Williamsburg, Va. – Years ago, Riverside Health System noticed two key trends happening in the communities it serves.choose home

First, more than 10,000 baby boomers across the country were turning 65 each day, including throughout Hampton Roads. They wanted choice. To live at home. To be safe. 

Plus, care providers across the health system began seeing the impact they could make by asking patients “what matters to you,” verses “what’s the matter with you,” – a subtle, yet critical, difference. 

What matters to a lot of older adults, Riverside determined, is being able to live independently in their own homes for as long as they are able to safely do so.

Enter ChooseHome.

ChooseHome, an innovative program that merges the comfort of living at home throughout retirement with the assurance of having priority access to a support system and services that support members at every stage of life, is pleased to celebrate its third anniversary, having officially opened to members in the community in June 2015 following years of Riverside investing in the idea.

“Not many people realize it, but a lot of thought, effort, research and work went into making ChooseHome a possibility here in Virginia,” said Rick Jackson, Executive Director of the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH), which oversees the ChooseHome program. “Before Riverside advocated for a program like ChooseHome, and helped write the enabling legislation that made it possible, it wasn’t even something that was allowed in Virginia.”

But the leadership of Riverside, Jackson said, knew that it was something that could benefit older adults.

When ChooseHome officially opened to the community and for members to enroll, 35 members had already pre-registered, Jackson said.

“People were excited to have the choice to age in a place of their choosing,” Jackson said. “We've grown to 126 members as of the end of May 2018, making ChooseHome one of the fastest growing programs of its kind in the country.”

ChooseHome Services

Other signs of the success of the program include the team that makes it possible, Jackson emphasized.

“We started with one Personal Services Coordinator, a role we consider the heart of the program, and now we have three,” Jackson said.

Plus, Riverside has partnered with Williamsburg Landing to continue innovating and enhancing the program.

“Only good things are on our horizon,” Jackson said, anticipating that by the end of 2018 more than 150 members will be enrolled in ChooseHome. “We will be looking at even more innovations in the delivery of this service.”

Not to mention, the program will only continue to impact families in a positive way.

“Each and every day we meet with and see older adults who are widowed, live alone and are separated from their family, that is that their children and other relatives live across the country,” Jackson said. “They have become our ChooseHome members and rely on us for not only the insurance that will protect their assets, but also the services we provide in developing a care plan on how they are going to remain well and live independently in their home for as long as they choose.”

To become a ChooseHome member, you must be at least 60 and pass a medical assessment. Members receive help covering costs of care through the program as well as personalized care coordination through a designated Personal Services Coordinator. Learn more at choosehome.com or contact the Member Advisory team at 757-565-2654 to set up a personal consultation or Long-Term Care Insurance Review to better understand options of how to choose where you live as you age. ChooseHome members enjoy tax benefits, too. ChooseHome entrance and monthly fees are considered prepaid medical expenses.

Published: July 16, 2018