News

The Fiduciary Rule. What it is, why it matters, and why the Government will no longer be enforcing it

On March 15, 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Labor Department acted outside of its authority by creating the fiduciary rule and no longer has authority to enforce this Obama-era protection for retirement savers.

Medicare and Medicaid: Unlocking the Mystery

Medicare and Medicaid have long been a mystery to many consumers. In fact, it can baffle and confuse even some of the smartest citizens. Like me, you might have thought, “I don’t need to worry about this right now.” However, it is never too early to gain a little understanding and awareness that just might help you help an aging loved one or yourself down the road. As the saying goes, “Time flies.”, and you will be there sooner than you think. Let’s break it down and learn some of the differences and basics of Medicare and Medicaid to unlock the mystery.

New Law Expands Benefits for Chronically Ill Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries

Congress expanded benefits for Medicare recipients with chronic conditions in its latest budget bill. The law gives some Medicare plans the option of covering certain non-medical benefits and also increases telehealth services.

Medicare Extends Deadline for Relief from Part B Penalties

Medicare is extending its offer of relief from penalties for certain Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Part A and had coverage through the individual marketplace. Beneficiaries who qualify will be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty for late enrollment if they enroll by September 30, 2018.

Lawsuit Alleges Assisted Living Facilities Discriminate Against Wheelchair Users

A lawsuit in New York state highlights an issue with some assisted living facilities: No wheelchairs allowed. The lawsuit claims that state regulations and facility policies discriminate against residents and potential residents who use wheelchairs.

Will Small Gifts Really Disqualify My Mother from Medicaid?

Someone told my mom to stop giving monetary gifts to her family -- even for very small amounts. She wants to be able to give her grandchildren between $25 to $50 for holidays and special events like weddings or graduations. Will amounts that small really disqualify her from Medicaid or cause her to be penalized? What if she buys gift cards or tangible gifts? Will Medicaid really penalize for this as well?

Life After A Dementia Diagnosis

Many elderly people who are diagnosed with dementia are unprepared for future care. Once this type of diagnosis is received, preparing for the future can no longer be avoided. If you or someone you love has received a dementia diagnosis, begin immediately to discuss and seek guidance for future care. For help in implementing the steps that need to be taken and for developing a plan, seek the guidance of an elder law attorney.

Senior Living Trends in 2018 and Beyond

Markets driven by the consumerism of the baby boom generation are changing senior living, and there are more options available than ever before. Medical and technological advancements and a shift to a more customized, individual lifestyle preference are leading the way for seniors to age more securely and comfortably. Senior communities are looking less like institutions and more like homes. Infusing technology with medical support in assisting seniors is a giant step forward in reshaping the way people provide care and when necessary intervention.

Financial Elder Abuse: Awareness and Prevention

Elder financial abuse has been a growing problem of the past decade. The financial exploitation of older or vulnerable adults can take many different forms. This portion of the population can be exploited by strangers of professionals who deal with their assets, and even trusted family members and friends. It is a problem to which a solution has been difficult to find because many exploited people are ashamed that they were able to be taken advantage of and therein do not report the crimes. Unfortunately, this type of abuse not only affects the finances of the victim, but also their mental and physical well-being. Let’s take a look at the types of financial elder abuse and some measures that can be and are being taking to prevent this type of abuse.

Senior Living Trends in 2018 and Beyond

Markets driven by the consumerism of the baby boom generation are changing senior living, and there are more options available than ever before. Medical and technological advancements and a shift to a more customized, individual lifestyle preference are leading the way for seniors to age more securely and comfortably. Senior communities are looking less like institutions and more like homes. Infusing technology with medical support in assisting seniors is a giant step forward in reshaping the way people provide care and when necessary intervention.

Drugging Our Elderly?

What if you found out that your elderly loved one was given a prescription drug not because they medically needed it, but instead to control “unruly” behavior? Are nursing homes drugging our elderly in order to suppress and control residents with dementia? Several recent reports may indicate that the prescription drug Neudexta is being used for such purpose.

Spoon-feeding and Hydration: What are Your Wishes?

By now, many of us have witnessed the slow and dehumanizing death by Alzheimer’s of friends and loved ones. In the final stages of this and other dementia diseases, there comes a time when the person can no longer speak, recognize loved ones, or move purposefully.

Help for Seniors Who Fall Victim to Abuse

In October 2017, President Trump signed into law the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. This bill was designed to combat the growing epidemic of the elderly being taken advantage of financially and abused physically. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging indicates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Although, this number is likely higher according to another study which estimates only 1 in 14 elder abuse cases are reported. Financial abuse is more likely to be reported than emotional or physical abuse. The costs of elder abuse are steep. Elders who are victims of abuse have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been abused. Elder financial abuse costs senior citizens an estimated $36.5 billion per year.

4 Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease on Families

Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that not only affects the individual diagnosed but also the individual’s family. Family members can be affected in many ways by Alzheimer’s disease. The most important thing for families to remember during this very difficult season of life is to stick together and to support one another.

Care Options for Adults with Special Needs

There are numerous care options available for adult with special needs. The options available range for those with special needs who are able to be more independent to those who need advanced medical care. It is important to match the person’s needs and desires with the best possible living option or combination of options.

Why a Guardianship and How to Avoid It

What is a guardianship?A guardianship is usually defined as a protective legal proceeding for someone who is incapacitated and unable to manage his/her own affairs. Incapacitated means that the elder is no longer able to receive and evaluate information and communicate decisions. This usually applies to the ability to make financial decisions or care-related decisions.

How Will a Back Payment From the VA Affect a Nursing Home Resident's Medicaid Benefits?

A family member in a nursing home has Medicaid pending. He was clearly qualified, but last week he became eligible for service-connected Agent Orange payments from the Veterans Administration with a back payment (of about $17,000) to June.

Identity Fraud Targeting the Elderly

The largest coordinated sweep of identity fraud involving US seniors has recently been conducted. The US Department of Justice has reported that more than one million elderly people have collectively lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of this targeted financial abuse. The Department has criminally charged 200 out of 250 defendants identified in the sweep. These third party scam artists account for 27% of seniors who are financially exploited.

Respite Care Options for Caregivers

Respite care is substitute care when a caregiver needs a break. If possible, these breaks should be scheduled regularly, giving the caregiver time to rest. It can be for a short period like a day or a few hours or for the purpose of giving the caregiver a vacation. Respite care is often overlooked. However, this type of care should be carefully considered when a family member makes the decision to become a caregiver for a loved one or when hiring a full-time caregiver for a senior. The emotional and physical stress of caregiving can cause illness, depression, and burnout. Many families focus only the details of caregiving and respite care is forgotten. Let’s look at some options for respite care that may help your family better plan for the caregiver and ultimately your loved one.

3 Reasons Veterans Should Have a Professional Advocate

The number of sad stories of veterans’ benefits getting tied up in the system is not only sad but startling. A quick internet search can lead to story after story of veterans who have struggled to receive the benefits that are owed to them. Robert DiCicco spent his final years battling through the red tape to get his benefits and pay for the bills to his assisted living facility.