Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Ways to Give Back This September 11th

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, Sep 12, 2019

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This September 11th marked the 18 year anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks that shocked the nation. Throughout the years since the attacks, many initiatives have been created to support survivors and the families of victims. As we think about the victims of the September 11th attacks, however, do not forget to include charitable planning in your estate plan. To help you accomplish this, let us share with you a few tips to giving back to survivors and the families of victims through charitable planning.

  1. What is the significance of September 11th?

Eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four United States commercial airplanes heading for the west coast. Two of the airplanes were intentionally flown into the north and south towers of the World Trade Centers in New York City, one airplane was flown into the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., and one crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. As a result, almost 3,000 people perished, and devastation was, and still is, felt around the world

  1. What is charitable planning?

Charitable planning is an effective way to support an important cause or charitable organization. This can be accomplished by making annual or periodic gifts throughout your lifetime. Charitable planning also provides you an opportunity to look ahead to a time when you may not be able to make charitable gifts yourself. Accordingly, you can leave a gift for a charity through your estate planning.

  1. Can I leave money without a plan?

While it is possible for you to leave money to a charitable organization without a plan, this is generally not advised. To help ensure that your gift is distributed accurately, it is important to set our clear instructions within your estate plan as to where the gift is going and how it will be distributed. This can be a somewhat complicated process, which is why we encourage you to consult with an experienced, local estate planning attorney who understands your specific needs and can help you accomplish your goals.

These are just a few of the ways that you can give back to September 11th victims and their families. Do you need more ideas? Do you have your own ideas that you would like to share with us? Do not wait to contact us. Further, if you are ready to include charitable planning in your estate plan, we encourage you to reach out to us to schedule an appointment. 

 

 

Tags: Charitable Giving, charitable

IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR COLLEGE OR THE WORLD?

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Aug 02, 2019

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Congratulations!!! Your child is getting ready to college. It is an exciting time in your and your child’s life as they get ready to venture on their own. It is really important to prepare for eventualities.

Health Insurance Coverage – Is that enough?

With Affordable Car Act young adults can be on the parent’s health insurance plan till they are 26 years old. You may have health insurance coverage for your child through your plan but that is not enough. As they venture on their own, they need some additional estate planning documents to protect them.

You might wonder, " Why would a child need an estate plan? Estate planning is only for older people with substantial assets." But remember your child is an adult when he/she becomes 18 in Massachusetts and in case of disability due to illness or accident, they need someone else to make decisions for them in case of emergency.  Once a child becomes 18 and is considered legally an adult you may not be able to access your child’s financial, educational and medical information in an emergency.

If your child has not set up all the required documents giving you authority, you may be forced into a completely preventable court conservatorship and experience delays in making those critical decisions. This does not even take into consideration paperwork, attorney fees and court costs.

This may waste valuable time at a critical point in healthcare decision process. There is a simple way to avoid these headaches. Get some of these important documents ready before your child goes off to college.

Important documents that are required are:

  1. HIPPA release document
  2. Healthcare Proxy
  3. Durable General Power of Attorney

HIPPA release document

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This and a corresponding Massachusetts law limits access to an adult's private health information, even by a parent or other close relative. A HIPAA Authorization document provides a waiver for this confidentiality and allows a parent (or other appointed person) access to the young adult's hospital admission information and medical records. It also gives permission to speak with medical professionals regarding the person's condition and medical treatment recommendations. Believe it or not without this document you may not even be notified when you child is hospitalized in even of an emergency.

Health Care Proxy – Advanced health care directive – Your healthcare proxy  is a legal document that permits the parent (or other appointed person) to make medical decisions if your child is not in a position to make their own decisions - - everything from immediate lifesaving treatment, to operations, transfusions, rehab treatment, all the way to the decision about long-term life sustaining treatment like tube-feeding and hydration. Children and/or grandchildren (and often their parents) rarely think they'll ever become so disabled by illness or accident, but they could. In a moment of crisis this access to health professionals is vital for all those trying to help.

The above documents address child's medical related matters, but there might be financial or educational matters which may need to be taken care of if the child becomes disabled due to illness or accident?

Durable Power of Attorney

This is why, a Durable Power of Attorney is essential. It empowers the child's parent (or other appointed person) to handle immediately, without going to Court, important matters such as; accessing bank accounts and credit cards; paying bills; accessing online accounts (including online banking); entering contracts with third parties (including with an attorney, if legal representation is necessary); and obtaining educational records. This is especially important in case of an accident and when you need legal representation and your child can not make those decisions.

With 25 + years of experience in estate planning and Elder law, we have seen a lot. Because of this, we provide valuable guidance and direction for you and your family not only getting the appropriate documents ready for you and your family, but also serving as a guide for you all for the next month, semester and chapter in your lives. In order to help you and your family, friends and neighbors,we even provide free reports, books and videos at www.DSullivan.com. If it is helpful you can even attend  free workshops provided every month with your choice of day, evening and Saturday morning times and locations. Call now 800-964-4295. If you can not join us live, but would like our help, we have a few complimentary DVDs of prior events which may help you learn what you need to know. Call for your complimentary copy today while we still have a few left.

Your family matters! We help you achieve and maintain the peace of mind you deserve now and in the years ahead.

At Estate Planning and Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan and Associates we understand how important this is for your family and even provide a  complementary benefit for all members of Lifetime Protection Plan. If your child(or grandchild) is 18 years old,living at home, we will work with you and your child to get these documents ready so that your child and you are protected. Even if you are not a member of Lifetime Protection Plan, we will still help you get ready when your child is ready to go to college for a nominal fee because we believe it is vital to protect you and your family.

Contact us today at 800.964.4295 for more information or to register for the estate planning workshops. Visit our website at DSullivan.com.

Tags: college planning, healthcare proxy, HIPPA release

Estate Planning Tips for Your Aging Parents

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sun, Jul 28, 2019

P42.Sullivan.JulyBlog2 (1)As a child, you are likely accustomed to your parents protecting and shielding you from difficult situations. Unfortunately as you age, however, there will come a time when your parents are no longer here and it is important to plan ahead for that time as a family unit. One important step in accomplishing this is to discuss estate planning with your aging parents. To help you begin this difficult conversation, we want to share with you a few estate planning tips for your aging parents.

The first step is to discuss the needs of your aging parents and provide them with an opportunity to discuss their goals and concerns. Talking about finances, illnesses, and even death can be emotionally taxing. Ensure your aging parents that this conversation is in everyone’s best interest and is simply to ensure that all the necessary people are on the same page. It is important to approach this topic with sensitivity and to allow your parents time to express concerns, voice their opinions, and ask questions.

Second, it is important to discuss any pre-existing estate planning documents or long-term care plans your parents may already have. We encourage you to ask your parents whether they have created a will or trust, health care documents, or a durable power of attorney. If they have not created any of these documents yet, you may wish to make a plan as a family as to how you will proceed with creating the documents and the types of planning documents you need. Further, it is crucial that you ask your parents what their own wishes are for their long-term care planning. What are their goals? How can you help your parents accomplish those goals? Addressing these questions now will likely make it easier in the event of illness or incapacity.

Above all, encourage your parents to discuss their specific goals and needs with an experienced estate planning attorney who is familiar with the laws in their state. There are many different estate planning options available, some of which may fit your parent’s needs better than others. An estate planning attorney can present appropriate planning options, answer your parent’s questions, and propose strategies to help create your aging parents’ legacy.

We know this can be a particularly challenging conversation to have with your aging parents. Being proactive in creating an estate plan, however, is one of the most effective ways at providing both you and your aging parents with peace of mind. If you or your parents are ready to discuss your parent’s estate planning needs, do not wait to contact our office to set up an appointment.

Tags: Estate Planning, family, children

5 Tips to Keep Mom and Dad Safe During the Summer Months

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Mon, Jul 01, 2019

P42.Sullivan.JulyBlog1For millions of Americans, summertime is synonymous with outside activities: trips to the beach, visiting parks, and backyard barbecues. Did you know with rising summer temperatures, however, senior adults face elevated risks of heat-related health issues? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three main reasons why:

 

  1. Older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
  2. Seniors are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that change normal body responses to heat.
  3. Aging adults are more likely to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.

 

With this in mind, let us proactively share five tips for helping aging parents beat the heat this summer.

 

  1. Keep Them Cool. Staying cool doesn’t just mean staying inside in air conditioned spaces. It also means planning wisely. Rather than risk sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day, schedule appointments and outside excursions for early mornings or late evenings.

 

  1. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration. Consuming ample fluids is one of the best things seniors can do during the summer. Hotter temperatures cause sweating, and Older Americans may already have a reduced capacity to conserve water. Make sure senior loved ones are drinking water even if they don’t feel thirsty and help them plan to pack a water bottle when they leave the house during the summer months.

 

  1. Dress for Success. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothes can help keep intense sunlight from damaging skin and keep the body cool. Hats that shade head and neck areas are also important, as is proper footwear. Sandals and flip-flops may be enticing, but use caution as they can also present tripping hazards.

 

  1. Plan Inside Activities. There are plenty of rewarding indoor activities that won’t leave senior parents feeling like they’re missing out on summer fun. Museums, movies, libraries, theaters, and musical performances, are just a few exciting, and air conditioned, adventures.

 

  1. Check on Them Regularly. It’s always a good idea to check-in on aging parents, but all the more so during hot summer months. Make sure their living spaces are cool, and monitor their exposure to sunlight and heat. When possible, schedule a standing time to check-in during the week.

 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. There is never a wrong time to get the help your aging parents or you may need. We encourage you to reach out to us and schedule an appointment to ask your elder care questions. Whether it is this summer or throughout the year, we are here to help.

For more information on how to help your family attend one of our free Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Workshops

 

Tags: in-home care, Estate Planning, family, Summer

6 tips you and your loved ones need on how to plan forward to afford long-term care outside the home

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Jun 28, 2019

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None of us want to consider leaving our family home. This holds especially true as we consider the potential need to leave the home in order to secure the long-term care support we need as we age. Unfortunately, this is a reality that more and more Massachusetts seniors are facing. In fact, research tells us that over fifty percent of the seniors who turn 65 this year will need long-term care support during their lifetime.

We know this can be a difficult topic for you and your loved ones to discuss. When we begin to talk about long-term care needs, either immediately or in the future, the discussion raises a number of questions. We want to help you plan forward for this potential cost of care outside the home by sharing six tips you may not have yet considered. These are the same tips that we
tell our clients, friends, and family, as well as the professionals we work with on a daily basis.

1. Learn your options early. Not all long-term care is the same. Learn now, before you need it, what levels of care are as well as what is available in our local community.
2. Talk to your doctor about your future. Although none of us want to need long-term care in the future, it could become a reality for you and your loved ones. Discuss your options early with your primary doctor or specialists to determine if there is a type of care you are more likely to need in the future.
3. Update your estate planning. What will you do in a crisis? Have you named a decision maker who is able to act for you? Do not forget to ensure that your agent under your durable power of attorney not only has the ability to make long-term care decisions for you but can also engage in the planning you may need.
4. Learn what care costs in your community. Long-term care costs different amounts based on what you need. For example, in Massachusetts, the state average for an assisted living facility was $5,495 per month, while a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility cost $12,015; BUT in MetroWest Boston the prices are much higher, with assisted living facilities ranging costing upwards of $9,000 per month and nursing home rooms running $16,000 per month and higher.You can learn more about these average costs and learn more about your area in the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
5. Discuss your choices with your family. Do not leave your family in a position where they need to wonder about what you want for the future. Talk to them while you can about what you want for yourself.
6. Talk to your attorney and develop a plan. Your elder law attorney is uniquely positioned to be able to assist you in creating a plan that meets your needs. This can be done well in advance of a health care crisis, or during that crisis. What many do not realize, however, is that there are more options available when you choose to plan forward and not wait until an emergency.

We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. Discussing a future that may include the need for long-term care is never easy. We encourage you not to wait to contact us to schedule a meeting. For more information, you may also download a free preview of our book, Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty Reveals Little Known Secrets Seniors & Boomers Can Use to Save Hundreds of Thousands on Long-Term Care.

 

Tags: Nursing Home Costs, long term care

Tips to Prevent Elder Abuse in Honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Sat, Jun 08, 2019

 

Did you know that elder abuse impacts millions of Americans every year, and millions more across the globe? It is a reprehensible problem, and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Especially as our senior populations continue to grow both in Massachusetts and across the United States, and as life-expectancy rates increase, incidents of elder abuse can only be expected to rise.

One of the best ways to fight the growing epidemic, is to educate the public about the reality of elder abuse together with the risk factors and causes, and ways to prevent it. This is exactly what business like ours, governments, human rights organizations and many professionals are doing in association with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, let us share a list of tips with you to help prevent elder abuse from harming a loved one in your life right here in our blog:

 Educate senior members about elder abuse and make sure they know to report it immediately.

 If an aging loved one suffers from dementia or is unable to speak up for themselves, then actively pay close attention to signs of abuse and neglect.

  • Keep senior family members engaged in community activities and social groups. This can decrease isolation, and reduce their vulnerability to abuse.
  • Make sure an elder family member has a phone, or a way to communicate promptly.
  • Older Americans should not give out personal information on the internet or over the phone.
  • Obtaining a durable power of attorney allows for a trusted person, like an adult child, to make important decisions on the elder person’s behalf even when they are ill.
  • Know your rights. If an aging loved one lives in a nursing home, he or she has every right to contact a Long Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is the advocate and has the power to intervene.

If you suspect an elder loved one is the victim of abuse, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual harm, in addition to neglect and financial exploitation, do not wait to report it. You can click this link to learn how to report abuse in Massachusetts. We can only stop the epidemic of elder abuse by making an effort together to stop it. Do not wait to contact us with your questions on this or any elder care issues.

To learn more about Elder Law, Estate Planning and elder care issues attend one of our free discovery sessions. 

Tags: Elder Law, elder care journey, elder care, elder abuse

5 Care Tips to Help Out-of-Town Senior Loved Ones This National Older Americans Month

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, May 30, 2019

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National Older Americans Month began in 1963 and is now observed every May. At the time of its creation, about one-third of all American seniors lived in poverty, and there were few government programs to assist them. In fact, Medicare had not even been created. Thankfully, seniors are faring much better today and there are more abundant resources available to help them, although there is still much work to be done.

https://acl.gov/oam/2019/older-americans-month-2019

This month-long celebration involves honoring senior adults and the many ways they contribute to society and to the lives of others. National Older Americans Month also calls for communities and adult family members of older adults to get involved. What if, however, your senior loved one lives out of town? Let us share five tips to help you support them.

  1. Maintain Good Communication. Call often and visit as often as you can. Encourage other family members and friends to do the same. It is not just a nice thing to do, but regular communication helps prevent isolation, and can identify unmet needs. If your Older American does not like to have prolonged telephone conversations or has a hard time beginning them, consider trying some leading questions. For example, you could ask: “What’s on the agenda for this afternoon?” or “How was your appointment with Dr. Smith?”
  2. Keep a Caregiver Notebook. Create an online digital notebook of doctors, health providers, insurance agents, friends, neighbors, and other important contacts for an elder loved one. Do not wait to share it with other family members and your loved one. Be sure to let him or her know how valuable this can be and work with him or her if the technology side of this caregiver notebook is hard for him or her to use at first. After you become familiar with working together on this project, keeping an up-to-date online calendar can also be helpful.
  3. Enlist Local Support.  One way to hedge against emergencies is to develop relationships with key individuals who are in regular contact with an older family member. These people can include neighbors, care providers, doctors, support group members, and even church members. Try to develop a friendly, two-way communication along with developing a plan for communication in a crisis.
  4. Daily Assistance. Long distance relationships are difficult at any age. For out-of-town seniors, however, it is important to build up their care network in their community. Consider coordinating with various organizations and individuals to schedule frequent assistance, such as meal deliveries, driving to appointments, social visits, and check-ups from home health aides.
  5. Other Family Members. Keeping up with an out-of-town senior loved one can be a lot for any single person to handle. If possible, involve other family members to help with communication, health care, financial, and legal responsibilities. As a team, you can accomplish so much more than you can alone. This also will ensure you have a back-up in the event you take a vacation or are sick for a period of time.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. In our experience, planning forward to help Older Americans navigate the challenges they might face now or in the future is essential to ensure everyone has peace of mind. Do not wait to contact our practice and schedule an appointment to learn how we may work together to find the right solutions for you and your family.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people  protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We even provide a unique educational and counseling process so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

If you would like more information on Elder Law, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. By attending our workshop, you will also be entitle to more than $900 in valuable benefits, including your choice of books, DVDs and more! Call 800-964-4295 (24/7)

Tags: Elder Law, seniors

Elder Law or Estate Planning: What is the Difference?

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, May 23, 2019

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Do you know the difference between Estate Planning and Elder Law? Often, when a potential client comes to us, they are unaware that Estate Planning and Elder Law are two different practice areas. Understanding the difference between these two areas is crucial to determining the type of attorney you need to accomplish your goals and needs. We know it can be overwhelming to plan for the future, which is why we want to share with you a few of the key differences between Estate Planning and Elder Law to help prepare you for this challenging task.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the overarching term for the process of creating a plan for the distribution of your assets upon your death. A common misconception about Estate Planning is that only aging adults and seniors need to seek the guidance of an Estate Planning attorney. In reality, this is not true. Through Estate Planning, anybody, regardless of age, can create a plan to determine who will make decisions on your behalf in the event that incapacity occurs.

An Estate Planning attorney can also help create important legal documents, such as a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, and a Trust, to further your unique planning goals. These documents hold significant value, and should not be created without the advice of an experienced Estate Planning attorney.

 Elder Law

 Elder Law, while similar in some aspects, differs from Estate Planning as it mostly focuses on protecting you and your assets as you age. An Elder Law attorney, for example, can help you prepare for the rising costs of long-term care, as well as the protection of your assets should you choose to reside in an assisted living facility.

Also, an Elder Law attorney is likely to be more familiar with the challenges seniors face while aging than an Estate Planning attorney is. With this knowledge and experience, an Elder Law attorney can help determine your eligibility for certain benefits, such as Medicaid and VA benefits, and complete the application process for those benefits on your behalf.

 Planning ahead for aging or a time when you are no longer here can be overwhelming, but it is key for protecting your assets and your loved ones. Remember, we are here to help guide you through each step and can help you evaluate the best planning options for you and your family. If you are ready to discuss your legal planning needs, do not wait to contact our office.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

If you would like more information on Elder Law, or the impact of new health care laws on your health care coverage, request your free preview of our guide, the Senior & Boomers’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.  

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Tags: Elder Law

How to Approach an Elder Loved One When Family Caregiving Is No Longer Enough

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Fri, Apr 19, 2019

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Today, the vast majority of elder care services provided to tens of millions of American seniors are performed by close family members. It is hard work that often involves a myriad of sacrifices. Although we do not say it enough, family caregivers are truly unsung heroes.  

Sadly, there usually comes a time when even the most dedicated family caregivers are no longer able to provide the best level of care for their aging loved ones. Whether due to illnesses, like Alzheimer’s Disease, a debilitating injury, or as a result of aging, the demands of senior care may eventually surpass a family’s capacity to give.

This may be when it is time for outside assistance. Unfortunately, the transition can be difficult, especially for the older adult and the current caregiver. It is important for the entire family, however, to see the forest from the trees and maintain perspective. What is best for the elder adult should override all other considerations. Let us share several tips with you about how to break the news that a different form of caregiving is necessary.

Be Understanding.

The uncertainty of change can cause confusion and friction regardless of age. It is important to understand this about seniors, and empathize with them. If they are resistant, realize that there are likely complex emotions at play, such as fear, anger and  abandonment. It is also reasonable considering they are vulnerable and transitioning away from family and into the care of strangers.

Explain Why It Is Necessary.

Explain the benefits of outside care, and that accepting it will not just be good for them, but for the whole family. Explain that you both will need to compromise on some things. Do not make quick decisions and ask for their input on caregiving solutions.

 Do Not Take it Personally.

 It is easier said than done, but when an elder person lashes out, try not to react. Showing patience, focusing on the big picture, and picking your battles can help both of you feel in control and manage the stress for all involved as you guide them forward.

 Decide Together.

 No ultimatums are needed. Set up care options to address an aging parent’s needs, and allow them to test the waters in this new experience. Create options for caregiving when you can and ask them for feedback. Explore the benefits and drawbacks together.

 Finally, do not wait to contact an experienced elder care attorney for assistance. Attorneys in firms like ours are specially trained to be able to help families navigate these waters. Do not wait to ask us your questions and let us serve as a valuable resource for you in virtually all aspects of transitioning beyond family care.

Tags: in-home care, elder care journey, elder care, family, caregiver, care costs

Understanding the Correlation Between Dementia and Elder Abuse

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Tue, Apr 09, 2019

P42.Sullivan.Blog.April1Nearly every American family has been touched in some way by dementia, especially in its most common form of Alzheimer’s Disease. It cuts across every social and economic demographic, and currently affects more than five million Americans. What you may not know, however, is that dementia is also the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and has no known cure.

Unfortunately, recent research has revealed that there is an unsettling correlation between dementia and elder abuse. Elder abuse is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.'' It can include physical, emotional, or sexual harm, along with neglect and financial exploitation.

Similar to other types of abuse, victims may become confused, terrified and even embarrassed of the crime perpetrated against them. Seniors especially may often fear retaliation, either in the form of physical abuse, neglect, or isolation. This may cause them to attempt to keep their abusers from getting in trouble, which can be a particular problem when family members behave abusively.

Reports now show that there is an increased correlation between dementia and elder abuse. A few of the reasons why are that seniors with dementia are vulnerable because of impaired memory, communication skills, and judgment. They are also less likely to report abuse, and might not even be aware that abuse is happening. According to the University of California, Irvine Center on Elder Abuse and Neglect, nearly one in two aging adults with dementia has experienced some type of abuse.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop this cycle. It is important to know what to be on the lookout for when it comes to your loved ones. Let us present a few of the steps we share with our friends, family, and community on this critical topic.

 1. Know Your Rights. Every state has resources to help stop elder abuse and our state is no exception. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, “ Elder Abuse reports can be filed 24 hours a day either online or by phone at (800) 922-2275”. We encourage you to learn more on this website or ask us for more information, especially if you are concerned that an elder loved one with dementia is suffering from abuse.

2. Recognize the Warning Signs. Unexplained injuries, bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration are just a few of the telltale signs. Others may include suspicious caregiver behavior, and sudden adverse changes to an older person’s financial resources.

 3. Report, Report, Report. One of the most effective ways to combat elder abuse is to report it to agencies and authorities who can do something about it. Studies routinely show that elder abuse is chronically under-reported. Again, check out the website we referenced above for more information.

4. Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney creates the legal authority for a trusted family member or confidant to act on a senior’s behalf, it can even work when the senior is unable to make his or her decisions. This legal document needs to be obtained proactively and an experienced estate planning attorney can help you craft one that is right for your specific situation.

 We encourage you to ask us your questions. Whether you are concerned about how to manage a dementia diagnosis or are worried about the potential of elder abuse in the future, we want to help answer your questions. For more information on protecting yourself or a family member, attend a free, informational seminar. 

Tags: Elder Law, durable power of attorney, elder care, incapacity, elder abuse

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