Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian for Seniors

Legal Guardian for Seniors in PAWhen we think of the term “guardianship,” we typically picture someone tasked with caring for a child.

But what happens when an adult needs a guardian? It’s the type of question an elder law attorney in Bucks County is often asked.

So, let’s look at why an adult – especially a senior citizen – might need a guardian – and what that person’s duties could entail.

Why are guardians necessary?

Guardians are appointed when someone is no longer able to communicate their decisions or receive and decipher information.

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Alternatives to assisted living facilities and nursing Homes

Portrait of a group of seniors

For many seniors, there will come a time where they cannot live at home by themselves anymore.  Some will be able to move in with adult children, others may move into an assisted living facility, personal care facility or nursing home.  While these options provide security and care, they also result in a loss of independence and choice. Granted, you can’t have everything that you want and as we age, we have to deal with health issues.  Still, if you are of sound mind and in good health, there may be other options available to you.

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Life as a solo senior

Lonely old man staring out of a windowBaby Boomers are known for many things, two of which will affect them as they age, namely they have the highest divorce rates and the highest rates of childless marriages.  Since many boomers don’t have a spouse or children, many will face aging issues without the help of family members or close friend.  In addition, many Boomers and Generation X’ers have never been married or had a companion and they too will face aging issues alone.

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Social Media Safety

"Privacy settings" on the screen. Woman hands over the keyboard laptop at home interior.If you think social media is just for kids and millenials, think again.  According to the Pew Research Center, Internet use among those age 65 and older has grown 150 percent between 2009 and 2011.  A 2012 study also done by Pew, showed that 34 percent of seniors who are online, use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

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Mistakes to Avoid When Drafting a Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved ones quality of life and access to government benefits.

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved ones quality of life and access to government benefits.

When drafting a special needs trust for your disabled child or other special needs family member, you want to make sure that there are no mistakes that could jeopardize their financial future and care.

But too often, mistakes are made and can go undetected until it is too late. When creating special needs trusts in Doylestown, beware of these common mistakes.

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How to Travel Safely When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s or Another Form of Dementia

Woman supporting man on wheelchairWhen you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia, a lot of consideration has to go into your travel plans. Something unfamiliar, or what seems unfamiliar, is a simple trigger that can upset them. As their condition progresses, travel can become overwhelming. Regardless of the stage of the disease, here are some tips to help you plan a safe trip whether it be to visit family or to go out to eat.

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Care for the Caregiver

As a careA woman 80 years old with his adult daughter.giver, you are always concerned for your loved one. Sometimes in the midst of things, it’s easy to let your own health and well-being slip. But it is just as important to care for yourself as it is to care for your loved one.  As simple as it is to submerge yourself in the needs of others, remember you have needs too. Here are some tips on how to care for yourself – in case you forget!

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What is a Special Needs Trust Used For?

special needs adult TrustFor centuries, trusts have allowed parents to set aside money for that their children could access when they got older.

But for some parents, it’s not that simple. If you have a child or other loved one with special needs, you might worry about how they can support themselves after you’ve gone.

That’s where a special needs trust comes into play. This is a trust set up to help a disabled person who receives government benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security. It is administered by a trustee, who can be a relative, friend, or someone you designate to handle the trust.

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Planning for Special Needs Children

Special Needs KidsIt’s no surprise that having a special needs child is both challenging and rewarding.  Not only are there school and medical issues to consider, there are also the financial needs of your child.  Planning for your child’s financial well-being should be an important part of your estate plan especially since improved healthcare has allowed children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and Down’s Syndrome, to live longer.

What do you need to do to provide for your special needs child?  These things can help during the special needs child planning process.

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What to do when an elderly loved one refuses help

Care Facility - Elder Care Attorney in Bucks CountyIt’s an oft told tale these days. An 85-year-old father with failing eyesight still drives, despite being involved in some fender benders. A 70-year-old mother-in-law with severe arthritis, refuses to move into a personal care facility even though she can barely navigate the home she and her husband bought over 50 years ago.

What is an adult child to do in a situation like this? You know that a loved one needs help and you want to prevent receiving an emergency call in the middle of the night about your relative. Still, you have a job and a family of your own to take care of, so it isn’t feasible for you to drop everything to be their caregiver 24/7. Add to that, the fact that most elderly parents value their independence to the point of downplaying or denying any problems. So, what can you do to help your parents, in-laws or other relative in this situation? Here are some tips from elder law experts on how to approach your loved ones about accepting help.

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