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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.

The 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!

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.

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.

The Difference between Hospice and Palliative Care

Many people do not know the difference between hospice and palliative care. We wanted to inform our readers of the differences because it’s important to know this when seeking elder care services for an older loved one.

palliative care vs hospice difference is in terms of the type of support they needAbout Palliative Care

Palliative care is a service that provides for the person entirely. Most people who have palliative care suffer from a disease or disorder that requires around the clock care. Often this requires many different types of specialists to remain medically stable. For instance, the patient may need a doctor, nurse, social worker, and dietitian available on a daily basis.

Palliative care vs hospice is meant to improve the quality of life and hopefully contribute to recovery efforts. It helps patients reduce symptoms of their disease/disorder, so they can be comfortable and in the best position to recover.

About Hospice Care

Hospice and palliative care are similar in that they both include a full range of services to make a person as comfortable as possible. The main difference between hospice and palliative care is that generally the patient in hospice care only has 6 months or less to live.

Hospice’s goal is to ensure the patient has everything needed to live out the rest of their days in as little pain and discomfort as possible. It is not a long-term care option.

Treatment is provided in hospice, but it is not meant for recovery – it is entirely to alleviate or reduce the symptoms of the terminal illness.

Palliative Care vs Hospice

difference between hospice and palliative care is in terms of longevity of the patientSince elderly who receive palliative care are expected to survive for more than 6 months, the goal of treatment is not only to provide comfort but also recovery or stabilization of their disease or disorder. Hospice care is provided to people who no longer have a chance at recovering from their disease or disorder, nor can it be stabilized to prolong the person’s life. The only treatment they receive is for comfort as they reach the end of life.

People sometimes do leave hospice care and go into palliative care if their condition changes. Of course, a person can also go from palliative care to hospice care. It all depends on their prognosis, which is regularly assessed throughout receiving services.

If you are unsure of palliative care vs hospice and which one is right for your loved one, speak to a healthcare professional. This person will be able to recommend services and the type of care that is best at this time.
Seeking Hospice and Palliative Care

During these difficult times, ElderCare Connections’ senior placement services is here to help. We are a FREE referral service that can help you find the best care for your older loved one. We have great working relationships with facilities providing hospice and palliative care. Our service is at no cost to you. Please call us at 513-685-8998, or complete our contact us form to learn more about these options and which one is best for your older loved one.

Also, for help during this difficult time, please download our free eBook on making hard choices.