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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.

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.

Dementia Behaviors: How to Manage Dementia

When you experience dementia behaviors from a loved one, it can be quite difficult to handle. Understanding common behaviors of dementia means realizing that communication changes and it can be very frustrating. Dementia behaviors can be difficult to manage but the good news is that there is something you can do about it.

Managing Behaviors of Dementia Patients

Take each one of these ways of managing behaviors of dementia patients and give them a try. Start slowly, and if it doesn’t work the first time, don’t discount it. Simply try again until you’re sure it’s not going to work.

Remain Positivedaughter is patiently listening as she learns how to manage dementia

When you’re frustrated, it can be difficult to remain positive, but it’s the best way to react to poor dementia behaviors. Make sure your body language matches the positive tone of your voice because even though your loved one is older, he/she can pick up on signals that don’t match up.

Limit Distractions

Don’t try to speak to your loved one while he/she is watching TV or listening to the radio. Either ask to turn it off or wait until it is off to communicate. This way he/she is not inundated with too many things grasping for their attention – including speaking with you.

Speak Simply

Do not try to tell your loved one a long, drawn out story. Attention spans are limited with people people suffering from dementia. Tell your loved one what you want him/her to know in as few words and sentences as possible without being vague.

When dealing with dementia behaviors Ask Simple Questions

Similar to the speaking simply, ask short, simple questions. For example,

● Do you want a turkey sandwich for lunch?
● How are you feeling?
● What time is your doctor’s appointment?

Avoid asking questions that are very open ended, such as:

● What happened when Mary came by today and what did she say?

Open ended questions tend to demand more from the person and can cause confusion, all leading to more undesirable dementia behaviors.

Wait Patiently

As you learn how to manage dementia be conscious of the patient having a difficult time processing information, especially when trying to say something. Be patient and wait for the person to start and finish speaking. Interruptions and hurrying your loved one will only frustrate him/her and you and could cause more unwanted dementia related behaviors.

Break Down Activities

Don’t assume a loved one still knows how to do things he/she did a year ago. When instructing how to do something, break it up into small, understandable chunks. For example, if you’re showing your loved one how to make a microwavable meal.

● Take the meal out of the freezer.
● Remove it from the box.
● Take the plastic off the top.
● Place it in the microwave.
● Tap the amount of time it needs to cook.
● Press Start.

It may seem like you’re being condescending, but it really is best when dealing with dementia behaviors. Just be sure your tone is polite and helpful.

How to manage dementia: Stop, Direct and Distract

dealing with dementia behaviors of elderly man showing delusions and confusionCommon behaviors of dementia could include being argumentative as a result of frustration. If an argument happens, stop, direct and distract. Sometimes, you just need to change the the subject, and that can sometimes mean bringing in a distraction like a television show or turning the radio on to your loved one’s favorite station.

Adjusting to a New Normal

It can be easier dealing with your loved one’s dementia behaviors by accepting this as the new normal. Change is inevitable as people age, and remembering this can help you get by the hardest parts of this stage of your his/her life.

Remember to care for yourself first. Take breaks as you need to, and reach out for help if you need it. This will help you use the above effectively, so you can keep a good relationship with your loved one.

How to manage dementia with ElderCare Connections’ care and placement services

ElderCare consultants are experts when in comes to helping you make the best decisions for your loved ones. Sometimes finding the best placement for a loved one who demonstrates dementia behaviors is required. ElderCare Connections offer FREE placement services and has great partnerships with surrounding care facilities to be able to help you determine the BEST care and placement for your loved one. Reach out to ElderCare Connections at 513-685-8998 or complete our Contact Us form.

What Does Medicare Cover: Understanding Medicare Coverage

One of the most common questions people ask when they seek services for elder care is “What does Medicare cover?” This is important question, as elder care services can be expensive. The following information will help you better understand what Medicare covers.

Medicare coverage may offer some long-term care options. This government program is split up into:

  • Medicare Part Adrawing shows what medicare covers
  • Medicare Part B
  • Medicare Part C
  • Medicare Part D

Medicare Part A covers hospital care. This includes inpatient hospital care. It can help with skilled nursing services, hospice and some home care as long as it is prescribed by a physician.

NOTE: Most beneficiaries receive Medicare Part A free from premiums because of Medicare tax deductions during their years of employment.  

Medicare Part B is the medical portion of the insurance. This consists of outpatient physician and hospital services. Some home health services and medical equipment costs may be paid for by this insurance. Part B does come with a premium cost, and it changes each year.

Part C of Medicare coverage is for the Medicare Advantage Plans. This is coverage for private companies, such as HMOs and PPOs. Individuals with Part C may benefit from the same benefits as those with Part A and B, but are able to use services of their choosing as long as they are part of the HMO or PPO network. This coverage can help with dental, vision and some prescription drug costs.medicare coverage has several plans including medicare advantage plans

Medicare Part D is referred to as Medicare’s Prescription Drug plan. Individuals can receive their medications at a lower cost by paying an additional monthly premium. These premiums can be anywhere between $10 and $100.

What does Medicare Cover in terms of facility services and long-term care benefits?

Medicare coverage provides short-term medical care assistance to people over the age of 65. The following are what Medicare covers and how much they will cover.

For a Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare pays for 20 days at this type of facility. After those initial 20 days, they will cover 80% of the cost for 80 more days. This is only for individuals who need this type of care following a hospital stay.

what does medicare cover infographic showing many servicesWhat Medicare covers in terms of In-Home Care and skilled nursing care is very possibly for a limited time. The nursing care must be prescribed by a doctor and should only be on a part-time basis. The individual must also be confined to their home or in other words, homebound – meaning the person cannot seek care on an outpatient basis at a medical care facility. If this is your situation you may want to read our article Top 10 Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider.

For Alzheimer’s care only medical costs associated with the disease are covered. For late stage Alzheimer’s disease, hospice may be covered.

And finally for Hospice care, Medicare coverage involves hospice care for individuals with 6 or less months to live, but does not cover the room and board. Only charges having to do with medical care, prescription drugs and homemaker services are usually included.

ElderCare Connections Answers the Question: What Does Medicare Cover and more!

ElderCare Connections works with older individuals and their loved ones every day to help them seek support depending on their needs. If you’re in need of assistance from elder care services, contact us. We offer a free referral service providing the help you or your loved one needs in this stage of life. Contact us at 513-685-8998 or use our Contact Us form.