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Old 01-25-2016, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,737 posts, read 4,750,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
As I get older, I guess I will have to train one of my nieces or nephews and then leave them a chunk of money when I'm gone. I don't really even know if I'm kidding or not when I say this.
I doubt I will survive DH, but who knows?

I have had the same idea as you and I'm not kidding. I recall that one of Jane Austen's brothers was adopted by a wealthy childless aunt and uncle as a solution to this very problem. We don't have any blood relatives nearby so the advocate would have to be a friend. I have one in mind, I just wish our age difference was more. I'm 62 and he's 55.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:29 AM
 
218 posts, read 168,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Let me give you the Cliff notes version of how bad it can get. My sister and husband retired and moved to a small town close to a major city. That was 10 years ago and they made a lot of close friends during that time. A couple of months ago he died suddenly. He had managed the finances but was juggling huge credit card debts and a home equity loan. Before the grieving had even started my sister faced bankruptcy and losing the house...

....

This is a long and depressing story. I have no solution to this problem. I post this as a warning to others. When we first retire, we can come up with ambitious plans including moving away from friends, relatives and other support. Maybe that makes sense but thinking and planning for our future health needs is also important. Maybe the brother in law who died suddenly and unexpectedly was the lucky one.

Thank you for sharing this story with us jrkliny. It is, indeed, a good reminder of what can happen. It is, in fact, my own biggest fear, having health issues myself, an older husband, no children, and no close family. We have good friends and great neighbors, but as you said, there is only so much they can be expected to do. My own plan is to move into a CCRC when he passes, and I'm fairly sure that we will be able to afford that when the time comes. But even then, It would be relying on others to do the right thing with me when I am unable to manage things myself. A scary proposition for sure.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:33 AM
 
218 posts, read 168,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I doubt I will survive DH, but who knows?

I have had the same idea as you and I'm not kidding. I recall that one of Jane Austen's brothers was adopted by a wealthy childless aunt and uncle as a solution to this very problem. We don't have any blood relatives nearby so the advocate would have to be a friend. I have one in mind, I just wish our age difference was more. I'm 62 and he's 55.
I've had that same thought too! So maybe here is the business prospect, OP.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,131 posts, read 9,098,506 times
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In some states , Illinois is one, you can expect a visit from a city/county social worker if you are judged to be alone, uncared for, incompetent, unable to manage. Protective Services for Adults is the state run organization that takes you on as a case and advocates for you when you are unable to do this yourself.
When the state gets involved, things can get messy.
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:27 AM
 
Location: NC
6,574 posts, read 8,008,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
In some states , Illinois is one, you can expect a visit from a city/county social worker if you are judged to be alone, uncared for, incompetent, unable to manage. Protective Services for Adults is the state run organization that takes you on as a case and advocates for you when you are unable to do this yourself.
When the state gets involved, things can get messy.
So I guess it is a crap shoot as to whether it is good or bad for the individual.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:21 AM
 
210 posts, read 151,270 times
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Let's say that you prefer to get a niece or nephew to manage you affairs to having a stranger do the same. Can you arrange for them to pay themselves a salary without running afoul of Medicaid rules should you run out of money?
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:44 AM
 
6,894 posts, read 7,300,512 times
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Sorry this is long...
Quote:
services that would guide an individual to getting optimal care, given their finances and circumstances. Not the meals-on-wheels per se, but one that signs you up for meals-on-wheels. Not the bed in the advanced care facility, but one that selects the best advanced care facility for you, just as a loved one would do
If you're saying you'd want a government person -- like a local county aging social worker -- to do that -- I'd say absolutely not. Too much opportunity for graft, corruption and steering….for one's own gain, and exploitation of an extremely vulnerable population. As another person pointed out -- their job is to inform you about services, not select them for you.

If a person has no one, many times a hospital ombudsman or the social worker at the nursing home may see that a court guardian is appointed.

And all of that is WORK….people get paid to do those kinds of things. Try coordinating with any county aging office and coordinating all the services a person might need. You can spend a half day on the phone each time you call, and talk to two and three different people -- especially in the beginning…when you're first inquiring and learning the ropes.

Now that I know more about the kinds of needs and representation the elderly have (after guiding the affairs of a couple of ill and older family members) I see that there is a gold mind of a career opportunity in the elder care advocate and case manager field.

You just have to find clients who can afford the pay for the services. I found a woman who will arrange all of your records, paperwork, documents, for insurance, utilities, house, healthcare, etc. She charges hundreds of dollars and that's ALL she does. She pitches her services to 1) people who don't have enough common sense to organize their OWN paperwork…and 2) the adult children and relatives of the elderly person, the people who may live out of state and don't really know the older person's routine or finances or life contacts. Clearly, adult kids who have their own life out of state are willing to pay her to do that.

All the person does is gather the paperwork, documents, and contact, doctors, insurance info, utility bills she's given -- and organize it all in a binder….SOOO THAT when a niece or son comes in from out of town -- all the person's info: prescription info, doctors names, utility numbers, various billing info, insurance policies, etc are in one "master bible" and binder.

Loved ones and trusted friends might do all that for free. But just having all that in one organized place is a GREAT help. And just like mowing the lawn, or fixing a faucet…there's always someone you can pay to do something you COULD do yourself, but just don't ant -- or have the time to do.

I found another firm that was founded by a nurse who saw the need for medical advocates. She started out years ago as just that, herself, a private-hire medical advocate for families who get thrown a whole lot of medical jargon and have to make medical decisions, SHE would be their second opinion, and even get other opinions for them. She grew her firm to include others with medical backgrounds -- AND attorneys for POAs, asset protection, trusts, medicaid planning etc. It's a one stop firm for elder and special needs management cases. She -- like an attorney I know -- also represents special needs for CHILDREN situations….parents who have handicapped kids they know will need care, guardians, etc. They have to plan finances so the child can qualify for needed services, especial should something happen to the parents. It's not just the elderly who need healthcare advocates.

Granted, you have to have the money to pay for all this representation…..starting at 120 and hour. But there is a lot of research and info gathering involved. And there's a need.

If I were young and starting out I'd DEFINITELY go into special needs advocacy, and home care. I've done it for two people. I can certainly charge for the expertise and knowledge I've gained.

I've tried to talk a friend into providing errand and advocacy serves for the elderly. She already has her retirement house in Florida, and I think that be a GREAT opportunity for her. With all the older folks in FLA who have adults kids out of state….they'd pay to have someone look in on mom or dad. If a hurricane is coming she could help them relocate or check on them. But she doesn't want to do that. Those kids would LOVE to have someone there to handle all the things for the parents, that they the adult kids can't themselves from NY, or CT, or CALIF, or Kansas, or Texas. etc Take parents to appointments, check on them twice a week, do some shopping, etc.

if I were younger I'd definitely go into that kind of advocacy and service sector. Who does manage the person finances? Who does make sure they go to the doctor AND manage their meds? Who does make sure they get services and help that are available? That's a lot of work? A lot of HOURS and DAYS of work? The phone calls? the time? the coordination? God forbid you're trying to manage that while you work or are out of state.

IF, IF an elderly or ANY special needs person truly has NO one, who can help them..then yes, they are going to fall through the cracks, and could end up dying a sad death.

Those of us who've advocated for loved ones in nursing homes know -- we were there every day, the nurses and administrators KNEW we were very involved and on top of things -- and there war STILL issues. I don't even want to THINK about the neglect that happens when the staff KNOWS there's no one coming to check on the person. Some of us have seen it. It's not pretty.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:30 PM
 
1,076 posts, read 1,119,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Just wondering. Suppose you are single, never married, no kids, and elderly, with no long time friends nearby. Suppose you become incapacitated in some way and cannot advocate for yourself either for a short time or forever. Is there some way to set up a virtual advocate who looks out for you, your money, your resources? Someone to whom you give health care power of attorney, or who finds the best assisted living or nursing home for you when you can't do it yourself? Are there resources for low-income people? Are there resources for people with adequate retirement savings who can pay their way?

I would estimate 5 or 10% of the elderly would fall into this category at some point.
I am one if these people, except I have financial resources. What if you have no one who you can be your Power of Attorney? And what if you have Alzheimer's? There is no planning ahead for this.
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:32 PM
 
6,894 posts, read 7,300,512 times
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^^ Your lawyer's office might be a place to start, or to get advice on this.
Can an adult person with NO family, proactively petition to have a court appointed person names to be their guardian, in the event they need assistant. I wouldn't think so. But then again has it ever been tried??

If you know you have say, Alzheimers and no one to take care of you, could you go to family court and say…I know i'll have no one to be my advocate or guardian…..can I have one appointed now -- for my future needs?

A guardian has legally defined responsibilities…no? and there's some kind of oversight, right?
Advocate can be a nebulous term….

I was going to say likely not, because it's not the state's responsibility to take care of adults. For children, at least there are CASA volunteers (Court appointed special advocates).

And unless someone CALLS and reports a person or a case to the county office of aging, or elder care services -- how would they even know about this person?

Let's face if an elderly person with cognitive issues has NO ONE to help them, or who will step to do it -- they WILL fall by the way side and likely die alone, possibly in squalor, and likely sooner than need be…because with no one to proactively see to their needs and address their issues…..they won't eat, lively won't be able to clean their house, won't be able to pay bills, manage shopping, and certainly won't be able to address their own medical needs.

That's the extreme…but how many of us have seen elderly neighbors let the house and yard maintenance go (and they still have their faculties, they just are physically limited)….or an old man or woman so hunched over they look at the ground as they walk, one stumble away from a devastating injury…..(a vulnerable crime victim in waiting)…or a neighbor you speak to enough to be able to tell their mind is going…..and you pray they have someone who will step in…...

It's sad. What else can you say.

Last edited by selhars; 01-26-2016 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:44 PM
 
14,266 posts, read 24,021,014 times
Reputation: 20101
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
In some states , Illinois is one, you can expect a visit from a city/county social worker if you are judged to be alone, uncared for, incompetent, unable to manage. Protective Services for Adults is the state run organization that takes you on as a case and advocates for you when you are unable to do this yourself.
When the state gets involved, things can get messy.

It is funny that you mention that. I have heard a lot about that program when I was taking CPE courses for my CPA license.

The real question is who are the advocates for you in these programs? Are they political hacks who would love to have access to your assets and the like? Or are they people who are honest and caring? It makes a big difference.
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