Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing Care at Home is an innovative program that integrates asset protection and care coordination to allow older adults to stay at home while they age and access needed services in their homes. Living well is emphasized with a proactive approach to social, educational, and engaging programming being made available to members in addition to regularly scheduled contact with the personal care coordinator. AgeSmart’s continuing care at home program is a long-term care option operated by LifeSpire of Virginia, a not-for-profit organization that serves seniors with respect and integrity. This program is available for healthy and independent adults who wish to remain in their homes as they age.

Membership in AgeSmart is available to individuals ages 55 and over residing in the Richmond, Va. area who are currently healthy and independent and who wish to age in place.

With AgeSmart, you have access to a care coordinator the day you become a member of our program. Long-term care insurance is mainly used to offset a portion of your financial exposure if you need future care; it’s not responsible for managing or providing services. AgeSmart not only covers the cost of care; it also manages and coordinates services for each member as soon as needed. Even with insurance, you may be required to cover a large portion of out-of-pocket costs if care needs become extensive. In addition, the requirements to be eligible for long-term care insurance benefits can be complicated and restrictive. Generally, with long-term care insurance, you must experience multiple deficiencies with your activities of daily living before you become eligible to receive benefits. In contrast, AgeSmart allows you to access services as soon as you have difficulty with one activity of daily living. Long-term care insurance often comes with a 90-day elimination period before benefits are paid. The AgeSmart program has no elimination period, so members can begin using their benefit as soon as a care need arises.

Medicare and/or supplemental insurance may cover some of the initial costs when recovering from an injury or illness after a hospital stay. However, when an individual requires custodial long-term care, most of the costs are paid for privately and aren’t covered by Medicare or supplemental insurance. Medicaid would only become available when a person has spent down their financial assets, typically leaving them with $2,000 or less.

Yes. Plan options are available that blend with your existing long-term care insurance policy. If you have long-term care insurance, the fees to join AgeSmart will be discounted based on the level of benefits in your policy. Be sure to inquire about these discounts when learning more about the program.

The membership fee is for each person who joins AgeSmart. A discount on the membership fee is available for individuals who live in the same home and join the program together. Each member is entitled to his or her own separate care and service, which is why the pricing is per person even if they’re joining as a couple.

As a not-for-profit organization, the monthly fees can increase due to cost of living changes on an annual basis, but only when they’re approved by the state. They won’t increase because you’re receiving home care or facility-based services. Realistically, you’ll see increases over time, but they’re necessary to ensure we’re able to provide services in the future.

Yes. As a member of AgeSmart, you’re guaranteed services, including assisted living and nursing care, no matter what inflation may be in years to come. The maximum daily benefit amount is set to be equivalent to the average cost of a private room in Skilled Nursing at LifeSpire’s communities; the benefit will increase as the cost at the LifeSpire’s community increases.

The fees for AgeSmart can be considered a tax-deductible prepaid medical expense. Consult with your accountant or financial advisor regarding tax and financial matters.

Yes, you do. You begin paying the monthly fees the month you become a member, and you continue to make those monthly payments as long as you remain in our program — whether you’re receiving benefits or not. If you need care, your monthly fees will be much more manageable than if you had to pay for those services at market rates. With AgeSmart, you’ll have more control over your budget, knowing monthly costs upfront rather than having to pay for varying, unpredictable expenses as you require long-term care. (For example, costs of care in the Richmond area in 2024 average $35,000 a year for 20 hours of private duty care a week, up to $96,000 a year for assisted living. And if nursing home care is required, this might run as high as $150,000 a year.)

Should you decide to become an Independent Living resident at a LifeSpire community, bridge options are offered to transition smoothly from being a AgeSmart member to a LifeSpire resident. Admission to Independent living at a LifeSpire community is not guaranteed for members of AgeSmart. AgeSmart members have to follow community’s admission process. Some floor plans at the comunity’s have waiting lists. Please inquire with the LifeSpire community for more details on the admission process at 804-521-9100.

To join AgeSmart, you must complete an application that includes a confidential financial statement. The application includes a medical release form authorizing your physicians to release your medical records for the past five years to us. Our medical advisor will review your medical records. Then a care coordinator will visit you to complete an in-home cognitive, functional and safety assessment. For more information, call us at 804-420-1952.