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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Social Security Birthday


Social Security celebrates a birthday this week – officially having turned 82 on Monday.

Social Security became law on Aug. 14, 1935, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.

Little did anyone know back in 1935 exactly how important Social Security would become. Back then, most Americans relied on job pensions and savings to live out their retirement years.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 7, 2017

Have the Dreaded Talk


Over the last few years I have written about a variety of subjects related to elder law, estate planning and special-needs planning. There has been no topic more often discussed than having the family talk and following that up with creating the necessary legal documents to protect and help the entire family.

But just a few weeks ago, I met with a family who had done none of it – no family conversation and no legal documents – and now they were in crisis.

We were able to help that family but the process would have been much smoother had they prepared in advance.

It starts with the conversation.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reducing Dementia Risk


A study recently presented in London at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggests that lifestyle changes can help prevent dementia, according to a report published by the BBC.

It was also reported at the conference that it is estimated that 47 million people globally suffer with some form of dementia currently and, left untreated, that number can grow to 131 million by 2050.

The scientists who presented the study suggest that these nine preventable factors cause 35 percent of dementia risk, and that with behavioral change, this part of the dementia risk can be significantly reduced or eliminated.

The nine factors and their percentage of the risk are:

  • Mid-life hearing loss – 9%
  • Failing to complete secondary education - 8%
  • Smoking - 5%
  • Failing to seek early treatment for depression - 4%
  • Physical inactivity - 3%
  • Social isolation - 2%
  • High blood pressure - 2%
  • Obesity - 1%
  • Type 2 diabetes - 1%

Unfortunately the remaining 65% of the causes of dementia are what the scientists describe as “non-modifiable.”

So while research continues for a cure for Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, there is action individuals can take to help with prevention.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 17, 2017

Gainesville Attorney Shannon Miller Recognized by the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar


Gainesville Elder Law attorney Shannon Miller was recently selected Member of the Year by the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar.

Shannon is a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney with a strong reputation for her efforts on behalf of our senior citizens and people with special needs.

An active member of the Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly and Disabled, Shannon is heavily involved in its efforts to improve Florida legislation addressing financial exploitation of elderly and disabled adults.

Shannon’s professional achievements include being recognized by the Florida Bar for her work on behalf of poor and indigent clients as well as having served as the President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, a non-profit professional association which works to improve the quality of legal services for the elderly and disabled.

We congratulate Shannon for receiving this well-deserved recognition.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Information Explaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the Elderly and Disabled


There are millions of people across the United States – seniors and those with disabilities – who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to make ends meet.

Taking a snapshot of those receiving SSI benefits, we see that the majority are women. The program is especially helpful for people of color and those with limited English language skills. It is also an essential budgetary benefit for countless disabled older Americans whose Social Security benefits do not cover all their needs for food and shelter because they have no other adequate source of income.

With so much uncertainty in Washington about the future of government programs, it is important that those who advocate for seniors, the disabled and other Americans make sure that the elected officials who are making these decisions understand the critical needs these programs cover.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Falls: A Serious Danger for Our Seniors


For many older Americans falls can lead to debilitating injuries and in the worst-case scenario even death.

It’s often the case that the first fall for an older person will lead to a tremendous change in lifestyle. This change can be as simple as the beginning of bringing in caregivers to having to totally change their living situation.

The statistics on falls for people over the age of 65 are staggering. These are from the U.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 12, 2017

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


This Thursday, June 15, marks another of those days that as a people we wish we did not have to recognize – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. But unfortunately with a growing older population, we are experiencing an increase in elder abuse.

Organized by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, there will be a special recognition of the day at the United Nations. The theme of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue.

This abuse manifests itself in many ways – physical, emotional, financial and more.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Honoring Patient’s Wishes


A recent lawsuit settlement in Augusta, GA has shed new light on an often emotionally challenging problem.

Staff at Doctors Hospital in 2012 failed to follow an advance directive signed by Bucilla Stephenson when she entered the medical facility. Four days later, Stephenson, who was 91, went into respiratory failure. One of the doctors ordered nurses to intubate her and hook her to a ventilator. She later had a feeding tube inserted, underwent multiple blood transfusions and had other procedures done.
Read more . . .


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Retirees Caring for Their Parents is Becoming More Common


If you’re a baby boomer, you have recently hit retirement age, or it is right on the horizon.

After working all those years, you are now looking forward to a life where you remain active but are free from the daily grind of work. But you may be in for a little surprise. You may be taking care of your parents.

As a result of better health, people are living longer.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How to Talk to Parents About the Future


 

Talking to parents about the future and how to plan for it may be one of the most challenging but necessary conversations you will ever have. This conversation should include discussion about all the necessary legal documents that need to be in place as people age, as well as how they want to deal with their own aging and any medical ailments that go with it.

You will be rebuffed. When you are, there’s only one thing to do – keep trying. However, I was pleased when my children recently talked with me about this sometimes sensitive topic.
Read more . . .


Thursday, May 18, 2017

May is National Elder Law Month


Last week we wrote here about May being Older Americans Month. It may be fitting and it’s not a coincidence that it is also National Elder Law Month.

National Elder Law Month was originally created through a declaration by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1963 to honor those who are 65 or older.
Read more . . .


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