How can we use Veterans Benefits?
There are certain benefits that elderly Veterans and their spouses/surviving spouses may be eligible for when it comes to senor living.
One such as a pension benefit is called Aid & Attendance: a program that helps with the cost of Assisted Living for veterans who require daily assistance (attendance) from a caregiver to help manage personal needs like bathing, dressing, toileting, eating and other activities of daily living.
A Veteran’s Benefits Specialist can answer your questions, assess your eligibility (there are specific requirements pertaining to service time) and guide you through your application process.
When do you need an Elder Law Attorney?
When considering options regarding senior living and all related aspects of the aging journey, consulting with an Elder Law Attorney can be extremely useful. Elder Law Attorneys specialize in decisions with respect to wills and trusts, healthcare, conservatorships, and financial planning. If you feel like you need legal advice and guidance, Elder Law Attorneys can provide you with answers and help steer you toward a comprehensive plan to put your mind at ease and avoid any complications in the future.
Should we talk to a financial planner?
When a loved one moves into a senior living facility, there are a lot of financial choices and changes to consider. Calculating the costs, both immediate and future, is of utmost importance so your family member can live with comfort and relaxation minus the stress of financial uncertainty. A consultation with a professional financial planner can put your mind at ease and help you map out a path that is unique to your current and future needs.
What is an Assisted Living Waiver (AWL) program?
The ALW (Assisted Living Waiver) Program is a program operating in several counties in California in which Medi-Cal pays for Assisted Living care in participating facilities for qualified seniors. Participants are required to be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits with no share of cost, and require a nursing home level of care. There is a standardized assessment tool used by Care Coordination Agencies to determine care levels and needed services for each qualified participant so they can create an individualized service plan for each person. Qualified residents pay for their room and board at a fixed rate depending on their SSI income, and Medi-Cal pays for their care and services. Care Coordination Agencies will assist eligible candidates with the process from application to acceptance.
Do we need a Real Estate Agent?
Real Estate Agents who focus on specific aspects of senior living, sometimes known as “SRES” (Senior Real Estate Services) are valuable assets to folks starting out on their path to retirement, as they will be able to expertly assist with the process of downsizing, in addition to understanding and empathizing with the importance of such issues as proximity to hospitals, doctor’s offices or other needs and interests vital to seniors. The right real estate agent will be an important and trusted partner who will understand the most crucial concerns relevant to older adults.
Do we need Long Term Care Insurance?
Long Term Care Insurance, commonly known as LTC Insurance, primarily covers assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing, when an individual has a qualified physical or cognitive impairment. Services covered by Long Term Care Insurance can take place either in a senior living facility like an Assisted Living Community, Board and Care Home or Memory Care Community, or in the person’s own home. Long Term Care Insurance benefits might exist within a freestanding policy on its own, or as part of an annuity or life insurance policy. An agent who specializes in Long Term Care Insurance can help you identify the options and coverage within your individual policy.
What are Reverse Mortgages?
Reverse Mortgages, often referred to as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, are a type of loan exclusively for seniors aged 62 and above that let an older adult convert a portion of their home equity into cash to help fund their retirement. A Reverse Mortgage differs from a traditional second mortgage or home equity loan in that the loan doesn’t need to be repaid until the home is no longer the principal residence of the borrower, or the obligations of the mortgage fail to be met. Counseling by a HUD-approved counseling agency is a federal requirement, to help seniors understand the pros and cons of applying for a Reverse Mortgage loan.
Are there downsizing and moving specialists?
Yes! When a senior is considering downsizing and moving to a smaller residence, they can become overwhelmed by the stressful elements of decluttering, packing and unpacking. Companies that specialize in helping seniors with the moving process can cover a wide range of services, from coordinating every step along the way (decluttering, downsizing, packing, moving, unpacking and organizing the new space) to simply assisting with the moving of items from one place to the other. A downsizing and moving specialist will be able to ensure that moving day runs smoothly and efficiently.
Are there special transportation services for Seniors?
Yes! Every year, hundreds of thousands of elderly folks stop driving. While it is the safest option for many, a lot of seniors will find themselves depressed over the lack of independence that hanging up their car keys for the last time can bring. It can be difficult in such instances for seniors to make it to important or frequent doctor’s appointments or outpatient procedures, or just run their own errands or visit family. Non-emergency medical transportation companies exist for the purpose of dispatching taxis or wheelchair-accessible vans to take seniors to doctor’s appointments, and the nationwide ride sharing companies Lyft and Uber have recently come up with special procedures for seniors who may not own smartphones or be particularly savvy when it comes to technology.
How can we help with medical equipment & supplies?
A lot of seniors rely on assistive equipment like walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, hospital beds and other devices to lead safe and comfortable lives. Obtaining the equipment that older adults need can be challenging and frustrating, and seniors sometimes experience long waits for equipment that they need immediately. While insurance covers some equipment through a prescription (doctor’s order) there are other ways that vital devices can be obtained, such as local lending programs or paying out of pocket.
Should we have an estate sale when downsizing?
Although many seniors welcome the process of downsizing and decluttering while they prepare to move to smaller, more streamlined living spaces, a lot of folks will realize during this process that they own possessions that hold considerable value. Estate sale experts and downsizing consultants can help identify belongings that would be beneficial to sell and liquidate for cash, via avenues such as physical sales within the home, online auction house websites, or listings on social media.
When would we need notary services?
A Notary Public is an official representative of the state who witnesses and screens the signers of a variety of important documents to verify their identity, their comprehension of the documents they are about to sign, and their willingness to sign a document without being under coercion or duress.
Wills, Trusts, Property Deeds, and Power of Attorney forms are some of the documents that might require Notary services. A Notary who specializes in working with seniors will have the additional benefit of being sympathetic to the unique concerns of an older adult signing such documents. They proceed with the utmost caution to ensure a smooth process and make the senior in question feel at ease. They carefully take these steps: selecting a time for the transaction when the senior is relaxed and not agitated or under stress, explaining their role to the senior and helping them have a clear understanding of what the process entails, and discerning their awareness by having them repeat back what it is they are about to sign.
What is Geriatric Care Management?
Geriatric Care Management is a process that entails the coordination of managing all aspects of a senior’s care. A Geriatric Care Manager is a professional who has been trained in nursing, social work, and gerontology and understands the unique concerns and needs of an elderly person who is trying to make sense of their journey through aging while maintaining their independence for as long as possible.
A Geriatric Care Manager will do a comprehensive assessment of an elderly person’s demographics, health history, and social and financial history. They will evaluate a senior’s medication needs and their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) capability, including whether they are a fall risk, need help with bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting, and cognition. From there, a Geriatric Care Manager will be able to put together a care plan according to the senior’s specific needs, which will be continuously monitored and adjusted as their circumstances and abilities change.
A Geriatric Care Manager is especially helpful to folks who have complicated health issues because they understand medical terms and can be an advocate when accompanying the patient to doctor’s appointments while also being able to help the senior understand what was said by their physician. Geriatric Care Managers are services that are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare, so seniors and their families will likely need to pay out of pocket.