Nursing Home Evictions: What You Should Know

Nursing home evictions are an issue for many elderly people. Reports of evictions and complaints against nursing homes attempting to evict patients are widespread. Nursing homes are businesses and eviction problems often occur for residents when financial issues arise.

There are federal regulations concerning nursing home evictions. However, it is largely dependent on the state to enforce these regulations. Some residents or their families choose to fight back with complaints and legal action. Unfortunately, many of these cases go unreported as is the case with other types of elder abuse.

Nursing homes do have guidelines that allow for evictions in certain cases. A resident may be evicted but the facility must follow the minimum guidelines of federal and state law to be successful. One reason an elderly person may be evicted is if their clinical or behavioral status puts others in the facility in danger. This is one of the reasons often cited for discharging patients involuntarily.

Force discharges are also commonly attributed to the patient’s care not being paid. This can happen when private pay patients run out of resources and fall back on enrollment in Medicaid.  This program pays substantially less for the same service and the home is looking to replace this lost income. Another common trigger for eviction notices occurs when Medicare patients change from being a patient under the Medicare program to requalifying under Medicaid.  This transition can mean a reduction in the resources the facility is being paid.

Involuntary discharge can also occur if the facility is unable to meet the resident’s needs or if it is necessary for the resident’s welfare.  A patient’s needs and the facility’s ability to meet those needs should be assessed before the person is admitted to the facility. For this reason, the inability to meet a patient’s needs should be a rare reason for discharge. If it is determined that the person no longer needs the care the nursing home provides, they can be discharged. Finally, if the facility is closing, patients can be legally discharged.

It is important for residents and their families to do their homework and be informed about the regulations governing nursing homes. Not only must nursing homes follow these regulations, but they must also follow strict procedural guidelines in order to evict. If these guidelines are not strictly followed, the discharge can be reversed. If a resident is threatened with eviction, this must be done in writing and must include a written reason for the eviction. If you or your family receives a discharge notice, contact an elder law attorney immediately.

Even if the resident does not want to stay in that particular facility, it is important to take the discharge notice to an attorney because it may affect the patient’s ability to get into another facility. The window for appeals is short so be sure to contact an attorney quickly in order to give the attorney time to build the case and file the appropriate documents. The Nursing Home Reform Act helps to protect residents. The problem is that many people are uninformed and miss their opportunity to appeal these evictions. A timely response is essential in these cases.

Living in a nursing home is a difficult experience for many patients and their families. A threat of eviction adds stress to the situation. The attorney is your best advocate as he or she is able to enforce the resident’s rights and protect them within mandatory time frames.

If you have any questions about something you have read or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

 

Hearing Loss and its Surprising Health Risks

The findings from a 10-year study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have reported a link between hearing loss and health risks. The risks include a 50% greater risk of dementia, a 40% greater risk of developing depression and a nearly 30% higher risk of accidental falls. While hearing loss is becoming more prevalent in younger people due to the use of earbuds and noise pollution, it is the elderly population who are more quickly and significantly affected by adverse health risks because of their hearing loss.

There is a wide range of reasons that account for hearing loss. Some are genetic while others include noise exposure, medications, head injuries, and infections. While hearing loss is a frustrating experience for those who have it, along with their loved ones, the worst option is to ignore the condition. The sooner your hearing is tested, the better your ability to proactively save yourself from associated health risks due to hearing loss. According to Johns Hopkins University, brain scans indicate that loss of hearing has even been associated with more rapid rates of brain atrophy.

One of the first symptoms of hearing loss is trouble detecting high-pitched or soft sounds. This form of hearing loss is associated with stereocilia, which is the damaging of the fragile hair cells that convert sound waves into electrical signals your brain can understand. For example, high-pitched sounds might include children’s voices while soft sounds include phone conversations or background noise in a restaurant. If you are having any trouble hearing these softer or high-pitched sounds, make an audiologist appointment for a hearing assessment to get a baseline reading. Loss of hearing contributes to social isolation and the longer you wait to address hearing loss, the greater the risk of cognition problems. Meaning, you may hear the words but not be able to process their meaning.

Other than cost, there is no downside to hearing aids anymore. They are discreet, easy to learn how to use, and professionally adjustable over time to compensate for increased hearing loss. Once you factor in the cost of a potential fall, increased risk of dementia, social isolation, and depression, the cost of a hearing aid is comparatively minimal. If your hearing loss is profound already, there are cochlear implants, which are devices implanted into the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve. These devices can help to restore sound perception in adults with more extreme hearing loss. Your walking motor skills are dependent upon your hearing to pick up subtle cues that help you maintain your balance. Hearing loss mutes these critical cues and makes your brain work harder to pick up sounds, which can then interfere with some of the mental processes needed for safe walking.

While it is not yet proven that treating hearing loss can prevent dementia, unintended falls, or social isolation and depression, it is important to investigate as more than two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 have significant hearing loss that can impact their everyday quality of life. Older adults with hearing problems left untreated also incur substantially higher overall costs of health care. At the ten-year mark of untreated hearing loss in older adults, the incidence of hospitalization increases by 50% or so. There are also higher rates of hospital readmission and an increased likelihood for emergency room visits when compared to those elderly adults without hearing loss.

Communication between patient and health care provider is also problematic for those adults with hearing loss. A patient has less participation in their health care plan and can often become confused as to their diagnosis and possible courses of action for treatment.  Also, following instructions post appointment or hospital discharge can be problematic. Costs associated with untreated hearing loss have prompted both health care companies and insurers to find better ways to serve patients with hearing loss.

Nearly 27 million Americans age 50 or more have a hearing loss while only one in seven uses a hearing aid or implant device. Hearing is often the most overlooked of the five human senses: taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound. Your ability to hear is incredibly important and the longer you put off addressing a hearing problem, the greater the possibility of associated adverse health events. Make good hearing part of your overall plan to age successfully.

Like retirement planning and elder law planning, the sooner you address the issue, the better the outcome will be.

Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with your planning.

Seniors Will Spend $84B a Year on Tech by 2030

It isn’t just assisted living and nursing home workers employing the latest technology to improve caregiving for elder Americans. According to an AARP survey upwards of 84 billion dollars will be spent annually on technology products for personal self-care use by the 132 million Americans aged 50 or more by the year 2030. While 84 billion dollars is a lot of money it does not account for additional discretionary spending for technology purchases such as gifts for children or grandchildren; therefore the number of dollars spent on technology by seniors could be significantly higher than already projected. A significant portion of the personal needs purchases will be to address privacy and security issues as fewer than one in four senior adults trust online retailers, telecom service providers, and even the federal government.

Though concerns regarding privacy are in the forefront of technology purchasing, counter-intuitively another significant portion of projected purchases will be for personal home assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, which allow passive “spying” on home environments. Currently, of those Americans, aged 50 plus, one in seven owns a personal assistant and the projected sales increases in this demographic is growing at a very rapid pace.

Additionally, technology products such as smartphones, smart TVs, smart cars (nearly 1 in 4 view advanced driver assistance technology like lane change monitoring, collision avoidance, automatic parking, and emergency braking as important) and virtual reality devices are also increasing as are smart environmental control devices for thermostats, lighting, refrigerator door and stove monitors, and front doorbell audio/video capabilities.

Upwards of 23 percent of aging adults are embracing the benefits of lifelong learning through technology-enabled classrooms, certification programs or tutorials which may, in turn, lead to seniors providing more online content and blogs specifically geared for aging Americans written by aging Americans. Sixty-three percent of seniors use computers or smartphones to play games and 57 percent watch TV or movies while more than 90 percent use technology to stay in daily contact with family and friends. Already, a full 13 percent of 50 plus adults use virtual reality, and it is increasing at a healthy 4 percent a year despite it being a relatively new technology for commercial use. Current smartphone and computer device usage for those ages 50 to 64 rank the same as the average American; 83 percent employ smartphones while 91 percent use computers.

The number of new consumers in the American population is growing at less than 1 percent a year which means that the aging American market is a sweet spot of spending for corporations seeking to generate revenue. The fact that these elder Americans are online where their information can be absorbed, data mined, and target marketed will increase profits outside of the simple purchase of a technology product. Sales of technology products are now being monetized post-purchase by collecting personal data and reselling the information to advertisers, marketers, and even government agencies.

By 2030 it is projected that there will be more than 132 million Americans aged 50 plus which is an increase of more than 17 million in that demographic. These Americans represent the bulk of purchasing power as well as the growing need to address successful aging strategies through the implementation of technology products. There are just not enough younger people to be employed in the caregiver industry to address all of the future aging needs the baby boomer generation represents.

Aging Americans can expect a lot of commercial technology products specifically tailored to their needs in the coming years because they have so much money to spend. Seniors want life-enhancing and protecting technology products, and corporations want to make money so the senior technology product market will become an increasingly important segment of the technology sector.

Technology is becoming increasingly popular as a means for providing or delivering care to seniors.

We help seniors and their families plan for the possibility of needing care in the future and would be happy to discuss how we can help you do the same.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Importance of Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is very beneficial for the elderly or disabled person who needs will services or support to meet their personal care or health needs. However, it is important to understand long-term care insurance before the time comes when the benefits are needed. Unfortunately, many people wait and then miss out on what long-term care insurance can offer.

Should I get long-term care insurance?

There are a few things to consider before you go out and purchase long-term care insurance. First, consider your age. Age is important because it is much cheaper to get long-term care insurance at a younger age. Older adults and those who already have existing health conditions may have more difficulty getting long-term care insurance and the premiums are guaranteed to be costly.

Second, consider your support system. In other words, do you have family who will be able to help provide for your care needs in the future? If so, then you may not need long-term care insurance. This is definitely a good time to sit down and talk about the future with your family.

Third, consider your savings and investments. This is where a financial adviser or elder law attorney can help you understand ways to pay for long-term care and whether or not long-term care insurance is right for you.

What is the cost of long-term care insurance?

The cost of long-term care insurance cannot be attached to specific numbers. The cost depends on age, gender, marital status, the insurance company, and the amount of coverage. The younger a person is when they get long-term care insurance, the lower the premiums will be. Generally speaking, long-term care insurance policies are less expensive for men than women. This is due to the fact that women generally live longer and therefore are more likely to make claims on the long-term care policies. Married people have lower premiums than single people.

Just like with any type of insurance, rates for long-term care insurance will vary from one company to the next. It is important to shop around and compare the costs of long-term care insurance with a variety of carriers. The amount of coverage desired greatly affects the cost of long-term care insurance. Better coverage with fewer restrictions will come at higher premiums. Be sure to do your homework, talk to your financial planner, and elder law attorney to help determine long-term care insurance needs.

What does long-term care insurance cover?

Once you have a long-term care policy, you are eligible for benefits if you have dementia or another cognitive impairment or you are unable to perform at least two of six activities of daily living. These activities include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, caring for incontinence, and transferring. When a policyholder is eligible and in need of filing a claim on long-term care insurance, a variety of services may be covered.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be covered services. Within those services, policies may only cover room and board or they may cover more extensive services. Long-term care insurance also covers adult day care services for those who need a program for health, social, and other support services during the day.

Home care is also provided under some long-term care insurance. This service helps with activities of daily living in the policyholder’s home. When home adaptations are necessary, such as ramps or grab bars, long-term care insurance can cover these services. Care coordination and future service options are also available services with within long-term care insurance policies. You will need to understand your specific policy to determine the specifics of the services covered and to what extent they are covered.

Long-term care insurance can seem very complicated. Remember there are professionals who specialize in helping to determine long-term care insurance needs and coverages. A great place to start is with your financial advisor and elder law attorney.

If you have any questions about something you have read or would like additional information, please contact us for a consultation.

How You Can Show Appreciation for Senior Citizens

National Senior Citizens Day is just a few short months away! August 21 is the “official” National Senior Citizens Day – a holiday established in 1988 by President Reagan. Senior citizens provide so many benefits to our communities – they are engaged and informed politically, they volunteer, and they provide wisdom and guidance to younger members of our society.

How will you show appreciation to the senior citizens in your life? Below are a few suggestions.

A simple handshake and a thank you.

You may surprise a few senior citizens who may not know it is their special day, but what a great way to acknowledge them and their contribution to our community.

Visit a local assisted living or nursing home facility.

Way too many senior citizens are living in care facilities with few visitors. You can make someone’s day by simply showing up and spending a few minutes visiting with a resident.

Send handwritten notes.

With email taking over as a major source of communication, not many people spend the time to write a note these days. But senior citizens remember a time when that was one of the only ways to communicate with friends and loved ones. Show them you care by taking the time to write a note to show them your appreciation.

We hope this has been helpful as you consider ways to show appreciation to a senior citizen not just on August 21, but any opportunity you get.

If you know of a senior citizen who could benefit from the legal services we provide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office!

Everything You Need to Know About Silver Alerts

Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prone to wandering. This is often caused by the decline in cognitive functioning and symptoms such as restlessness and confusion that are associated with this decline. The more these diseases progress, the more likely it is that the senior will wander. This wandering causes additional stress on family and caregivers. It is important to take measures to keep these individuals safe. There are many ways that caregivers can help to keep seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia safe, as well as national and local Senior Alert programs.

Silver Alert

The Silver Alert program was modeled after the Amber Alert program for missing children. A Silver Alert informs the public, media outlets, and law enforcement agencies when an adult goes missing. One criterion for a Silver Alert is age. Usually, missing persons age 60 or older, will trigger a Silver Alert. Another criteria that may constitute a Silver Alert is having a cognitive impairment. This would include seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as well as those with mental retardation or other impairments caused by illness or trauma. Finally, people with physical disabilities who go missing are eligible for a Silver Alert.

The purpose and goal of a Silver Alert is to protect and keep the aforementioned individuals safe. During a Silver Alert, law enforcement agencies will alert the public with information that is vital or necessary in helping to find the missing individual. This may include a picture, vehicle description, last known location, and illness or impairment. It is important to report a missing senior as quickly as possible because statistics show that they have a higher chance of suffering an injury or even death as more time passes.

Prevent Wandering

The best case is to avoid the Silver Alert altogether by taking measures to prevent wandering in seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Being vigilant in ensuring that the senior is not alone is one major way to prevent wandering. It is very important that caregivers are always present and may mean that the person needs more than one caregiver. If wandering has occurred, keep a log of the duration and all events surrounding the wandering to identify patterns associated with the wandering. Establish routines and keep the environment calm to reduce stress for the individual. It can also be helpful to provide entertainment and outings that can reduce frustration and weariness for the senior. Environmental security measures are also necessary. Labeling common rooms in case of disorientation may help to prevent wandering. Secure windows and doors to keep the individual safe. If wandering is a problem, alarm systems can be installed to alert the caregiver if an individual is attempting to leave alone.

If a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia shows the potential for wandering, be sure to keep recent photos and records of appearance. Have the person keep multiple forms of identification on them, including something that is wearable and a part of their everyday routine. Tracking devices are also available to help keep track of the person’s location. It may also be helpful to alert trusted neighbors of possible wandering. These neighbors can alert the caregiver if they see the individual out of the home.

The most important thing to remember is that many senior adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will have the potential to wander as the disease progresses. Silver Alerts are helpful and caregivers should become familiar with the system in their area. However, the best course of action is always prevention. So, caregivers and families should educate themselves on how they can be vigilant in preventing wandering.

If you have any questions about how to protect a family member or somebody close to you both physically and financially please contact our office for a consultation.

Seniors Continue to Embrace Technology

Technology is providing seniors with a multitude of applications to improve their health, lifestyle, safety, and entertainment. While the younger generations may think these older Americans are the equivalent of technology dinosaurs, the truth is mid-life, and older Americans are becoming more digitally connected than ever before. The largest tech participating group of these seniors is generally more affluent and has higher degrees of education than their counterparts. Seniors with more limited incomes and lower levels of educational attainment are the most notably absent group in the digital divide between younger and older technology users.

Smartphone ownership and its associated application (app) usage, social media, and online gaming continue to increase at a rapid pace with a full 91 percent of technology users 50 or more saying they use personal technology devices to stay in touch with family and friends. Texting by seniors (86%) has become as pervasive as email (87%). Smartphones are also a handy tool for planning optimal routes to and from locations as well as receiving up to the minute traffic information. Simply put, older Americans now leverage smartphone use in much the same ways that its younger counterparts do and in some ways, seniors (aged 60 – 69) are leading the charge in smartphone use to manage their medical care. Online banking and money management are becoming more prevalent with senior users as they become educated about and employ privacy mechanisms to protect their identity and assets in an online and cloud storage world.

Online learning is prevalent in the senior demographic. An AARP survey shows 23 percent of older adults embrace online learning by taking classes for certificates, obtaining degrees, and how to Do It Yourself (DIY) tutorials. This percent of seniors in online learning is likely to continue its increase as mental agility and longevity become increasingly important due to the alarming rise of dementia disease in the aging population. While there is no direct evidence linking online learning to the staving off of dementia, it cannot hurt a senior to continue with lifelong learning as it may provide a sense of control and well being during their good years.

The use of virtual reality in VE, virtual environment, is also on the rise for seniors. The growth rate is currently about 4 percent a year with 13 percent of adults aged 50 or more engaging in the technology. Nearly 90 percent of all virtual reality headsets are smart and mobile phone based. The ease of porting a smartphone into a headset which operates as the screen makes virtual reality a compelling tool for aging seniors. While it provides immersive realities for gaming entertainment, it also can give extensive exploration opportunities for those seniors with limited mobility. Imagine a senior who cannot walk being able to experience a tour of the ancient Greek site the Acropolis, enjoying a virtual scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, or taking part in a guided tour through a faraway museum without ever leaving their home, wheelchair, or bed. The mental stimulation and joy it can bring are just beginning to be tapped for the senior market. Virtual reality (VR) is projected to impact the gaming industry more profoundly than any other industry, and gamers include the senior market in a balanced way comparative to different age groups.

technology

Wearable technology is gaining popularity among the senior market. They include products like smartwatches, smart jewelry, fitness trackers, even smart clothing. While being worn, they provide intelligent assistance that can augment memory, intellect, communication, creativity, and physical abilities and senses. They also come replete with challenges such as interface interferences, power requirements, network resources, and privacy concerns. Wearable fitness trackers are becoming commonplace in assisted living, and nursing facilities as the technology will alert medical staff when a patient’s vitals are outside of their norm even if that worker is engaged in other tasks.

Worldwide, corporations are very interested in wearable technologies, particularly as it relates to medical issues. Some seniors who would not qualify for implant surgery because of pre-existing health conditions might be able to use a wearable pacemaker rather than having a surgical implant procedure. Other techniques for nonsurgical intervention include smart patches and electronic tattoos that can regulate dysfunctional systems in the body. For those seniors who can tolerate implant surgeries, new and innovative ideas for microdevice implants are bringing forward the concept of the transhuman. Transhuman is defined as a standard biological human being who is augmented by implants that might provide improved intelligence, awareness, strength, or durability. Even in the absence of a serious health issue, implants may soon be able to enhance the medical monitoring of seniors in their daily lives. Think of it as a highly accurate fitness tracker implant. These implants in “transhumans” may be able to observe developing physiological and psychological trends and predict adequate responses to health changes in aging adults.

Finally, the video game industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the US economy. Annual sales in the gaming vertical of “techenomics” have reached $23 billion and are projected to continue to increase. While some of the games seniors are playing online are in the hopes of keeping memory and brain function in good working order, 38 percent of adults aged 50 or more are video gamers purely for entertainment purposes. While these games may provide entertainment and human connection (in situ or online), they also may share cognitive, and brain benefits, as well as the senior, adapts to ever-changing game scenarios, updated versions, and expansions of online games.

It is projected that seniors will continue to increase their exposure to and use of technologies at many levels. Development to meet the demands of senior needs coupled with their purchasing power will drive the technology industry for decades to come in ways that are not even imagined yet. For now, aging Americans are embracing technology and the benefits it brings to their lives.

If you have any questions or need help planning for you or a loved one, please contact us today for a consultation.

Health Care Powers of Attorney for ALS Patients

A strong power of attorney is indeed powerful for a condition like Alzheimer’s. But it may come as a surprise to learn that a good “basic” advance-directive document needs considerable supplementation when it comes to a dreadful illness like ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Ordinarily, if a patient becomes unable to communicate their health-care choices, a good advance directive gives the patient’s agent a lot of power to shape the health-care plan as the patient would want: The power to keep the patient at home if possible; or, if not, to select a long-term health-care facility; to authorize pain-relieving drugs; to accept or decline surgery as the patient would wish; and to accept or reject blood transfusions, dialysis, antibiotics, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, breathing and feeding tubes – and possibly to decide when all that treatment should stop and the patient be allowed to die a natural death.

Many, if not most or all, of us would decline mechanical devices like breathing and feeding tubes if that aggressive treatment would merely prolong the dying process. Yet people suffering from ALS might benefit from the temporary use of precisely those treatments, as long as the treatment is accompanied by education and support in a conservative treatment plan specifically crafted for their condition.

ALS patients must be supported by the care that is centered on creating more autonomy and the ability to communicate. There are conservative treatments available to assist in the breathing and coughing problems that ALS patients need assistance with, to avoid lung complications and preserve the quality of life for as long as possible. These conservative treatments should be used before the drastic choice of tracheostomy, which could condemn the patient to institutionalization for the rest of that person’s life. With less-drastic treatment, the patient might remain at home and preserve a measure of familiar comfort and autonomy.

Likewise, education must be offered to create the ability to communicate by means other than speech. This education, if done timely while the patient still has some ability to move, could ensure that he or she remains communicative even when speech is eventually lost. This would avoid the terribly lonely, frightening, and despair-inducing “locked-in” condition, in which the patient retains all his or her cognitive faculties but is helpless to communicate at all.

A wonderfully supportive resource is a Caregiver’s Guide provided by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, available here.

It’s loaded with information about ALS symptoms and side-symptoms; respiratory, nutritional, and emotional issues; simple solutions to build the communication skills crucial to avoid “locking in”; financial and legal issues; end-of-life issues; and many other educational resources.

For a brief video about conservative therapies to assist with breathing and coughing, published by the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, see here.

A document that is custom-drafted for ALS patients should also specify that the patient must be consulted every six months to review the patient’s condition and how it may affect the patient’s health-care choices. The patient’s wishes can change, depending on the person’s progress.

Knowledge is power. And power of attorney documents for ALS patients should ideally reflect the education that is so important to preserve those peoples’ quality of life for as long as possible.

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with ALS and would like to discuss your family’s options please contact us and let’s start a conversation.

How to Have “The Talk” With Your Aging Parents

Many children find it difficult to have conversations about the future with their aging parents. It is often uncomfortable for all parties involved. Children may worry about how the conversation with their parents will be perceived. It can be tough to discuss the subject of money as children don’t want to be perceived as though they are prying or worse, greedy. Parents may feel as though the conversation is threatening their independence. The fact is, the conversation must take place at some point and the earlier families begin planning, the better off they can be when the plans must become action. Children must, in a loving way, clear away excuses and have “the talk”.

Starting “The Talk”

Before beginning the conversation, children should prepare themselves. Information is readily available at your fingertips. Many organizations have created worksheets or lists of questions to help adult children discuss future plans and needs with their parents. These can help you make a plan for the conversation and be a guide for topics that need to be addressed. Using these as help is a good idea, but be flexible and let the conversation be as natural as possible. Be sure, when having the conversation, to let your parents talk and to really listen to them. In fact, it can be more positive if your parents take the lead.

Discussing Legal and Financial Issues

Having “the talk” with your aging parents must include legal and financial issues. Many parents think that the legal side can be boiled down to whether or not to resuscitate and who can give them medicine, but there is much more to consider. There is legal paperwork that includes advance directives, wills, trust agreements, and powers of attorney. The financial side of things can be very tricky because families have to plan for future living and care. During the initial conversation, it may be a good time to ask an aging parent to gather all of their financial information and plan this discussion for the next meeting. The legal and financial part of the discussion can be overwhelming and confusing. It may be beneficial to tap into professional resources to help. An elder law attorney can help with a plan that covers legal and care-related issues. If you or your parents have a financial planner, it is wise to involve that professional as well.

Talking about Living Options

There are many options and things to consider when discussing future living options for aging parents. First, you must find out if your parents wish to stay in their home or move into an assisted living facility. You must also know if illness changes this preference for your parents. The next step is to do some homework and check costs. You may want to work together to check the costs of in-home aides, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and long-term care in your area. Families can even set up tours of facilities and the type of care and accommodations available in the facility. This will give families the information they need to continue the conversation and make a well-informed decision.

Moving Forward

After the initial conversation, the adult children and their parents should have a plan for what the next steps will be. It is best to assign family members to tasks on the plan. This will help to get everyone involved. The family could also decide on times when they can meet with professionals or take tours. Most importantly, the family members should decide on a date for their next meeting and what things need to be done prior in order to make the time as productive and peaceful as possible.

If you have any questions about something you have read or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us.