Tag: Elder Care

Learning the Difference Between Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing for Your Loved One

Are you wondering where your loved one may spend their later years? Have you noticed both cognitive and physical challenges beginning to emerge? Then finding a place that can meet your loved one’s long-term care needs, as well as being able to afford it, can be a challenge. Be aware that two of the most common options for senior living when a person needs care are nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

Therefore, learning the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing for your loved one can help ensure that your loved one will receive the right care while also safeguarding a lifetime of savings. Now be mindful that this is where the expertise of a Florida elder law attorney becomes invaluable. Your experienced Florida elder law attorney can not only help you find the care facility you need for your loved one but also be sure that there are ways to afford it without fully impoverishing your family. We want to give you more important information right here in our blog.

Let’s start with ALFs, Assisted Living Facilities. ALFs are designed for individuals who need some assistance with daily activities but wish to live as independently as possible. ALFs offer a combination of housing, personalized supportive services, and health care designed to meet the needs of people who need help with the activities of daily living. Typically services include:

  • Meals and housekeeping
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Medication management
  • Social and recreational activities

Usually residents live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas. The environment is often less medically oriented than a nursing home and focuses more on providing a community feel.

However, in contrast, a nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing facility, is designed for individuals who require 24-hour supervision and medical assistance. Most often residents share rooms and are served meals in a central dining area unless they are too ill to participate. Nursing homes provide a wide range of health and personal care services, including:

  • Full-time nursing care
  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy
  • Care for chronic conditions or for short-term convalescent or rehabilitative care

The care is generally more intensive and medical in nature than that provided in an assisted living facility.

So what are the primary differences between these two types of facilities which may also include a combination of the following factors:

  • Care level. While nursing homes provide medical and personal care in a clinical setting, assisted living offers personal care in a more home-like, community setting.
  • Independence level. Residents in assisted living can maintain a more independent lifestyle, while nursing homes are better suited for those who require constant medical attention.
  • Expense level. Generally, nursing homes are more expensive due to the higher level of care and medical attention provided.

We know that navigating the complex landscape of elder care options can be challenging. A Florida elder law attorney can provide invaluable guidance in understanding the various care options and the associated legal and financial implications. They can assist with:

  • Long-term care planning, including the selection of the right facility
  • Preserving your assets while ensuring quality care
  • Understanding and organizing the necessary legal documents
  • Medicaid planning and applications

You will be able to find the care your loved one needs while protecting their lifetime of savings when you work with a Florida elder law attorney. They can take a crucial role in being sure that the later years of your loved one are spent with the best possible care and peace of mind

Finally, the decision between a nursing home and an assisted living facility will depend on the needs and preferences of your loved one. Understanding the differences between these options is crucial in making an informed choice that is in keeping with your loved one’s care needs and financial situation. A Florida elder law attorney can be your ally in navigating these choices, ensuring that your loved one makes the best decision for their unique circumstances. With the right help and information, your loved one can find a supportive and comfortable environment for their golden years.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Ways You Can Help an Elder Cope with Loss and Ensure They Are Protected

When helping an elder cope with loss, especially around emotionally charged times such as Valentine’s Day, it is crucial to approach with sensitivity, understanding, and practical support. The period around Valentine’s Day can magnify feelings of loneliness and grief for elders who have lost a spouse or loved ones, making it a particularly poignant time to offer support and compassion. 

We know you may have questions about how to help a loved one dealing with these challenges, especially around special holidays. Let us share several ways you can both help an elder cope with loss and protect them well into the future. 

  1. Acknowledge the grief. It is important to recognize the pain and the increased sense of loss that Valentine’s Day might bring. Encourage them to share memories and express their feelings. A listening ear and understanding are invaluable during these times.
  2. Create new traditions. While Valentine’s Day can bring up memories of past loved ones, it can also be an opportunity to create new traditions. This might involve celebrating friendships, attending community events, or volunteering, which can help bring a sense of purpose and connection.
  3. Engage professional support. Sometimes, coping with loss requires professional help. Encourage them to seek support groups or counseling, especially around challenging times like Valentine’s Day. It is important they know that there is no shame in seeking help.
  4. Stay connected. Isolation can worsen feelings of grief and loneliness. Regular visits, phone calls, or even teaching them to use technology to connect with family and friends can make a significant difference.
  5. Encourage physical activity. Gentle physical activities like walking can help improve mood and overall well-being. If possible, join them in these activities to keep them motivated and company.
  6. Mind their health. Ensure they are eating well, taking medications as prescribed, and attending regular check-ups. Grief can often lead to neglecting personal health, so it is important to monitor this closely.
  7. Review their Florida estate planning. It is critical for elders to have their Florida estate planning up to date, reflecting their current wishes. This includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and health care directives. The loss of a loved one can significantly alter their previous plans or bring to light the need for changes. Ensure they understand the importance of reviewing these documents regularly, especially after major life events like the loss of a spouse.
  8. Educate them about scams. Unfortunately, elders are often targets for scams, particularly those who have recently lost a spouse and might not be as vigilant. Educate them about common scams and remind them never to give out personal information.
  9. Memorialize the loved one. Encourage them to honor the memory of their lost loved one in a way that feels right to them. This could be through a donation to a charity, planting a tree, or any other meaningful gesture.
  10. Encourage them to plan early for long-term care. Lastly, recommend that they consult with a Florida estate planning and elder law firm to ensure their affairs are in order when it comes to long-term care. Especially if they are now single, there may be steps that need to be taken to ensure they will continue to thrive well into the future.  

During times of loss, especially around sentimental periods like Valentine’s Day, elders deserve compassion, presence, and practical support. By combining emotional support with the encouragement to keep estate plans, and even elder law plans, updated, you provide a holistic approach to helping them navigate their grief and ensuring their peace of mind.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

What Do You Need to Potentially Know About The Corporate Transparency Act?

Were you aware that the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)  went into effect on January 1, 2024? This Act represents a major change in the way reporting companies in the United States must disclose their beneficial ownership information. Because we are a Florida estate planning law firm, we know how important it is to both understand the implications of this Act and share this information with our clients, especially in regards to business succession, mergers, acquisitions, and the administration of estates.

To begin, it is crucial to understand that the CTA aims to keep in check illegal activities, for example, money laundering, tax evasion, and financing of terrorism. How will they do this?  By intensifying transparency in the ownership of legal entities. It mandates the disclosure of beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The following are key compliance dates to know and understand including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Existing Entities. For reporting companies in existence as of the effective date, January 1, 2024, the initial reporting deadline is within one year.
  • New Entities. Companies created or registered after the effective date must file their initial reports within 30 days of their creation or registration. 
  • Notably, FinCEN has proposed extending this initial filing deadline to 90 days for entities established in 2024.

Will there be information to be reported?  Yes, right now, we understand that the CTA requires the following information for each beneficial owner and company applicant:

  • Full legal name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Residential street address.
  • Unique identifying number and issuing jurisdiction from a government-issued identification document (e.g., US driver’s license, US or foreign passport).
  • An image of the document that shows the unique identifying number.

However, there will be more than just the initial reporting. It is important to note that reports must be updated within 30 days in the following scenarios:

  • Change in beneficial ownership (e.g., through sale, merger, acquisition).
  • Death of a beneficial owner.
  • Discovery of inaccuracies in previously filed information.

As Florida estate planning attorneys, the CTA has multiple implications including:

  • Considerations related to succession planning. In other words, when a business is part of a Florida estate plan, the change in ownership due to the death of a beneficial owner will necessitate a timely update under the CTA.
  • For clients involved in mergers or acquisitions, due diligence that ensures compliance with CTA reporting is vital.
  • The sensitive information required by the CTA may raise privacy concerns, necessitating discussions about data security and privacy measures.

As you can see, the Corporate Transparency Act introduces significant changes in reporting requirements for legal entities. Staying on top of these changes and guiding our Florida estate planning clients through compliance is essential for us at this time and we look forward to answering your questions. Understanding and preparing for the CTA’s implications will be crucial in ensuring that your estate and business planning strategies remain compliant and efficient.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Long-Term Care Planning in the New Year

As we embrace the New Year, it is a time for resolutions and planning. While most people focus on lifestyle changes, there is an equally important aspect that often gets overlooked and that is long-term care planning. For Florida seniors and their families, early planning for long-term care is not just prudent; it is essential. While we know this is not a topic anyone wants to discuss, it is critical and, unfortunately, delaying this crucial step can have significant consequences.

One of the main reasons why delays can be so damaging is the simple fact that it can be a challenge to find care in a crisis. Imagine facing a health crisis only to realize that the care you need is hard to find or not readily available. This scenario is far from rare among the elderly. When a sudden health issue arises, families often find themselves scrambling to arrange care, which can be both stressful and less than ideal. Pre-planning with your experienced Florida elder law attorney, however, can ensure that you have a well-thought-out care strategy in place, alleviating the rush and uncertainty that comes with last-minute decisions.

A key component that your experienced Florida elder law attorney will discuss with you is the necessity of comprehensive estate planning documents. This is something that needs attention before one loses the capacity to make decisions. For example, estate planning documents like a durable power of attorney, health care directives, and living wills are integral in ensuring that your wishes are respected and that someone you trust is making decisions on your behalf. These documents are not just pieces of paper; they are safeguards for your future self and peace of mind for your loved ones.

It is important to understand now that long-term care is not inexpensive. The daily and monthly costs can quickly deplete savings, leaving many seniors in financial distress. Early planning with your Florida elder law attorney allows you to explore different care options, understand their costs, and create a financial plan that can sustain these expenses. Further, planning early can also open doors to various public assistance programs like Medicaid, which can significantly ease the financial burden. However, qualifying for these programs often requires meeting specific criteria, which might involve structuring your finances in a certain way, well in advance.

There is no question that early planning for long-term care is not just about financial readiness; it is also about having choices. The sooner you start planning, the more options you have for quality care. You will have the time to research different long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, or home care services, understand their benefits and drawbacks, and make an informed decision. Additionally, early planning can often lead to better health outcomes, as you are more likely to receive the care that matches your needs and preferences.

Long-term care planning is an integral part of aging gracefully and with dignity. As we step into the New Year, let’s not delay this essential planning. Remember, it is not just about preparing for the unforeseen; it is about ensuring quality of life and peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. As an experienced Florida elder law firm, we can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate these complex decisions, ensuring that your long-term care plan is robust, comprehensive, and tailored to your unique situation. We want you to start this New Year with a resolution that truly matters – plan for your long-term care. It is a gift of security and comfort for your future self and your family. 

Now this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys

Ideas and Tips for Helping Florida Elders Find Long-Term Care Resources

Are you seeking ideas and tips for helping Florida elders find long-term care resources? But, are you discovering that researching long-term care for seniors during the holidays is difficult?  The holiday season is one that is full of festivities and family gatherings and these can accentuate the need for reliable, compassionate care for elderly family members. The task of locating appropriate care can be critical and complex, because the holiday season can impact the availability of services and caregivers. However, with careful planning and using various resources, families can navigate these challenges effectively.

Our goal is to help you as you research and explore the numerous resources and strategies available and identify suitable long-term care options for the seniors in your family. From understanding different types of care facilities to leveraging community resources and online tools, we will work with you and your family as you find the best possible care solution. We will also discuss the financial aspects of long-term care, providing insights into funding options such as savings, insurance, public programs like Medicaid, and the role of Florida elder law attorneys.

Despite the demands of the holiday season it should not be a barrier to securing quality care for seniors. In fact, with the right information and support, it can be an opportunity when families come together to make thoughtful, informed decisions about the long-term well-being of their elderly loved ones. To begin, the first step is to find the right support that can meet the individual needs of the senior. Consider these alternatives: 

  • Local Aging Agencies. Many communities have local agencies on aging, which can provide a wealth of resources for senior care. These agencies often have lists of vetted long-term care facilities and home care providers.
  • Online Directories and Websites. Websites like A Place for Mom, Caring.com, and the National Institute on Aging provide directories of long-term care facilities. They also offer resources and articles to help families make informed decisions.
  • Healthcare Providers. Discussing your needs with a healthcare provider can lead to recommendations for reputable local care facilities or home health agencies. They can also advise on the level of care needed.
  • Social Workers and Geriatric Care Managers. Professionals in these fields specialize in elder care and can help navigate the complex landscape of long-term care options. They offer personalized assistance and can help tailor care to specific needs.
  • Support Groups. Connecting with local or online support groups for caregivers can provide personal recommendations and insights based on others’ experiences.
  • The Role of the Florida Elder Law Attorney. Florida elder law attorneys specialize in legal issues affecting the elderly and can provide valuable advice on planning for long-term care costs. They can help in structuring assets and income to meet eligibility requirements for public assistance programs like Medicaid. While the difficulty may be to find the care you need, the second issue is determining how to pay for it. Financing long-term care requires a multifaceted approach which your attorney will be able to help you navigate.

We know and understand that finding long-term care for a senior during the holidays requires thorough research and careful consideration. By utilizing the resources available and seeking advice from professionals, most importantly from your Florida elder law attorney, you can ease the process and ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care during this special time of the year.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

What to Do If an Aging Parent is Suddenly in Need of Long-Term Care During the Holidays

The holiday season, traditionally a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration, can take an unexpected turn when faced with the reality that an aging parent requires long-term care. This revelation can cast a shadow over festive spirits, introducing a mix of concern, responsibility, and urgency. For many families, the holidays are already a bustling period, and the added dimension of a parent’s sudden health needs can be overwhelming. It’s a situation that calls for swift, yet thoughtful, action balancing the need for immediate care with the emotional nuances of the season.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your aging parent becomes the foremost priority, requiring a delicate blend of practical decision-making and empathetic support. We understand the challenges you are facing as you attempt to navigate these complex waters. We understand that amidst the holiday lights and celebrations, you are now tasked with making critical decisions about healthcare, living arrangements, and legal matters, decisions that can affect the entire family dynamic.

The first priority is to make sure your aging parent is safe. This might involve making immediate changes to their living environment to prevent falls or accidents, or arranging for a family member or professional caregiver to stay with them. It’s crucial to ensure that your aging parent feels as supported as possible during this transition. You can help ensure this happens with regular visits, engaging in conversations, and involving them in holiday activities as much as possible which can then provide emotional comfort and reduce feelings of isolation.

The next priority is to locate and review the estate plan of your parent, if one exists and if you have not done so already. Their estate plan will outline their wishes and identify who has been designated to make decisions on their behalf. Understanding these directives is essential for making informed decisions about their care. 

As you continue, you will want to evaluate the level of care your parent requires, both currently and in the foreseeable future so you know what you are facing . This might involve consulting with healthcare professionals to understand their medical needs, mobility issues, and any cognitive impairments. 

Once you have a clear understanding of the needs of your parent, you will want to consult an experienced elder law attorney. They can guide you in finding appropriate long-term care options and assist in navigating the financial aspects.  An elder law attorney can help you explore various care options, such as in-home care, assisted living, or nursing homes, based on the specific needs of your parent. Bear in mind, your parent’s estate planning attorney may also be an elder law attorney. If they are not, they may be able to recommend someone who can help.

The elder law attorney you work with can also advise on financial strategies to cover the costs of care. This may include tapping into savings, exploring insurance options, understanding public programs like Medicaid, and considering any benefits your parent may be entitled to, such as veterans’ benefits.

We know dealing with a sudden need for long-term care for an aging parent during the holidays can be overwhelming. However, by taking methodical steps to ensure their safety, understanding their needs, and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate this challenging time with confidence. Remember, the goal is not just to find care but to find compassionate care that respects the dignity and wishes of your loved one.

As you embark on this journey, remember that you are not alone. Many have navigated this path before, and there are ample resources and supportive communities to guide you. The holiday season, with its emphasis on family and togetherness, can be a meaningful backdrop as you step into this new role in your parent’s life, ensuring their later years are as comfortable and dignified as possible.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Does Medicare Cover the Expenses of Long-Term Care in Florida?

Are you finding that navigating the landscape of healthcare costs in senior years is not easy? In fact, as the population ages, there are more and more individuals requiring long-term care services. In addition, whether due to chronic illness, disability, or the natural progression of aging, long-term care needs can quickly become complicated and complex.

It is a fact that long-term care can be expensive. Often many of the seniors we meet with wonder if Medicare will help bear the brunt of these costs. Are you seeking answers to how to pay for the care you or a loved one may need? We have some important information to share on what Medicare covers and what it does not. We will also discuss why early planning with an experienced Florida elder law attorney is crucial.

We will begin with understanding Medicare basics. Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals 65 and older and covers a broad range of healthcare services.  Medicare is divided into parts:

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance). This  covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.
  • Part B (Medical Insurance). Covers specific doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Often you will hear of Part A and Part B referred to as Traditional Medicare. 
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage). A type of Medicare health plan offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. It provides all of Part A and Part B benefits.
  • Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage). This covers the cost of prescription drugs.

However when it comes to long-term care, Medicare’s coverage is limited. Even though Medicare Part A does provide coverage for care in a skilled nursing facility, it is important to note the limitations that apply to most situations:

  • Coverage is only for short-term stays (up to 100 days) in a skilled nursing facility, and only after a qualifying 3-day hospital stay.
  • It does not cover long-term stays or custodial care, which includes assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and eating.

If deemed medically necessary, Medicare can cover part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and physical therapy. But again, it does not cover 24-hour care or purely custodial care as you would need in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Because of the limitations of Medicare when it comes to long-term care, it is vital for seniors to have an elder law financial strategy in place. Here are some concepts to consider:

  1. Research alternative options. Look into long-term care insurance, which is designed specifically to cover these costs. These policies can be tailored to your needs, but they are more affordable if purchased when you are younger and in good health.
  2. What about Medicaid? Unlike Medicare, Medicaid does cover long-term care services, but it is for individuals with limited income and assets. Proper planning can help seniors protect their assets while still qualifying for Medicaid.
  3. Find out about asset protection. Through trusts and other financial strategies, seniors can shield their assets from being completely depleted by long-term care costs.
  4. Meet now with an experienced Florida elder law attorney. Elder law attorneys specialize in helping seniors and their families navigate the complexities of long-term care, estate planning, and related financial matters. They can offer invaluable advice on protecting assets, qualifying for Medicaid, and ensuring that seniors receive the care they need.

The good news is that Medicare offers invaluable health coverage for seniors, but unfortunately its provisions for long-term care are limited. Because of the high costs of such care, seniors need to plan ahead as soon as possible and utilize the guidance of an experienced Florida elder law attorney who can help ensure that you or your loved one has access to the best care without the looming stress of exorbitant costs.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

6 Ways You Can Support a Loved One Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Receiving an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis can be a daunting experience, both for the individual diagnosed and for their loved ones. As the disease progresses, it can create challenges on multiple fronts, making a supportive network essential. If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, we know you may have questions.

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and, unfortunately, research tells us there are over 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. Let us share six meaningful ways you can stand by them and support them as they navigate this challenging time.

  1. Educate yourself about the disease. To offer genuine support, understanding the nature of Alzheimer’s is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the progression of the disease, potential symptoms, and treatments. Resources like the Alzheimer’s Association provide valuable insights. This knowledge will not only equip you to assist your loved one but will also foster empathy and patience.
  2. Open a line of communication. Encourage open and regular conversations with your loved one. While it may be difficult, discussing their feelings, fears, and concerns about the diagnosis is crucial. It gives them an avenue to express themselves and reinforces the fact that they are not facing this challenge alone.
  3. Create a safe and predictable environment. As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, familiar surroundings can provide comfort. Making their environment safe and predictable can prevent potential accidents. This might involve removing clutter, clearly labeling items, and using alarms or reminders for important tasks.
  4. Ensure estate planning is current and accurate. Legal and financial preparations are integral for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They will want to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to make certain that their estate planning is up-to-date. This includes having a current last will and testament or trust agreement, designating power of attorney, and ensuring that advanced medical directives are in place. When you consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and elder law, they can provide guidance tailored to your loved one’s needs, ensuring that their wishes are honored and their assets protected.
  5. Be patient and stay engaged. Engage your loved one in activities that they enjoy. Whether it’s listening to music, crafting, or taking walks, these activities can help maintain their cognitive function and offer moments of joy. Also, be prepared for changes in behavior and mood. Approach them with patience, understanding that these shifts are a result of the disease.
  6. Seek support for yourself. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease can be emotionally and physically taxing. It’s essential to take care of your well-being too. Consider joining a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers, seeking counseling, or simply setting aside time for self-care. Your well-being directly influences the quality of care you can provide.

Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing emotional, physical, and legal aspects. While the journey may be challenging, remember that with knowledge, patience, and a strong support system, both you and your loved one can navigate this chapter of your lives with resilience and hope.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Three Tips to Prevent Your Parents Losing a Lifetime of Savings to Long-Term Care

Have you been able to provide the necessary care on your own for your aging parents and now it is not enough anymore? Are you facing the difficult decision to place your aging parents into a nursing home? Are you concerned about the cost of nursing home care and trying to help your parents protect a lifetime of savings from being completely used up by the cost of care?

Because May is both National Elder Law Month and National Older Americans Month, this is an important time of year to ensure our aging loved ones have the support they need. Let us discuss three tips to prevent your aging parents from losing their life savings to a nursing home.

1. Early Planning. The most important thing your parents can do to preserve their life savings is to start planning for the future before those plans need to be put into effect. Meet now with a Florida qualified elder law attorney to engage in long-term care planning, this planning can be critical.

2. Know the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid. Your parents may be hoping that Medicare will help with nursing home costs, but they probably should not. Typically Medicare only covers 100 days of nursing home care. If your parents qualify for Medicaid, then the Florida Medicaid program will take over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough. Medicaid will cover nursing home costs for qualified individuals for as long as they need it. But there is a catch! Medicaid rules require your parents to spend down most of their life savings prior to qualifying for the program. Medicaid also has a look back period of 5 years. Medicaid will see what your parents held in assets, and what their income and expenses were during this time period.

3. Stay 5 Years Ahead in Planning. By working with a Florida qualified elder law attorney, she can help your parents plan around this 5-year “lookback” rule to protect the life savings of your parents. Your attorney may advise that the best way to do this may be to ensure that the assets of your parents are transferred out of their estate prior to the 60 months before they need nursing home care. Since the need for this care may be on the horizon, it may be best to start planning early. Your attorney can work with you to figure out the best approach.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Can You Afford a Nursing Home If Your Loved One Has Parkinson’s Disease?

Have you and your family recently learned that a loved one has received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease? Has your loved one learned that his or her ability to walk, bathe, and dress may become increasingly impaired? In addition, your loved one may face an increased risk of falls. In the future, as the Parkinson’s progresses you, your loved one and your family may be faced with the difficult decision of placing your loved one in a nursing home. With the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, the question will be how to afford the exorbitant cost of the nursing home.

As you, your loved one and your family determine how to pay for a nursing home, find out if your loved one is in possession of any type of benefits which may cover the cost of a nursing home. For example: a long-term care insurance policy, life insurance policies, which can be cashed out, or veteran’s benefits. If your loved one does have one or more of these benefits be sure to gather copies of all the supporting documents of these policies, which may include copies of insurance policies or proof of veteran’s benefits. Having this conversation now about nursing home coverage with your loved one and family can help guarantee you have the required proof of coverage should your loved one’s mental capacity decline.

An excellent next step may be to meet with a qualified Florida elder law attorney. In addition to determining the existence of benefits, you, your loved one and family can meet with an elder law attorney to find the most reliable ways of determining how to afford a nursing home when the time comes. An elder law attorney, who is experienced in the area of long-term care planning, can assist with the review of any benefits you believe may cover the cost of a nursing home. Be aware that Medicare does not cover the cost of long-term nursing home stays, but state Medicaid does. Because Medicaid eligibility is based upon your loved one’s assets, a qualified elder law attorney may assist in the drafting of planning documents, such as a trust, which may make your loved one Medicaid eligible. Medicaid planning is best conducted early in your loved one’s diagnosis because there are time limits on the transfer of assets which may affect Medicaid eligibility.

We are very aware that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can be very stressful to your loved one and family and we know there may be many other issues to navigate. By working with an estate planning and elder law attorney as soon as diagnosis is made may be the best strategy of helping to assure your loved one will be able to afford a nursing home, when the time comes. We know you and your family will want the peace of mind that your loved one will receive the care he or she deserves as the disease progresses, so that all of you can focus on sharing quality time in the present and in the future.

Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.