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When Should You Involve an Elder Law Attorney?

elder law attorney desk name plate and gavelElder law is a new type of law that has come about due to longer life expectancies of the Baby Boomers. An elder law attorney provides advocacy to the elderly, disabled, and their family members. It can be confusing to know when to contact an elder law attorney. For this reason, we have identified the most common reasons people contact one and how the attorney helps.

How Your Elder Law Attorney Can Help

An Elder Law Attorney, also listed as Elder Care Attorney, and some times referred to as an Elder Care Lawyer help people with legal matters having to do with estate planning, asset protection, Medicaid, and other types of planning.

The best time to involve an elder law attorney is before someone’s health begins to fail due to age-related conditions. It is important that the person is of sound body and mind when making decisions about the future.

elder law attorney smiling before meetingThe following are some of the ways an elder law attorney helps older individuals.

Elder Care Attorney and Management of Assets and Health Care Plan

An elder care lawyer can help you appoint a loved one to manage your assets and health care plan in case you become so ill you are unable to manage them yourself. This should be someone you trust and you believe will carry out the plan as written in the agreement.

The lawyer will help you complete the legal documents needed, so only the prescribed person can take control of your assets and health care plan. They also are experienced in the multiple options available to you. Since not everyone’s situation is the same, you will want to spend some time with the elder law attorney, ask lots of questions, and make sure that things will be managed according to your wishes.

An Elder Care Lawyer Will Write A Long-Term Care Plan 

A long-term care plan involves stating your wishes with regard to your care and how it will be paid for when you need it. Most of the time, the person in charge of your assets and health care plan will also be in charge of this plan. This differs from the above in that this covers your nursing care, while the health care plan covers medical care. The lawyer will help you complete the necessary documentation needed to ensure your long-term care plan is followed.

Estate Planning

estate planning infographic for meeting with elder law attorneyEstate planning has to do with distribution of your assets in the event of your death. This may include a will, trust or other documents. Since these are all legal documents, an elder law attorney needs to prepare them to ensure they are completed correctly and therefore binding.

Power of Attorney

It’s important to also appoint a person to be your Power of Attorney (someone who will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated) For more explanation please visit our blog a living will vs power of attorney and is it really that important. You will need to complete paperwork for this, as other loved ones may want to take control of this when you are not able to respond. An elder care lawyer will ensure the documents are completed in their entirety.

ElderCare Connections Can Recommend an Elder Law Attorney

If you need to appoint someone to manage your assets, healthcare plan, long-term care plan, and/or create a will or complete a Power of Attorney document, it’s important to contact an elder law attorney. ElderCare Connections can help you find an appropriate attorney. For assistance either complete our contact us form or give us a call at 513-685-8998.

What Are the Effects and Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Dementia Patients?

dementia patients can benefit from prescription marijuana and cbd oilDiscussions and research on the use of marijuana and it’s effects on dementia patients is a rising concern. Understanding the research and the legality behind the use of the drug can help you make a wise decision about using it.

Research has found that marijuana can help dementia patients manage their dementia behaviors and symptoms of the condition. This may seem like good news for many people, particularly those living in states in which the drug is legal, but frustrating for those who are not in those states. But more importantly one should consider the effects and benefits.

The Effects and Benefits

Studies are conflicted when it comes to how marijuana helps dementia patients. The media has reported that the drug can lead to the onset of dementia, but at the same time could also improve conditions for people who already have it. This may be paradoxical, but it’s simply what researchers are seeing in their clinical trials.

The component in marijuana (cannabis) is THC. Some studies have shown that patients taking low doses can experience improved memory. They were also better able to learn. Scientists believe this is because the component of cannabis affects the hippocampus.

infographic of dementia patients gears in mind being connected with marijuana treatment

Besides improving memory, there’s another way that marijuana affects dementia patients – it can lower stress. One of the reasons people seek the cannabis plant is to help them relax. This effect can be quite welcoming to people who suffer from dementia because their symptoms can often frustrate them and increase anxiety and stress. When commons techniques for how to manage dementia don’t seem to be working, one can see how just lowering the stress levels can be a huge benefit.

However, this doesn’t work necessarily for everyone! The mind is a complex part of the body. The chemicals in the brain interact with drugs in different ways, which is why some people are affected by some drugs, while others are not. The only way to truly know how marijuana will affect someone suffering from dementia is to ask their physician about it, and then try it. While you may be tempted to just give this a try, we highly recommend that you only go down this path with your doctor’s recommendation.

Seeking Marijuana for Dementia Patients

If you are in a state that does not allow medical marijuana, you cannot legally use it. The only way to use it is to go to a state where it is legal and purchase it there. You must USE it there as well. It is illegal to bring marijuana back to a state where it is prohibited.

This means dementia patients in states where medical marijuana is illegal are unable to use it to help their symptoms.

doctor prescribing marijuana to dementia patients

Fortunately, there is an alternative that some people have experienced benefits from and that is CBD oil. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and can contain a low level of THC, which is the active ingredient that helps people with dementia. There is research that shows how it may help as well as potential side effects, so be sure to check into before trying it. And again, we think you should get your doctor’s recommendation for this too. Ask your doctor about it, because it may be worth a try if you’re unable to purchase marijuana in your state.

Alternative to Marijuana for Dementia Patients

For those who do not feel comfortable using marijuana or CBD oil, there are some therapies that can help manage the behavioral symptoms of dementia. These therapies are often part of programs included in many different elder care living communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about elderly home care for someone who is suffering from dementia or senior placement services, call ElderCare Connections at 513-685-8998 or complete our contact us form. We LOVE TO HELP!!!

Is My Doctor Really the Best Person to Recommend Elderly Care Solutions?

Decisions are plentiful when it comes to elderly care solutions. And making informed decisions can be overwhelimg, not to mention moving to a new community to help you with your needs can be nerve-racking. You don’t want to move to one community and find it doesn’t suit you, and then have to move to another one. That’s why it’s important to know who you should turn to when it comes to finding the right place for this stage of your life.

Recommendations from Doctors for Elderly Care Solutions

doctor suggesting elderly care solutions to an older female patientIt is important to seek help from your doctor when it comes to elderly care services. You need to know what assistance is needed based on your health conditions.

People suffering from dementia often need help with remembering medications, if they have a number of them to take each day. Some medications must be taken daily at the same time, while others can be taken at any time of the day, and it isn’t a serious health concern if a dose is missed. Depending on the medications you’ve been prescribed, you may need to have someone administer the medication to you or just check each day to see if you took them.

This is why a doctor’s appointment to see what your needs are is important.

Does this mean that the doctor is the best person to recommend elderly care solutions? Probably not.

While your health is a critical piece of the care you need, there are other factors that need to be considered and addressed. These other factors are likely beyond the scope of what your doctor can confidently weigh on for his or her recommendations.

For instance, you may need more social interaction than you are receiving right now. While your doctor may know this, it may not know which elderly care facilities will provide you with this part of your well-being.

This is the reason you need to not only consult with your doctor, but with an elder care consultant.

How Consultants Help Match You with Elderly Care Facilities

senior woman viewing study about elderly care facilities with doctorElder care solutions specialists can better help you with recommendations on elderly care solutions. The specialist is able to take the assessment your doctor has done, give you an additional assessment to determine other needs, and then match you up with elderly care facilities that not only help you physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. This way you receive help in all areas to keep you happy, healthy, and safe.

Please know that when you speak to an elder care consultant, you do not need to answer any questions you do not feel completely comfortable answering. All of the questions are only used to help match you up with the right community, but we understand some of them may seem too personal.

If you’re the loved one of an older individual, you can also call us for help. We offer FREE referral Senior Placement Services and we use your information to help you find the right elderly care facility.

Contact us today at (513) 685-8998 for more information. Or complete our Contact Us form. We love helping our senior friends!

Caring for Parent With Dementia at Home: How to Know When It’s No Longer Feasible

Dementia is a condition that can start slowly. At the onset it is often mistakenly identified as “just getting older,” but as it progresses slowly, they wonder if it’s something much more than natural aging. And caring for parent with dementia at home comes into question and presents many challenges. The FCA has provided a nice guide to understanding dementia behaviors and will definitely help you determine if your parent is beginning to show signs.

daughter assisting and caring for parent with dementia at homeAs the condition starts to take over the person’s mind, caring for a dementia patient may not longer be feasible. There are many reasons for this to be the case, several of which we address below.

Safety Concerns when Caring for a Dementia Patient

Safety is the primary concern when caring fora parent with dementia at home. Often memory lapses become the source of safety concerns. They may forget to turn off a stove. Or might light a candle and leave it unattended. They may even leave the house and walk aimlessly around the neighborhood. And without supervision or assistance, this can put your loved one at risk.

Unless you’re able to supervise your loved ones all day long, when this stage of dementia happens, it’s best to seek alternative options for care services.

Medication Compliance

Medications are an important consideration, especially when people are getting older. Again, memory lapses can be the cause of problems. Forgetting to take medication or taking it twice can lead to illness and more severe consequences – stroke, heart attack, etc.

Caring for parent with dementia at home means monitoring what medications need to be taken and when.And if caring for a dementia patient is not within your abilities or you are not able to make that large commitment, then it’s best not to try caring for your own parent with dementia at home. It’s better to have them in a living situation with a trained professional that will help them with their prescriptions.

Unkempt Appearance and Home

applying makeup is caring for parent with dementia at home

While this may not appear as much of as threat as the reasons above, it is still highly important. When a parent with dementia at home is unable to keep themselves and their environment clean, issues can occur that can put their health at risk. Good hygiene and maintaining a clean home may be even more important that in past as the parent grows older. As appearance begin to decline it is often a sign that additional help may be necessary.

While this may not be needed on a daily basis, if someone can visit your loved one to help them with daily living skills every other day or at least three times a week, that would be best. If this is not possible, assisted living communities may be a great option.

When Caring for a Parent with Dementia at Home is no longer possible

One of the most common feelings people have caring for a dementia patient is guilt. When it comes seeking elderly care, it’s also common to feel as though you are letting them down, or giving up on them. This guilt is not warranted, though.

caring for a dementia patient means involving her in normal activitiesYou have been caring for your parent with dementia at home up to this point, and now, it’s no longer feasible for you to continue. This does not make you a bad person or inadequate. It simply means your loved one’s needs have exceeded your ability to help him/her enough. Often, because of feelings of guilt, people try to care for parents with dementia at home long beyond what they really can handle. You actually could be doing the wrong thing continuing to try and then putting your older loved one at increased risk, or at the very least providing a less compatible environment that what they really need.

Making the Decision to Seek Elder Care

Reach out to ElderCare Connections for help with this situation. We help you find the right type of support for your loved one’s needs. Whether you need senior placement services or elderly home care our specialists will help you determine the perfect fit for your loved one. We work with people every single day and help them in many ways for no cost at all.

You have nothing to lose so just call us and ask for information. We know it’s a hard time, and we want to make it easier for you. Reach out to us by completing our contact us form, or you can reach us at (513) 685-8998.

Living Will vs Power of Attorney and is it Really that Important?

Determining Living Will vs Power of Attorney (POA) is often difficult because people wonder if they really need a Power of Attorney or a Living Will as they get older. They don’t believe they will ever get to a point where they cannot make their own decisions when it comes to medical care or long-term care. Unfortunately, most people do get to this point, and then their loved ones are left with deciding what is best. Before jumping in, it is important to know the differences between durable power of attorney vs living will and which is right for you.

Durable Power of Attorney vs Living Will and the differences.

Before identifying the reasons you should have a POA or Living Will, these are the differences between each one.elderly person trying to understand comparison of durable power of attorney vs living will

And just for clarification sake, when we refer to Power of Attorney (POA), we actually mean Durable Power of Attorney. What does durable mean? In simple terms it means that it stays in effect if you become incapacitated or some how unable to manage your affairs on your own. Whereas a regular POA (“nondurable”) would automatically end if the personal losses mental capacity. So for our purposes here, when we use the term POA, we are referring to the “durable” type.

POA is when you appoint someone to make all of your decisions. If you become incapacitated, this person can make all of the decisions having to do with your medical care. This includes financial decisions to pay for any services needed while you are unresponsive.

A Living Will is a document that outlines what you want to happen if you become incapacitated. Most people include whether or not they want to be resuscitated in this document. This is an important consideration and can sometimes depend on religious beliefs. It’s a personal decision for many people, so that’s why they want to have it in writing.

Living Will vs Power of Attorney and is it Really that Important?

Someone who doesn’t have a POA or Living Will is at the mercy of their loved ones if they become unresponsive. If no loved ones are available or do not want to make the decision about care, the medical community will do what they believe is in your best interest. Either way, by not having the appropriate documents in order, you will not have expressed your wishes of future care and treatment.

lawyer drafting comparison of living will vs power of attorney

Other people’s beliefs regarding what is in your best interest may not exactly be what you believe is in your best interest.

So, yes! We believe they are important. Whether you prefer durable power of attorney vs living will is a personal choice and may involve considering many varying circumstances. Consulting an attorney (elder law attorney) who specializes in this type of practice may be a good option. ElderCare Connections is also a good option. They can help you work through some things to consider, and also can recommend an attorney to consult who specializes and can create the appropriate documents.

How to Create a POA and Living Will

living will vs power of attorney comparison is trickyIdentifying a POA is a legal procedure. You must speak to an elder law attorney to draft the document for you. You and the person that you are appointing as your POA will need to sign the legal document. A copy will go to you and the POA, while the original stays with the attorney. This is in case the copies are destroyed and the attorney needs to prove that your POA has been legally identified by you as your POA.

The Living Will is also a legal document. You will speak with an elder law attorney to discuss what you would like to happen if you become incapacitated. You can include medical care and financial plans in the document, so there is no question of what you would like to happen. In case something does happen that you become unresponsive, this plan will be followed. Several significant people, i.e. spouse, family member, etc. should know about this Living Will, so that it can be furnished if needed.

How ElderCare Connections Helps Determine Living Will vs Power of Attorney

ElderCare Connections is a free senior placement services & elderly home care referral for people who are growing older and their loved ones. If you need help with a POA and/or Living Will, we can help you find an elder law attorney. Simply call us or contact us through our website for more information.