As elder law attorneys, we are firmly committed to the well-being of senior citizens in our area. At this point in history, there are an unprecedented number of people attaining senior status, because the baby boomer generation is getting older.
A good barometer to use to understand how rapidly the population is aging would be to take a look at Social Security benefit applications. Depending on your year of birth, you are eligible for your full benefit when you are somewhere between 66 and 67 years of age.
The Social Security Administration has indicated that they are receiving around 10,000 to 15,000 applications for benefits every day. This has been going on for quite a while, and the high volume is going to persist for more than a decade.
One major elder law issue that really stands above all the others is the matter of long-term care and its potential financial impact on Cincinnati area families. A very significant percentage of people spend the latter portion of their lives in nursing homes, and these facilities are very expensive.
If you work and pay taxes for at least 10 years, you will qualify for Medicare as a source of health insurance when you are 65. Your spouse would be eligible as well, regardless of his or her work history, as long as you have met this requirement.
That’s the good news, but the bad news is that Medicare will not pay for nursing home care. Medicaid will pay for it, and this is why Medicaid planning is an elder law priority. However, rules are complicated and timing is important, so it is wise to discuss everything with an elder law attorney from our firm.
The other major elder law issue that threatens the oldest old is elder abuse. If you visit the National Council on Aging website, you can tap into some of the many resources that they offer along with information that is very useful for local seniors.
Unfortunately, there is elder physical abuse that can take place within private homes, nursing homes, adult day care facilities, etc. In addition to direct physical abuse, there are instances of neglect, emotional abuse, confinement, and willful deprivation.
It is a horrible thing to consider, but you should certainly be pragmatic about all possibilities when you are planning ahead for the events that may take place toward the end of your life. This also applies to the children of elderly parents.
The idea of a senior citizen being physically or emotionally abused is hard to accept, but there is yet another disturbing form of abuse that is a major problem in the form of financial exploitation. It is now widely considered to be a truly authentic and steadily growing health care crisis.
It is impossible for researchers to get a true understanding of the extent of the problem, because the vast majority of cases go unreported. There are a few reasons for this phenomenon. One of them is embarrassment, and another is the simple fact that an elder may not know that acts of abuse have occurred.
In other instances, the victims want to protect the perpetrators because they are family members and/or caregivers. A study has found that about $36.5 billion is lost annually, but once again, this is an estimate, so actual losses could be much higher.
Download Our Elder Law and Estate Planning Worksheet
We would like to invite you to download our eye-opening elder law and estate planning worksheet. It is being offered free of charge at the present time, and you can visit our worksheet access page to get all the details.
Schedule a Consultation With an Elder Law Attorney!
We are here to help if you would like to discuss these looming threats with
a licensed elder law lawyer, and virtual consultations are available. You can give
us a call at 513-721-1513 to set up an appointment, and if you would
rather send us a message, use the contact form on this website.