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Posts Tagged ‘care’

SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES OFTEN FAIL TO MEET CARE PLANNING AND DISCHARGE PLANNING REQUIREMENTS

The Department of Health and Human Services finds– nursing homes across the Nation are not meeting regulations. An investigation found nearly half of all facilities are not meeting care requirements. So, it begs the questions– how can you make sure your elderly loved ones are safe? For instance, at the Quail Creek Nursing and Rehab Center. Workers were caught on camera, abusing a patient– slapping her in the face with latex gloves and shoving them in her mouth. Whether you choose in-home care or a nursing facility, ask questions that will help you find the safest option: Ask about hiring…

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As Congress and the President debate putting limits on Medicare and Medicaid, new restrictions are also being placed on Veterans benefits.

Recently, the VA has changed its policy in a way that limits the pension awards available to veterans who are receiving care in senior and independent living facilities. Issued as a “clarification” of policy, VA Fast Letter 12-23 limits the unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs) that may be deducted from income for pension purposes – specifically in regard to the cost of room and board at a facility.  Fast Letter 12-23 discusses the circumstances under which the cost of room and board paid to senior or independent living facilities will be treated as a UME. It suggests that in some past…

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Making Prescription Drugs Affordable

In the past, as many as one in four seniors went without a prescription every year because they couldn’t afford it. To help these seniors, the law provides relief for people in the donut hole – the ones with the highest prescription drug costs. In 2010 and 2011, over 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved over $3.1 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Affordable Care Act. These savings include a one-time $250 rebate check to seniors who fell into the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” in 2010, and a 50 percent…

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Why You Shouldn’t Walk into the Medicaid Office Alone

I’ve written before about the dangers of filing a Medicaid application yourself, without any idea of how the Medicaid rules work. But, in the past month we have had a rash of calls from folks who did just that and ended up with Medicaid penalties – months of Medicaid ineligibility and no way to pay for care. It’s a disturbing trend but it can’t be ignored. The state is taking longer to decide Medicaid applications and is scrutinizing them more than ever. Why? Because it just doesn’t have the money to pay for care. If it can find transfers and…

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Providing Care Services and Being Paid By Your Parents?

    If you are providing care for your aging parent, and they are paying for your services, beware of the consequences. Medicaid, my treat the transfer of funds, from your parent to you, as a gift. Therefore, if your parents apply for Medicaid, to pay for the nursing home, they may be denied due to gifting.     To prevent Medicaid from treating payments to family members as a gift, there must be a written, contract between the parties. This “care contract” must be in place before the work is performed and must specify the services and amount to be paid. The…

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End of Life Studies Regarding Costs and Advance Directives

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that in regions of the U.S. that tend to spend the most on end-of-life care, patients who have "advance directives" cost Medicare about $5,600 less per person.  (Advance directives allow patients to communicate their end-of-life wishes if they are unable to do so themselves.)  These patients' quality of life also appeared to be better; they were more likely to receive hospice care and to be at home when they died. But the differences in spending and care did not hold up in regions of the country with low-…

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Should You Hire an Elder Care Attorney?

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and requires assistance throughout the day, the spouse and adult children are faced with two choices. First, if you wish to keep that person well cared for in the home; Join the ranks of the 65 million family caregivers in this country and become a full-time caregiver. Or else hire a home-care aide to help with the many tasks throughout the day and night, from bathing and dressing to preparing food and doing housework and laundry.  Since each of these options has its own drawbacks, many concerned people, especially those who…

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Seniors who are facing changes in their health and mental abilities face several important legal and financial decisions.

They need to plan how to protect their savings and other assets as the cost of their care increases. They need legal strategies to make sure their estate does not get taxed more than it needs to. And they need to appoint a responsible spokesperson to act on their behalf if they become no longer able to do so themselves. While these decisions can certainly be made with the help of friends, books and Internet forms, it’s also a good idea to consider talking with an eldercare attorney. An eldercare attorney listens to you and your wishes, and helps you…

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Is An Assisted Living Facility Right For You Or Your Parents?

The idea of Assisted Living is tremendously appealing – an older individual receiving necessary care and services in a home-like environment, while retaining choice and autonomy. Most Assisted Living facilities are licensed to care for residents only up to a particular need of care.  A generic multi-level system might designate three levels: low, moderate and high.  When a resident has low care needs, the resident may reside at any type of Assisted Living facility.  When the resident's care needs reach the moderate level, the resident is allowed to reside only at a facility licensed for moderate or high care needs. …

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What does Good Nursing Home Care Looks Like?

If you have to admit your aging parent or a loved one into a nursing home due to a long-term illness you wish, hope and expect, that they will receive good care. However, what is good long-term care look like? An article published in the New York Times attempts to describe some of the characteristics of good care in nursing homes: Staff members who are well-trained in gerontology Sufficient aides to help patients with activities like feeding Caring and respect devoted to each resident by facility personnel Staff who receive sufficient supervision from managers Medical attention by doctors and skilled…

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