Elder law attorneys focus on the legal needs of senior citizens, and unfortunately, the most pressing issues are quite challenging. It is best to confront them head on so that you are fully prepared for whatever comes your way in the future.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at two inconvenient truths that everyone should fully understand.
Elder Financial Abuse
Senior citizens that are vulnerable are often victimized by elder financial abusers and fraudsters. This is a problem that has been coming to light in recent years, and it is getting worse as the population is getting older.
The overall damages cannot be calculated accurately, because the vast majority of cases go unreported. This being stated, the MetLife Mature Market Institute placed annual losses at $2.9 billion, and a subsequent study that was conducted several years later came up with a figure of $36.5 billion.
What is the reason for the under-reporting?
One of them is the fact that the perpetrators are often caregivers or family members. The elders need the help that is being provided, and they do not want to get anyone in trouble, so they keep quiet. Another reason is the simple fact that some people that are being abused never realize it.
In addition to the crimes of opportunity committed by people that have close access, seniors are often victimized by scam artists and identity thieves.
No one thinks that this will happen to them, yet the statistics speak for themselves. When you are developing a plan for aging, you should definitely take this threat seriously. There are legal steps that you can take to mitigate your exposure to elder financial abuse.
As we have touched upon previously, the baby boomer generation is attaining senior citizen status, so there is a demographic shift underway.
Large numbers of people are reaching their retirement years at the same time, and they are living long lives. The life expectancy for a 67-year-old man is 85 years, and for a woman, it is 87 years.
Everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but many are surprised when they find out just how widespread it has become. This disease strikes four out of every 10 people that are 85 years of age and older, and elders with dementia often require nursing home care.
And of course, Alzheimer’s induced dementia is not the only reason why people ultimately reside in nursing homes. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that 35 percent of all seniors will someday reside in nursing facilities.
Medicare does not pay for a stay in a nursing home, because it is considered to be custodial care. The program will pay for the convalescent care that you may receive after an injury or illness, but it does not pay for long-term living assistance.
This is a very significant gap in the coverage, because nursing homes are extremely expensive. We are talking about well into the six figures in our service areas, and married couples may face two separate barrages of nursing home bills.
The solution for many is Medicaid. This program will pay for long-term care, but you are probably aware of the fact that it is only available to people with very limited resources.
However, it is possible to position your assets wisely with future Medicaid eligibility in mind if you act well in advance. We can show you how.
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If you are ready to prepare for the eventualities of aging, we are here to help. In light of the coronavirus situation, we are offering consultations over the phone and through video chat.
You can request a consultation with an attorney from our Vermont office if you give us a call at 802-879-7133 and there is a contact form on this website that you can use to send us a message.