Articles Posted in Elder Law

Ask-the-question-300x200Many a well-intentioned family member has taken on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent only to realize that they’ve committed to more than they can handle on their own.

And many more people will need to step into a caregiver role in the coming years.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population of people 65 and older will grow by approximately 50% over the next 30 years!

Mature Couple Calculating Coin In The PiggybankIf you haven’t heard of the Medicare Savings Program, today may be your lucky day. You could save thousands of dollars a year on medical costs courtesy of the State of Connecticut and Medicaid.

The Medicare Savings Program covers

  • out-of-pocket expenses for premiums,
  • deductibles
  • co-pays
  • and subsidizes your prescriptions drug costs if you are an eligible Medicare beneficiary.

Do you meet the criteria?  Continue reading

Who Blue cubes. Part of a series.

There are many ways a trustee of a special needs trust could cause harm to a beneficiary, however unintentionally. This is why many people choose to have a disability planning attorney take on this critical role.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding who should administer a special needs trust:

1. SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid… sound confusing? It can feel like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Does the prospective trustee understand the differences between these public benefit programs and the rules that govern them? A trustee with limited understanding could unwittingly jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility.

Continue reading

iStock_$GiftAs your parents age, their ability to take care of themselves will inevitably deteriorate over time. The changes may seem drastic, especially if you don’t see them often. How can you help them make their savings last and get the care they need where they want it – in their own home? A good plan with the help of an estate planning and elder law attorney can make all the difference.

Does this sound familiar?

There’s no place like home for the holidays. But now that the dishes are put away after the annual Thanksgiving feast, you begin to notice that Mom and Dad’s house is a little more chaotic than you remember.

You check in on them often by phone, but living several hours away from their home in Connecticut you don’t have much time for visits, except around the holidays.

Now, it’s pretty obvious that things are going downhill. Dad’s fine. Mom – the rock of the family – says she’s fine, too, but she has had a few falls recently and is having trouble Continue reading

pen in hand writing on the white page

The day your loved one enters a nursing facility is not a great day. Aside from your own emotional strain you will try valiantly to let your loved one know that you will stay close and advocate for his or her needs.

And then there’s the paperwork. Lots of it.

Should you sign the nursing home agreement right then? Do you understand what it all means and that if you’re not careful, you could end up in nursing home litigation?

Consider this story…

Robert, a family man in his fifties, agreed to bring his wife’s Uncle Jack to the nursing facility and to get him settled in.

When they arrived, Jack was brought to his room and Robert was shepherded to the admissions office where he sat down in front of the admissions coordinator.  Sitting in front of Robert, stacked a couple of inches thick, were admissions documents Continue reading

StethoscopeMoneyA federal court ruled that hospitals may retain a patient in their building under “observation status” rather than formally admitting them, and that such “observation status” does not count as a hospital stay for nursing home Medicare qualification purposes.

Medicare (not to be confused with Medicaid or Title 19) provides a limited nursing home benefit. If a nursing home resident spends three nights in a hospital and then is discharged to a nursing home for some type of rehabilitation services, the nursing home resident is entitled to Medicare benefits at the nursing home for up to 100 days. Medicare will pay the entire bill for the first 20 days and, for the next 80 days, Medicare will continue to pay a portion of the bill and the nursing home resident must pay a portion. In 2021, the nursing home resident must pay $185.50/day and Medicare pays the balance (many nursing home residents have a Medicare supplemental insurance policy to cover the $185.50/day). The Medicare benefit can save a nursing home resident tens of thousands of dollars.

So what does “observation status” have to do with all of this?

Under Medicare regulations for hospitals, if a hospital admits a patient and Continue reading

AdobeStock_41168140-300x225By Esther Corcoran

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of growing older, as many people seem to think. It is a disease that impairs memory and intellectual abilities to the point where their daily life is being affected. When people notice things in their daily life changing, there are 10 early signs to be aware of and to keep into consideration before seeking medical help. 

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially forgetting recently learned information. Other instances include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

This is the first in a 3-part series about the process and practice of becoming your parent’s healthcare advocate. In this part one, we talk about how to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition. 

As Bette Davis once said, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

It’s also not something that anyone should have to do alone, especially when it comes to navigating the exhaustingly complex and sometimes downright intimidating territory of personal healthcare.


Choice Wooden Letterpress ThemeUntil recently, there was a Catch 22 when it came to getting care in the community. If you are 65 years of age or older, the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is available. But for younger people with complex care needs, the options in Connecticut have been limited.

The PCA (Personal Care Assistance) Medicaid Waiver is available, for example, but primarily serves individuals with limited needs and certain conditions, and the program has a cap on the number of slots available. Furthermore, other waiver programs are also limited. Continue reading

AdobeStock_86658626-300x190Few crises are more stressful than those related to health and long-term care. It is hard enough to navigate these complex issues during the best of times. In a world full of uncertainty, they become even more stressful and urgent.

As we all wrestle with the day-to-day reality of COVID-19, the already daunting task of figuring out how to sustainably support necessary home care, medical services, nursing home costs, and other critical expenses quickly becomes overwhelming.

And the situation is exponentially worse if you’ve waited until you’re in crisis to address the important questions of how to pay for critical services, protect your assets, and ensure your comfort, security, and quality of life.

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