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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Power of Words: Elderspeak


As an elder law attorney, I am fortunate to work with people who range in age from younger than I am to almost as old as my grandmother, who was 101¾ when she died!  One of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to hear stories from people who were adults before I was even born – I am always learning something new or gaining a new perspective. 

I also work with many people who have had to step into the role of caregiver for their elderly parents or relatives, and I helped my mother and her sisters as they cared for my grandmother in her home.  We often took note of the difficult role reversal everyone experienced as my grandma’s children and grandchildren began to take care of her as she took care of us when we were young.  My grandmother was hard of hearing, and as she aged she lost her vision.  In the last decade or so of her life, she needed help eating, dressing, keeping her house clean, and moving around.


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Seven Winter Safety Tips for Seniors and Caregivers


            As Indiana begins to see the start to a frigid and snowy winter, we want to bring you a list of items to help you, your loved ones, and caregivers to be safe this winter.  Our list provides seven items to use as a checklist and reminders of how to maintain safety during the winter months.

  1. Food and Medicine

    While grocery shopping for essentials is important, also make sure that your loved one is getting a balanced diet during the winter months and that they have plenty of food and water to last five to seven days.  Many people eat a smaller variety of foods during the winter months which can lend itself to nutritional deficits.  Ensuring that pantry and fridge are stocked with varied foods, such as those fortified in Vitamin D like milk, grains, salmon and tuna, help with varying their diet and avoiding nutritional deficits.
    Read more . . .


Friday, January 4, 2019

Taking against the will: your Last Will and Testament may not be the last word on your probate estate


Most people are confident that their Last Will and Testament is the last word on how their probate estate will be distributed after they have died, and in most cases, they are probably right.  However, if you are married, Indiana law dictates how much of your estate your spouse is entitled to receive upon your death, regardless of what your Last Will and Testament says.  It is important for people who are married (and for people who are planning to get married) to understand how this law works and what they can do to ensure that their wishes can be carried out.

Here’s a basic overview of the law.  Read more . . .


Friday, December 28, 2018

Caregiver Checklist for Assisting Your Loved One to Their Doctor Appointment


Is taking a senior loved one to the doctor one of your hallmark caregiver duties? In addition to medication management and financial assistance, providing transportation to and from the doctor (as well as specialists, lab work, etc) is one of the most common tasks caregivers help with. 

There are many benefits to attending a doctor’s appointment with your loved one including:

  • Getting the most up-to-date information regarding health conditions, preventative screenings, medications, etc.
  • Allowing you to voice questions and concerns in person with medical staff and get answers right away
  • Simplifying the process of having the doctor refill a prescription or write an order for a new one
  • Giving you the chance to schedule future appointments that work with your’s and your loved one’s schedule

    The truth is, however, that doctor’s appointments can be overwhelming undertakings, especially if your loved one is ill (which is why you are seeing the doctor in the first place) or if they have a disability. Transferring in and out of the car can take extra time and effort as can remembering to pack everything for you both need (i.e.
    Read more . . .


Monday, December 24, 2018

Understanding Medicare's Hospice Benefit


Medicare's hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare's most comprehensive benefits and can be extremely helpful to both the terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead of time may help Medicare beneficiaries and their families make the difficult decision to choose hospice if the time comes.

The focus of hospice is palliative care, which means helping people who are terminally ill and their families maintain their quality of life. Palliative care addresses physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs while also supporting the terminally ill individual's independence, access to information, and ability to make choices about health care.
Read more . . .


Friday, December 14, 2018

Winter Activities for Seniors that Warm the Heart


Are you on the lookout for ideas to keep your loved one active during these cold, wintry months? Depending on their mobility and health condition, the idea of staying active during months of snow, ice and cold weather can seem daunting. Listed are some ideas that can not only help seniors but just about anyone get through hard winter months.

1. Cook together                                

Making a delicious, hot meal with your parent or spouse has surprising, heartwarming benefits. Not only can you spend time together actively doing something, but the act of reading recipes, measuring, setting timers and cooking is great stimulation for the brain and helps fight cognitive decline and memory loss.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 30, 2018

How to determine if a Care Manager is right for you and your loved one


As our loved ones age we are often faced with the unknown of the next steps and how to give them the best care possible.  Many are faced with navigating the when and how while trying to still maintain their own responsibilities.  There are several resources to assist you in navigating these difficult decisions and finding the balance between taking care of your loved one and your personal affairs.  Severns & Howard can assist with the legal aspects in establishing an estate plan that provides your loved ones with the tools needed to forge through the issues that most likely will arise as you age.  However, we can also assist you with finding other resources such as an in-home caregivers, facilities, financial advisors, realtors, someone to help clean out properties, and care managers.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! A great time to talk to your family about estate planning.


It's the Friday after Thanksgiving.  You have probably hit the point at which you are recovering from your Black Friday shopping, debating whether ordering pizza is preferable to eating yet another leftover turkey sandwich, or consulting the TV guide to find out when the next football game is on.

 Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for many families to talk about estate planning.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 16, 2018

Thanksgiving Activities for Loved Ones in Assisted Living


The holiday season is upon us and brings with it numerous opportunities for turning typical days at your community into seasonal experiences. While some may go to the homes of their family, many seniors will stay in the nursing homes missing traditions they used to share with their loved ones.

Preparing for this day is important so as to ensure that seniors enjoy their stay and give them an opportunity to give thanks for the great things that have happened in their lives.

1. Set up a gratitude tree.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Veterans Day


As a daughter of a retired Army Veteran and a sister of two retired Air Force Veterans, it is no wonder that I have a soft spot for our men and women who serve in our military.  This Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day and for this week’s blog I thought I would provide a little history on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is the day in which we thank and show our appreciation to the men and women who serve or have served in the military whether in war time or peace time. 

Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day which was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, in recognition to the end of World War One on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am.   In 1954 President Eisenhower made November 11th the official observance of Veterans Day which would recognize all wars and not just World War One.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 2, 2018

How to Choose the Right Medicare Plans During Open Enrollment


Most people fill Medicare’s coverage gaps by buying a Medicare supplement (medigap) plan and a Part D prescription-drug plan, or they get both medical and drug coverage from a private insurer with a Medicare Advantage plan. You have from October 15 to December 7 each year to pick a Medicare Part D prescription-drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan for the year ahead. You can switch from one Part D plan to another, or from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can also switch into a Medicare Advantage plan. However, if you have Medicare Advantage and want to switch to a medigap plan plus a Part D plan, you may have Read more . . .


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