Signs an Elderly Loved One Needs Help at Home

There are signs to watch for that will tell you when your elderly loved one needs help at home.

There are signs to watch for that will tell you when your elderly loved one needs help at home.

It is no secret that we are living longer. In fact, the life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 81.2 years and for males, it’s 76.4 years.

Still, that doesn’t mean that elderly parents or relatives will always be spry and able to easily manage their activities of daily living. How can you tell if your loved one needs help at home?

You don’t want to offend them by imposing something on them, but at the same time you don’t want something to happen that could have been avoided, had there been some assistance in place. Here are some signs to watch for:

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When is the Right Time to Talk to an Elder Law Attorney?

Preparation is a key component when planning for the future. Choices about where to live, long-term care and how to protect assets are common age-related decisions. One way to keep these choices from becoming overwhelming is to seek the advice and guidance of an elder law attorney.

Planning Ahead

While many people feel they don’t need the help of an elder law attorney, there are instances where the guidance and legal support of an attorney may become necessary.

Often, people disregard the benefits of consulting with an elder law attorney because they see it as an unnecessary cost, especially when they do not have any persistent health issues. However, legal and health issues can arise suddenly and without the correct preparation, elders can have a difficult time recovering and managing healthcare expenses.

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Caregiver Appreciation

As we know, May is Older Americans month but let’s also remember to celebrate the more than 45 million family members who care for seniors on a daily basis. On average, these caregivers provide 20 hours of unpaid caregiving support each week.

Josh Fotheringham, a former Apple software designer and current CEO of Caring in Place®developed the Caring in Place® iPhone app and online portal to help family members manage the complexities of caring for their aging loved ones.

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Older Americans Month

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Each May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month to recognize older Americans for their contributions and also to provide them with information to help keep them active and healthy. This year’s theme is injury prevention – Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.

Older Americans, age 65+, are at a much higher risks for injuries, violence and even death than the younger population. This year’s focus on keeping older Americans safe and healthy aims to change current statistics.

 

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

 

SSI is the basic federal safety net program for the elderly, blind and disabled, providing them with a minimum guaranteed income. For 2014, the maximum federal SSI benefit is $721 a month for an individual and $1,082 a month for a couple. These amounts are supplemented in most states.  For example, Pennsylvania adds a supplement of $22.10 a month for eligible individuals.

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The Five Year Look-Back Period: Its Meaning And Significance

Many times when talking to clients about planning for long term care they tell me that they are aware of something called the “five year look-back period.”  Unfortunately, many of these people have no idea what the relevance of this look-back period is.  This article will attempt to explain what is meant by that term and why it is such an important concept when planning how to protect your assets from the cost of long term care.

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How You Benefit from Powers of Attorney

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

When planning for the future of an elderly family member or child with special needs, you should consider preparing a powers of attorney. Powers of attorney are a simple and inexpensive way to help manage financial and medical accounts if you or your loved one is no longer able to make decisions clearly.  For reasons of simplicity and clarity, it is usually better to have separate financial and medical powers of attorney.

Powers of attorney eliminates the worry and stress of managing financial and medical accounts during a time of incapacitation. Powers of attorney are prepared by your attorney and give control over financial and medical accounts to an agent, who is normally a family member or trusted friend. The agent is then granted legal authority to manage the principal’s accounts, usually while he or she is unable to.

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Tax Scams to Avoid

Don’t fall victim to tax scams! Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Here are some of the recent 2014 tax scams the Internal Revenue Service wants you to be aware of:

(1) Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security Number (SSN) or other identifying information – without your permission – to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases, an identity thief uses a legitimate taxpayer’s identity to fraudulently file a tax return and claim a refund.

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The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Special Needs Planning

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.

On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama.  This series of laws, also known as Obamacare, had and will continue to have a major impact on all aspects of our health care system.  No greater example of this can be found than that affecting the long term planning which must be done by members of the special needs community.

Beginning January 1, 2014, insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to adults for pre-existing conditions.  In fact, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage or charging more to any person based on their medical history, including genetic information.  Insurance companies are also required to offer and renew coverage for any applicant.

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Winter Fun for Elders

During winter the days get shorter and the nights get colder. Many seniors become homebound until the temperatures begin to rise into spring. It is still important for seniors to get fresh air and exercise even in the winter weather, and to find indoor activities to occupy their time.

Whether the temperatures are too cold, or the roads are too slippery, there are plenty of fun indoor winter activities for seniors. Here is a short list to get you started:

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