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Archive for the ‘Senior Resources’ Category

In April, 2010 the new Michigan Trust Code became the law in Michigan.  Why the need for a new law regarding trusts.

First, Michigan has a comprehensive set of laws regarding wills that went into effect in 1998 (the “Estates and Protected Individuals Code” or “EPIC”).  However, trusts (especially the revocable living trusts) were becoming very common.  People like trust since they permit their owners to avoid probate, reduce taxes, create greater confidentiality, flexibility and reduce contestability.  Therefore, a similar comprehensive body of law was needed for the vast and burgeoning area of trusts. (more…)

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On March 21, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) became law. Some provisions of the new health care bill signed by President Obama will directly benefit senior citizens.

First, there is a new federal long-term care insurance program that can help meet the staggering cost of long-term care.  This part of the new law is called the “Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act” or the “CLASS” Act.  This federal insurance provides up to fifty dollars ($50.00) per day (approximately $1500 per month) for persons to use when they need help with the activities of daily living. (more…)

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The Social Security Administration has recently announced that they have added early-onset Alzheimer’s to the list of conditions under its “Compassionate Allowance Initiative”. This is a great help for those younger persons afflicted with this debilitating disease, giving them expedited access to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

In the past, people with early-onset Alzheimer’s have had difficulty when applying for Social Security benefits.  While they may have eventually been able to receive the much-needed benefits, it was usually after first being denied and having to file an appeal. This process could take several years, during which time medical care and other necessities were often compromised. (more…)

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It is not uncommon to have family members provide care for their aging parents or relatives.  This is understandable when one considers that most people would be more comfortable with their own family than with a stranger providing assistance with their activities of daily living. In fact, according to a recent study, about 21% of the population provides such family care.  These generous persons provide an average of 21 hours per week over a period of 4.5 years.

One problem with this approach, however, is that family caregivers are often forced to cut back on their employment or even quit their jobs in order to provide for their parents.  Especially in a difficult economy this can create financial hardship for the caregiver and that person’s immediate family.  Hence, many persons ask if there are any government programs that will pay family caregivers to provide care for their loved ones. (more…)

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It is becoming increasingly common for family members to provide care to a loved one from a distance.  This is an inevitable result of the shift from the days when families were multigenerational in the same area (or sometimes the same house!) to the modern trend where the family members are distant from one another.  Hence, it is not uncommon to find a child from a different area or state being responsible for an aging parent or parents.

With the distance approach, however, comes a unique set of problems.  The distant caregiver cannot generally take the proper amount of time to care for the loved one. This is especially true as the care needs increase over time.  The caregiver increasingly relies upon telephone contact with medical and other professionals to meet the needs of the loved one. (more…)

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In the past I have discussed various ways of paying for home care though the Veteran’s programs and private pay.  In this post I will discuss how and under what conditions Medicaid will pay for long-term care services provided in a person’s home.

While senior citizens usually think of Medicaid as a program that helps pay for nursing home care, there is the option of having Medicaid pay for care in the home.  The Medicaid program that handles home care is called the “MI Choice Waiver Program.”  It provides home and community-based services for aged and disabled persons who, if they did not receive such services, would require care in a nursing home. 

The MI Choice Waiver Program is administered by various branches of the Area Agency on Aging.  A list of the branch offices and the counties they serve can be found at: http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/pem/106.pdf. (more…)

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In today’s day and age advances in medicine have permitted us to extend and preserve life more than ever before.  However, for most that means that there is a period of time — especially as we age — when we will live with a disability.  Thus, there needs to be a way of appointing someone to help us with legal and financial decisions when we are not able.  This is especially important when long-term care costs threaten to drain an estate that could be saved with the proper grant of authority.   

A “power of attorney” is the most common way of appointing someone to help with important legal and financial decisions.  It is a written document wherein one can appoint someone to handle some or all of their legal and financial affairs.  The document is based on agency law.  You (the one appointing) are called the “principal” and the one appointed is called the “agent”.   (more…)

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