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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reducing Falls with Yoga


We are well aware that falls are particularly problematic for people as they age. Injuries and other health-related issues are compounded when a fall occurs for someone in our older population.

Studies show that among people aged 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death, as well as the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital trauma admissions. Thirty percent of this age group has a fall each year. By age 80 that rate increases to 50 percent.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Medicare Costs Going Up in 2018


Medicare recipients should be preparing for increased costs in 2018 that may or may not be covered by their Part B coverage.

Seniors on Medicare can anticipate an increase in premiums of 23 percent on doctor visits and outpatient care depending on how they are covered.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the standard monthly premium will jump from $25 a month to $134 a month if they are paying a lower monthly premium as part of a hold harmless legal provision.  This includes approximately 70 percent of Medicare Part B enrollees.  

The purpose of the hold harmless provision was to keep Medicare Part B payments from rising more than the recipient’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, commonly known as COLA.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scammers Targeting Veterans


Scammers are always looking for the easiest victims of their crimes, and now they have found a new group – our veterans.

A series of scams targeted at veterans of any age, but especially older ones, have become prominent in recent months. Most of the scams focus on two areas – benefits or identity theft.

The benefit scams include offers to make an upfront payment in cash in exchange for future disability or pension payments but at a fraction of the value, fraudulent investment advisors suggesting the veteran can get additional benefits by overhauling their investment holdings, creating a phone number similar to the ones veterans actually use to find approved health care providers in the VA system and charging for military records.

The identity theft scams include people calling and saying they work for the VA and need to update records.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Consider Interviewing an Older Family Member for the Holidays


Have you ever wondered about the great stories that exist in the minds of your older family members? Why not get those stories out of their minds to the rest of the family – and do it before their memory becomes too challenging to capture them.

Credit for this idea comes from Michelle Woo who recently wrote a story for Lifehacker.com about her own experience doing this a few years ago with her grandmother, Annie.

Woo, an experienced editor and writer, included some suggestions from her experience that could make this possible for anyone to do.

First, if you have more than one older relative from which to choose, pick the one who likes telling stories the most.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Tax Code Proposal Could Hurt People with Health Issues


The recently introduced Republican proposed tax code plan could have catastrophic results for those who are chronically ill.

The proposed legislation included an end to the medical expense deduction (MED). NAELA (The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys) has already expressed its concern about this elimination, saying it would result in serious problems for people faced with the high cost of any type of long-term, health-related services.

MED has been part of the tax code since 1942. Without it, our older population and their families will suddenly be faced with additional costs for chronic illnesses, long-term care expenses and the unique and costly care needed for individuals with disabilities.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

National Caregiver Month


November is recognized as National Caregiver Month with a theme this year of “Caregiving Around the Clock.”

This theme is fitting as caregiving is a full-time job, and for most people it comes on top of what already may be a full-time job.

The Caregiver Action Network, in creating the theme for National Caregiver Month 2017, highlighted just some of the activities in an average 24-hour period for caregivers.

It starts early in the morning. On top of dealing with the person for which you may be the primary caregiver, you are likely dealing with a spouse and children – making sure everyone has what they need to get off to work or school.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

With New Medicare Cards Coming, Scammers are Already on the Prowl


New Medicare cards are being rolled out starting in April 2018 but scammers are already hard at work trying to take advantage of the change.

The new cards, which will take up to a year for full distribution, will include an 11-character, randomly assigned number with no connection to any other personal information, like Social Security numbers.

Although the first Medicare beneficiaries will not see the card until next April, scammers have started their efforts to take advantage of Medicare recipients. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) has begun a campaign to keep current and new cards away from scammers.

AARP has begun efforts as well to help CMS get the word out.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Defining Hope: Quality End-of-Life Care


Defining Hope, the brainchild of director Carolyn Jones, creator of the American Nurse Project, is a film that follows eight patients with life-threatening illness, along with the nurses who guide them on their journeys.

The documentary is described as a portrait of what makes life worth living and how we and our loved ones deal with things as we get closer to the end of life. Using conversations and interactions between patients, families, nurses and healthcare professionals, the concept of quality end-of-life care is brought to the forefront.​​

Nov. 1 was selected as the premiere date in honor of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Scams Impacting Our Seniors


There certainly seems like there’s been an upward surge in scams – onIine, on the phone or by mail – over the last several months. And while anyone can be the target of these scams, as is usually the case, the most heavily targeted population group is our seniors.

One of the best watchdogs when it comes to shedding a light on these scams is AARP. The organization recently sent out a warning about two new two phishing schemes. While these scams are new in a sense, they are really based on others we have seen in the past.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Helping People with Special Needs and Their Families


One of the unique benefits of having a legal practice that emphasizes elder law, estate planning and special needs, is that you can really see how much you help people. That is never more evident than in the case of Special Needs Planning.

Our dealings with families that have children or other loved ones with special needs, such as mental or physical disabilities, help those families know that, no matter what may happen in the future, your loved one will be cared for.

One such case is Nick. I have the great fortune of being able to work with him and his mother, Melinda Morrison.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

New Rules on Reverse Mortgage Borrowing


The federal government has issued new rules on reverse mortgages. These new rules went into effect this Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, and only impact new borrowing. If you already have a reverse mortgage, these new rules do not apply to you.

Reverse mortgages are a financial product available for homeowners 62 or older who have accumulated home equity and want to use this to supplement retirement income.
Read more . . .


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