencies on Aging in the Northern Virginia area, including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. These agencies provide a wide range of services for seniors, including meal services, case management, and transportation.
Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) provides eligible Veterans and their spouses with access to federal and state benefits that may help them afford certain long-term care services. Along with providing referrals, the DVS can assist Veterans in applying for Aid and Attendance benefits or the VA pension. Moreover, Geriatrics and Extended Care services are available for eligible Veterans with dementia (to include Alzheimer’s disease).
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for older persons receiving long-term care services. Whether the care is provided in an assisted living community, memory care location, nursing home, or community-based services to help seniors still living at home, the Office is a great resource. The Office also provides seniors, their families, and the public with information, advocacy, and assistance resources to help resolve care problems.
Virginia 211
Virginia 211 is a free service that helps seniors and caregivers connect with local resources, such as non-medical transportation, nutritional programs, legal services, and case management. Individuals can call the toll-free number to speak with trained professionals who provide recommendations for local services and organizations based on their specific needs.

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