What You Need To Know About Paying Home healthcare Workers

The federal government recently extended minimum wage and overtime protections to most home health care workers. If you are hiring a caregiver for yourself or an elderly loved one, you need to become familiar with the rules, even if the paid caregiver is a family member. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers who hire casual babysitters and domestic service workers to provide “companionship services” to elderly persons or persons with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities are not required to pay the minimum wage or provide overtime pay. Therefore, if you directly hire a caregiver whose job it is to Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About MassHealth

What is MassHealth? The federal Medicare program provides elders with financial assistance to subsidize the costs of medical bills and prescription drugs. However, Medicare does not cover placement in a nursing home. On the other hand, Medicaid, called MassHealth in the commonwealth, is a joint program with the federal government that pays for nursing home placement for qualifying individuals. Why does it exist? MassHealth gives health care coverage to more than a million people in the commonwealth, including seniors. The plan subsidizes all or part of health care premiums and pays for benefits, such as doctor visits, therapy, hospital stays, Continue Reading

Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the overall costs may be far greater. If you use a non-lawyer to do Medicaid planning, the person offering services may not have any legal knowledge or training. Bad advice can lead seniors to purchase products or take actions that won’t help them qualify for Medicaid and may actually make it more difficult. The consequences of taking bad advice can include the denial of benefits, a Medicaid penalty period, or tax Continue Reading

What Is Required of an Executor?

Being the executor of an estate is not a task to take lightly. An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual’s estate. Although the time and effort involved will vary with the size of the estate, even if you are the executor of a small estate you will have important duties that must be performed correctly or you may be liable to the estate or the beneficiaries. The executor is either named in the will or if there is no will, appointed by the court. You do not have to accept the position of Continue Reading

Virtual Senior Center Keeps Elderly Engaged At Home

If you or someone you know has a relative who is home bound, then you are aware of how isolation and the inability to get out and socialize can affect an elderly loved one’s emotional wellbeing. With VSC, you no longer have to worry about your loved one being alone. VSC or Virtual Senior Center is a place where the elderly can congregate online, talk to one another face to face via video chat, or take classes online with the same technology. The link attached below will provide you with personal accounts of elders and facilitators on how the program Continue Reading

Avoiding Pitfalls When Forced to Start Using Retirement Savings

The oldest of the 75 million baby boomers have begun turning 70 in 2016. Becoming a septuagenarian is a milestone in itself, but it also means that soon the IRS will likely be expecting you to start cashing out your tax-deferred retirement savings that you may have spent decades building up. If you don’t start taking what are called required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your non-Roth individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) accounts and pay taxes on the withdrawals, you will face a 50 percent penalty on what should have been withdrawn but wasn’t.  But more than this, how you Continue Reading

Opioid Elder Abuse in Massachusetts

Exploiting parents or grandparents for their Social Security and pension checks, stealing cash and jewelry, emotional and physical abuse—these are all symptoms of the rising epidemic of opioid abuse. As more adult children are becoming addicted to opioids and winding up back home, elder abuse is rising. According to the Boston Globe article below, the number of elder abuse cases caused by adult children addicted to opioids has risen 37% since 2011. At almost 25,000 cases in the past year in Massachusetts alone, elder abuse is becoming a costly epidemic to the elder populace as many live in fear of Continue Reading

Elder Law and Protecting Your Assets

As we get older, our focus changes from acquiring to retaining our quality of life and assets. There are many things to consider and understand when you decide the time is right to get your estate in order, and it is always better to start planning earlier than later. There are a few basic items that need to be addressed as soon as possible. These have no real bearing on your age, but are ways to protect your assets should something unexpected happen to you. Preparing a valid will, health care proxy and power of attorney are the first steps Continue Reading

Living With Alzheimer’s – Ways to plan and support loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is not something that makes itself apparent right away. It moves slowly, disguising itself before showing its true nature. When planning is not enough will your family be ready? The story of Geri Taylor, aged 72 is one like any other, moving through life happily until one day she didn’t recognize the woman looking back at her. For most, Alzheimer’s will come as a shock, but with the right amount of support and the right amount of planning, it can be somewhat of an easy transition. For Geri, the support came from her husband and family, finding ways Continue Reading

Palliative Care and Quality Of Death

We talk a lot about quality of life in our daily lives, but what about quality of death?  In many instances, a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness that results in an end of life pain management regimen and hospice care.  According to the Economist Intelligence Unit cited in the article below, the U.S. ranks 9th in the global Quality of Death Index, which bases its statistics on a country’s availability and quality of palliative care, the existence of adequate hospice programs, and strong community involvement on the issue. As the article illustrates, Uganda became one of the Continue Reading