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…)

Why Call Me?

In the world of being a mid-lifer and anticipating the enjoyment of being an empty-nester, here comes a surprise; my parents are in need of some serious help…. Who, what, where do I go? Call me.

As a geriatric care manager my role is to help guide you through the confusing and overwhelming role of elder health care by providing consultations and referral assistance specific to you and your aging loved ones needs.  All too often families have wasted their time calling the wrong resources and asking the wrong questions.  Regardless of where you live there is an elder care system in place, but you need to know who to call and what to ask.  When you call me, you get you to right place with the resources you need.  My initial assessment with you and your elder loved one gets me the specifics information I need to provide a plan of care that will include individualized recommendations and resources to ensure a safe and secure environment, whether it be in the home or in a senior living community.

The reality of aging may take us by surprise, especially with our loved ones.  As a neutral partner in the equation I can see the picture through a different lens.  I can ask those difficult questions and get to the heart of the matter.  Too often families wait until crisis mode arises to call for help.  When a consultation is done earlier and a plan of care put into place, emotions can be far less heightened and good healthy decisions will be made.  Aging is inevitable, how you can be prepared for the changes in your older parent, by accessing the resources that are the best in your situation, I am here to help—call me.

The Future of Elder Care: Planning for Reality

Long-term care is expensive and many people just don’t want to go into the type of nursing home they can afford…the kind which often features shared rooms, impersonal cafeterias, and overworked-underpaid staff. Everyone wants the ideal they’ve set up in their mind whether it is for themselves or their loved one…this is the facility where living feels like home, the staff all love what they are doing, and money is a concern for no one.

For many people, living at home will never be an option because of the oft needed situation of 24 hour care needs. What is a family to do?

The truth is, Americans are getting older and we as a nation still have not come to terms with it. By the year 2050, one-third of the U.S. population will be 65 or older, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Around 4 percent of the population will be 85 or older at that point, and more than half of them will have difficulty performing some of the basic activities of daily living including include bathing, dressing, eating, walking, transferring out of a bed or chair, and using the toilet. (more…)

Challenges in Senior Care as Americans Live Longer

Today, Americans can expect to live longer than at any other time in history. For example, by the time you reach the age of 65, some research suggests you might live on average another 19 years. This isn’t unheard of, but for our elderly community, staying healthy is what’s important to reach and exceed two or more decades beyond 65.

There are many health challenges that older adults face that are generally unlike the health concerns of younger people. Below are the top 5 health issues that often impact the elderly.

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the top conditions if not these top condition people 65 and older often face. Affecting around 50% of men and women over 65, it can lead to pain and lower quality of life for seniors. While the condition makes it difficult to remain active,maintaining health at this stage in live is vitally dependent on activity. (more…)

Creating New Memories

While nursing homes and other long-term care facilities provide for a resident’s basic needs, they are often just that – basic. So when the holiday season comes around, there is an opportunity for churches and members of the community to come alongside families and reach out to nursing home residents. From the first day the holiday season commences in late October to the beginning of the new year several weeks later, any of us can find ourselves coping with loneliness, depression, or a simple case of the ba-humbugs. For those who are more dependent on facility caregivers or infrequent family visits, consider for a moment how the holiday season, especially Christmas, can bring about a sense of emptiness or be an opportunity for them to experience the joy that for some may only be a distant memory of holidays past. (more…)

Nobody Is an Island: Recognizing and Addressing Caregiver Fatigue

The holidays are supposed to be a time for family gatherings, parties, traveling, and opportunities to laugh and relax with the ones you love. For some, though, the holidays have different associations, like stress, anxiety, and isolation.

Caregivers can often feel stressed during the holiday season. While others are enjoying this time of year, caregivers may feel isolated as they focus on the care of a loved one. Caregivers selflessly provide around-the-clock, unpaid care to seniors and people with disabilities. They are tasked with accompanying their loved one to medical appointments, managing their medications, and handling their financial affairs, all while balancing their own obligations. (more…)