What will the future of elder care look like after the COVID-19 pandemic? We are excited to announce that Rothkoff Law Group will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall with Eloy Van Hal, the co-founder of the Dementia Village, a small-scale senior housing community in the Netherlands. He is setting the standard for the what the future of elder care could look like. Let me share how we came to be a part this exciting community forum.
Over three years ago, Jerry Rothkoff traveled to the Netherlands as part of a professional tour of aging services in the Netherlands. He had the privilege of personally visiting the Dementia Village outside of Amsterdam, and given a tour of the amazing community by Eloy van Hal. He witnessed how the village model can enhance the lives of those with dementia. Subsequently, in 2018, Rothkoff Law Group brought Eloy van Hal to the Philadelphia area to allow local long-term care professionals to be inspired by Eloy’s powerful words and incites. We now feel it is time once again, given the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on long-term care residents, to understand the value of deinstitutionalizing our long-term care settings.
On March 23 of this year we made the difficult decision to temporarily close our offices to clients and transition to virtual meetings and a work from home model. The following morning, during our Zoom staff meeting, Jerry Rothkoff posed a question to the staff – What will the future of elder care look like when this is all over? We are still grappling with that question and now we all realize this is far from over.
Like many other elder care law practices, we have unfortunately lost many clients during this period. Some to COVID-19 and some to other causes, and many without family members there to provide comfort during their last days and hours. What we do know is that elder care law in its current form is uniquely challenged when a very contagious virus attacks.
As a society, we have been struggling with the issues surrounding the delivery of long-term care for years. A May 2020 article in the New England Journal of Medicine article raised issues with the size of both skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities. It also shined a spotlight on the financing of long-term care and the woeful state of programs established to help people live in the least restrictive environment for as long as possible. The bottom line is that very few people are able to pay for long-term care for any lengthy period of time.
In a much better world, long-term care would be provided in less institutional settings, without long hallways or multiple people in each room. There are some design ideas that fit with this new model of long-term care, including the Green House Project and the small scale “Dementia Village” of The Netherlands.
So what will the future of elder care look like when this is all over? Please join us on Wednesday, June 24 at 12:30 PM for a fascinating virtual conversation with the co-founder of the Dementia Village, Eloy Van Hal, as he discusses the value of a small, interactive alternative senior housing model and the potential of implementing the concept in the United States.