Aging with a Disability

Disclaimer: The following information provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or medical advice.

Virginia Medicaid Waivers (CCC Plus, DD Waivers, EPSDT) help to keep individuals in their homes as long as possible. The advantage of Person-Centered Planning is the variety of approaches and tools used to guide individuals with disabilities and their families so they can enjoy a better quality of life as they age.

There are many long-term care benefits for aging individuals with disabilities that are provided through Virginia’s Medicaid Waivers. Additional benefits include offsetting medical costs through Medicaid insurance, as well as offering personal care and respite care services.

Legal Considerations

Establishing a family care plan for an aging individual living with a disability requires extensive planning. Legal considerations are vital from the beginning to ensure both the aging individual and the caregiver are properly protected. Some considerations include assigning a Power of Attorney (POA) and completing an Advance Directive (Living will, DNR, etc.)

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. However, not all POAs are created equal. Depending on the type of POA, your attorney-in-fact (the person who will be making decisions on your behalf) may have different levels of control. Types include General or Special Power of Attorney, Healthcare (Medical) Power of Attorney, and Durable Power of Attorney.

Advance Directives are written, legal instructions regarding your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Advance directives guide choices for doctors and caregivers if you’re terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life. By planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief. You also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.

Useful Links

Federal Sites

Virginia Sites

Additional Resources

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