04/26/2018










Legal Issues to Consider When Caring for a Parent with Dementia

caregiver and elderly patient with dementiaYou have a parent suffering from dementia, and now you are left wondering what you can do to protect their health, happiness, and their finances. A person who has dementia relies heavily on their adult children, and they need someone who can make the critical financial and healthcare decisions on their behalf that are in their best interest. While your parent has their mental abilities still intact, now is the time to act. The sooner you take care of the legal issues and complete the necessary paperwork, the easier it will be when your loved one’s condition worsens.

Critical Documents to Complete After a Dementia Diagnosis in Plainview, NY

Once your parent is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, the next step is to complete the necessary paperwork. Once your loved one’s condition worsens, you will not be able to complete these tasks without going to court and waiting months for the system to work out these details.
Here are some documents that are essential so that you can care for your parent correctly.

Durable Power of Attorney

The durable power of attorney is a legal document that gives an adult child the authority to make financial decisions for their parent. This includes:

  • Writing checks to pay creditors and bills
  • Filing tax returns and depositing tax refund checks
  • Selling a home
  • Selling other assets for the benefit of their adult parent
  • Handling the investment of any assets

A general power of attorney is not as reliable as a durable power of attorney because the durable option remains in place even if the parent becomes incapacitated. A regular power of attorney would end the power given to you if your parent was to become incapacitated due to his or her illness.

When you have a properly drafted durable power of attorney, all financial institutions that your loved one currently uses will use the document, but you may need to also complete the financial company’s exclusive power of attorney form. Therefore, the faster you start the process, the better, because some firms may require these documents and take several weeks to process them.

Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy or healthcare power of attorney gives you the ability to make medical decisions for your loved one. You can choose which doctors they see, which medical treatments they accept or refuse, and other healthcare decisions that they cannot make on their own.

It is essential that you discuss what your loved one’s wishes are for health and well-being while they are still lucid enough to make those decisions. That way when you exercise your power as the health care proxy, you know that you are following their wishes.

Living Will

A living will, or advanced health care directive takes the guesswork out of deciding what your loved one needs or wants regarding their health. Your parent can dictate what medical treatments they want or don’t want, especially near the end of their life.

They may also designate what level of life-saving measures they want to be taken in their living will.

Updating the Current Estate Plan

While you do all the paperwork, make sure that you also meet with an estate planning attorney to update your loved one’s current estate plan. A will dictates how assets are handled upon your parent’s death, and which beneficiaries receive those assets.

Sit down with an estate planning attorney and your loved one while they are still able to make these critical decisions. Ensure that everything is updated, new assets are added to the estate plan, and that everything is addressed – including anything that has changed since your loved one’s diagnosis.

Living Trust

If your parent has a significant estate, you may want to consider a living trust.

A living trust makes it easier to manage assets in your parent’s estate, including investment accounts or the family home. The trustee must follow instructions made in the trust, which limit anyone taking over for personal gain.

You will need to transfer all your parent’s assets into the trust, including investment accounts, homes, and other tangible assets that are currently in their name.

Another benefit to using a trust is that you will be able to bypass probate court. A living trust lets you avoid probate and assets are distributed directly to the beneficiaries of the trust if your parent were to die from their illness.

The Capacity to Make a Will

One issue that comes up with a parent who is diagnosed with dementia is their mental capacity to make and execute a will. Legally this is known as the testamentary capacity. Your parent’s will might be challenged if they sign the will and their dementia is too far progressed to justify it.

Therefore, it is vital that you meet with an attorney and discuss your options for updating your loved one’s estate plan. Some considerations your attorney will need to make include the extent of the property being added, beneficiaries of the estate, and if your loved one can make reasonable judgments when executing a will.

Assessing the Costs

Not only do you need to have financial documents and estate plans updated, but you also need to plan for how you will cover the costs of your parent’s daily living, including in-home care or putting them in a nursing home when their disease progresses too far. These costs can quickly add up, and cost thousands of dollars that you do not have. An estate planning attorney can help you plan for these expenses within the estate plan, and also through Medicare planning.

Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney

Once your parent is diagnosed with dementia, you need to meet with an estate planning attorney quickly. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to complete the necessary paperwork, but also to do so before your loved one’s condition makes them ineligible for signing a new will.

For your concerns, meet with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. We can help you explore your options for protecting your loved one and ensuring they receive the care they need.

Schedule a free case evaluation now at 516-605-0625 or request more information online.

How to Help Your Widowed Elderly Parent with Legal and Financial Issues

New York Elderly Parent Advice Attorney

family with mother in wheelchairAfter losing one parent, you may see that your surviving parent is struggling with the legal and financial tasks that come afterward. After all, they are grieving and the last thing they should have to deal with is the paperwork, phone calls, and endless to-do items.

As an adult child, there are things you can do to help your parent. While some of these tasks can wait, others may need to be addressed immediately. Therefore, consider this list of tasks that must be done and see what you can tackle first.

10 Steps to Take after a Parent Dies in Plainview, NY

You are going through an emotional time, but there are legal and financial tasks that you must complete so that you can truly put your loved one to rest. To help your surviving parent, we have compiled a list of ten must-do tasks. Some of these you can do alone, while others you should consult an attorney for to ensure that you are following New York’s laws.

1. Locate All Assets

Even if your surviving parent is named as the executor, you can help by finding all the assets. Ask your parent what assets they have, and where they might be located. Make a master spreadsheet that has all bank and brokerage account information, retirement accounts, insurance plans, real estate, safe deposit boxes, and significant assets that are vital to the estate.

2. List All Debts

See if you can create a list of debts the estate owes, such as mortgages, car payments, credit cards, private loans, and student loans. Review that list with your surviving parent and ask to see any bank records or financial statements so that you can get account numbers, balances, and the contact information for each creditor in order.

3. Apply for Social Security

Help your loved one apply for Social Security benefits (if they are eligible). You can find information for your local SSA office online and pay attention to survivor’s benefits. You can also ask about other benefits your surviving parent may be entitled to, such as veterans pay, pension accounts, or any employer-related payments.

4. Review the Will

Your parents most likely had a will drafted. Therefore, you need to get a copy of that will and review it. See what wishes your parent laid out in that will, including who was named the executor. If the executor is not yourself or your surviving parent, contact the executor right away so that they may begin their task of settling the estate.

5. Meet with an Attorney

Whether the estate goes to probate or not, it is best that you meet with an attorney to review your options. An attorney can help ensure that all assets are accounted for and distributed in accordance with the will, but also that any minor steps required by the state are addressed so that your family’s estate completes the process as quickly as possible.

6. Update Wills and Trusts

If your surviving parent has a will or trust, now is the time to have those documents updated. Most likely they would have named their primary beneficiary as the spouse that has passed away; therefore, they will need to designate new beneficiaries.

Also, your surviving parent may need to update their healthcare directive and executor roles.

7. Create a Financial Power of Attorney

Have your surviving parent make a financial power of attorney. This document will name someone that handles their financial matters if they become incapacitated. The party can handle everything from managing investments to paying bills and it is a critical document for a widowed spouse to have.

8. Start Organizing

Once the documents are created, your parent’s estate probated, and the turmoil has settled, the next step is to help your surviving parent organize the documents. A good estate plan will not help if the documents are not organized and prepared in case the unthinkable were to happen.

Create a filing system that includes all power of attorney documentation, bank and brokerage account information, retirement accounts, insurance policies, and the updated will and trust.

9. Update Insurance Policies

One overlooked step is updating insurance policies. Make sure that your surviving parent picks a new insurance beneficiary. Insurance designations are not the same as an estate plan. The beneficiary named on an insurance policy will trump any name in an estate plan; therefore, you want to ensure your surviving parent updates this as quickly as possible.

10. Find a Support Group

One of the best ways to help a grieving loved one is a support group. There are many support groups offered by local churches, hospitals, and community centers. They offer support to those who have lost a spouse, including specialty groups for spouses that have lost loved ones to illnesses like cancer.

Need Assistance with Administering a Loved One’s Estate?

After losing a parent, the last thing you need to worry about is the tedious steps involved with settling an estate. Meet with an estate planning attorney who can help you with probate and estate administration.

An attorney is a neutral third-party that can help provide you with advice, insight, and even update documents so that your surviving parent is taken care of.

To explore your options or to get assistance with probate, speak with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C.

Schedule a free case evaluation at 516-605-0625 or request more information online.

Contracts for Geriatric Caregivers: What do You Need?

Caregiver and Elderly PersonWhether you are hiring someone privately, or you have hired a family member to care for an aging loved one, it is important that you realize this is a business transaction. This person is being hired and compensated for caring for your relative. Therefore, you need to treat it like any other business arrangement – including having a written contract with that party.

Elderly individuals living at home often require some form of assistance while there. The person taking that responsibility to meet the needs of your loved one can do everything from supervising their care to providing cleaning and meal services.

After you have agreed on compensation, which should be realistic hourly wages compared to other service providers, you need to draft a contract.

Why Do I Need a Formal Caregiver Contract?

The caregiver contract allows you to hire a family member to care for a loved one at-home and be compensated for their time and services. These agreements recognize and reward the person for their service. Also, it ensures that loved ones are guaranteed formal care.

A contract is essential because:

  • It reduces any misunderstandings or family feuds over who takes responsibility for the loved one.
  • Compensation for services rendered is written down and formalized so that no disputes arise.
  • Long-term care insurance can also cover such services, even if a family member renders them.
  • A well-drafted contract can also avoid the costly delays of government benefits.

The Elements of a Quality Caregiver Contract

When drafting a contract, it should not only follow the formalities but include all applicable laws for the state. Items that you must include in your contract are:

  • Time and Services – You must specify the time and what associated duty must be performed. If you have specific items that a caregiver must complete, these must be listed in the contract so that it is agreed upon that the caregiver will do them.
  • Hours of Work and Schedule – A strict schedule should be drafted, just as you would with normal employment. The hours of work should be included, such as start and stop times. Days off should also be specified including how holiday care would be handled.
  • Compensation Rate – The rate of compensation must be included in your contract to ensure no disputes over wages arise. Compensation can be in hourly, or you can opt for a salary amount, but put in a disclaimer that hours must be met to receive salary wages.
  • Employment Benefits – If you have a full-time caregiver, you are required to provide benefits. Therefore, you must have a description of all benefits given to the caregiver outlined in the contract.
  • Termination Conditions – While you might not intend to terminate the agreement, you need termination conditions which would allow the caregiver to cancel their work contract and any associated penalties that might apply in doing so.
  • Reimbursement – If your caregiver encounters expenses, you must include all reimbursement procedures for the care-related costs he or she experiences.
  • Substitutes – If the primary caregiver is sick or unavailable, what will be the procedure for replacing them with an alternative, and who will be responsible for finding that substitute or backup caregiver?

Speak with a Long Island Elder Law Attorney for Your Contract

It is best to have a local attorney draft the caregiver contract for you. A lawyer understands local statutes that apply to your caregiver arrangement and can ensure you have a solid contract that protects all parties involved.

Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. to discuss your contract needs by calling him at 516-605-0625 or by requesting more information online.

Conservatorship in the State of New York Explained

young man with an elderly, sick manAmericans are healthier and living longer than ever before. The time may come, however, when you or your family will need to make financial and/or health care decisions for a relative. It is helpful to have documents available that give you the legal authority to make these decisions in advance, though this may not always be the case.

If your relative is no longer capable of making decisions or executing a power of attorney, you may need to go to court to request a conservatorship – which will allow you to make legal and health care decisions on your relative’s behalf – while under the supervision of a local court.

What is Conservatorship?

When a family member becomes incapacitated and has not signed powers of attorney for personal finances and health care, you may need to ask a court to give you the authority to manage your loved one’s finances and personal affairs.

Who Does Conservatorship Assist?

Generally, conservatorships are established for people who are in comas, suffering from severe dementia, or have other serious illnesses or injuries that render them incapacitated.

The court usually grants conservatorship to a spouse or other close member of the family, with respect to any evidence of what the incapacitated person would have wanted, or other information regarding the person’s best interest. The person who is appointed by the court is called a conservator, or guardian, and will have a legal duty to act in the incapacitated loved one’s best interests.

How is the Court Involved?

In order to prevent conservators from mismanaging property or otherwise taking advantage of the people they are supposed to be helping, they will be supervised by the court. This means that the conservator may be required to provide periodic reports, which detail their actions. Many courts also require the conservator to seek permission before making major decisions, such as selling real estate or, if the conservator is in charge of health care decisions, terminating life support.

What is Expected of Conservators?

Conservators aren’t required to use their own money to support an incapacitated person. Instead, it’s their job to manage the incapacitated person’s own assets and make personal decisions as needed. A conservator does, however, have the responsibility to seek all financial benefits that might be available. These benefits may include Social Security, Veterans Administration benefits, pension and retirement benefits, disability benefits, health insurance coverage, public assistance, and Supplemental Security Income.

A conservator must act until the court issues an order ending the conservatorship, which ordinarily does not happen until:

  • The incapacitated person dies,
  • The incapacitated person no longer needs this level of assistance, or
  • The conservator resigns or can no longer handle the responsibilities.

Andrew M. Lamkin – Elder Care Attorney

While conservatorship may be a viable option for your family, court proceedings to request conservatorship are expensive, time-consuming, and public – which may not be what your family wants when dealing with a crisis involving a family member. If you need to make decisions for a loved one who recently became incapacitated, you may need the assistance of an attorney experienced in these matters. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can help make this difficult situation easier for you and your family. Call 516-605-0625 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Who to Call for Elder Abuse

senior-living-blog-close-up-nursing-home-residents

Unfortunately, elderly abuse is becoming a growing problem in the United States. Despite the fact that most people know they must respect their elders and it is wrong, elderly individuals are taken advantage of and abused across multiple cultures residing in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that one out of every 10 elderly Americans is mistreated by a loved one or stranger.

Elder abuse can take on numerous forms, including mental, emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse. The abuse can be by a family member or a caregiver. The abuse can also include abandonment, neglect or misallocation of funds by a professional. Loved ones that suspect elder abuse should contact the authorities and report the abuse immediately.

Family Members Abusing Loved Ones

The reason elder abuse is so widely underreported is because of the personal relationship between the abuser and the abused. Frail family members are unlikely to contact strangers to report their abuse or mistreatment, especially if it is a loved one committing the abuse. Also, most elderly individuals are unaware of their options and do not even know about the abuse prevention and protection programs available to them – so they just accept the abuse and assume they have nowhere to turn.

The National Adult Protective Services Association states that there has been a dramatic increase of elder abuse across the country since the 1980s, but there has not been a unified approach to correct the problem still to this date. There is no one federal agency that is solely tasked with helping the elderly and addressing abuse or mistreatment; the states have been tasked with the job instead.

Every state has its own program for elder and adult abuse protective services, but a lot of that work falls on the shoulders of already overworked social service and health department professionals.

Finding Where to Turn

To report any form of elder abuse, the National Center of Elder Abuse’s State Resources help find state agencies that are tasked with overseeing these types of cases. Even if mistreatment is suspected, family members or friends should report that behavior and initiate an investigation to protect the individual from further abuse. Also the agency can help locate additional resources for caregivers that are overwhelmed and unable to care for their loved one.

Elder abuse is like any other type of violence. If the abuse is severe or it is an emergency situation, individuals can contact the police or even call 911 for help. Families and elderly loved ones injured by caregivers may need to also enlist the services of an attorney to help with compensation.

Was Your Loved One Injured? Speak with an Elder Law Attorney

Sometimes guardianship issues arise during elder abuse cases. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can assist with guardianship requests and help further protect elderly individuals who are being abused by loved ones or their caregivers. Contact us at 516-605-0625 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

How Your Cell Phone Can Help in an Elder Abuse Case

elder abuseElder abuse is a growing issue in the United States. While estimates vary, it is believed that four to six percent of elderly Americans are abused. According to research provided by the National Incidence Study on Elder Abuse, approximately 450,000 elderly individuals experienced some form of abuse in 1996.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse does not have to be physical, though physical contact is the most common. Any form of mistreatment that results in harm or a loss is considered abuse under the law. The New York State Office for Aging categorizes elder abuse into several categories, including:

  • Physical Abuse – Any physical force that results in serious bodily injury, impairment, or pain. This can include assault, battery, or the use of inappropriate restraints.
  • Sexual Abuse – Any non-consensual sexual act of any kind with an elderly individual.
  • Domestic Violence – Violence from an intimate partner or family member, especially when the violent acts are used to exercise power or control.
  • Psychological Abuse – While no bodily injury occurs, psychological abuse is still against the law. This can include the willful infliction of emotional or mental anguish, humiliation, threats, or verbal conduct.
  • Neglect – This applies to caregivers (both professional and family) who fail to provide a reasonable level of care under elderly care standards.
  • Financial Abuse – This includes the illegal use of an elderly person’s property, resources, and funds.

How a Cell Phone Can Help

Whether an elderly individual is being cared for in a professional facility or in their own home, providing them with a cell phone can help prove elder abuse. Just some ways a cell phone can help include:

  • Contacting Authorities – Many elderly victims do not report their abuse simply because they are kept from using a phone. By providing them with a cell phone, they are more likely to contact the authorities or loved ones to report abuse.
  • Video – Capturing video of threats, battery, sexual misconduct, or even psychological abuse offers key evidence in proving that the abuse exists.
  • Photos – A cell phone can be used to capture photographs of injuries immediately after the abuse – including restraint marks. Because cell phones are equipped with Meta data, they will automatically timestamp when the photo occurred, which can later be used at trial.

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Elder Abuse Case

Elderly individuals are a prime target for abusers, especially elderly individuals with dementia. If you suspect abuse, contact the authorities and then an attorney right away. At the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, PC we offer comprehensive representation for elderly individuals to ensure that their rights and health are protected – especially when they cannot protect themselves. Contact attorney Andrew M. Lamkin online or call 516-605-0625.

How Much Will It Cost to Financially Support Your Aging Parents?

 

Family Photo

Caring and supporting aging parents can be rewarding, but it can also be a highly frustrating and exhausting experience. When financially supporting your loved ones, it may be much more expensive than you realize. If your parent has little to no financial safety net, then a child may be the sole provider – making him or her wonder not only how much it will cost, but how he or she will plan for their own retirement when they are financially supporting someone else.

According to a study published by MetLife, 10 million adult children over the age of 50 are currently caring for their aging parents. These individuals not only provide care but financial support as well.

Aging Parents Are Running Out of Funds

The situation of elderly parents running out of financial savings is becoming increasingly common. That is because aging individuals are living longer than expected but are not finding ways to make their money last as long as their health. Also, rising long-term care costs are quickly draining what was considered an adequate savings a decade ago.

How Much Will It Cost?

To determine how much it will cost to support an aging parent, children need to assess the financial future and costs associated with their parents. This can include:

  • Healthcare Costs – How much will it cost for health insurance, copays, prescriptions, or in-home care.
  • Nursing – Will the aging parent need around-the-clock nursing care at a facility or in their own home?
  • Savings – Children will need to find out how much money is left in their parent’s savings and what retirement and Social Security benefits they are receiving each month.
  • Equity and the Home – A discussion will be needed to find out what will happen to the family home and more importantly, if there is any equity that can help support the aging parent.
  • Monthly Expenses – Lastly, calculating the monthly living expenses – from groceries to utility bills to even social events – is important.

Long-Term Care Planning Can Help

For families supporting their aging parents, sometimes the solution is not pooling funds together or even selling off assets; instead, long-term care planning is needed. By meeting with an elder law attorney, families can explore their Medicaid options and create a plan that not only protects their aging parent’s assets, but can help pay for medical expenses, nursing home facilities, and more. The cost of caring for an aging parent can easily equal thousands of dollars each month – especially if that parent is in a private care facility and family members are paying out of pocket.

If you are caring for your elderly parents contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin to see how we can help you.

Cities Consider Restructuring Due to Increased Elderly Population

 

Helping A Sick Elderly WomanWhile the nation’s senior citizen population has increased at a rapid pace over the past ten years, many elder issues have come to the forefront, including increased medical needs, social security discussion and nursing home debate. A recent report, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), considered the growing elderly population in urban development across the country. The organization reported a 24 percent increase in senior living population in cities across the U.S. from 2001 to 2011. The fastest growing demographic is seniors age 80 and up. These statistics lead to the question: How can urban areas adjust their infrastructures to these changing needs of our citizens as they age?

Increasing Accessible and Affordable Housing

One key element in creating senior-friendly cities is to increase accessible and affordable housing. Many people choose to move into smaller homes as they age. After retirement, some must adjust their budget as income decreases and medical expenses increase. Stairs may become challenging, as can property maintenance. City living has the potential to provide one-level apartments with few or no stairs, little upkeep, and easy access to medical services. In certain areas, zoning laws are being re-evaluated to allow families more flexible options for adding additional living quarters. Urban planners are exploring various forms of housing for the elderly.

Transportation and Mobility

As driving becomes more hazardous and difficult with age, public transportation may be vital to an elderly person’s well-being. Going to medical appointments and maintaining a healthy social life are crucial for seniors. Many cities already offer free or reduced price car and taxi services specialized for handicapped citizens. As more elder-based social services are offered, specialized senior bus transportation is explored as well. Discounted metro-cards are offered in many cities already. Organizations are beginning to look to other countries for ideas. For example, Lisbon, Portugal has instilled a public awareness campaign for elderly safety on city sidewalks. To accommodate their needs, walkways must be no less than five feet wide.

Cost Effective Social Services

During a time when the number of seniors is increasing rapidly, many city budgets are unfortunately being cut. The OECD has to deal with this issue in their effort to find affordable resources for growing needs. Examples of free or low cost social services include Nutrition Centers, Recreation Centers, and Meals on Wheels. The OECD’s goal is to keep up with the changing demographic while continuing the search for innovative and effective ways to engage the elderly with each other and the community.

Long Island Premier Elder Law Attorney

If you are a senior thinking about relocating, or you have an elderly loved one living on their own, you may have legal questions about Medicaid, special needs or elder law. Serving New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Andrew M. Lamkin and his team will work with you to ensure your assets are protected and that your benefits will be there when you need them. Contact the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin today.

How the Elderly Can Be Safe Drivers

The loss of a driver’s license can be devastating for seniors. That little plastic card has represented freedom and independence for the last 50, 60, or 70 years of their life. It is widely understood that driving abilities change as people get older, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes dangerous. There are many ways to reduce risk factors and implement safe driving practices as people age. As long as they are cognizant of warning signs, and willing to make adjustments when necessary, elderly people can drive long into their senior years.

Here are a few tips for senior drivers and their loved ones to consider:

  • Understand how the process of aging can affect driving: Everyone ages differently, so there is no magic age at which one can no longer safely drive. Pay attention to how aging is affecting you. Do you have pain or stiffness in your neck that may make it difficult to look over your shoulder before changing lanes? Does weakened arm strength make it difficult to turn the wheel quickly? Have you noticed a diminished reaction time in your day to day activities?
  • Get an annual eye exam
  • Get an annual hearing exam
  • Consult with your doctor: Ask about ailments, or about medications you are taking. Could any of them have an adverse affect on your ability to drive? Are there any available products or resources to help counter these negative effects? For example, tinted sunglasses may reduce the glare if you suffer from glaucoma.
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Make sure you have the right car for your needs: Does your car have power steering and power brakes? Is it an automatic or manual transmission? Get regular maintenance, and make sure your windshield is always clean. If you need certain equipment to make the car easier to operate, an occupational therapist can prescribe this equipment.
  • Be a defensive driver: Today’s drivers are shockingly distracted – texting, looking at their GPS, even watching movies on their smart phones or iPads. You must drive defensively to drive safely on today’s roads. Leave plenty of space between your car and the car in front of you and be extra cautious at intersections.
  • Know your limits: If driving after dark is becoming difficult, or if you are terrified to drive in rain or snow, listen to your gut. Voluntarily making adjustments to your driving habits is responsible behavior and it will help you retain your ability to drive for as long as possible.
  • Listen to your loved ones: It may be hard to accept, but your loved ones usually have your best interest in mind when they express concern about driving ability. If you feel that their concerns are unfounded, there are several self-evaluation tools available online to assist you. It is possible that you just need a refresher course. Your doctor can also help by providing an unbiased opinion. However, if all signs point to “no,” it may be wise to listen to your loved ones. The termination of your driver’s license does not mean the end of your independence. In fact, with today’s resources for seniors, the loss of a license often comes with numerous social benefits.

Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin P.C.

Elder law is a complex, emotional area of the legal system because it involves making difficult decisions on behalf of the people who mean a great deal to us. We understand the emotional toll these decisions can take. However, elder law is very different today than 10 or 20 years ago. Seniors are working, traveling, and driving for much longer. Sometimes there is an unfair bias toward elderly drivers, and then again, sometimes the concerns are valid. If you are concerned about the driving ability of a loved one, we can help. Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin for a free consultation today.

When Your Elderly Parents Live With You

Senior Care Assistant Reading BookThe decision to move an elderly parent into your home can be a difficult one, both emotionally and financially. However, a consultation with an elder care attorney may put your mind at ease about many of the uncertainties. Having an elderly parent live with you comes with additional expenses, but you don’t have to feel like you’re drowning in a financial abyss. There is help available; you just need to know where to look for it.

In many cases, a child assumes responsibility for most of the parents’ expenses. Sometimes, siblings offer financial assistance at the beginning, but over time, the expenses become the sole responsibility of the child providing housing – out of sight out of mind.

This common situation can be more than financially draining. Fighting with siblings over the shared burden of financial responsibility can destroy those relationships and cause resentment toward the elderly parent. In order to avoid these unnecessary family disputes, it is essential to have a comprehensive, detailed plan in place prior to making any decisions. There are many resources available to ease the financial, physical, and emotional burden of having an elderly parent live with you. It can be an enjoyable experience for all if you plan correctly and know where to turn for help when problems arise.

Easing the Financial Burden

Can my parent still qualify for Medicaid? This is an important question. In New York and other states, a child is not legally obligated to pay for the elderly parent’s care. If your parent is living with you, there is a good chance that he or she qualifies for Medicaid. In fact, programs such as Community Medicaid and Medicaid Home Care provide additional benefits for a parent living in his or her child’s home. Medicaid programs are just one example of the many resources available to you if your parent lives in your home. An elder care lawyer can help you understand your options, save you money, and help protect the delicate relationships with your parent and siblings.

Questions to Ask Before Moving An Elderly Parent Into Your Home:

  • What kind of care does my parent need?
  • How much assistance can I provide?
  • Do we get along well?
  • Will my parent contribute financially?
  • Is my home adult-friendly?
  • Are my spouse and kids supportive of this decision?
  • Will my parent have an available social network?
  • What kind of help can I expect from my siblings?
  • What will I do and how will I feel if my siblings are unable to provide assistance?

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it provides a good starting point for discussion. While not all of these questions may be easy to answer (and some might not have the answer you want), they provide a more holistic view of how successful the arrangement might be. Involve your siblings in this conversation as well. Early planning doesn’t guarantee success, but it increases the chances.

Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin P.C.

As elder care lawyers, we talk quite a bit about quality of life for elders, but it’s just as important for you to maintain your quality of life. Moving a parent into your home is a beautiful, loving gesture. However, this selfless gesture can come with added expenses and a long list of stressors. A skilled elder care attorney can help you before, during, and after you have made this very important decision. Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin for a free consultation today.

May is Older Americans Month

beautiful elderly coupleYou may have never heard of Older Americans Month, but this month-of-awareness has been around for over 50 years. Occurring every year during the month of May, Older Americans Month serves as a time to acknowledge the significance and contributions of our older citizens. At ceremonies, events, and fairs across the nation, we celebrate the older Americans of our past, present, and future.

JFK Helped Establish Older Americans Month in 1963

The significance of this month of awareness becomes more evident when we look at how it began. When it was established in 1963, approximately one-third of all Americans over the age of 65 lived in poverty. This was largely due to the lack of programs to meet their needs. However, their plight was not unnoticed. Concerned people and organizations began advocating for the rights of senior citizens. In April of 1963, president John F. Kennedy met with members of the National Council of Senior Citizens in response to the demand for action. Senior Citizens Month (the original moniker of Older American’s Month) was born from that meeting.

Today’s Older Americans Enjoy the Same Quality of Life as Younger Americans

Every year brings a new theme to Older American’s Month, and this year it is Get Into the Act. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of older American’s being able to take charge of their lives. This applies to taking charge of their health care, getting involved in their communities, and creating positive change in the lives of others. Basically, it celebrates the ability of older Americans to live the same quality of life as younger Americans. People over the age of 65 are working, volunteering, traveling, and engaged in their communities. They are healthy, active, and living longer than ever before. While the longevity and good health of today’s senior citizens is partly because of medical advancements, it is also the result of increased resources, options, and community involvement. When problems arise (whether health-related, financial, or emotional), there are countless programs to address them. Senior citizens no longer need to feel alone, and that is definitely something to celebrate.

Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin P.C.

Quality of life is the biggest factor impacting our daily lives. Older Americans are especially vulnerable to a reduced quality of life. If they are suffering, they may be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, they just don’t want to inconvenience others. However, there are countless resources available and nobody should suffer needlessly. A skilled elder care attorney will be your best advocate by protecting your rights and helping you find the assistance you need. Call the Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin for a free consultation today.

Care Management for Your Aging Parents

multigenerational famillyOften, the responsibility of caring for aging parents falls on the adult children. Many times, only one sibling accepts the responsibility, even though there are other siblings in the family.

As the parent’s health further declines, the adult child must also maintain the parent’s finances, pay the bills, and be the parent’s main source of social interaction. Additionally, weekly doctors’ appointments and trips to the pharmacy can be overwhelming, not to mention the paperwork required by medical insurance, Medicare, or and other sources.

The stress of caring for your aging parent, while at the same time supporting your own family, can strain your relationship with your parent, your spouse, and your children; however, you’re not alone. There is help for what has been termed the “sandwich generation,” people age 40 to 60 who care for an aging parent in addition to caring for their own families. Rather than allowing the stress of caring for your elderly parent to ruin your relationships, seek help from an elder care management professional.

What is elder care management?

Elder Care Management is not health care. Rather, it is a service or set of services designed to help family members make sense of the elder care system and get the help needed to properly and compassionately care for their aging parents. Sometimes called geriatric care management, these agencies work with the aging individual’s family to safeguard the patient’s well being and quality of life for as long as possible.

What is the role of elder care management?

Elder care management services educate caregivers about the services available to them and their parent. They also provide support and guidance, ensuring that the decisions that must be made for the aging parent lead to an optimal life. They assist caregivers in problem solving and mapping long term care plans. Some elder care management services also provide coaching for family caregivers.

What are the benefits of using elder care management services?

  • Receiving support reduces stress, anxiety, and resentment that can be part of caring for your aging parent. This allows you to be a son or daughter, rather than a parent, to your parent.
  • Utilizing elder care management services can help your parent live at home and remain independent as long as possible.
  • Elder care management professionals understand the system and can help you make informed decisions about what must be done for your parent and when.
  • When necessary, these professionals make outside referrals to other agencies and professionals, such as estate planning professionals and attorneys.
  • Some services provided by elder care management services can be paid for using medical insurance or Medicare.

Final Thoughts

Elder care management services are a wonderful resource that can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with taking care of your aging parents. These professionals understand that caring for an aging parent can be overwhelming for individuals who are also raising their own children, maintaining a home, or considering their own retirement.

The Law Offices of Andrew M. Lamkin are available as a further resource to help you with any legal issues that your elderly parent might be facing. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.



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