As a Connecticut elder law firm, we are deeply committed to the interests of people who are entering their twilight years, and we also counsel their families. The most significant elder law issue that people are coping with at the present time is the matter of care giving. This is an area that is growing day by day, because the population is aging rapidly.
According to the United States Social Security Administration, 10,000 people are applying for their benefits daily. This is because of the aging of the baby boomer generation. These individuals were born between 1946 and 1964, so there will be unprecedented numbers of Americans attaining senior citizen status over the coming years.
In addition to the work that we do handling elder law issues, we also help people that are planning ahead for their retirement years. Without question, if you take all the right steps in advance, you can enjoy your spare time to the fullest. You can engage in activities that you love, like golf, traveling, and fine dining, and you can simply set about the task of crossing things off your bucket list.
During these active years, it can be hard for you and your family to imagine a time when you will not be able to take care of all of your day-to-day needs on your own. Unfortunately, the majority of seniors will need living assistance eventually. In fact, the figure is 70 percent according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Most senior citizens would prefer to receive the assistance that they need in their own homes, and this is often quite possible early on. The simple fact that it is more comfortable to live in familiar surroundings is part of the equation, but there are financial considerations as well. Assisted living facilities are exorbitantly expensive, and Medicare does not pay for living assistance.
The Sandwich Generation
Because of the demographic trend that we have been looking at here, there is an emerging phenomenon that is impacting a growing number of families. A lot of people in their 30s and 40s are facing some very heavy responsibilities from two different directions. Many of these individuals are providing assistance to aging parents while they simultaneously take care of their children. These people are part of the “sandwich generation,” and juggling these responsibilities can be quite challenging.
Clearly, you should understand everything that you can about the medical conditions that are present. Plus, medical professionals are not allowed to divulge information to anyone other than the patient under the HIPPA law. In light of this, a HIPPA release form should be signed by the patient that you are caring for so that you can communicate freely with doctors. A durable power of attorney for health care could be added as well to allow you to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient should incapacity strike.
It is important to accept your feelings when you are in this situation, because you may sometimes feel emotions that are not entirely positive. You should feel free to confide in people that you can trust, and you should definitely ask siblings, family friends, and other extended family members to chip in and help if you find the tasks to be overwhelming.
There are support groups that can be very useful for people who are providing care for aging parents. You can physically attend meetings in your area, and there are groups that stay in touch with each other online. It can be comforting to interact with family caregivers that are in the same position, and people that are participating in the groups also share practically useful, actionable information.
Medicaid Waiver Program
As we have stated, Medicare will not pay for living assistance, but Medicaid will help with these costs if you can qualify. There is a Medicaid waiver program that will provide financial assistance to pay for in-home care. This can be an option for your family if you are a weary caregiver, or if your loved one is in need of a level of care that you simply are not qualified to give. Though Medicaid is a program that is intended for people with limited resources, it is possible to plan ahead with future eligibility in mind.
Contact Our Firm
If you would like to discuss any matter that is of interest to seniors with one of our Connecticut elder law attorneys, we can be reached by phone at 860-548-1000.