Long term care is generally defined as “Medical care received in a nursing facility or in a community setting that is expected to last at least 30 days”. Medicare generally does not pay for this type of care, but Medicaid may pay for this type of care if it is determined, after a pre-admission screening, that the patient needs nursing facility care or community-based care. Nursing facility care could include care in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. Community based care would include programs such as adult day care or in-home health care.
The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has waiver programs that assist individuals in need of long-term care. The Elderly and Disabled Waiver can assist individuals with disabilities and low-income seniors. Low-income individuals who are Medicaid eligible may request a Pre-admission Screening for long-term care placement in a facility or within the community. A social worker and the public health nurse can schedule an appointment to meet with the individual to determine eligibility. For more information please contact the Office of Aging and Adult services at 703-746-5999.
A nursing home is a residential facility where individuals live who need nursing care and who have significant difficulties with many activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and getting around without assistance. Nursing homes also provide rehabilitation for individuals following an injury or illness.
Assisted living facilities are residential facilities that provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and getting around. They may offer supportive services such as medication administration and may coordinate services by outside providers.
The process for choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility can be complicated, but there are resources available. Here are some good sources of information:
The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program serves as the patient advocate for individuals living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.The Program's Complaint Log gives information on local nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Located in Manassas VA, Birmingham Green is a long term care facility partially owned by the City of Alexandria. It is an assisted living and nursing facility that accepts Medicaid payment for residents. For more information about the Birmingham Green check out their website at The Office of Aging for the City of Alexandria works closely with Birmingham Green to assist city residents, who are eligible and interested in transitioning into assisted living or nursing home care.
Adult Day Care
Care for adults who cannot be left home alone during the day is provided by community based programs. Adult day care allows individuals who need supervision during the day due to dementia, medical conditions or mental health concerns to receive the daily care, companionship and psychological support they need while continuing to live at home. The Alexandria Adult Day Services Center is an adult day care center owned and operated by the city. For more information about adult day care visit the National Adult Day Services.
- Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook – an online resource for services for seniors.