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Elder Law / Medicaid Planning

Friday, August 3, 2018

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Sues Family for Elder Exploitation

What types of elder abuse commonly occur in the U.S.?

Buzz Aldrin, the famed American astronaut who became the second man to walk on the moon, recently filed a claim in Florida against two family members and his former business manager alleging elder exploitation. Aldrin, who is now 88, seeks to retain control of his business Buzz Aldrin Enterprises and his not-for-profit organization, ShareSpace Foundation. The suit comes months after Aldrin’s family filed a request to be appointed as...


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Friday, March 23, 2018

Exploring Long Term Care Insurance

What services will long term care insurance cover?

Today, approximately 46 million people in America are over the age of 65.  By the year 2060, that figure is estimated to double to 98 million people, with elderly individuals comprising 24 percent of the total population, according to the most recent Population Reference Bureau report. With each generation living longer than the last, it is imperative that you and your loved ones have a plan in place for your long term care costs.


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Monday, January 22, 2018

Making Your Advance Directive in Florida

What is an advance directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive or Advance Directive is a legal document that states your preferences for medical actions that you want or do not want to be taken if you are critically ill or injured.  An Advance Directive should be included in all estate plans as it provides doctors and loved ones with clear guidance on how you want to be treated if you reach the end of your life.  Each state has its own unique Advance Directive form.


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Friday, February 17, 2017

Elder Abuse Remains a Problem in Florida


What are the signs of elder abuse?

A home webcam in Texas recently captured shocking footage that has outraged the public and raised awareness as to the ongoing problem of elder abuse.  In the viral video, a home health care aid is captured physically and verbally abusing her 94-year-old patient.  The health care worker goes so far as to strike the disabled, elderly woman.

Sadly, elder abuse experts in Florida report that this Texas case is far from isolated.  According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, over 2,500 cases of elder abuse occurred in 2015.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nursing Homes Barred from Requiring Arbitration


What is being done about elder abuse in nursing homes?

Last month, we wrote a post on the factors involved in selecting a nursing home in light of widespread neglect and abuse in the elder care system. The Obama Administration has since issued a rule that will make it easier for the families of injured nursing home residents to sue for damages.  Specifically, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (a division of the Department of Health and Human Services) has barred all nursing homes that receive federal funding from requiring residents to resolve disputes through arbitration. This new rule is designed to provide greater protection to as many as 1.5 million residents.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home

How can I select the best nursing home for my aging parent?

The fact that our society as a whole is living longer and the number of seniors is growing fast means that many individuals will face the difficult choice of entering an assisted living facility ("ALF") or a nursing home. While many elder care facilities provide quality health care to their residents and patients, nursing home neglect and abuse continues to plague the system. For this reason, elders and their loved ones need to choose an ALF or nursing home carefully, and also have a plan for financing long-term care.  

Why are patients injured in nursing homes?

Patients are often neglected and injured for a number of reasons. One overarching problem is that some nursing homes care more about making profits rather than patient care. As such, these facilities look to cut costs by not retaining adequate staff or hiring workers who have not received adequate training.

When patients are neglected, not properly supervised, or heavily sedated (as they sometimes are in an effort to minimize their care needs) they are more likely to be injured in falls, which can have catastrophic consequences



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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crackdown on Abuse of Guardianships in Florida

How is Florida trying to protect its most vulnerable seniors?

The Sunshine State, where so many Americans look forward to spending their retirement years, has a disportionately large elderly population. Unfortunately, along with the outsized senior population comes a larger than average proportion of guardianships and, regrettably, the fraud that sometimes accompanies them. Not only does Florida have the largest population over the age of 65 in the country, but thanks in large part to Alzheimer's, dementia and other debilitating mental or physical ailments among the elder population, there are 50,000 people who have been declared "wards" of court-supervised guardianships in the state. A breathtaking amount of wards' assets-- nearly $4 billion -- is under the control of guardians.


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Guardianships and the Law


What is guardianship and how is it deemed necessary?

For many people, estate planning includes making provisions for family members who require assistance throughout adulthood. Such individuals may suffer from severe congenital defects, deteriorative or incapacitating illness, psychiatric disorder or disability as the result of an accident. Any condition that prevents such individuals from caring for themselves may require the establishment of a guardianship with the disabled person as the designated "ward." If you have a person in your family who requires this type of protection, it is essential that you set up the guardianship with the assistance of a well-respected attorney with expertise in the field.


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Monday, June 27, 2016

The Need to Include Planning for Long-Term Care in Your Estate Planning


Why should you include planning for long-term care in your estate planning?

Seniors are gradually becoming a larger proportion of the American population.  The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that this growth will become more and more rapid in the future. By the middle of the next century, it is estimated that there could be more people over 65 than people under 18. This means that planning not just for retirement, but for an extended lifespan is becoming increasingly necessary.


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

For-Profit Adult Day Care Centers: New Approach to a Growing Problem Are there any innovations in adult day care facilities?


Daniel and Genevive Barbeau-Nassar have recently opened a new and different kind of day care center for older adults in Venice, Florida. What makes it unusual is that All Smiles Adult Day Care Center is primarily financed by for-profit providers. In addition, All Smiles offers more security for participants in the program who tend to wander -- a common trait among the cognitively impaired elderly.

New programs in senior facilities are certainly needed since, according to the National Adult Day Services Association, the population enrolled in such centers is growing at an annual rate of 5.5 percent.


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Evidence Shows that Medical Errors Are the 3rd Leading Cause of Death in U.S. How common are medical mistakes?


We have all heard the horror stories of medical mistakes: the wrong breast is removed; the wrong kidney is implanted; the surgeon leaves a contaminant in the gastrointestinal tract. Terrifying though these stories may be, most of us assume that safety and sterility standards will be observed when we are hospitalized or operated on. We also assume that the medications our doctors prescribe will help, rather than harm, us.

Unfortunately, a recent study published in the BMJ  (formerly the British Medical Journal) reported that medical errors in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are now the third leading cause of death in this country, after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Such mistakes are responsible for the loss of 251,000 lives a year.


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