Category Archives: Aging

How Americans Die

Have you ever wondered how Americans die?  Back in the 1900‘s the average life expectancy was under 50 years of age. By 2010, the life expectancy increased to just under 80 years of age which made me start to wonder: What is causing Americans to die in this day and age?

 

    An interactive graph on Bloomberg.com (http://www.bloomberg.com/dataview/2014-04-17/how-americans-die.html) depicts how some Americans die. One key point I found interesting is the mortality rate for people aged 25-44. From the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s, AIDS was the main cause, which at its peak, killed more then 40,000 Americans a year. Slowing infection rates and better treatment eventually allowed many of those with the virus to survive into their 50s and 60s. 

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    Another interesting statistic is that in general, most Americans are living longer and dying of natural causes. About one-third of all deaths are people 85 and older. The downside to living so long though is that it dramatically increases the odds of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. The rise of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia has had a big impact on health-care costs because these diseases kill their victims slowly thereby causing an increased drain. In fact, about 40 percent of the total increase in Medicare spending since 2011 can be attributed to greater spending on Alzheimer’s treatment.  

 

    Overall, the share of U.S. health-care spending going toward nursing and retirement homes has declined slightly since 2000 and has remained flat since 2006. 

 

    With Americans living longer, it makes me, a 33 year old, start to worry about the future and what’s going to happen when I reach retirement age. Will I have enough money to get me to the end of my life? Working at an estate planning and elder law firm has really opened my eyes. It’s never too late or too early to start planning for the future! If you’ve been putting off planning for your future, we would love to meet with you and create a custom plan to make sure you have your assets protected throughout your life and at your death.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

If my mom is making really bad financial decisions, should I have her declared incompetent?

By: Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.48.41 PMThis is a questions that comes up routinely in the course of my practice. Many children feel that the best course of action is to have a parent placed under guardianship. While in many situations this is necessary, it is a drastic step that should not be taken lightly. Guardianship proceedings place your parent under the care of a court, which means that even if you are appointed as guardian, a judge will look over every decision that you make. Additionally, court records open you and your family up to public scrutiny.

Often, the best course of action is to talk to your parent. Through use of a power of attorney, you can manage your parent's finances without court intervention. A properly written power of attorney will allow you to do everything that your parent can do with regard to property and bank accounts, while keeping your parent's finances private.

While there may be times when a guardianship is necessary, talked to an experienced elder law attorney before making any decisions.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Hearing Aids – There’s an App for That

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 3.20.40 PMDo you have a loved one who is suffering from a hearing loss? A recent New York Times article discusses the benefits of new hearing aids that are almost invisible and adjust to your surroundings, making your hearing even better than normal hearing. The controls are in your iPhone. They are not cheap, but they do have the benefit of keeping your or your loved one engaged in life.

Thom's grandmother suffered from a hearing loss that worsened as she aged. The problem was that she would not use her hearing aids. They were hard to use and big. She just did not like them. Unfortunately, it also meant she was more and more isolated. It is a shame to have our loved ones withdraw when there is a simple an effective way to help them rejoin the world — spread the word!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/personaltech/app-controlled-hearing-aid-improves-even-normal-hearing.html

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Scam Alert: Bogus Funeral Notifications

By Carmen Potterton

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.55.47 AMIt seems that every time you turn on the news, there is yet another scam being reported and unfortunately, many of them tend to target senior citizens.

Senior Planet recently posted a scam alert concerning funeral notifications. An email is sent that is supposedly a notification that a friend has died. In order to get the details, you have to click on the link provided and once you do, the scammers infect your computer with malware. Malware generates viruses and spyware that allows the scammers access to your computer.

What you can do to avoid the scam:

  • If you get an email with the subject line “Funeral notification,” put it straight in the trash. Contact the funeral home or the family if you’re concerned the email might be for real.

  • If you get any email from someone you don’t personally know that has a link in it, do not click on the link.

  • Call or write the person or business who sent the email – or supposedly sent it – and get the information from them directly. If it’s a business, you can use Google to track down contact information.

  • Same goes for an email from someone you do know that sounds a little fishy. Call before you click!

http://seniorplanet.org/another-scam-alert-funeral-notifications/

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Are you aging well?

This infographic outlines a number of important factors that impact our ability to age well, including personal capacity to react to life’s transitions, individual behaviors and health status, societal factors, and the individual’s ability to engage with their community and remain independent. More information is available at http://www.philips-thecenter.org/aging-well

PCHW-Aging-Well_700px

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

How to communicate with an older person who has a hearing loss

By Carmen Potterton

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.15.26 PMAccording to NIDCD, about one in three people between 65 and 74 has a hearing loss and 47% of those over 75 have a hearing problem. The ability to communicate clearly with others in and of itself can be difficult but when the person you are trying to communicate with has a hearing loss, it becomes even more so.

Have you ever heard “I can hear you but I can't understand you”? The problem is that age-related hearing loss often affects the structure of the inner ear or cochlea and/or the auditory pathways to the brain. This type of hearing problem may not be a volume problem – speaking louder may not help. For these folks, hearing aids only make matters worse, particularly if there is background noise.

Here are a few tips:

  • Face the person while you speak. Visual queues and expressions help them understand what you are trying to say.

  • Speak slowly and distinctly (not necessarily louder).

  • If the person indicates that they can't understand, try to rephrase what you are saying. Repeating is usually not as helpful.

  • Try to find a quiet and well-lit place to talk.

  • If all else fails, you can write or draw on paper.

If you have a hearing loss and you or a family member is in crisis or should do some estate planning, it's a good idea to find an elder law attorney. An experienced elder law attorney deals with seniors who have hearing loss all the time. An experienced elder law attorney knows how to communicate your options so that you can determine the best plan for you and your family.

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx

What are Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) and why do they matter?

By Michelle Mason

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 8.37.57 AMThe activities of daily living are basic tasks of everyday life. This is a term that is used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence or in an outdoor environment. Many programs use ADLs to determine not only the functional abilities but also the level of care and the benefits available to the individual.

Assessing a senior's functional abilities helps the family and medical professionals determine a person's current care needs. Assessments can be valuable, by showing patterns of either progress or decline.

Whether the senior is able to perform all of the activities of daily living independently, or if they need help with just a few of them, the assessment will help the professional team create a care plan to meet each individual's needs.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL's)

Most senior healthcare providers group the activities of daily living into the following categories:

Bathing and showering: being able to bathe or shower with no assistance.

Personal grooming: Shaving, brushing teeth and coming hair.

Dressing: choosing appropriate garments and being able to dress and undress, having no trouble with buttons or zippers.

Preparing meals and eating: making appropriate food choices and preparing meals safely. Being able to feed their self.

Organizing and taking medications: taking the appropriate medications and correct dosages on time.

Mobility/Transferring: being able to walk or being able to transfer oneself from the bed to the wheelchair and back with no assistance.

Toileting: using the restroom independently

Maintaining the home: doing housekeeping and laundry or making arrangements for the housekeeping and laundry to be done.

Managing finances: budgeting or paying rent and utility bills on time, etc.

Using transportation: being able to drive or use public transportation for appointments, shopping etc.

Shopping: being able to shop for groceries and other small necessities, and transport purchases from store to home.

If you have a loved one who is age 60 or older and needs help with 2 or more of the Activities of Daily Living, our firm may be able to help you apply for a program called Passport Waiver, which offers in home healthcare. Passport Waiver is an alternative program to help keep older adults safely and independently in their homes with quality services. Please call for an appointment to find out more.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What matters most to U.S. seniors

The United States of Aging Survey, conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY, explores what underlies American seniors’ perspectives on aging, and how the country can better prepare for a booming senior population.

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Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 8.57.04 AMWhat matters most to you?  It takes planning to protect your wealth.  It takes planning to assure that your wealth is not adversely affected if you have a catastrophic health condition or require long term care at home or in a nursing home.  See your elder law attorney to help you put a plan in place for you and your family.  It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What was your world like in 1964 – Could you imagine how it would look today?

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 2.25.48 PMIn college, I loved science fiction and one of my favorite authors was Arthur C. Clark – Childhood's End, 2001 a Space Odyssey, and many more. He is and was a visionary. In 1964, Sir Arthur C. Clarke predicted how we would communicate and work with one another in the year 2000:

We could be in instant contact with each other, wherever we may be, where we can contact our friends anywhere on earth, even if we don’t know their actual physical location. It will be possible in that age, perhaps only 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London…. Almost any executive skill, any administrative skill, even any physical skill, could be made independent of distance. I am perfectly serious when I suggest that one day we may have brain surgeons in Edinburgh operating on patients in New Zealand”

We still had dial phones in 1964 (every young girl wanted a princess phone then)– and there were no cordless or cellular phones. The first cellular phone was introduced in 1973 but not commercially available until 1983. Today, as Clarke suggested, we are always in touch no matter where we are, no cords required.

Interestingly, doctors began virtual surgery in 2001 and it is pretty popular today, particularly considering the advances in robotic surgery. Clarke got that right.

Thomas Friedman wrote a ground-breaking book in 2005 that talked about the ability of businesses to operate globally in a “flat” world, very much as Clarke predicted.

Are you as visionary as Sir Clarke? Do you know how your future will look and are you prepared for it? It's worth thinking about as we begin a new year.

http://www.openculture.com/2011/09/arthur_c_clarke_looks_into_the_future_1964.html

Credit for picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_DynaTAC

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Who is turning 65 in December?!

December 3 … Ozzy Osborn – the Godfather of Heavy Metal

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December 13 … Ted Nugent, guitarist and singer 

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December 21 -Samuel Jackson, actor, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Patriot Games

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December 25 – Barbara Mandrell, country music singer, I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool

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