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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, April 23, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans to Expand


A recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced broader definitions of what it describes as “primary health-related benefits” related to Medicare Advantage policies, and that may be good news for seniors.

As a result of these broader definitions insurers would likely start to include these additional benefits beginning in 2019. And with 20 million of the nation’s 61 million people enrolled in Medicare, this change could have significant impact.

A number of Medicare Advantage programs already offer coverage for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and even gym memberships.  The new broader definition will enable the programs to include care and equipment that prevent or treat illness or injuries, compensate for physical impairments, address the psychological effects of illness or injuries, or reduce emergency medical care.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Living Longer and Healthier: Diet Can Help


If you want to live longer and stay healthy, here’s one solution. Try cutting your calorie intake by 15 percent.

A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism suggested the 15 percent decrease for an extended period of time – at least two years. The result, according to the report, is a significant decrease in metabolism, which reduces a type of stress associated with aging.

The results are based on a two-year study of non-obese adults who reduced their caloric intake by the suggested 15 percent.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

An Increase in Retirees to Impact Pensions


 

As the number of retirees grows, we are starting to see an increased strain on government pension funds. And a recent report from the Census Bureau is adding to that concern.

Twelve years from now, approximately one in five Americans will be of retirement age, according to the report. Additionally, by 2035, people 65 and older will outnumber those under 18 by about 2 million – something that has never happened in U.S.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Legislative Change Helps Protect Vulnerable Adults


Changes recently adopted by the Florida Legislature and recently approved by the governor will enhance protection for seniors and other adults considered vulnerable by state standards.

The most significant change to the Adult Protective Services Act, originally adopted in 1977, focuses on financial exploitation, as well as abuse and neglect. It creates the ability to more easily petition for temporary injunctions blocking any exploitation attempts. Additionally, it makes it easier for the court to grant relief on final injunctions for a person being financially exploited.

Florida law defines a vulnerable person as anyone 18 years or older who struggles with caring for themselves because of mental, emotional, sensory, long-term physical, developmental disability or dysfunction, brain damage or the infirmities of aging.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Some Good Funding News on Fight Against Alzheimer’s


The 2018 budget approved recently by Congress calls for a $414 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If there are no changes before the budget is signed into law, Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the NIH will reach $1.8 billion. 

This marks the third consecutive year that Congress has approved an appeal by the Alzheimer’s Association for historic funding increases to enable research to fight these devastating diseases.

That’s the good news.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 19, 2018

Blueberries: Good for the Brain


A few weeks back we wrote here about the benefits of dance for brain activity as we age. The article came from a series produced by AARP called Staying Sharp.

The latest in that series deals with blueberries as the new brain food. Already recognized as a great source for lowering risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes, the fruit is starting to be recognized as an effective way to fight off memory loss in older people.

A small study done at the University of Exeter in England showed that concentrated blueberry juice improved brain function in older adults.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 19, 2018

Changes in Nursing Home Fine Violations


As part of an ongoing effort to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate what it considers unnecessary regulations, the federal government has significantly decreased penalties that can be levied against nursing homes that receive federal funding. These penalties are generally imposed for safety or quality-standard violations.

Additionally, the new federal regulations make it harder to deny payments to nursing homes for any violations that may occur. These changes occurred back in December.

While we all hope that if we have loved ones in nursing homes, they are well cared for, sometimes these violations occur.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 12, 2018

Budget Adopted in February Increases Funding for Most Health Programs


A two-year budget deal agreed upon last month by Congress, and later signed by the President, increased federal spending for defense, as expected. What came as a bit of a surprise though was the increased funding for a number of health-related programs including those that help seniors and those with special needs.

Included in the increased funding was $6 million in treatment of mental health issues and opioid addiction, a $2 billion addition to the National Institutes of Health and a four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). That is over and above the six years approved by Congress earlier.

Seniors fared well, too, with an acceleration of the closing of the doughnut hole in Medicare drug coverage.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Aging Workplace Creates Safety Concern


The conventional wisdom used to be that when you reach 65, you retire. But more and more that’s no longer the case.

Couple that with the fact that the people reaching traditional retirement age today are those in the baby boomer generation, we are looking at the largest older workforce in U.S. history.
Read more . . .


Monday, February 26, 2018

Estate Planning: Should I Be Doing It?


 

What is the right age to begin consider estate planning? Should I only think about estate planning if I’m rich?

These are two interesting questions we often hear. The answers are really simple.

If you are an adult (18 or older), it’s not too early to think about estate planning. And while you may not be rich, you likely have assets that need to be considered should something happen to you.

As a young adult you may already have cash, life insurance or other assets that may have been given to you by your parents.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dance to Keep Your Brain Sharp


During the next few months, we will offer some ideas that are considered helpful to keep you sharp and active as you age. The source for many of these ideas will be the AARP series on Staying Sharp.

We start with dance, which is considered a great way to protect brain tissue, improve focus and help navigational skills. In fact, according to studies done at Colorado State University, activity using specific dance types is effective in different ways.

The study starts with country dance, which is considered very useful for protecting brain tissue.
Read more . . .


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