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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) - What they are, who may use one, and how to get an ESA.

May is Mental Health Awareness month.  This week’s blog touches on one resource for not only elderly and disabled companionship and mental health, but a resource for any one struggling with mental health issues; Emotional Support Animals (ESA).

What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?  You know about the peacock. The squirrel. The duck, in fancy clothes with the ridiculous name.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Maximizing Social Security Survivor's Benefits

Social Security survivor's benefits provide a safety net to widows and widowers. But to get the most out of the benefit, you need to know the right time to claim. 

While you can claim survivor's benefits as early as age 60, if you claim benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits will be permanently reduced. If you claim benefits at your full retirement age, you will receive 100 percent of your spouse's benefit or, if your spouse died before collecting benefits, 100 percent of what your spouse's benefit would have been at full retirement age. Unlike with retirement benefits, delaying survivor's benefits longer than your full retirement age will not increase the benefit.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Assisted Living – Part II: Questions to ask when selecting a facility and the financial aspect of living in an assisted living community.

            On March 14th our blog, “Assisted Living – Part I:  What is Assisted Living and how do I decide if it is the right move for me or my loved one?” discussed what an assisted living community is and gave five strategies for talking about and determining whether assisted living is right for you or your loved one.  In follow-up, today’s blog will present items to consider and questions to ask when selecting an assisted living facility.  We will also discuss how to plan for the financial aspect of an assisted living facility.

            By 2030, 20 percent of U.S.
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Assisted Living – Part I: What is Assisted Living and how do I decide if it is the right move for me or my loved one?

In our previous blog on February 25th, we addressed how to “Age in Place” and how to safely remain at home during retirement and as one ages.  However, for many older adults, advancing age means they will face a time when living alone is no longer feasible.  Certain aspects of daily living become more challenging, and finding that you need assistance to do things like caring for your home and yourself, may mean that it is time to consider moving into an assisted living facility. 

            What does assisted living mean?  Depending on the state and the individual facility, assisted living can mean different things and it may go by other names, but the concept of assisted living is simply that:  Older adults move to a facility where they can receive assistance with the daily tasks of living.  Assisted living facilities offer some level of care or assistance to older adults who are unable to manage these tasks of living on their own, such as cooking, bathing or toileting.
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Friday, March 1, 2019

Elder Law Attorneys: Not Just for Old People

I am proud to tell people that I work in the field of elder law.  It is incredibly humbling and enlightening to work with our clients who have been around for decades longer than I have.  Even though clients come to our office seeking our advice in preparing for the final years of their lives, I always come away from our meetings having gained a new perspective or having learned something I never knew before.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Aging in Place - How to Help Your Loved One Remain in Their Home Safely

An estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 in the U.S. every day and at that rate the retirement population is projected to nearly double by 2030 with the number of adults aged 65-74 growing to nearly 73-million. If you figure in adults aged 50 and over, that statistic grows to 132-million. So where will this exploding population of retirees spend their golden years?

According a recent AARP survey, 73-percent of people over 45 plan to retire in their current residence as opposed to a nursing home or other institution.
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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, 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.
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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.
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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 . . .

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