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The Power of Living Wills and Healthcare Powers Of Attorney

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Living-Will

National Healthcare Decisions Day.

What you would do if you had a healthcare issue, who’s going to come in and make life and death decisions for you?

What is this all about?

National Healthcare Decisions Day is a day set aside by healthcare providers to encourage folks to do advanced directives. In our area with the Carolinas healthcare system, any hospital with the tree of life as its logo is participating in National Healthcare Decisions Day. This is an opportunity to have free signings of Healthcare directives, ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney’ and ‘Living Wills.’ Both these are free at various locations in your community, mentioned further on.

First, what are ‘Living Will’s,’ and ‘Healthcare power of Attorney’s,’ and how do they relate to you?

We assume that everybody knows what they are, I deal with them everyday, but I want everyone who’s reading this in case you’re wondering, to know what’s the difference between a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

To help me with this delicate subject, I interviewed Len Byers from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

With the Living Will, you say ‘What’ you want done if you can’t wake up, if you can’t get better, or maybe where the dementia has advanced to a place where you might not know yourself or your loved ones.

The Healthcare Power of Attorney answers the ‘Who.’ Who do you want to make decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself?

When I first started, CPR, breathing machines, tube feeding, kidney dialysis, they were just coming on board, prior to that we didn’t have all that stuff… Once you start using those life support interventions, sometimes they work and you don’t need anyone to make decisions, sometimes despite using them there’s no decisions to make because a person moves on, but in a large category people don’t get better and they don’t go on to glory, they’re stuck and someone’s got to make a decision.

And we’ve had it for about 30 years, we’ve been dealing with this almost on a weekly, sometimes it feels like a daily basis, and it boils down to this:

Some families say to us, “We can’t make that decision, we know that this stuff is not working, we know our loved one can’t wake up or get better, but we just can’t make that decision.”

So in those situations if there had been a Living Will by that person that said, “I don’t want to be stuck in this situation,” or if there had been a Healthcare Power of Attorney and someone said, ‘I’ll make that decision for you, that’ll be tough, I’ll hate doing it but to support your wishes I’ll do it,’ if this had been done ahead of time, then we could save a lot of despair and agony on the part of families in these situations.

Does a Living Will help me pass property?

No!

Then why is it called a Will?

A Living Will was originally designed to let us say, ‘I don’t want to be stuck on machines, let me go naturally,’ it’s the decoration of a desire for a natural death.

The biggest confusion about a living will is it’s got nothing to do with property. It’s about healthcare.

It’s about the end of life decision when someone is terminal, incurable, brain death has occurred for instance and you’re being maintained by life support.

In that situation if you want to be continually maintained or not, do you want to put that guilt ridden decision on your spouse, your kids or your grand kids to make for you?

I think I would have a hard time making that decision for my parents and I hope it’s not a bridge I have to cross. For many families and family members, I have to make that decision for their parents, and it’s a very very hard decision to make. I couldn’t imagine it. But while you’re competent, while you’re coherent, while you know what you’re doing and you can make that decision for yourself, this is your opportunity.

It’s an act of love for your loved one, because you’re really protecting them from pretty dangerous territory to be in.

There’s no way around it when death becomes part of our family’s story, it’s a difficult moment in our journey together, and then when our journey’s go separate ways for a while, whenever you introduce having to make a decision that anyone feels like is anything to do with the dying process, it’s really toxic. I mean it’s something that creeps you and really messes your spirit up.

Some people have asked me five or ten years later after some of the situations, did I kill momma or kill daddy by saying let’s not use the life support anymore? And I said, ‘No.’

Whatever was wrong with them physically, whatever illness they had that we couldn’t change, couldn’t undo the damage, that’s what took their life. You just tried to make a decision that was the best way to love them and care for them in a terrible place.

**Decisions mixed with grief are a very dangerous combination for us.**

We just don’t like to have to do it. The only way I can protect my family, or you protect your family is to make sure they know, ‘this is my decision, I want to save you from having to make it and I want to let you know mine.’ And that’s what the Living Will is designed to do a head of time.

We can write this down why we’re thinking about it, while we’re not even at the hospital, we’re not involved with any healthcare issue, we just do it, and that’s why on ‘Decision Day’ we hope people will come in from the community to these sites we have and just do a ‘Living Will’ or a ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney’ while they’re feeling good, everything’s fine and life is normal.

The days will come when we have to deal with this. Sometimes we have to make decisions about it, and if I’ve not made mine, then the people who love me have got to make it, and there in trouble.

30 or so years ago, I didn’t even know a Living Will existed. But what I did know was that we had families at the hospital who had this question put to them.

We say we tried the things we know to try and we don’t think we can make any difference. We can’t save your loved ones life, but we’ve got this breathing machine going and we’ve been shocking the heart repeatably. We want to ask your help in making a decision to take the breathing machine away or stop shocking the heart.

And it’s like if you could imagine what people would look like if you hit them in the belly with a 2X4, it was excruciating and as a chaplain you see that, and you say ‘oh my God, there’s got to be something to do to try to save us from this agony, to get prepared for and get around it if we can.’ And that’s when I heard about Living Wills and that’s when I became a big fan.

Hopefully with ‘Wills’ I can protect my family, you can protect your family, all of our readers can do things to protect their families. Everybody wants to die in their sleep and wake up in heaven and 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 of us will have that wish come true. The rest of us will be involved in hospitals and involved with these life support modalities and decisions will be a part of it.

It’s just grown since that time, it started with people being absolutely blitzed by having to deal with this, with no preparation, no clue about what to do.

Think about how hard it is to make a decision when you’ve got an idea of what the decisions about.

But then think about a decision for a human being you love, precious to you, but you don’t really know what they want you to do, what they would say, and that’s the thing we determined all those years ago, all of us wanted to know, the doctor, the nurse, family, chaplain what does that person in the bed want us to know, by that point we were not ever going to know.

In the 60’s I lost three grand parents. It was a family experience. Two grandfathers died of a long process at home taken care of by the family, with minimal input from doctors and hospital. Grandmother died rather suddenly. But I contrast that picture with the picture that we see today. And there were no decisions to be made, really what we said and what I was told as a teenager was that Gods in charge, he’ll take care of it, all we’ve got to do is trust him, this is life, death is a part of life, and that kind of natural progression under Gods care, that worked.

Nobody had any decisions to make, no one had any burdens to carry forward. Fifteen years later, everybody is carrying burdens, everybody has got these decisions. The wonderful thing about all these life support interventions that we have is that they work.

Really focusing on National Healthcare Decisions Day, getting everyone out there to make those decisions free of charge at places in your community so you can go ahead and put in place that Living Will or Healthcare Power of Attorney.

So let’s contrast that by now talking about the ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney.’

There are people who don’t have a clear cut person so with the Healthcare Power of Attorney, they get to name a friend or a particular member of their family, someone they know, who they have told their wishes, who knows what they want and this person will carry it out.

My associate Hayden mentioned to me recently about her dad who told her what he wants, and she has the authority to carry that out, and in real time. With real decisions it’s hard on a sheet of paper like a Living Will to imagine everything that comes up. But if you have a Healthcare Power of Attorney, you’ve got a person who knows your wishes and can dialogue with the healthcare providers about what makes sense in line with your wishes. There is still some decision making to be done but not like anything as the excruciating stuff we we’ve mentioned previously because she does know what her dad wants.

These situations are some of the hardest one’s we have because then the family gets at each other and we can’t make a decision and we get stuck. Healthcare organizations are the same as any other, you don’t want to run over the feelings and the wishes of people. You don’t want to incur risk, and so sometimes those people that we need to make a decision for with this kind of contention and arguing going on, they just linger.

So there you have it folks. National HealthCare Decisions Day is coming up Thursday April 14th from 10am to 4pm at multiple locations in Cleveland County.

In Shelby go to:
Brookdale Assisted Living facility,
The Hospital,
Neal Senior center,

In Kings Mountain go to:
Summit Place,
Patricks Senior Center
North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Check the facility offering these services to get the ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney’ and ‘Living Will’ signed in your neighborhood.

What’s the right thing to do for somebody you love?

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

Senior Games with Angela Padgett

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It has been a crazy week but a good week, we’ve had on the radio show John Jurchack talking about falls and how to avoid them, Don Peeler talking about Crystal Springs, a no step community, we talked with Teepa Snow and Joe Seidel and all of this has been about being healthy at home and staying active.

Our entire theme that we’ve been doing this March has been leading into springtime and getting outside. And so today we are going to talk about getting really active and staying that way.

We’re going to talk ‘Senior Olympics.’

The ‘Senior Games’ brings seniors together to train, strut their stuff, be active and compete just like the regular Olympics. I certainly hope I can stay active enough to participate in the ‘Senior Games’ at some time.

Joining me to help with this is Angela Padgett, who is director of the Leona Neal Senior Center in Shelby NC and helps to organize the ‘Senior Games.’

I have given everyone a brief introduction but it would be great to get down to the real muscle of the Senior Games so please let everyone know who you are and what you do and then we’re going to talk about some raffle tickets.

Good, well I’m Angela Padgett, I’m the senior center director at the council of aging Neal Senior Center in Shelby. I’m also a part of the senior center directors position, I’m the local games coordinator for the Cleveland County Senior Games. I do a hodge podge of things with the senior center.

Before we get into ‘Senior Games’ this morning let’s just be clear. ‘Senior Games is not just Cleveland County, we’re talking in nearly every county aren’t they?

They are in nearly every county in the state. It’s ‘Senior Olympics.’ Each county that participates they have local games, local games coordinators, and those folks that win first place in their divisions, there is a slew of games, if they win in pickle ball, they go on to the state finals in October and play for first place in the championship division, and they can get first place in the state, and we have had people in our area who do that.

It’s a huge event every year. Glory Livingston who is actually my assistant, we go to training every year and we meet these folks you know from other counties, and you’d be surprised, say Cabarras County for instance, they have over 300 participants every year. So it’s a big deal, not only for our county but for the state.

Well how many do we have in Cleveland County?

Right now we have 54 participants that have signed up. Of course the deadline has ended but every now and then we might have somebody who doesn’t have a partner and for exception we will let them come in and play but right now we have 54 participants.

But that is the senior games side, there are two parts to senior games. There are the games, which is the Senior Olympics and then there is the Civil Arts which we just completed. Now Civil Arts side there was 32 participants so for the whole Senior Games, we have had over 80 people participate.

It’s kind of confusing there but there are 2 parts to senior games and again we just finished the civil arts side. The civil arts side is your artists, your writers, your dancers, and we just held the Performing Arts Follies at the senior center last week, and our best in show winner which is the ‘Silver Stars,’ it’s a dance group, they are going to go on to the state finals in October, so it’s a huge deal for our county and a lot of people still don’t know about it.

We want to promote the games.

Absolutely, and if they have got 300 in Cabarras County and we’ve got 54 we need to step it up. Every county should have 300 shouldn’t they?

They should but I’ll tell you Cabarras County secret, and the same in Gaston, they actually allow folks from other counties to come in and play. So they do have more folks simply because they allow other counties to come in. Cleveland County we don’t do that.

We used to, we actually used to combine with Lincoln County but the powers at be at the time decided it would fair to our players if we would let only Cleveland County residents play.

But to be honest with you, you’re right about stepping up, because there are a lot of people in Cleveland County. We’re looking at Boiling Springs and Kings Mountain and Shelby and Casar and we could get 300 people in Cleveland County ourselves if people would come out and participate. But it’s the knowledge in your head of thinking you’re someone over 50, and some people might think, why I can’t do that.

Do you have to be a tiptop Olympic shape athlete?

No you don’t, for instance, if you shoot pool, we have billiards as part of one of our events. You don’t have to be in shape to play pool, you just have to have a keen eye and know what you’re doing. If you’re out there and you’re a good pool player, you could come and play and could go to state with billiards.

Football toss, it’s not hard, you may need to have a good arm but we have a gentleman named Bill Young who is 98 years old, and I talk about him all the time. He was one of our state finalists for pickle ball. 98 years old.

Now you just mentioned the magic word, pickle ball. It looks like a lot of fun. I guess this is on a court about the size of a tennis court, played with a big ping pong paddle and plastic riffle type balls.

It is and you can actually go to certain sporting goods stores who have pickle ball sets, so if you ever decide you want to put something like that in your backyard, or even on your drive way, you can.

But how do you get the pickle to bounce?

I don’t know.

So I have a quiz for everyone. Here it is.
1 In what city and country was the first ‘Olympic Games’ held?
2 What year was the first ‘Olympic Games’ held?

Raffle Tickets
The senior center has a raffle coming up. Tell us about the raffle.

It does, a big one. Well we’re very excited in the fact that I don’t believe any non profit in the county has given away this much money.

I think it’s a great opportunity, what are the odds?

1 in 400.

I mean that’s pretty good odds.

Exactly and if folks are interested we’re selling raffle tickets for reverse drawing, the tickets are $100 a piece, with 400 tickets sold, we’re giving away $20’000 dollars.

There are people still selling tickets, I’m still selling tickets, I’ve got 5 left. We’ve got board members selling and if you know anyone who is interested in buying a ticket we do have 50 right now at the senior center.

Why should I buy a ticket, why does this matter? I want to win some money of course but I want to support a good cause.

Well the senior center is a good cause and again folks 50 and over are considered seniors in Cleveland County. Our senior center does a lot for seniors. We promote health and we promote participation, socialization, fellowship and we have a huge services department that if folks are hungry we give them food, if they need meals on wheels we help them get set up for meals on wheels. You’d be surprised at the folks in this area that are hungry, and we help them. If we can’t help them we refer them to someone who can, that’s another part of our services department.

We have a kitchen that we actually run a restaurant out of, to bring money into the senior center, but we need help, we need help to keep our senior center going. We are not a county maintained business, we are a private non-profit.

You have to pay the rent.

We have to pay the rent. We have a building that we owe over 300’000 dollars for that we need to get paid off.

What else could we do if we paid that off?

Good gracious, the sky’s the limit on what we would be able to do. Right now we don’t have funding for home repairs, we used to have funding to send people in to clean folks houses so they could stay in their home and not have to move onto a nurses facility.

We talked about Meals on Wheels also.

Meals on Wheels, and I’m glad you brought that up. Meals on Wheels is very important for our county but unfortunately we have a waiting list for Meals on Wheels. We have over 50 people on the waiting list, that’s 50 people that are hungry that need food, and unfortunately because of our waiting list they can’t get put on right away. And if we were able to pay that building off, there would be no waiting list. It costs $1800 a year to supply one person with a years worth of food.

So one way you could (out there) help do that and help and participate and be eligible to win up to $20’000 is to enter the raffle. It’s $100 per ticket.

And you can buy these tickets with other people if you like. So 4 people can put in to buy a $100 dollar ticket and split the winnings.

So just to finish up, the ‘Senior Olympic Games,’ if anyone wants to participate, who do they contact, where do they come, if they just want to watch, tell me what they do?

We do have a schedule that’s posted online at Nealseniorcenter.org.

The games are going to start opening ceremonies on April 11th at 9.00am at Spangler Stadium at Gardner Webb. They are welcome to come to that. We have games all day long at Gardner Webb and then we move on to Shelby City Park.

If you do have internet and want to come out to watch, go online for a schedule or call me at 704-482-3488 and I’ll be glad to mail you a schedule. You can also come by the senior center and pick a schedule up but we are going to be playing from April 11th on up to April 15th. The majority of the places we will be playing at is Gardner Webb, the Neal Senior Center and Shelby City Park. You can also go to these places, especially Shelby City Park and get a schedule from Mrs Dee Green.

So come on out to play, come on out to watch. It’s important to stay active throughout your life.

Exactly, that’s what it’s all about.

If you want to buy raffle tickets, I need to sell mine so call my office 704-259-7040 for your raffle ticket to win up to $20’000 to support the Neal Senior Center.
And just to give the answers to the quiz earlier, the first ‘Olympic Games’ was held in 776 BC, and the marathon is 26 miles 385 yards. That is the distance between Athens Greece and Marathon, and it was to honor the run of Pheidippides (Phillipedes) during a great war (490BC) he was a messenger and he ran for 26 miles 385 yards.

So just a little bit of history you can pick up on the Elder Law blog. I’m Greg McIntyre, get outside and have a great day.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 
 

Active Older Adult Communities

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I have a special guest for this blog post today, he is the brains, the developer, and the push behind Crystal Springs Estate, Don Peeler.

To give a little background, two weeks ago I did a radio show with John Jurchack from ‘Healthy at Home.’ We were talking about falls and how to avoid them, and how a fall can sometimes lead a senior to a broken hip or a knock on the head which of course you want to avoid.

Seniors want to stay active as long as possible, and so John and I spoke about the different ways you can avoid those falls, such as using technology for widening doorways or the color of the transition between your carpets, from one room to the other. Even how to deal with that little lip that goes across the doorway that can trip you up and contribute to falls.

Crystal Springs is a no step community that utilizes all these technological advancements and more to help seniors stay active and healthy longer. I’ve known Don for a while and he gave me an entire walk through at one of the units at Crystal Springs that shows all that technology. You can see the video of this walk through if you go to mcelderlaw.com. It is just a real gem, I really encourage you to go to the website and see it.

So I sat down with Don and we talked about Crystal Springs and the technology and community and how one goes about building an active older adult home from the ground up.

To start with it is amazing the services and resources for seniors that are available in Cleveland County NC, and this is part of that. The Neal senior center is a model for senior centers. How to build it, use it, and operate it. Then you have Crystal Springs across the road, and there are several apartment complexes for seniors as well there.
So what can you tell us about this community?

Good gracious, we don’t have enough time. The first question is: Where is Crystal Springs?

It’s in Shelby, North Carolina, and I know it is strategically located just across from the Neal Senior Center but as mentioned, Crystal Springs is a little different. How many units have you got over there?

Thirty two. We only have 22 left, so a 54 lot development. I’ll give you a quick synopsis of Crystal Springs. Eight or nine years ago, Libby Hibley?? (14:50) bless her heart, who was then the deputy director of the Neal Senior Center invited me to join there board of directors, having dealt with both of my parents in their later years and their health issues. Libby was aware of that so she invited me to join, and I became very involved in the board of the senior center.

And one thing lead to another. The master plan for the entire senior center development up there, which by the way is located at highway 18 North, which is Grover Street in Shelby, directly at the stop light, what we all know as the Time Warner Cable office, if you turn right if you’re heading North on 18 at the TWC office into the Neal Senior Center, Crystal Springs Estates is located just across the front lawn literally, and behind what we all know as ‘Healthy at Home.’

On the master plan for the senior center was a multi family housing element to compliment not only the senior center but the income sensitive apartments planned for the senior center as well, and she asked me if I would be interested to develop the multi family portion of the master plan.

Which having built 14 developments in Cleveland County at the time, this I had to guess, might help to be my lot in life, to help the seniors with a multi family product which turned out to be Crystal Springs.

They are all no step town homes or patio home units. We have built 4 patio homes so far, we are only going to build 1 more free standing patio home and then we will have 22 town homes left to build.

If for instance you needed a wheel chair for a little while, because maybe you had an injury that required a wheel chair, does the development accommodate for that?

Great point, every doorway in Crystal Springs is at least 3 feet wide, all extra wide doors, no steps, extra wide garages, we have roll in showers in many of our units where you can roll right in, with or without assistance. High ceilings, vaulted ceilings. High efficiency heat pump systems so the power bills don’t kill people. These kind of things. Plenty of light inside them.

When you say no step, there is literally no lip in the floor.

Completely level from the time you get out of your vehicle and enter your unit, kitchen, bedroom, bathrooms, no steps whatsoever.

We are golf cart friendly, Chief Jeff Ledford, at the City of Shelby Police department has endorsed us. They are in and out of the development several times a day. He has no problem with the golf carts as long as we don’t get in the highway with them.

What we have done is custom built the first 32 and look forward to custom building the remaining 22 town homes and the 1 patio home that we are getting ready to start.

Do you have a model home open?

Not any longer, it was sold. We had a buyer that just had to have it, so we sold our model and we’ve been playing catch up ever since then. We have a lot of interest. It’s one of Cleveland Counties best kept secrets we think.

I know about the senior center and the other opportunities in the county, and Crystal Springs being a no step community, when I sit down with clients who are mostly seniors and maybe looking to downsize, you know, I want to get out of this large 2 story house where we raised our kids and we’re not interested in climbing stairs anymore, and I always mention Crystal Springs.

In fact, I have a flat screen television in my conference room, and I’ll pop up that video of the walk through, and I show it to clients to let them know what’s possible. You deserve all the credit for having the vision to do something like that.

I don’t know if it’s a love of labor or a labor of love or which but we’re tickled. The families that are in there now, all get along, everybody seems to really enjoy the lifestyle that it affords them to not have to deal with maintenance, period. No grass to mow, no hedges to trim, we have a home-owners association that takes care of all of that.

It’s $90 a month that’s how much the home-owners association fee is. We collect it annually, a $1080 a year. $90 a month is what it continues to be, and that’s what it was when we started.

And they own that unit, correct?

That’s correct. They are not rentals, they are fee simple deed ownership.

So someone like myself, who is an elder law attorney, could come in and protect that property for the family and make sure it was passed on?

Correct.

There in lies an issue, because you want to keep it an active older adult community. What if you want your child getting the property and moving in there, what’s your solution for that?

If the original owner passes away, the family can lease the unit but it has to be to an occupant at least 55 years of age and up.

So you have to be 55 plus to live there, no matter who the owner is?

Have to be 55 correct. And what it’s done is maintain a very quiet secure community. It’s just very quiet, very safe and secure.

Let’s just talk about the community aspect, because we can go back to the technology and the no step part which is really helping keep you active longer, living longer and enjoying have a high quality of life at an older age, but the community aspect, there’s got to be a ton from a psychological standpoint, feeling good, having friends, getting up in the morning with purpose, tell me about that.

Well, we have a paved sidewalk around a one point five acre pond at Crystal Springs with a lighted fountain, it’s pretty neat in the evenings, a lot of our owners like to get out and congregate amongst themselves in the evenings when the weather is nice and walk around that pond.

When the last unit is built our sidewalk will make a complete loop through the entire development. We have picnic tables and benches that our owners and their guests like to hang out at around the pond and the fountain. We have 2.9 acres of green space and common areas, including the 1.5 acre pond, which is the way it was planned in the beginning.

As far as security and exercise on any given day when the weather’s decent, you’ll see our owners and their guests out walking around, congregating and just visiting and having a good time.

How do people contact you if they want to take a look at Crystal Springs?

It’s real simple. The phone number is 704-349-0461. We have an office inside the Neal Senior Center that you can visit 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. We have an on-site project manager by the name of Mr Charles Tarlton who you can visit with.

Or go to the senior center. That’s a real advantage. I mean how many neighborhoods out there for seniors, active older adult communities have something like the Neal Senior Center right in their front lawn?

Not many, and that’s what we tell folks, the senior center a lot of people don’t realize is a 32’000 square foot state of the art facility. We’re feeding on any given week 2-500 folks. $5.50, 1 meat 2 vegetables, a drink and desert, cannot be beat anywhere in Cleveland County.

They’ve got a very well stocked library there, reading rooms, exercise rooms, arts, crafts, activities, cards, bridge, there is something going on all the time, and Crystal Springs is right out the front door.

I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 
 

Avoiding Falls as You Age

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Our topic today is about how to avoid falls.

I spoke with John Jurchack, from ‘Healthy at Home,’ who is an expert on senior care.

I was recently looking at No-Step communities. They have town houses that are entirely flat. Even the little raises that go between rooms or height differences on floor levels can trip you up and put someone on a hospital bed for an extended period of time.

This is important because falls are a big deal.

It doesn’t take much at all, the Amercians disability act defines a trip hazard as a quarter inch, so we’re talking about an eraser head on a pencil. Even the door jams, getting rid of those. It can be as simple as going from a kitchen floor to a carpeted surface.

It doesn’t take much to catch that foot, so an architectural assessment, having someone look at that environment, make recommendations is real important, if people put throw rugs down or different kind of décor, they can set themselves up for a fall without even knowing it.

 

Why is it so important for a senior to avoid a fall?

I’d like to say that falling is not a normal part of aging. I think some people feel, I’ve reached a certain age, this is just normal. We can’t be apathetic to this cause, if you do get injured especially a fractured hip, the mortality rate is extremely high. So the prevention is the best cure for that is not falling in the first place.

A statistic that comes to mind that really opened my eyes is, senior adults, those 65 years of age and older are 16 times more likely to end up admitted to the ER or hospital from a fall than those younger from a car accident.

And what can we do?

There are two categories: Your modifiable risk factors and your non modifiable. So non modifiable may be your age, maybe your race, your cognitive level. We can’t change those types of things but what we can do is look at modifiable risk factors.

There’s going to be muscle weakness, especially lower extremities, and medications, has your eye prescription been updated, vision is so important as it relates to falls.

So those types of things, environment, postural hypertension, your blood pressure is dropping when you stand up, and also any medical history, including symptoms of depression. Diagnosis of depression raises your fall risk by 50%.

Let’s talk about visual deficits. What are some of the things we can do to deal with that?

As we age sometimes we have difficulty seeing contrasts. So if everything in your house is white, you may not see that door jam, or the lip of the stair, you can’t see the depth perception. So a simple solution is carry that high glow neon duct tape, and put it along the edges of those raises, whether it’s a door jam or stair. 75% of the falls happen at home, so that is the best place to really do that assessment.

As far as vision and falls, you really have 3 different systems in your body to keep you from falling.

1- Is your nervous system. It’s going to tell you where your body is in space.

2- Is your equilibrium, your inner ear.

3- Is your vision.

If you can’t see, you’ve already taken a third of your compensation techniques for balance away. So keeping a light on at night, making sure your eyeglasses are up to their prescription or at least even putting them on. So vision has a huge impact on balance.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You talked about how inactivity decreases your strength.

It’s been said that for every day you spend in the hospital bed, you lose 5 % of your strength, and that doesn’t even take into consideration any medical problems associated with that hospitalization. So, you can certainly come home from that in a severely weakened condition.

We talked about medications, and I think the most interesting one there is, sedating over the counter medications. That’s anything with the PM in it, and it’s basically benedryl, you reduce your fall risk by 66% if you stop or reduce taking those.

If someone has questions on how to avoid falls, how would they get in touch with you?

You can reach me at my office at 704–591–9287.

Be safe out there.

I’m Greg McIntyre from McIntyre Elder Law.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 

Helping Mom or Dad Stay at Home: Tips for Selecting an In-Home Care Provider

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There may come a time when your parent is no longer safe living at home due to physical or emotional/social concerns. Instead of moving Mom or Dad to an assisted living or nursing home, in-home care can provide a solution that makes everyone happy— your parent can stay at home in familiar surroundings and you can have peace of mind that someone is there looking after them.

Here are some tips will help you select an in-home care provider.

Determine the level of care needed. There are several options available, depending on the assistance your parent needs. Companions can provide social interaction and help with housekeeping, errands, meal preparation and medication supervision. Personal care aides provide hands-on assistance with personal hygiene, dressing and moving to different rooms. Licensed or registered nurses can provide skilled medical care. In-home care is available to even those with advanced needs.

Determine the cost and how to pay for it. According to a 2015 Genworth survey, the national median cost for a home health aide working 44 hours a week is $45,760. (Click here for costs in your state.) Actual costs will depend on the level of care and number of hours needed.

Long-term care insurance is one option to pay for in-home care, but many people have waited until the costs are prohibitive and/or they are uninsurable. (You may want to look into one of these policies for yourself now, as health care costs will only continue to increase in the future.) You can pay privately, using Social Security or pension benefits, savings or equity in the home. Medicare pays for skilled nursing care, but only for a short term. Medicaid programs are available for those with limited assets. Aid & Attendance benefits from the Veterans Administration are also available for wartime veterans and their spouses who qualify.

Decide if you want to use an agency or hire an individual. Agencies provide you with some protection. They typically run background checks and drug tests on their employees, and if there is a problem, they are usually quick to correct it. They also handle taxes and payroll, and carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance. If you prefer to hire an individual, make sure you have excellent referrals. Also find out if you are liable for payroll taxes and worker’s compensation.

Check them out. If you are evaluating agencies, check their online reviews. Whether interviewing an agency or individual, ask about licenses, training (especially if dementia is an issue), and past experiences (good and bad). Call references and conduct personal interviews.

Be prepared to make adjustments. The type of care needed is likely to change over time. You may also need to make a change due to conflicting personalities.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 
 

 

 

Your Health Care – Stay at Home with Bayada Home Health Care.

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My guest today is Joe Seidel, division director of Bayada home healthcare and keynote speaker at our 4 city seminar tour beginning March 1st in Asheville, March 3rd in Morganton, March 8th in Charlotte and March 10th in Shelby.

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Doors open at 5:30 at each location for the vendor fair. At 6 we serve the meal and present with a Q&A time, and close at 8pm.
To reserve a seat call 1-888-794-8631, or watch the video at Bayada.com/futureplan and sign up.

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Today we are discussing home health care, and how to pay for it.

Nowadays, you can receive minimum level care to hospital level ICU care, in-home through Bayada. They have 300 offices (50 in NC) in 22 states.

People want to stay at home.
There is definite health and psychological benefits to being in your own home. We have a really broad range of services from pediatric, assistive care, companionship, care for people with dementia, or wander risks, running errands, all the way up to high tech nursing and very high level complicated care.

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You go into the home and see the sacrifices the spouse and family members make to keep somebody at home. If you’ve got your loved one in a facility and it’s an hour away, that’s tough.

We have phenomenal care givers in the field, the training they get, and compassion they demonstrate. They could be in that home 12 hours at a time, and in many cases they become almost part of the family.

Recently our Shelby office had the RN of the year, and last year the Shelby office had the No.1 home health aid for the entire company, that’s 25’000 employees. When you dig in and find out what our care givers are doing in the field, we just hear some incredibly amazing stories.

How does Bayada offer ICU care to someone at home?

A number of years ago iron lung machines took up the whole house, some of these now are the size of a laptop. Ventilators, suctions machines, we have all kinds of equipment that can be in someone’s home.

One of the really unique things we have is the training for our nurses. Our simulation lab will be at each of the seminars so people can see our training process.

Watch the Full Interview Here:


We have high definition mannequins programmed to do whatever you need to. If you’re not doing protocols properly the lips start to turn blue, it can go into cardiac arrest, the mannequin can even die if not doing the protocols properly. It helps to give them a life like scenario. And like I said we have developed scenarios which would potentially be likely.

If there’s a power outage, and the back up generator fails, what do you do? It’s really fascinating the technology available to keep people at home.

Listen to the Full Podcast Here:

Paying for Bayada
Medicare is an episodic spell of illness which is for 60 days. And a person would need to be home bound during that time. That’s a Part A benefit with Medicare so that’s paid for 100%.

We have Medicaid waiver programs, called PCS which is Personal Care Services, that’s physician recommended. Cap DA Program (Community Alternatives Program/ Disabled Adults). Each county has it’s own Cap DA agency. We have contracts with most major insurance, private insurance companies, workers compensation, VA veterans, and we take private funds.

Each person is unique as they come to this and there are a lot of paying options available.

I want to wrap up on the 4 city seminar.

Last year we did a couple of seminars, and found out the public needs to know more about what’s available from a home care standpoint. So this is an educational seminar. We talk about all the different services, the payer types that are available, and you’re going to be talking about how to preserve your assets. We will have a geriatric care manager who helps you walk through this journey of care for their family member.

We’ve got some really great vendors lined up. Phillips Life Line, Edward Jones, Greg McIntyre of course, Hospice, a gentleman talking about VA benefits and a lot more.

Come to one of those seminars in your area. You can go to our website mcelderlaw.com and sign up for our newsletter.

I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law.

If You Have Any Questions Call: 704-259-7040

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

The Misconceptions about Hospice

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Bishop Sharon Martin

I’m thrilled to bring to everyone today, an interview I conducted with Sharon Martin. Sharon is from Hospice.

New York, Manhattan was built by pioneers, by mavericks, who were not scared to be bold and think big, and that is something Sharon does. I consider her a celebrity and a maverick. Last year she was honored at the Chicago conference as a national example of how to extend hospice care and really reach a ton of families, especially in the minority community where there has been a stigma about hospice in the past. And I wanted to know how all that came about.

What had happened that lead up to the Chicago and the national Tennessee experience was that word started getting around other hospices that the submission rate in Cleveland County escalated from 17% to 52% in the African American community. So all the other hospices when they heard it were all like, what did you do.

On a national level, only 8% of the African American community uses hospice services. We’re at 52% which is just an amazing number on the national level.

Any business or organization that have those kind of numbers should be in the S&P 500. Those are amazing numbers, and to raise a submission rate from 17 – 52% in any endeavor is not as simple a task as it might sound. A lot of that has to do with the overall hospice plan here in Shelby, and Sharon is a main player in doing that. She is an outreach person for this community. This is a job that requires heart. Successfully going out into a community to discuss something as sensitive as end of life care, is not an easy thing to achieve.

I took a lot of hard knocks when you go out in the community and start talking about hospice. Immediately people of all races start thinking, okay we’re dying tomorrow, mamma’s dying, pappa’s dying tomorrow. But that is not the case. We even now have a patient in our Wendover facility, that has been with us three years, and so it can go into long term care. It can go into short term care but what I like to tell people, to get the most out of hospice services, as soon as your physician says to you or to the family, I only think ‘Sharon’ has 6 more months to live, that’s when the family should really be seeking out hospice services, so the family and the loved one can get the full benefit of hospice services.

Sharon has been with hospice for over 6 years, but did not at first want to get back into the work force. I wanted to know how she got involved with hospice in the first place?

“Six years ago our CEO Myra McGinnis and vice president Patty McMurray determined that the African American community in Cleveland County were not using hospice services as they would like.

And so what I learned after being hired was that this discussion went on for about 10 years, just trying to think of ways to engage the African American community with hospice services.

I was retiring. I had been laid off from a mental health agency, and so I thought I’m going to retire because my background is in social services, and mental health and also in ministry so. Later on I learned I was the one they were looking for but I was not the one who wanted to work, so they actually had a hard time getting me to come in for an interview.

A friend of mine called me and said Sharon there’s a job at hospice that has your name on it, that job is perfect for you.
It was Bishop Michael Moore and he said that job is yours, and I thanked him and said but I’m not going to work and I hung the phone up, not quite that rudely but I’m not even going to talk about this. Anyway, he calls back a couple of days later, and said Sharon seriously that job is definitely for you, and I said I’m not interested in the work, I’m not going to work. I just want to be a grandmother to my two grand children and I’m just going to go to their school and enjoy life helping them out in school.

After the third call, I decided out of respect to him to call Patty McMurray and Hospice about the position. I was hired in 20 minutes after talking to Patty. So that’s how I became a part of the hospice family.

And it is a family. Hospice is a very tight knit community of people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. This is more than just a job to Sharon, and I asked her if she would explain why that is.

How I found out about hospice on a personal level was 30 years ago in Akron Ohio, where my parents were and where I was raised. My mother called me one day and told me my father had terminal colon cancer, and she said Sharon, I’m going to allow an agency to come in and call hospice. Well at that time I was in Greensborough NC and this is what I said to mother, what is good for you is good for me.

And so as I would travel back and forth to Akron to visit my parents, I learned first hand how the hospice staff would come in and take care of my dad, and give him a bath, and do whatever was necessary to take the relief from my mother. So that was what was so comforting to me, because my parents had been married for 52 years and my mother was not going to leave my dad.

And so my dad was at home, and hospices services came in, and after my father died this is what I said to my mother one day, if I ever have any money to contribute to any organization, it would be hospice Akron Ohio. Little did I know I would be working for hospice Shelby NC. So that’s a great comfort to my soul.

I think hospice does an amazing job. I’ll tell you what is amazing about Shelby and Cleveland County is it is unreal the great services we have in every different type of industry related to senior care. I mean nationwide beacons, from Life Enrichment and Suzi Kennedy to Hospice and Sharon Martin. I just can’t applaud Sharon enough for being held up as a nationwide model on how to reach and convert a population, any population and take it from 17% to over 50%. That is just impressive and she deserves all the praise she gets from that.

One of the questions that I know there is some confusion about, is people in general seem to think of hospice as a physical place, which it does have but it is much more than that, and so I asked Sharon if she could clarify some of that confusion.

Many people, not only African Americans, they just have this great fear of hospice services. For some reason they don’t understand end of life care. So that became a challenge to be able to just talk to the community in general about what end of life care was.

A lot of people look at hospice as a place. Hospice is not a place, and that is what I really want the audience to understand. Hospice is a concept of care. Just like a hospital is a concept of care, hospice is a concept of care.

And that is that we try to make a persons life more comfortable as they go towards death. But what is so unique about hospice care is that we help the entire family, not just the patient. If we go into a persons home, and we’ve seen there is a great need, maybe a power bill needs to be paid, maybe a family doesn’t have food in the home, whatever that family needs, then that is what we will try to provide for the family.

So it’s like holistic care, we take care of everybody that is involved.

So don’t think that hospice is just the hospice house in Kings Mountain, and the hospice house in Shelby. It is so much bigger than that, it reaches the entire county, which brings up another question that causes some puzzlement. How many people does hospice actually help?

People think that we only serve 24 patients a day, but we have two facilities which is the place that people are at, and that’s Wendover in Shelby and the Testa family house in Kings Mountain. Well the total patient load with those two facilities are only 24 patients so they might question when I propose to people when I’m doing talks and presentations how many people do you think we serve per day?

And people just look at me with a puzzle in their face and then I’ll say just go throw out a number, and they’ll start 40 and then 60, and I’ll say higher, 80, higher, 100, higher, so we play this little high/low game, and finally when someone says 150, that’s when I stop, because that is exactly how many patients we serve every day, 150. Last year, in 2015, we went all the way up to a 190 patients. Well that’s because we serve people in their home.

That is a daily number, that is unreal. Think about that, hospice ministers and administers care to so many more than 24 people on a daily basis.
And just like Little House on the Prairie, where the doctor made house calls, the hospice family are really in peoples homes. The doctor comes out to the home, the nurses, the hospice workers come out to the home, and do not just care for the individual who is suffering. I’ve talked to some hospice workers and administration before, and it’s really so much more than that. They are really ministering and helping the spouse and the family as well.

Hospice is a hospital on wheels. We go into a person s home, we set up a bedroom, a living room, just like a hospital facility would, we have a hospital bed, the nurses, the nca2’s?? we have a chaplain, a grief counselor, a social worker that makes up the team. So 6 people are working with this family in their home to take care of their loved one.

So that’s what we do, we go into the home and make everybody feel comfortable and wonderful. We take the burden off of the family so they can spend all their time with mamma, daddy, or sister, and just be there for the loved one, to love on them as the process of dying increases. That’s the main thing I want to say.

So we were talking about an individual who needs hospice care, a whole family who needs hospice care. If hospice is serving a 150 people daily, and all the many workers they must have, I know that they do fund raisers, but I know that can’t possibly come close to paying the bills. So how can people afford it, how can hospice pay for it?

Well we are actually non-profit so we do rely on the generosity of the community but what I really want everyone to know, if the person has Medicare, 100% of their hospice services are paid for by hospice care. So we will never ask that person to pay out of pocket, as long as they have that red, white and blue card, all of their hospice expenses are paid for.

On the other side, even if a family doesn’t have the money to pay for whatever is needed, the donations, the generosity of people in Cleveland County, like the Testa family, they are going to make sure, and other families that have made yearly contributions and donations, we make sure a family gets the same care as if they had a million dollars as compared to they only have one dollar. So everybody gets the same care no matter what.

Well that is right along with our entire philosophy at McIntyre Elder Law, and just fits right in with helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. Keeping them in control of their assets and providing them the best health care options possible. And I mean I know first hand from having many many clients and families who have dealings with hospice.

The Hospice family has always been so kind to everyone at McIntyre Elder law. They let us use their facility up there to do events for seniors once in a while. Hospice is just a blessing to the community.

The last thing to I’d like to mention is about ‘Hearts for Hospice.’ I asked Sharon to tell us about that.

It is a fund raiser that we started 5 years ago. It’s been a very profitable fundraiser where we are only asking people for a one dollar donation. We have a heart that Pam Isaac our marketer created and it’s called hearts for hospice, it’s two lives, in memory of and honor of, and from, and you can buy a heart for a dollar and we will post it up on our wall, or you can keep it yourself. All the money that you contribute for hearts for hospice goes for patient care.

So this is a unique thing about hearts for hospice, we started asking people for a dollar, and the first year it was predicted we wouldn’t raise $500 but we raised $4000. In the last 5 years we’ve raised almost $27’000 with hearts for hospice because people would give a dollar, some people would give $100. So it kind of evens out. Some of the children want to buy a heart, they only have a quarter, so I said that’s alright.
Please call me. I will mail them to you, bring them to you, there is 25 in a pack.

Sharon’s number is 704 751 3591 and that is her direct office number.

So call Sharon, she would love to talk to you.

I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law. I hope you have enjoyed this weeks Elder Law Report, and hope the information provided by Sharon Martin will help dispel some of the common misconceptions associated with Hospice.

Until next time, Make it a great day.

Call For Your Reservation: 704-259-7040

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

Medicaid Crisis Planning Seminar – Thursday, February 25th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm

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We’ve been talking about Medicaid crisis planning on the radio lately, and I wanted to tell you about a seminar we’re giving at the Le Grand Center in Shelby North Carolina, on Thursday February 25th.

This is a special presentation for 20 people only. I’m giving a few of these this year but for reasons that I’ll mention later, we have limited how many people can be at this seminar.

We are going to talk specifically about Medicaid Crisis Planning, that’s all. But you have to qualify to go.

This is an important seminar that I have rarely given before. I wanted it to be an intimate setting where we can talk about the things going on in your lives, and really break bread together. I have seen so many situations where people waited to long and didn’t know what they could do, and lost everything, it’s all gone. This seminar will make a huge difference to you.

There are 3 things you need to qualify:

1- You must have an immediate need if you want to attend. You must have a loved one, a husband, a wife, yourself, or a parent, but it must be an immediate family member, who is in a nursing home, or is headed to one right now. They or you must be in a crisis health care situation, or long term care, and you’re seeing your families money depleted and spent down by 7, 8 or $10’000 a month.

2- You must own your own home, and/or other real estate.

3- You must have a net worth of liquid assets over $200’000.

Call our office even if you don’t qualify for the seminar. If you have called to get a seat at the seminar, we will walk you through those questions. If you don’t qualify, my staff will set you up for an immediate consultation with me.

We want you to get it right

We have an entire department set up to do nothing but help save your hard earned money and property. We show you exactly what benefits you qualify for, and help you become eligible for those benefits. You just have to be so careful when you’re in the benefit planning world, like Medicaid Planning for long term care. You have to be extremely careful and knowledgeable about how to arrange assets properly. It just has to be done just right or it won’t be approved.

If you’re not careful you’ll lose it, or spend it or sell it. Even if you’re spending money it has to spent just right okay. So we want you to get it right. We’re in the business of saving the money and property of individuals and families period. This seminar is part of that.

The Le Grand Center.

If you haven’t been to the Le Grand Center you ought to go. It’s not the type of place you would expect to find in a sleepy little town like Shelby. Shelby is very lucky to have this.

This has turned out to be a great asset. It’s a very modern building, and can accommodate about any size of conference you are looking to have. We have elected to use one of the smaller rooms so everyone can eat and we can talk in a more intimate setting. That is the reason we’re using a small classroom this time, no big ballroom.

We are going to furnish a beautifully catered dinner, and we’re going to decorate the room so everyone can be comfortable, sit down at round tables, enjoy their meal and learn how to best deal with their crisis. We want this to be a pleasant experience for everybody.

If you live in Cleveland County it will be easily accessible for you. If you are in Lincoln, Rutherford, Polk or any other county, the Le grand Center is just off highway 74, right across from the Cleveland county fairgrounds at 1800 East Marion Street.

Why 20 people only?

I’ve noticed if I’m giving an educational talk to a group of 80 people, it’s much different than when I talk to 5, 10 or 20 people.

A smaller group of people gives more opportunity for them to ask questions. It makes them feel more comfortable. People don’t always know what ‘Benefits Planning,’ or Crisis Planning,’ means, and hesitate to ask questions, but when we get a group like that (of 20 people or less), it’s more like a conversation where everybody benefits from everybody else’s questions.

Some people don’t know the questions to ask. People don’t know what they don’t know. They think all I need is my will, my Power Of Attorney and I’m set. They don’t realize what is available to help them. These are the things that you need to know, about getting your estate in order, and making sure your money and assets go to the people you want it to go to, not spent down on long term care.

There have been a few times lately, when we sit down with a small group of people, and have dinner with them at an assisted living facility or an apartment complex, and we just talk about everything in a really personal setting. It’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s like being at a table with friends.

And that is what this is going to be like.

I love getting this information out there. My office has become almost two practices, one to educate and one to serve legal needs.

I am passionate about helping seniors which is why I’m excited about the Medicaid Crisis Planning seminar.

Yes, it’s a serious subject. It’s something that you should come to if you have the need.

Our office address is 123 West Marion Street, McIntyre Elder Law. We are right across from the new open air farmers market pavilion, right opposite the flag.

Our phone number is 704 259 7040.

Call the office to reserve your seat for the Medicaid Crisis Planning seminar on Thursday February 25th. Ask to speak with Hayden. She will qualify you, and confirm the schedule.

There is no sweeter place to come home to than Shelby NC.

Call For Your Reservation: 704-259-7040

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

Elder Law and Medicaid Secrets Revealed. Part 1. “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.”

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Elder Law and Medicaid Secrets Revealed.
Part 1.
“You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.”

Think about those words. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’

This is your opportunity to know more because the more you know the better you can plan.

This blog post is big, it’s important so pay attention.

In this post I will reveal elder law secrets that can help you. It’s pulling back the carpet and giving away the farm time. These are the secrets you need to know to protect your hard earned money and property okay.
We’re talking pre-planning to protect against that long term health care situation.

It is estimated that 70% of seniors are going to need some type of long term care. I want to hammer that home. That’s a huge deal. That is what much of my time is devoted to fighting against.

All this makes me mad. I’m mad this morning.

With all the technology and advancements we have, people still do not know how to protect what is theirs. Do you know that, people (that means you) aren’t even aware of what they can do?

Now what am I talking about here? I’m talking about keeping hold of your assets, your property, and your retirement savings in your senior years.

So let’s go at it.

What will protect your hard earned money and property if you plan ahead?
A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT).

This is one of the most important things you can learn. All of sudden they’re at your door. They’re saying you or a family member have to go into nursing home care, or a long term care facility. That day you need to understand what your options are, before it’s too late.

Watch the full interview here:

How does a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust work?

Imagine you have a big jar with a spout on the side in front of you. I’ve used this visual with my clients when I’m talking to them about this issue in my office.
This jar is your MAPT. You’re going to put some money in it right now. This is a way where we can put a portion of the money you have earned for retirement/ savings into that Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. Usually a half, or one third, or two thirds approach.

Now, you will need to set up a third party trustee, it could be one of your adult children that you really trust, or it could be a trust company that is set up. Once you’ve set it up they have a fiduciary duty to provide for your health and maintenance and welfare. This makes sure you stay in the same lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. Income from your money will still come out of that spout on the side of the jar directly to you. It can be a direct deposit to your bank account if you want to use it that way.

Listen to the full podcast here:

What is the benefit of doing this?

First, imagine tapping the jar with a pen, that’s the clock ticking on the 5 year look back period. It starts that clock ticking. After that passes, everything in the jar is locked and protected from that Medicaid situation, that long term care situation.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, a look back period is a block of time in which Medicaid can look back to see if any of your assets have been transferred before applying for Medicaid.

You’re locking your money in to the MAPT and it’s protected after the date of those 5 years.

From the day you put anything into it, you can continue to put money or things in. You can put your house into it if you wanted to. It would be immediately protected against the look back period.

What would be the advantage?

Okay, here’s a big one.

A Ladybird Deed can protect your house immediately against Medicaid spending against the look back period. That’s the advantage of a Ladybird deed. You own it, it’s yours.

But what you can do with a Medicaid Asset Protection trust, apart from starting the clock ticking, is you can take your house and put it in the MAPT and all the rest of your property if you want. Once the look back period has passed, I can sell that house within the environment of the MAPT. The money stays there. It’s still in there from the proceeds of the sale.
It’s still protected.

However, if you have a Lady-Bird Deed and sell your house, you, personally, realize a large sum of money which if you were already on Medicaid, would short circuit that benefit and Medicaid would immediately stop paying.

So, with a MAPT, I can sell that house, what else can I do? I might be able to buy other property. Well in that environment of the MAPT, I could direct my trustee to do just that.

Future Presentations
There is a lot of important information that I want to give you but I do not have room for in this post. Because of this, I will be giving a number of presentations on Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts specifically, and on Medicaid crisis planning (part 2 of this blog post).
If you’re in a situation where your parent or parents are going to a nursing home, or you’re spouse is going there or already there, and you see the money disappearing, and it’s breaking your heart and your bank accounts, call our office at 704 259 7040.

We will schedule you a time to come in and meet with me, or pre-qualify you for one of these seminars. This is for people who need that information right now, right this minute.

Another Option for you.
In early February 2016, I have a book coming out called ‘Saving the Farm.’
We are going to have a book launch at the Life Enrichment Center in Shelby and everyone is invited to it. The tentative date for this event is Thursday February 11, and I will confirm that date and time in the coming weeks.

‘Saving The Farm,’ is a book on helping families with wealth preservation. I named it that because my grandfather was forced to sell his farm due to health care costs. This is one of the reasons I became an elder lawyer, to help others going through a similar situation.

It is not just about Elder Law topics, although you are going to get all the details about how to save your hard earned money and property right there.

If you do want to implement a plan however, you might want to give me a call but the book is going to give you a lot of topics that I can’t cover here.

You need this book so you know how to plan. I have boiled it down to about a hundred and fifty pages, so it’s quite concentrated. You can read it in a few sittings. It’s also a reference book about anything I’m talking about here or anything related, even senior dental care.

I hope the information here is useful to you. If you are one of those desperately searching for answers, then call me at my office 704 259 7040.
My name is Greg McIntyre and I am an Elder Lawyer.

Look out for special information about the ‘Saving the Farm,’ book launch party in February this year.
I look forward to seeing you there.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 

Feeling Squeezed in the Middle of a Generational Sandwich? How to Take Care of Yourself as You Take Care of Others

in Articles by Greg McIntyre Comments are off

Feeling Squeezed in the Middle of a Generational Sandwich?
How to Take Care of Yourself as You Take Care of Others

Raising your kids, working, trying to take care of yourself, and now caring for an aging parent? That makes you part of the Sandwich Generation. You are not alone—almost half of America’s 40- and 50-year olds are in the same boat.

Most of us have adjusted to balancing children, work and finding some time for ourselves. But when we add caring for an aging parent, it often becomes too much. And usually it’s the “me” part that is sacrificed…until you hit burn out.

Here are some ways to leverage your time and resources so you can also take care of yourself.

Enlist Your Kids
Even the smallest child can spend charming one-on-one time with a grandparent. If your parent lives with or near you, they can spend time together in person. If your parent is not near you, they can Skype on the computer, use FaceTime or play multi-player online games. Your children, no matter what their ages, will benefit from spending time with Grandma or Grandpa, they will see how you value and care for aging family members—and you will get some extra time to return phone calls, make dinner, or even catch a quick nap!

Ask About Options at Work
Check with your employer’s human resources department about resources that might be available to you. Depending on how long you expect to be caring for your parent, there may be a multitude of options available to you, including elder care research and referral services, flex time, even working from home options. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) calls for eligible employees to receive 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave. (Private employers with less than 50 employees are exempt.)

Seek Assistance
There are legal and community resources that can help you make the best care and financial decisions for your parent. A local Elder Care attorney can prepare the necessary legal documents and help you maximize your parent’s income, long-term care insurance and retirement savings, and qualify for VA or Medicaid benefits, if applicable. He/she will also be familiar with various living communities in the area and in-home care agencies. You can also hire someone to review and verify/dispute insurance claims and medical billing.

Find Your “Me” Time
Stress is your biggest enemy and you have to find ways to reduce it. Joining a caregiver group, in person or online, will let you share your questions and frustrations, and learn how other caregivers are coping. Don’t be afraid to ask favors of friends and other relatives, such as picking up your kids while you go to the doctor with your parent. You could also learn to order in dinner every now and then without feeling guilty. Learn what you need to maintain your stamina, energy and positive outlook. That may include regular exercise (a yoga class, walk or run), a weekly outing with friends, or time to read or simply watch TV.

Call me if you have any questions:

Greg McIntyreGreg_Full
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby
704-259-7040

 

 

 
 

 

 

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