According to the US Census Bureau, over 14 percent of the US population is over the age of 65 in 2014, and more than 7,000 cross that threshold every day. As the baby boomer population ages, the issues specific to elder assistance and advocacy will become increasingly important. A San Jose elder attorney explains this in greater detail below.
The inevitabilities of aging require a plan that will address changing needs. Of course, not every individual will follow the same life path, but, as a San Jose elder lawyer emphasizes, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality.
Costs of Long-term Care
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, over 70 percent of individuals who reach age 65 will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. The costs for care in a nursing home, in an assisted living facility or for receiving assistance while living at home can run anywhere from $4000 to over $8000 per month. Few people have the resources to handle that burden for long.
Although most people qualify for Medicare, it only pays for 100 days of convalescent care and does not pay for custodial care. Medicaid is an alternative, but there are asset and income limitations. An elder lawyer can help by positioning an individual’s assets so that they qualify for the maximum benefits Medicare and Medicaid allow.
It is important to plan for a time when age will prevent the ability to make decisions for oneself. A comprehensive estate plan that an elder attorney can create will contain documents known as durable powers of attorney. One can be executed for business and financial decisions and one for healthcare options, which is also known as an Advance Health Care Directive.
Sadly, instances of elder abuse are on the rise. Although many people think of elder abuse as physical in nature, it may also be financial or mental as well. Often the deprivation of care that an elder person cannot provide for themselves is abusive.
Improper nursing home care often goes unreported. According to the Senate Committee on Aging, only 16 percent of abusive situations are referred for assistance. An elder attorney can explain how the family of the nursing home resident can be their loved one’s advocate and what signs of abuse to look for.
Contact a San Jose Elder Attorney for Legal Advice
The elderly are among the most vulnerable among us. For any questions regarding care or planning considerations, call Lori Costanzo at 408-993-8493.