Elder care law is one of the most important areas of law we have, yet many Florida seniors and their loved ones are extremely unprepared. They fail to plan early and well for a potential future that involves significant long-term care needs. Unfortunately, it is commonplace for our aging population and their caregivers to rely on estate plans and these plans often only cover a part of their needs.
The key to aging well in Florida is to be fully prepared for any circumstance that arises as a result of the aging process. We want you and your family to be protected. While there are multiple elder care issues we can help you navigate, our goal is two-fold. We want you to receive the good long-term care you deserve and we want to find a ways to pay for it that will not impoverish you or your family.
Let us share four tips with you in this article.
1. Know the difference between estate plans and elder care law.
A common misconception is that estate planning and elder care law are basically the same thing. Estate plans, however, only make up part of elder law. Estate plans typically include a will and a trust, and basically cover the transfer of wealth and planning for death. By contrast, elder care law encompasses all legal matters that seniors and persons with disabilities face. These considerations are not limited to just issues regarding death, but also those of incapacity, as well.
2. Do your research.
It’s easy to chat with friends or family and emulate their end-of-life plans. If those plans only include estate planning, however, you put yourself in the position to face serious issues as you age. Research the best course of action for you based on your circumstances, because everyone deals with different health, disability and financial issues. What worked for Aunt Hilda or Grandma Jean may not suit you, so be sure to research all elder care law opportunities.
3. Ask the right questions.
During your pursuit for an elder care law attorney to help you plan ahead, be sure to ask your attorney the right questions for you. It’s common for elder care law attorneys to practice in one, two or a few areas of elder care law, not everything, so be sure your attorney fits your needs. Ask them what areas they focus on in, how many years they’ve been practicing law, and how to best be prepared for future meetings. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you can avoid hiring an attorney who will only help you with part of your needs.
4. Find out what you qualify for.
Your elder care law attorney can help you determine if you may qualify for public benefits programs to help you pay for the high cost of long-term care. These benefits can include Florida Medicaid to help pay for a long-term care facility, or even VA Pension Benefits. It is a common misconception that you must be a disabled veteran to qualify for VA Pension Benefits. If you were discharged from service (without dishonorable conditions), served more than 90 days during a qualifying period of war, are permanently and totally disabled or aged older than 65, and your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law, you most likely benefit for VA pension benefits to help pay for long-term care.
The key is to do your research, ask the right questions, and don’t rely on advice from friends or family. You need to find the right elder care lawyer for you. We work with families just like yours each and every day on finding the right elder care law answers for them and would be honored to answer your questions. Ready to start planning? Let us know by contacting us through our website or call us at (877) 977 – ELDER. We look forward to talking to you!
Many of our clients and their families ask, “What are the potential signs that my parent may need an in-home caregiver?” There may come a time when your parent is no longer able to live alone, but how will you know? The short answer is through observation and interaction. The following are key warning signs you should always be on the lookout for.
Many people think that age is the main factor when deciding whether or not they should get an in-home caregiver for their parent. While this is not entirely false, there are additional, important factors to look for in your parent, in addition to age. We will address those critical indicators.
1. Poor or limited mobility.
If your parent is no longer physically able to get around, or needs assistance when doing so, this is a sign that he or she may need someone in the house to help out. Mobility issues can lead your parent to be more vulnerable to tripping or falling which can lead to a detrimental injury.
2. Decline in hygiene.
Has your parent always been meticulous about his or her appearance? A noticeable change could indicate a decline in ability. Does your parent now need help with getting a bath and cleaning him or herself? Although your parent may be resistant, get help. Without this assistance, your parent could end up with an infection or illness from poor hygiene.
3. Signs of forgetfulness.
If your parent is developing symptoms of forgetfulness or irritation, you may need to be more vigilant in your oversight than usual. These symptoms can be precursors to more critical illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or medication issues. With these symptoms your parent could unknowingly place him or herself in harm’s way.
4. Inability to perform activities of daily living.
If your parent begins to exhibit an inability to perform daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, or paying bills, then they may need someone that can provide this assistance. There are certain responsibilities that cannot go unchecked or a serious issue could result; a caregiver or homemaker service may be able to provide this extra help that your parent needs.
These are just a few of the signs that you should be aware of when deciding whether your parent may be able to continue to live alone. We are here to help you and your family navigate these challenges and provide the elder care law guidance you need. Does this article raise even more questions for you? We are here to answer them for you. Call us at (877) 977 – ELDER (3533) or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment with Attorney Scott Selis.
If you’re like most people, you worry about going broke before you die. You probably realize that one of the most common reasons people die broke is that they needed expensive care at home, at an Assisted Living Community, or at a Nursing Home.
Even though many people 65 years of age and older accept that they have a high risk of needing care, many think that they won’t have to pay for the care. Most expect that their loved ones will take care of them. But maybe they can’t. Some expect that Medicare, supplemental insurance, or a Medicare substitute will pay for it. But that expectation could cost them $100,000.00 per year, if not more.
So, what are you doing to avoid the risk of losing everything to long term care? If you’re like most, you think that nothing can be done or that needing expensive long-term care will never happen to you. But there is something that can be done, if you’re proactive.
Elder Care Legal Planning uses proactive methods that might help your money outlive you. And it doesn’t require that you give your money to someone else for safekeeping. The goal of Elder Care Legal Planning is to help you get quality long-term care and qualify for programs that will pay for some or all of it. And that means that you probably won’t go broke.
While it’s best to do Elder Care Legal Planning 5 or more years before you need care, it’s not required. There are things that can be done to protect a portion of your life’s savings from the devastating cost of long-term care, even at the last minute.