The effects of aging can seem to progress slowly, or it can seem to totally sneak up on families. An elderly mom or dad can seem fine one day, and mentally or physically challenged the next. It’s tough to know when it’s time for more care. Many elder care advocates say there are signs to watch for so you know when it’s time to think about assisted living or even a nursing home.
A Place for Mom outlines things to watch for:
- The house and yard need care / maintenance
- Disheveled clothing
- Broken appliances
- Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
- Spoiled / expired groceries that don’t get thrown away
- Poor personal hygiene
- Cluttered, dirty and/or disorganized house
- Depressed or low energy temperament
- Unexplained bruising
- Trouble getting up from a seated position
- Missing important appointments
- Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks
- Poor diet or weight loss
- Late payment notices, bounced checks and calls from collections
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Forgetting to take medications
- Unexplained dents or scratches on car
If health or happiness seems to be compromised, it’s time to have a conversation and address problems, whether it’s finding in-home care, a retirement community or a senior living community. It’s important to find the right care options for each unique family situation and financial means. Nursing home and assisted living facilities can be expensive, and Medicare doesn’t cover it. Medicaid can come some care expenses, but only if a person qualifies.
For some – those who have assets worth $300,000 to $500,000 above and beyond the value of their homes — long-term care insurance can be a safety net safety net rather than as a financial investment, especially if the policy includes coverage for assisted living facilities.
As soon as possible, think about long-term care planning. Families who have not sought long-term care insurance should consider meeting with an experienced elder care attorney. The laws, regulations and policies for Medicare and Medicaid programs are ever changing and complicated. code. An elder care attorney can help you come up with an asset protection plan and determine the steps most appropriate for your elderly loved one.
Our experienced and trusted estate planning attorneys have been serving Treasure Coast families for decades, and Michael Fowler is one of only nine attorneys in the state of Florida who is double board-certified in wills trusts and estates and in elder law. Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.