What is Dementia?

            Dementia is the decline in mental ability that can become severe enough to effect daily tasks. Oftentimes, dementia patients are admitted to nursing homes which can become very expensive. Although there is no cure for dementia there are new innovative programs that assist with dementia side effects, while keeping your loved one out of a nursing home. Note our estate planning workshop outlines how to potentially protect your assets from rapid spend-down from long-term care expenses. 

A Pet

            At first this sounds like a huge responsibility. There has been evidence that the companionship, physical activity, and socialization have helped dementia patients. However; a pet does come with a lot of responsibility and risk of physical injury. An alternative would be a trained therapy animal, but they can be as expensive, and there is often a waitlist for these animals. An innovative alternative has been robotic pets that can cost as little as $100 and provide similar companionship and socialization to dementia patients.

Dementia Socialization Clubs

            Organizations for dementia patients have grown in popularity for their socialization and light physical activity of patients, while also covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or other health insurances. Programs such as the Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) have been shown to improve patient function and decrease health care dementia related costs. 

Counseling for Caregivers

            There has also been an increase of programs where medical professional conduct at-home checks and provide basic care training for a caregiver of the patient. This is an alternative that could allow a caregiver to feel comfortable and adequately trained to care for their loved one rather than resorting to admitting the loved one into a nursing home.


Let us help educate you on your best options—you deserve the best advice after giving your loved one the best care all of these years.

To sign up for our workshop or schedule your first meeting with attorney Van Smith and his team please call one of our offices at (804) 325-1245 (Richmond) or (757) 941-4298 (Williamsburg). 


Source: The Wall Street Journal: New Hopes for Dementia Care, April 2019

H. Van Smith
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Trusted Virginia Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg