Tag: Tips

No Time To Waste: Why Your Aging Parent Needs A Power Of Attorney Now

Have you talked to your parent about incapacity planning? Although talking with your aging parent about planning for his or her potential incapacity is never an easy task, it can be critical to have these difficult conversations to help ensure that your parent may be protected. A power of attorney can be an essential legal document because it can allow someone to put in place a plan for managing his or her affairs in the event he or she is unable to do so due to something such as incapacitation.  

 

An example of such a circumstance that may benefit from a power of attorney being in place could be a tragic car accident where a person suffers injuries that impact his or her ability to make sound decisions. Alternatively, a common concern as our parents get older, a senior may begin to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. With a power of attorney in place, you can help ensure that your aging parent’s wishes are carried out in accordance with his or her plan if your parent is ever in the position where he or she is unable to manage affairs.

 

In the power of attorney document, your parent will identify one or more persons to act as his or her agent in the event of incapacity. The power of attorney document outlines the specific powers and authority that the agent has and it can be crafted based on your parent’s wishes. The agent acting pursuant to the power of attorney is a fiduciary to your parent so the agent must act only in your parent’s best interest. It may be important to note that putting a durable power of attorney in place can be important for incapacity planning. The durability feature means that the power granted under the power of attorney survives incapacitation of the principal, your parent.  

 

If your aging parent does not have a power of attorney in place, then you may need to enlist the help of an experienced estate planning attorney to put one in place for your parent now. As with all estate planning, many people may think that there is no need to rush. A power of attorney, however, can be critical because, in many states, including Florida, if you feel that your parent is unable to manage his or her own affairs, you may need to have your parent placed under guardianship if there is no power of attorney in place. This may mean a court will have to determine whether your parent is in fact incapacitated and unable to act on his or her own behalf. The court may need to hear from a doctor or witnesses to make this decision.  Once your parent is deemed incapacitated, the court next decides who manages his or her affairs and how to do so. The power of attorney can eliminate the need for court intervention and give your parent the ability to control who acts as his or her agent. 

 

Do you have questions? Please contact our law practice to learn more. We are here for you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.

Don’t Miss These Benefits for Seniors During National Nutrition Month

This March we celebrate National Nutrition Month. Nutrition is an important facet of all of our lives but this holds especially true when we are considering how we will care for the Older Americans in our lives. “Older” Americans is a term that refers to individuals who are over sixty years of age in America and are the individuals and their loved ones that we focus on helping in our law practice.

When it comes to elder care, it is never too early to plan forward. Our goal is to ensure that you are protected both now and well into the future, whether you are a Florida senior or caring for one. We know that this type of planning can raise significant questions, especially as you start to think about your potential long-term care needs and who can make decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.

One of the keys to success for you and your loved ones is to be armed with the information you need. Whether you are an Older American, or caring for one, let us share a few fun facts and tips that can benefit you this March and throughout the year!

1- Get informed about your options. When we think about nutrition, most of us think about improving our health overall. Whether you are starting with improving your eating habits, exercise or something else entirely, do your research. Learning what is best for you and your loved ones, as well as being knowledgeable about what is available in your local community, can be a great step in the right direction.

2- Learn to prepare healthy alternatives. It can be hard to determine how to cook healthier options, especially as you age. For most seniors, there are more robust options available for healthy eating than there were fifty to sixty years ago. The goal now, is to learn how to prepare these foods so they can be enjoyed. Luckily, there are more and more tools on the internet you can use to teach you how to prepare healthy food. For example, just click this link to watch the Next Steps to Better Nutrition video developed for seniors by the National Council on Aging.

3- Eat your veggies. It is not just a catchy saying, it is the truth! There are incredible benefits for seniors that come directly from eating vegetables. For example, green, leafy vegetables have strong health care benefits and research shows that they can assist with health care conditions, such as macular degeneration or cataracts.

4- Remember physical activity. While it may be harder to get outdoors during the winter months, there is never an excuse for failing to exercise. Most health professionals recommend a minimum of thirty minutes a day. Remember, especially if this is a new routine for you, that this can be broken up into smaller increments. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians shares that you can add exercise into your daily routine by parking farther away from your destination or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

We know this can be a confusing topic. We encourage you, however, to step outside your comfort zone and learn more about ways you can improve your life or the life of an Older American you care about. Do not hesitate to ask us your questions about this or any other elder care issue you are facing. We are your local community law firm here to help you both now and in the future as you face challenges associated with the aging process.

Important Medication Management Tips for Florida Seniors and Their Kids

Many things in life are uncertain, but aging is an inevitability. As we get older, taking multiple medications for different health conditions is not uncommon. Unfortunately, however, without proper care and management, seniors may take a higher dosage than required, miss doses altogether, or even take the wrong medication. This is why it is so important for seniors and their children to implement a simple system to help avoid these common mistakes. To help get you started, we want to share with you a few ways to help the senior loved one in your life safely manage his or her medications.

  1. Make a list.

It is important to keep a record of the names, dosages, and frequency of all medications your loved one’s doctor prescribes. Do not forget to include any over-the-counter medication your loved one may be taking! By keeping this detailed list, your loved one and any caregivers or new doctors can easily see the types of medications your loved one is currently taking. This can help ensure your loved one is taking their medication safely and is not prescribed any medications that may have a negative effect.

  1. Do your research.

Just because your loved one’s doctor prescribes them a new medication, does not mean you cannot ask questions and do some research of your own. Feel free to ask the doctor why they are prescribing a particular medication, why it is to be taken during the day or at night, and whether it should be taken with food. The more you know about your loved one’s medication intake, the easier it will be to create a routine and keep track of each medication your loved one is taking.

  1. Separate the medications.

If your loved one’s doctor requires him or her to take multiple medications each day, it can be confusing to keep track of their medication intake. Utilizing a pill box, for example, can be an effective way to safely separate your loved one’s medication. Pill boxes are typically labeled with the days of the week and are available in different colors so you can separate the medications based on whether they need to be taken during the day or at night.

  1. Use an alarmed medication reminder.

If your loved one needs a stronger reminder to take his or her medication than a sticky note or pill box, consider purchasing a medical alert device. These devices are specifically tailored to remind your loved one to attend doctor’s appointments, take medication, or check-in with loved ones. These reminders are easy to set and can be adjusted at any time based on your loved one’s daily routine.

We know that caring for a senior loved one can be challenging at times. If this article raised more questions than answers for you or if you are in need of further suggestions for ways to manage your loved one’s medication intake, do not wait to contact us with your questions.