Did you know the month of May is designated Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month? Both annual events are designed to honor and support seniors. In doing so, however, millions of family caregivers are also recognized as an essential part of senior care. As such, support resources offered by advocacy groups and the elder law community often involve adult children of aging Americans and other family members.
Elder law attorneys represent, counsel, and assist seniors and their families on a variety of legal issues, such as estate planning, health care, retirement planning, special needs assistance and elder abuse. In fact, one of the most important areas for seniors and their family caregivers to consider this year is long-term care planning.
We know long-term care can be incredibly expensive and have a profound impact on families. Of course, a balance between cost, safety, and well-being is ideal. Know that it is never too soon to begin planning, as even the most dedicated family caregivers will likely need to allow for a long-term care transition once a senior loved one’s needs surpass their capabilities.
We always want you to have as many resources as possible to help you and your senior loved ones. Let us share a list of long-term care planning resources to consider this National Elder Law Month and any time throughout the year.
1. LongTermCare.gov. This site is maintained by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, and it serves as an online clearinghouse for information and tools to plan for a senior loved one’s long-term care needs.
2. National Center for Assisted Living. As part of the American Health Care Association, NCAL offers consumer resources for assisted living facilities and related programs in different states.
3. Nursing Home Compare. Nursing Home Compare provides a searchable database with information on every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.
4. Community Resource Finder. The Community Resource Finder is a project of the AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association that provides easy access to Alzheimer’s and dementia resources and associated long-term care options throughout the country.
5. National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. NAELA is a nonprofit association of lawyers and organizations that provide legal services for older adults and their families, including seniors with special needs. NAELA has also helped establish National Elder Law Month.
Long-term care is a critical aspect of senior care and elder law attorneys are uniquely equipped to help seniors and their families plan for it. They are also able to address transitioning from family care to outside care facilities as well as any problems that may arise while a senior loved one is in the care of others. For guidance, we encourage you to contact us now, and any time through the year.