Older Americans Celebrate In May

Older Americans Month turns 50 this year.  It began in 1963 as “Senior Citizens Month,” when then-President John F. Kennedy designated May as a time to celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults. The name was changed in 1980 and officially became “Older American’s Month.”

Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for senior citizens.  The original legislation established authority for grants to States for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging.  The law also established the Administration on Aging (AoA) to administer the newly created grant programs and to serve as the Federal focal point on matters concerning older persons.  Its mission is broad; to help older people maintain maximum independence in their homes and communities and to promote a continuum of care for the vulnerable elderly. The Act has seven titles and includes multiple programs: Continue Reading Older Americans Celebrate In May

The Importance of Being Earnest…about a Will!

Writing a will is something many adults avoid for as long as possible. A will is one of those things our parents always intend to do to pass on assets, but do not always find the time to do. There are excuses and too many other things “to do”. Waiting until one is faced with having to write a will creates stress and undue pressure. Some parents and seniors never create a will and in those cases, their children and heirs are often left with much administrative work and complications in trying to obtain the inheritance their parents planned for them.

When you are taking care of a parent and you know they do not have a will, it is often a sensitive topic to begin to discuss. The best thing is to encourage them to begin thinking about their wishes once they are gone, and then move to support them in doing some estate planning and to write a will. This can be done easily with the help of an elder law attorney. If you do not have a will yourself, one way to approach the situation is to suggest that you each have a will written. And, if you are the primary caregiver of a parent or other vulnerable adult, it is extremely important that you have procedures in place that will assure that your loved one is taken care of if you are no longer able to do so. A will not only plans for your heirs’ inheritance, it can also plan for one’s own care and medical choices because along with a will, a durable power of attorney and perhaps a living will and healthcare power of attorney can be prepared in conjunction with the will. Continue Reading The Importance of Being Earnest…about a Will!