Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Ways You Can Plan for the Rising Costs of Long-Term Care

Posted by Dennis Sullivan & Associates on Thu, Jan 03, 2019

P42.Sullivan.Blog.Dec2

The New Year is here! For many of us this means creating New Year’s resolutions. Whether your goal is to spend more time improving your health, spending more time with family, or making changes in your job, it can be an exciting time to put a plan in place to create the future you want.

 As you think about the New Year, do not neglect thinking about your estate planning and elder law planning. Although many of the people we meet initially think these things are the same, nothing could be further from the truth. Estate planning contemplates the plan you need to provide for you and your loved ones in the event of your incapacity or death. Elder law planning, on the other hand, is planning for a potentially uncertain long-term care future.

 While we do not want you to forget to update your estate planning in the New Year and can help you do so with our Lifetime Protection Program, we want you to think about the elder care needs for you and your aging loved ones. The future is uncertain for all of us. It is important that we plan early and well for what it could hold for us. Unfortunately, long-term care is expensive and these costs continue to rise. Estate planning can be a great start but each of us should create a plan this year that covers a future that includes the need for long-term care.

 Where do you start? What type of plan do you need? Since Medicare will not pay for all of your custodial long-term care needs, how will you access much needed benefits? Let us provide some of the insight that we give our clients and their loved ones as they work with us to create a long-term care plan that can sustain them for the future.

       1. Find out what care costs in your state. Many of the Older Americans and their families                 that we speak with are shocked to learn the costs associated with long-term care.                       Further, they are also surprised to learn that Medicare will not pay for assisted living                   facilities or extended care in the home. Most families cannot afford theses costs on top               of their monthly expenses. We encourage you to not wait to learn the cost of care needs             right here in Massachusetts. You can take a look at the Genworth Costs of Care study to             learn more about costs of care.

  1. Evaluate your current home. Many seniors do not want to leave their homes. Although for most this may not be an option, this can become more of a possibility when the home is modified to consider the needs of the Older Americans. For example, are bathtubs slippery or hard to enter? Are lights easy to turn on and off? Are stairs becoming more difficult to manage? Consider speaking with a contractor who understands the needs of seniors for recommendations on how to make the home more appropriate for aging in place.
  1. Purchase long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance can help cover the costs of long-term care. From skilled nursing facilities to assisted living facilities to additional help in the home, there are different policies to help cover these expenses. While not all qualify, you may wish to speak with a long-term care insurance planner to determine if there is a plan for you or your loved ones available right now.
  1. Meet with an Elder Law Attorney. Your elder law attorney will be able to help you navigate this long-term maze. Knowing what you need and how to access it, together with the steps to take to access public benefits, are key to successfully planning for long-term care. Your elder law attorney can help you be prepared for your potential needs and how to prepare for the rising costs of long-term care in the future.

There is never a wrong time to start planning for long-term care planning.  In fact, this is why we wrote our book The Seniors and Boomers Guide to Healthcare Reform and Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty which you may download by clicking this link. We are here to help you and your loved ones create the planning you need for the future. Do not wait to contact our law office to schedule a meeting with us today.

 

Tags: Nursing Home Costs, Lifetime Protection Program, New Year's Resolutions, caregiver, in home, skillled care, care unit, long term care insurance, care costs

Massachusetts Alzheimer's Lawyer | How Beneficial is a Dementia Care Unit for Someone with Alzheimer's?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Fri, Feb 01, 2013

How Beneficial is a Dementia Care Unit for Someone with Alzheimer's?

As an Elder Law attorney, I get asked this question a lot. And I tell my clients that it can be very beneficial...if the unit is designed and staffed appropriately.

The goal of such a unit, of course, is to provide specialized care. Personnel should have specialized training for dementia. The unit itself should have smaller spaces, so patients don't feel overwhelmed. It should be a quieter environment, to prevent over-stimulation. It should be locked securely, as many Alzheimer's patients move around or pace.

I tell my clients to pay attention to the design of the unit at which they're looking. Good dementia units are designed to provide more specialized care and less stimulation. In fact, many no longer have intercoms or p.a. systems.

A dementia unit should also have its own Activities Director, who designs specialized programs. Staff are often trained in how to help the seniors participate and enjoy themselves more.

Your state's Department on Aging might provide you with a list of facilities in your area, or else point you toward the proper agency.

Another thing I tell my clients: Visit at least three facilities! Take a friend who can be objective. Then...

  • Meet the staff - and observe their interaction with the patients.
  • Is the facility clean? Are the grounds well-tended? (And secure??)
  • Ask to see their most recent state survey.
  • If the survey indicates deficiencies., what were they?
  • Were they addressed? How?

After speaking with the friend who accompanied you, make a list of pros and cons. AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!!

If you have a loved one with dementia, you'll be asking yourself new questions every day.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.comlawyer

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.

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, Attorney, care unit, Alzheimer's, Massachusetts, senior, dementia

Sign-Up Below To Receive Your Free Report

Follow Me

Browse by Tag



Follow DennisBSullivan on Twitter