There are few things worse than hearing a parent has Alzheimer’s disease or is in an early form of dementia. Suddenly, no matter how carefully we planned for the day that Mom would need us more than we’ve ever needed her, it just feels like the bottom’s dropped out. We go into survival mode and begin thinking of how Mom would do in our home, maybe she’d be more comfortable in a sibling’s home or perhaps a nursing home might be needed at some point. Medicaid is almost always part of the thought process and with it, worries about the costs associated with caring for her properly. Eventually, we transition to other insurance, including life insurance. If your head’s not spinning, you’ll likely begin to wonder how life insurance, Medicaid and Alzheimer’s will work together seamlessly in an effort to care for your loved one.
Medicaid and Alzheimer’s
Medicaid is designed to assist those with few assets and low income. With such a devastating diagnosis as Alzheimer’s or dementia, it often means assets are quickly dissipated. Brace yourself, you’re about to learn far more about Medicaid and Alzheimer’s than you imagine.
Reports show that middle class families have the most to lose when applying for Medicaid, especially if a family member has Alzheimer’s or dementia. Mom or Dad may have a strong wish to pass on a financial legacy to the family, but paying for long term care will quickly eliminate those assets. That’s one reason why the assistance of a Medicaid lawyer is so important. An experienced legal advocate can help guide you through the process.
Without careful planning, your family member’s Medicaid spend down will erode any wealth that your family member has acquired. It’s difficult to come to terms with that reality, especially if you’re an adult child and remember seeing your parents work for years to cover their retirement and leave something for their family. Our Ohio estate planning lawyers can show you ways that can protect much of what they’ve worked for.
A Medical Perspective
Alzheimer’s disease is a brutal shock for any family. We don’t understand much about this disease and because of that, we’re limited in how treatments are developed. Even when a loved one is surrounded by excellent medical professionals and a strong family support system, what we don’t know can make it hard to prepare for the future.
Now that you know what you and your family are facing, you have to deal with the legal and financial considerations. Does your loved one already have Medicaid? Private insurance? What about an estate plan or a living will? A medical power of attorney as well as a financial power of attorney should be put into place as soon as possible and again, now’s the time to involve your loved one’s elder care lawyer.
This is important since you might learn of wishes your loved one hadn’t voiced to you over the years. Not only that, but if there are dynamics that have been put into place, you’ll want to honor those wishes. Don’t forget that if these documents are put into place well after the diagnosis, an upset family member could contest a will or any trusts that are established.
Medicaid and Elder Planning
Speak with the attorney about Medicaid planning, as well. There have been many changes and even more are anticipated as we continue to implement the new health care laws that are already being put to the test. We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about options you may not know you have.