Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. In addition to making sure that your loved one is safe and their daily needs are met, you are also faced with the fact that there are many financial and legal issues that must be addressed. As if that was not enough, you also are trying to provide the best quality of care at the least cost to the family. Caregiving is expensive and stressful, especially in these uncertain financial times. Hopefully, this article can provide you the financial and legal answers you need to do a better job.
Elder law is not just for senior citizens who are no longer independent or who are about to enter a nursing home. Elder law is for anyone who is middle aged and beyond – and sometimes even younger. There are now more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s. This is a 10% increase from 5 years ago, and clearly supports the long forecasted dementia epidemic. One in eight persons age 65 and over have Alzheimer’s disease and nearly half of all persons over the age of 85 have Alzheimer’s. Every 72 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease; by mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
You are not alone. There are over 50 million caregivers in this county. Studies show that 12 million people in this country need long term care. Twenty-one percent of American adults provide free caregiving for loved ones. Fifty-nine percent of these caregivers either work outside the home, or have worked outside the home, while providing care. It has been estimated that the value of free services given by caregivers is in excess of $310 billion a year. Additionally, as a result of caregivers, businesses are also effected by the caregiving epidemic. Specifically, over 60% of caregivers work and dedicate on average 18 hours per week to provide care. Family caregivers account for 73% of early departures and late arrivals in the workplace. Caregiving by an employee costs the average employer $2,100 per employee or for all employers as much as $33 billion annually. These services are provided by family members without regard to cost because of the love and respect they have for their loved ones.
These statistics only represent the economic cost of caregiving. It does not even address the emotional and physical toll on caregivers. The fact is that 70% of all caregivers over the age of 70 die first. People generally do not think about the health of the caregiver or plan for the unthinkable — the caregiver having health problems or passing away before their loved one with dementia. It is for this reason that we approach each situation from the worst case scenario. We plan for the worst and hope for the best, that way our clients are always protected.
We know that age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases, however, these diseases do not discriminate. We have helped clients who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases, some as young as their late 30’s. The time to look down the road and make major decisions regarding your health, well-being and finances is now.
It is important to understand the difference between an elder law attorney and an estate planning attorney. While estate planning attorneys are concerned with what happens to your estate upon your death, elder law attorneys ensure that your affairs can be managed in the event of your disability as well as once you pass away. Specifically, an experienced elder law attorney addresses the following tough questions like:
- Who will make my medical decisions when I am no longer able to make them?
- If I am unable to care for myself, how can I achieve the greatest quality of care without bankrupting myself or my family?
- Who will be able to talk to my doctors and the hospital when I require guidance even though I am able to make my own medical decisions?
- Who will make my end of life decisions?
- What happens if I get sick and cannot stay in my home anymore?
- How am I going to pay for it?
For caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s and related dementia, information regarding Medicaid and estate planning is a necessity. In these uncertain financial times, the proper long term care planning is more important than ever. Families who seek the proper professional advice will be able to protect significant portions of their assets, possibly all of their assets, in spite of these rocky financial times. However, families who fail to do the proper planning, will rapidly deplete their assets with the rising nursing home costs.
This article was written by Danielle Mayoras and Don Rosenberg and previously published at www.brmmlaw.com
Danielle Mayoras is an estate, elder law and special needs attorney who is passionate about helping people plan for future generations. She applies her knowledge and experience to help clients across the country and is a trusted advisor to celebrity and high-profile heirs.
Danielle is an author of best-selling book, Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! and host of the TV show Fortune Fights. She is also a dynamic keynote speaker who delights audiences across the country.
Danielle lends her expertise and analysis to hundreds of media sources, including ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among many others. She has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, CNN, NBC Nightly News, and FOX and NBC affiliates.
Ever wish you had a super power? X-ray vision, perhaps? Or the ability to fly, be invisible or move at the speed of sound?
If only you had one of those (or any other awesome power) you’d could be the hero, right? You could save the day. You’d get so much stuff done. You could do, be, or have anything your precious heart desires. If only. But here you are. Plain ole’ you. Nothing special. Or so you say.
But you’d be wrong, because who you are (even if you don’t believe it) truly one of a kind, full of unique gifts, and talents.
In fact, who you are is so gosh darn full of Hero Potential that it’s downright scary. And the fact that it’s so scary is EXACTLY what’s keeping you from putting all your gifts and talents to full use.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before – We don’t fear failure, we fear success. (Crazy, huh?!?!)
It’s not that you can’t imagine how cool it would be to have that new career, satisfying relationship, or abundant lifestyle, but it’s that the bigger “Your Dream” Story, the bigger the “Yeah, But” Story shows up in resistance to that dream.
The problem is that you don’t recognize the resistance for what it is because resistance is tricky. It disguises itself in all sorts of way. Doing the “urgent” stuff, rather than the important stuff. Clutter. Watching cat videos on YouTube rather than following up on sales calls. Eating junk food for comfort rather than what would truly nourish you (which at times, isn’t even food).
At its most powerful and insidious, it disguises itself as the voice of “truth” in your head that gets you to buy into the belief that you suck, you’re not good enough, and everything you do is crap.
Trust me, I know. Every time I sit down to write, I hear that voice in my head say, “Give up! Nobody cares about what you have to say!!”
But here’s the thing.
Resistance (those “Yeah, But” voices and stories) are NEVER going to go away, and if you don’t develop a solid strategy for dealing with it, then your Hero potential is always going to stay exactly that … potential.
And that would be a crying shame because more than ever, THE WORLD NEEDS WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER. Your gifts and your talents, delivered in only the way YOU can deliver them to the folks that can only receive it from you.
So what to do?
- Go for whatever it is you desire because you’re passionate about it … because it pulls on you from deep in your being, not because you think you should. I guarantee you, the road is going to get rough, and if you’re not committed from your heart and/or your gut, those “Yeah, But” Stories will derail you every time.
- Take 100% responsibility for the stories you tell. All stories serve some purpose, so begin to recognize how the story you tell serves you. Too often, we tell stories where we’re the victim, and while it’s true that “we all have our scars to live with,” they don’t need to define you unless you give them that power.
- Decide what to pay attention to. Judgment and criticality is all about keeping you small and powerless. Wonder and curiosity is all about expansion and possibility. Which ones will you choose to embrace?
- Stop trying to do it all yourself. Even the Lone Ranger didn’t go it alone. Your Hero’s journey will attract many powerful Allies. Be open to whoever shows up and welcome whatever assistance they offer. If no one shows up, go look for help. Actively seek it. Get a coach, a mentor, or a sponsor because their guidance will be invaluable in getting you where you want to go.
- Believe in Magic. As the Mad Hatter said in Alice in Wonderland, “Everyone wants some magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” Be someone who believes.Be committed to the biggest “Dream Story” you can imagine but don’t be attached to how it’s supposed to show up. Make space for magic to occur.
Why? Well, because within every “Dream Story” is an even bigger story that I call the “Unexpected Story.” It’s what happened to Elizabeth Gilbert when she committed herself to the journey she wrote about in Eat, Pray, Love. It’s what happened when Brené Brown decided to become really vulnerable and talk about shame. It’s what is in store for anyone who pushes the boundaries and beliefs of what they think is possible in order to make way for something truly extraordinary.
“The Unexpected Story” is the biggest version of what you when synchronicity, coincidence, and the Power that Creates Worlds all line up to assist you because of your commitment to bringing forth your Hero Potential.
The truth is – you don’t need “super powers” to be a hero. You just need to show up. Do what’s important. Follow your Heart. Recognize there is always going to be resistance. Get help when you need it. Embrace Wonder and Curiosity. Then just keep on going.
The world is waiting for you!
Shannon Presson, Copyright 2019
Shannon Presson’s passion is helping people truly reinvent themselves and the way they experience life. She works with clients to transform the old stories and limiting beliefs that have held them back for so long, into empowered ones that pave the way for what they truly desire.
She is a life coach, Master NLP practitioner, Certified Wealthy Mind™ trainer, and a Horse Dream Partner, teaching coaching skills through horse wisdom.
To learn more about Shannon Presson, visit her at www.shannonpresson.com
Happy Spring! I just love this time of year, especially living in Michigan because our winters are so long! Looking out at the lake as I write this, I still see ice covering part of it. The gardens will soon be bursting with life and in full bloom. Such a happy time.
I’m interviewing experts about credit, debt, and bankruptcy this month because anyone who has ever experienced being in major debt knows how it can suck the joy and the life right out of you.
I’ve been there too, and it was frightening.
There was a time when my husband and I were first married that we experienced this. I was a new financial advisor, and I was pregnant with my first baby. My husband was unemployed due to a labor strike, and his only skill since age 18 was playing a French horn for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. To bring home some income, he took a job bartending at a Greek restaurant where he would come home with a few bucks each night. It was so depressing! We got to the point where we were paying our credit cards with the checks you get from the credit card company! The strike finally ended, and he went back to work with a plan.
It was at that point, that we decided that this would never happen to us again. We made it our goal to do two things:
- We paid our credit cards off. It took time, but we did it, and we never carry a balance. In fact, most months, my husband has our credit cards paid off before the statements arrive.
- The second thing we did was to begin building an emergency cash reserve. We started with one month’s expenses, then three, then six, and finally we reached one year’s worth of expenses that we kept in a safe money market account. Now we only get 2% on this money, but it helps us sleep at night, and I love the ability to make home improvements like a new roof, for example, right from our account.
Building up that savings account took time, and besides investing in our retirement plans regularly, it’s one of the smartest thing we ever did. The next time my husband was unemployed due to a labor strike back in 2011, the strike lasted six months. Thank God we had that cash reserve!
I hope you enjoy the interviews this month with our financial experts. We will address the inner and outer workings of debt. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox offers four really smart debt tips in her featured article. I address the deep-seeded causes of debt in my article. You probably know others who can use this information. Please share it with them and invite them to join our Smart Women Community at www.JoinSmartWomen.com
Also, I’d love to hear how you like the shows and what topics you like to hear more of. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you!
Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business. She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.
Your personality is intimately related to the day of the week you were born on… or so says traditional Myanmar astrology. I thought I would bring the Myanmar Zodiac home and share it with you and see what you think. The mystic in me always has fun learning about new ways of creating self-awareness and answering the questions all humans ask about why they are here and what they are meant to be doing. (more…)
I Was Almost Too Afraid To Get Out Of The Car
I sat across the street in my car staring at the door to building number 824. I was 21 years old.
If I didn’t go inside soon, I’d be late for the interview.
But the scene gave me pause. When I was a kid, this was one of Baltimore City’s no-go neighborhoods. In fact, though I’d spent all of my 21 years living in Baltimore, I’d never driven down East Baltimore Street before. (more…)
The downside most business owners face is not being able to take a break. When working with a business owner, these are the questions I frequently ask:
- How confident are you about leaving your business for a few days, a week, a month?
- Do you end up glued to your computer or smart phone when you take a family vacation?
- What would it be like if your business could literally run without you?