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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Whitney Wilson is Chair-Elect of the KBA's Elder Law Section!

Congratulations go out to our very own Whitney Wilson!  At the Annual Meeting of the KBA's Elder Law Section Whitney was elected Chair-Elect for the 2013-2014 section year.  This position means Whitney will serve as Chair of the Elder Law Section for the 2014-2015 section year.  We are very proud of her!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PBS Article: Americans Seriously Unprepared for Long-Term Care, Study Finds

Another article, this time published by PBS, detailing how unprepared we are for preparing for, financing, and dealing with long-term care...

Link to the article:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/04/as-boomers-age-most-woefully-unprepared-for-long-term-care.html

Text of the article:

 

Americans Seriously Unprepared for Long-Term Care, Survey Finds

By: Jason Kane

It's a classic case of denial. Roughly half of Americans above the age of 40 believe "almost everyone" is likely to require long-term care as they age. Just a quarter think they will need it for themselves.

The truth: 70 percent of Americans older than age 65 will need some form of long-term care.

That gap means most Americans are doing very little to plan and save for the assistance they'll desperately need in old age, according to a new poll from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

"It's rather surprising," said Jennifer Agiesta, director of polling for the Associated Press. "Very few people have arranged to pay for or even to think about their own needs. Most haven't even taken the basic step of talking to family members about their preferences."

The problem will only become worse as America grays, with the number of seniors expected to nearly double by the time the last of the baby boomers turn 65. In 2030, seniors are expected to make up 19 percent of the U.S. population -- up from 12 percent in 2000.

After interviewing 1,019 Americans aged 40 or older in the nationally representative survey, the pollsters highlighted several startling conclusions:

  • 52 percent said they had "a great deal or quite a bit of concern" about losing their independence and having to rely on others as they age.

  • 44 percent said they were moderately worried about being able to pay for the care they might need.

  • 35 percent had actually set aside money to pay for their long-term needs.

Click on the graphic below to see how concerned the survey participants were about various aging issues:

Why such rampant lack of planning? For one thing, Agiesta said, "people tend to guess wrong when they think about how much long-term care will cost them." They underestimate the costs of nursing home care, overestimate the cost of assisted living and "are all over the place when you ask them what the costs are for a home health care aid," she said.

To an equal extent, they believe Medicare has their backs. Close to half -- 44 percent -- expect Medicare to pay for ongoing care at home by a licensed home health care aide, and 37 percent believe it pays for ongoing care in a nursing home.

But it doesn't. As the AP-NORC report points out, Medicare only pays for "medically necessary care in a skilled nursing facility." In rare cases when home health care is approved, it's provided "under very limited circumstances and for brief stretches of time."

Meanwhile, 54 percent of the survey participants said they don't anticipate needing Medicaid, the largest payer for long-term care -- even though many of them lack confidence in their ability to pay for those same services as they age.

How much do Americans think their long-term care will cost? Click the graphic below to expand:

But the bigger issue may be that most Americans simply don't want to think about aging.

Nearly a third of those polled said they "would rather not think about getting older at all." When pressed, 52 percent said they had a "great deal" or "quite a bit" of concern about losing their independence and having to rely on others as they age. And 42 percent said they worried about having to leave their own home and move into a nursing home.

The survey found that "significant majorities" prioritize almost anything that will give them more independence. That includes purchasing homes with no stairs and living close to family members, health care services and stores. Nearly seven in 10 were confident they'll be able to rely on family members "a great deal" or "quite a bit" in a time of need.

What specific steps are Americans taking for long-term care? Click the graphic below to expand:

Even though most older Americans "aren't doing much" to prepare for their own long-term care, the vast majority are supportive of a program that would help them do so, Agiesta said.

Roughly three-quarters of those 50 and older -- a full 77 percent -- support tax breaks to encourage saving for ongoing living assistance, similar to a 401(k). Half favor a government-administered long-term care insurance program, like Medicare. And about a third support a requirement that individuals purchase long-term care insurance.

Click the graphic below to see public support levels for three proposed long-term care options:

Policy options aside, Agiesta said one of the biggest obstacles will be counter-acting the widespread belief among so many Americans that "other people are going to require much more care" than they will themselves.

"As they approach this age and this stage of life, people should be thinking more critically about what they're going to need," she said. "Because it's probably not that different than what everybody else is going to need."

The SCAN Foundation, which funded the AP-NORC survey, is an underwriter of the PBS NewsHour. Top photo by John Moore/Getty Images. All graphics were produced by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

 


Friday, April 19, 2013

Katy Awarded Full Scholarship to UK Law School!

Our very own Katy Meyer is the recipient of a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky College of Law.  UK offers 2 full scholarships each year, one to an out-of-state student and one to an in-state student.  Katy was awarded the in-state scholarship.  We could not be more proud of her and her amazing accomplishment!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Elder Law of Louisville Sponsors Community Service Project in Honor of Older Americans Month

Elder Law of Louisville is honored to sponsor a great community service project here in Louisville, KY to help our local underserved Older Americans.  May is Older Americans Month.  In honor of that designation, Elder Law of Louisville is sponsoring, along with several other community partners, an "Age Strong and Live Long" community service project.  We encourage everyone to stop by a local Valu Market and donate basic personal items, such as deodorant, toothpaste, etc.  There will donation boxes set up at the grocer's stores.  Those items will be packaged together and delivered to local older americans in need.  The University of Louisville Hospital will assist in identifying those in need.

Please donate!


Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Look Out for a Relative in a Nursing Home

US News just released its Best Nursing Homes 2013.  It is now releasing its tips and tricks on how to ensure your loved one is placed in a good facility and receives the best quality care possible.  Here is a link to the article...

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/2013/02/26/how-to-look-out-for-a-relative-in-a-nursing-home


Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Pay for Nursing Home

US News has also provided an interesting, albeit it very general, article about financing a nursing home.  The article is interesting in that it hits home how likely it is that everyone will experience some financial hardship due to the cost of long term care, and just how much that hardship could be.

How does the article suggest to find an attorney to help you through the maze?  Contact your local bar association (the KY Bar Association) and find out who is speaking and presenting on these topics.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/2013/02/26/how-to-pay-for-nursing-home-costs?page=2


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

US News Best Nursing Homes 2013

US News has released its Best Nursing Homes 2013.  The first link is to a general article about the overall results.  The second link is to a ranking of nursing homes by state.

http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/caregiving/us-news-best-nursing-homes-2013

http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whitney Wilson Teaches VA Benefits

Congratulations are in order to our attorney, Whitney Wilson.  Her recent presentation at the National Business Institute's seminar on Elder Law: Financing Long Term Care and Obtaining VA Benefits, was a success.  Ms. Wilson wrote and presented all the VA Benefit topics and her presentation was approved by the VA for continuing education credits for VA accredited agents, attorneys and representatives!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Upcoming Publications and Speaking Engagements

Our attorneys here at Elder Law of Louisville have been busy.  Following a successful, VA accredited presentation on VA benefits by Ms. Wilson earlier this month, Eileen Walsh and Whitney Wilson have been tapped to provide an article for the KY Bar Association's quarterly publication, Bar Briefs.  Their article, titled How to Finance Long Term Care Without Medicaid, will appear in the upcoming edition of Bar Briefs dedicated to Elder Law.

If you are interested in learning more about Elder Law, be sure to attend the Elder Law CLE presented by the KY Bar Association's Elder Law Section on April 11, 2013.  It is a half-day seminar held at Keenland.  The seminar will be in the morning, followed by afternoon horse racing.  Ms. Walsh and Ms. Wilson are both presenting at this event.

We also encourage all our colleagues to attend the Ky Bar Association's Annual Convention this June in Louisville, KY.  Ms. Wilson will be a co-presenter on a Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Elder Law.

And, let's not forget to pick up the 2013 Edition of the Kentucky Elder Law Book published by West as part of their KY Practice Series.  The latest edition will have all the updated 2013 numbers, including Ms. Wilson's revised chapter on VA Pension benefits, and discuss some new developments in the law.  The book is expected to be available in April or May, 2013.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 VA Pension Rates

Since December, 2012, we have known the VA Pension Benefit, commonly referred to as the Aid & Attendance Benefit, was increasing by 1.7%.  The Dept. of Veterans Affairs has finally released their official 2013 benefit rates.

FOR A SINGLE VETERAN:

Base Pension: $1038 per month, or $12,465 per year

Housebound Benefit: $1269 per month, or $15,233 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $1732 per month, or $20,795 per year

 

FOR A VETERAN WITH A DEPENDENT (i.e., MARRIED):

Base Pension: $1360 per month, or $16,324 per year

Housebound Benefit: $1591 per month, or $19,093 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $2054 per month, or $24,652 per year

 

FOR THE SURVIVING SPOUSE or DEPENDENT OF A VETERAN:

Base Pension: $696 per month, or $8,359 per year

Housebound Benefit: $851 per month, or $10,217 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $1,112 per month, or $13,362 per year

 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Hiring A Caregiver: Employ One Yourself, or Go Through an Agency?

Most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible rather than move into a nursing home. For many families, this means eventually hiring a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health agency.

Hiring directly: When you hire a caregiver directly, you need to consider all the tax and liability issues. As an employer, you are responsible for filing payroll taxes, tax forms, and verifying that the employee can legally work in the United States. If you pay $1,700 or more in wages in 2011 to any one employee, you need to withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you pay more than $1,000 in wages in 2011, you need to pay unemployment taxes. In addition, a private caregiver may not carry his or her own liability insurance or workers' compensation. If an accident occurs on the job, you could be responsible.

The benefit of hiring a caregiver directly is that you have more control over who you hire and can choose someone who you feel is right for your family. In addition, hiring privately is usually cheaper than hiring through a home health agency. For more information from Caring.com on hiring a caregiver directly, click here.

The agency route: When you hire through a home health agency, the agency is the employer, so you don't need to worry about tax and liability issues. The agency takes care of screening the employees, doing background checks, and providing insurance. In addition a licensed home care agency must provide ongoing supervision to its employees. It can help the employees deal with difficult family situations or changing needs. The agency may also be able to provide back-up if a regular caregiver is not available.

The downside of going through an agency is not having as much input into the selection of the caregiver. In addition, caregivers may change or alternate, causing a disruption in care and confusion. To find a home health care agency near you, click here.

 

Courtesy: www.elderlawanswers.com


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The attorneys of Elder Law of Louisville (formerly Walsh & Wilson, PLLC) assist clients in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt. Our Office also serves Southern Indiana and the towns of New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Clarksville.



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