For both patients and their caregivers and other loved ones, coping with Alzheimer’s can be one of the most difficult challenges that life can present. The condition not only alters the lives of all involved, but creates a host of new issues that must be addressed – issues that involve everything from patient care needs to protecting the patient’s assets.
There are certainly many legal options that Alzheimer’s patients can use to their advantage, but these tools are often hard to grasp in the aftermath of the diagnosis. Many patients and families have all that they can do to cope with their new reality. Fortunately, the Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law can help Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones to navigate the process of coping with the disease.
If your family has a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and you need assistance from an experienced legal team committed to helping you manage the important issues that often accompany this diagnosis, we’re here to help. You can contact us via our website or by calling (408) 356-9200 in Campbell. In our free consultation with you, we’ll answer all your critical questions, including:
- What sort of issues can Alzheimer’s create for our family?
- What steps should be taken now that we are forced to cope with Alzheimer’s?
- How can a California elder law attorney assist us now?
What sort of issues can Alzheimer’s create for our family?
When Alzheimer’s strikes, it can create both legal and financial challenges for the patient and his or her family. Asset protection can become an immediate worry, as the costs of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient on a long-term basis can be quite high. Patients with this disease and other types of dementia also commonly find that their health care needs now include long-term nursing home care.
Nursing home care can cost hundreds of dollars a day, and thousands of dollars a month even under normal circumstances. The care needed by many dementia patients can rise to even loftier heights. In many instances, patients with this condition simply cannot afford the cost of that care on their own – and most families cannot afford to help with those costs as much as they would like.
Medi-Cal can often be these patients’ best chance at getting the financing help they need to deal with the high costs of long-term care. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, dedicated to providing healthcare coverage for the state’s low-income population – including seniors. Unlike Medicare, this program can cover long-term care at a nursing home facility too.
It is critical for California residents to use Medicaid planning strategies early in life to ensure that they can qualify for needed program benefits as they get older. Like other Medicaid offerings around the nation, Medi-Cal eligibility is determined by strict asset and income standards. All too often, seniors find that their wealth is too high to meet those standards, but too low to pay for the care they need.
Your California elder law attorney can assist you with Medi-Cal strategies that can help you to avoid the program’s 30-month look-back provisions, secure the eligibility you so critically need, and even preserve some of your assets from those high nursing home costs.
What Steps Should We Take Now to Cope with Alzheimer’s?
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is just the beginning of the fight. Working with your attorney, you need to move forward to address things like medical care, financial concerns, and legal issues. Since the disease is progressive in nature, most patients have time to properly take care of their planning needs – but action should still be as swift as possible. Some of the issues that need to be addressed include:
- Putting a power of attorney in place to ensure that the patient’s decision-making needs are taken care of as the disease progresses. This can provide that patient with a designated agent to make financial decisions if incapacitation occurs – which can better protect assets and dependent heirs’ access to financial support.
- Using trusts to secure assets. If the patient’s assets are placed into a trust, with a trusted individual serving as the trustee, then incapacitation concerns can be mitigated.
- Using an advance medical directive for health care. This document can provide the patient with an agent who can make medical decisions on his or her behalf when incapacitation strikes. The living will component of the directive can be used to provide instructions about the types of care that the patient is willing to accept.
- Developing an estate plan to provide for any inheritances and deal with issues like estate taxes.
- Planning for nursing home care. Depending upon the progression of the disease and the timeframe for planning, Alzheimer’s patients may be able to preserve some portion of their assets as they work to qualify for any nursing home Medi-Cal benefits that they may need.
The important thing is to contact us so that we can help guide you through the many challenges confronting your family in the wake of any Alzheimer’s diagnosis. We’ll work with you to ensure that you have the plans you need to protect your loved one’s interests.
How can a California elder law attorney assist us now?
When Alzheimer’s becomes a part of your family’s life, you need the assistance that only an experienced elder law attorney can provide. The Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law can provide you with the assistance you need as you work to navigate the many laws governing patient care and protection at every stage of the disease’s progression. We can provide critical services to aid you with home healthcare coverage, long-term care needs, and caregiver respite services. We’re committed to ensuring that every patient retain the dignity he deserves while coping with Alzheimer’s. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, contact us using this site or call us at (408) 356-9200 in Campbell.