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Americans are living longer than ever before. At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was about 47 years. But during the 20th century, life expectancy has almost doubled. As a result, we face more challenges and transitions in our lives than those who came before us. Our firm’s focus on Elder Care and Veterans’ Benefits has brought us into contact with many families questioning how to care for an elderly loved one.

Most people who make the decision to move to a nursing home do so during a time of great stress. Some have been hospitalized after a stroke or broken hip, still others have progressive dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, and can no longer be cared for in their own home. At these times, it is important that you pause, take a deep breath, and understand that there are things you can do. Good information is available to help you make the right choices for you and your loved one.

MediCARE is the federally-funded and state-administered health insurance program primarily designed for older individuals (65 and older). Medicare only provides coverage if you get sick and you’re getting better. Care is given for up to 100 days, and then Medicare doesn’t care anymore.

MediCAID is a benefits program which is primarily funded by the federal government and administered by each state. Unlike Medicare (which only pays for skilled nursing for up to 100 days), the Medicaid program will pay for long-term care in a nursing home once you’ve qualified.

Medicaid planning is crucial. First, you need to provide enough assets for the security of your loved ones – they too may have a similar crisis. Second, the rules are extremely complicated and confusing. The result is that, without planning and advice, many people spend more than they should and their family security is jeopardized.

For wartime veterans or their surviving spouse, you may be eligible for a benefit without realizing it. The Special Monthly Pension benefit is available when a veteran is over 65 years of age, is permanently disabled, unable to work, homebound, or in need of regular care from someone. In the confusion of all these rules and regulations, The Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm is here to provide clear guidance and peace of mind when planning for your future.

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