The Gray Areas of Elder Law, and How to Navigate Them

The Gray Areas of Elder Law, and How to Navigate Them

Many do not understand the stresses that accompany the legal side of things when they begin to consider elder care. Unfortunately, things are rarely black and white. Every family situation is unique with its own plethora of exceptions and individual assets, and this can make the entire planning process incredibly confusing for anyone without a trained legal eye. This is why many choose to retain an eldercare attorney to help guide them through the process.

What is Elder Law?

Elder law is a relatively new legal field, and many attribute this new development to prolonged life expectancy. The branch of law is designed to serve the needs of both the elderly and their families. It focuses on the legal issues that may arise, as well as the financials involved, as families try to sort through options for any possible situation.

What Are the Gray Areas?

As mentioned before, the matters involved in elder care are rarely black and white. Each family is different, and this creates quite a bit of gray areas in the documents and applications. Some common gray areas may be:
• You own at least one business
• You have a disabled family member
• You have minor children
• You have a problem child
• You do not have any children
• You have assets in IRAs and 401(k)’s
• You are on your second (or later) marriage, or recently divorced
• You own property in more than one state
• You want to leave some of your estate to charity
• Your spouse is in need of long-term care

If you relate to any of the points above, or you believe you have your own unique gray areas to consider, you may find a valuable resource in the knowledge and experience of an elder law attorney.

These decisions can be scary to make alone. There are many situations that families fail to plan for, and this leads to unneeded stress in times of trauma and tragedy. An elder law attorney will help you set a plan for these gray areas in case there is ever a time where taking action becomes a necessity.

If you are unsure whether or not to hire an elder care attorney for your unique situation, Terri can help guide you through the decision process. Schedule a consultation today.

Early Diagnosis Can Improve The Lives of People With Dementia

It is so important to bring awareness to dementia related diseases because there is not yet a cure, but early diagnosis can help improve the life of people with dementia and their families. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, being the 6th leading cause of death in United States. Although it is true that memory loss can happen more frequently as we age, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, those with dementia can show significant impairment of two of the below items.

  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception
  • Decreased socialization
  • Increased falls

Dementia related diseases like Alzheimer’s alter the communication between brain cells causing mental, emotional, physical and behavioral changes. This is much more than just forgetting things as we age. It is important to monitor aging loved ones for changes in their behavior and bring them to see a doctor early on, since most cases of dementia start slowly and progress. It is also important to assess for any type of pseudo-dementias/reversible conditions.

  • D-Drug Interactions
  • E-Emotional Disorders
  • M-Metabolic or Endocrine Disorders-(Thyroid)
  • E-Eyes and Ears (Sensory loss can cause confusion)
  • N- Nutritional deficits
  • T-Tumors (especially brain)
  • I-Infection (UTI, URI and pneumonia)
  • A-Arteriosclerosis (other cardiac conditions/ or stroke)Knowledge is bridging the gap for those facing the reality of aging, especially with dementia related diseases. Knowing what to ask and where to go- allows you to find resources, support and develop that plan specific for your older adult loved one.

    Terri is available to speak on many topics related to dementia; to help guide family members as 
    they navigate through this disease process.

Why Dementia Education Is Important & How I Can Help You Stand Out

Alzheimer’s and dementia care are highly specialized fields for a plethora of reasons. Patients who suffer from these conditions cannot make decisions for their own health care needs and must rely on family members and health care professionals for prompt, appropriate care. That means the senior citizen in question is your patient, but their caregiver is your target market. They’re the person you need to impress. Keep reading for three ways you can stand out in this specialized and important geriatric health care field.

  • From dentistry to cosmetology to x-ray technicians to pharmacists, many fields related to caring for the needs of senior citizens are making Alzheimer and dementia education and certification a requirement. When you enroll in my upcoming seminar, you’ll get a jump start on the educational requirements that make caregivers seek you out.
  • When family members are looking for professionals and specialists to treat their elderly loved ones, they’ll appreciate – and often spend extra dollars to receive – the added security of knowing you’re prepared to handle behavioral issues, fall hazards, and potential hygiene shortfalls. Being aware of and prepared to handle these concerns goes a long way toward gaining and retaining clients.
  • The healthcare field demands, expects, and celebrates higher education. It also encourages, and in many instances, requires, continuing education. This lifelong learning is especially key in specialty areas, such as elder care and geriatric medicine. It’s an investment in your future that pays off for you and for the clients you serve. If you want to stand out among care providers, or in the eyes of potential employers, CDP certification is a strategic way to do so.

BridgeCare Consulting’s one-day Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Care Seminar is a mandatory course when you apply to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner with NCCDP. It equips you with the knowledge base and skill set you need to obtain the Certified Dementia Practitioner credential (CDP) employers and clients look for. Click here for complete information and registration for the next seminar on Tuesday, January 23rd. Sign up today because our classes fill up fast, and this affordable, one-day seminar puts you on the right path for obtaining your CDP credentials.

When to Start Planning for Nursing Home Care

Most elderly prefer to stay in their own homes, especially since the thought to move into a skilled care situation is often associated in their minds with end-of-life care. For many elderly, the move to a nursing home is a better option than remaining in their home for many reasons.

An elder is housebound.

If your elderly loved one is no longer getting around on her own, fulfilling such tasks as buying groceries, seeing the doctor, or visiting friends, it’s possible that her season of independence is coming to a close. Don’t hesitate to evaluate the situation because it is ultimately about the safety of your loved one. (more…)

Personal Belongings in the Nursing Home

It’s unfortunate but it’s the reality of things—personal items often get lost or even stolen in nursing homes. Things go missing over the course of care: clothing items can be misplaced when staff inadvertently supply them to the wrong patient or when patients with dementia-related issues take clothing or personal items from other patients. But there are ways to avoid most of these issues and guard against this particular problem when making the difficult decision to place a family member in a nursing home. (more…)