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Old 01-26-2016, 12:47 PM
 
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Start with an elder care attorney to make sure your finances are in order.

Look into retirement communities with a commitment to caring for residents until the end. Our area has several run by various religions. You pay so much to "buy in" and a regular monthly fee. They sign that they will care for you as you move from apartment to assisted living to the long-term care unit.

Be sure to have the attorney review the contract.

Regardless of your financial status, most counties have a social work department that follows up on reports of folks in need of protective services. If no relative can be found to step in and help with decisions, sometimes the court will appoint a guardian. Often these people do the best they can to make sure that you are in being adequately cared for and your money is not being looted.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:17 PM
 
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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.

^^ Exactly
And unless one of these workers knows or notices a possible case, and wants to proactively help….someone would have to report it to them, no?

Quote:
Often these people do the best they can to make sure that you are in being adequately cared for and your money is not being looted.
Yes that COULD happen. And people working in ALFs and SNFs are supposed to do a caring job too. Doesn't mean some don't. Let's just say I wouldn't want MY care dependent on their advocacy for me. There's a thread in the 'caregiving' board that touches on some of these issues. it's not titled "horror stories" but it could be.

As it so happens I HAVE an acquaintance who at 66 fell and broke her neck, became a quadriplegic. Closest relative is a cousin in CALIF….who apparently hasn't seen the need to get involved. So a few of this person's friends -- who are friends and were co-workers -- not family -- have overnight -- in addition to their own lives had to take on ALL the arrangements of money management, healthcare, rehab decisions, nursing home research. And this person HAS her mental faculties, she just can barley move.

She's the ONLY cognizant -- and youngest -- person in her ward. And because SHE DOES have her mental faculties she DOES speak up and complain about staff..the place she's in wants her transferred because no one wants to deal with her.

I just thank Good everyday I have family -- and we all know that doesn't mean they'd do anything for you.
The truth is -- in this world if you happen to need constant care and help (due to mental or physical need)…..you could be in for some awful final years. My acquaintance is only 67 now and could EASILY live another 15-20 years like that.

Last edited by selhars; 01-26-2016 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:50 PM
 
38,070 posts, read 14,878,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
The real question is who are the advocates for you in these programs? ...

As it so happens I HAVE an acquaintance who at 66 fell and broke her neck, became a quadriplegic. Closest relative is a cousin in CALIF….who apparently hasn't seen the need to get involved. So a few of this person's friends -- who are friends and were co-workers -- not family -- have overnight -- in addition to their own lives had to take on ALL the arrangements of money management, healthcare, rehab decisions, nursing home research.

.
Your quadriplegic friend is fortunate to have coworkers and friends who will look out after her. Wonder how many will still be around in 20 years.

If you don't want to depend on the kindness of strangers, better start forming a posse right now.

Just because you have family members, does not mean they will do a good job of advocating for you.

My cousins put their mother in a sad board and care home. She lost a lot of weight in a short time. Was on so many medications she could barely form a sentence let alone hold a conversation. But the place was cheap so they kept her there. Her health declined and she died within a year. They split up her savings.

Just because you have family does not mean they will look out for your best interests any more than strangers will.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,060 posts, read 18,985,577 times
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I did not read all the replies in this thread. But my personal situation and lack of family dictates that I be very aware of my options as I age.

Some states have a Public Fiduciary or some other similar position. This is a government employee (often a County employee and often an attorney) who is responsible to serve as guardian, conservator, or personal representative for individuals who do not have anyone else to serve in this capacity. It's a mixed bag - some are very good while others don't really give a crap.

Often the best alternative is to arrange for an attorney to manage this, often using someone in his office to do most of the day-to-day legwork. Many elder attorneys and some estate planning attorneys have administrative staff who will handle bookkeeping, medical bills, etc. Some attorneys farm it out to subcontractors.

There is also the National Guardianship Association. They have only be around since the mid-90's, but they are establishing guidelines and professional certification exams and requirements for a 'hired gun' guardian. I think this is something that is very much needed, and I intend to keep my eye on this organization as I age and reach a point that I need to reconsider my current arrangements.

And I agree - family members are often the worst choice.
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:03 PM
 
218 posts, read 167,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
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.

^^ Exactly
And unless one of these workers knows or notices a possible case, and wants to proactively help….someone would have to report it to them, no?



Yes that COULD happen. And people working in ALFs and SNFs are supposed to do a caring job too. Doesn't mean some don't. Let's just say I wouldn't want MY care dependent on their advocacy for me. There's a thread in the 'caregiving' board that touches on some of these issues. it's not titled "horror stories" but it could be.

As it so happens I HAVE an acquaintance who at 66 fell and broke her neck, became a quadriplegic. Closest relative is a cousin in CALIF….who apparently hasn't seen the need to get involved. So a few of this person's friends -- who are friends and were co-workers -- not family -- have overnight -- in addition to their own lives had to take on ALL the arrangements of money management, healthcare, rehab decisions, nursing home research. And this person HAS her mental faculties, she just can barley move.

She's the ONLY cognizant -- and youngest -- person in her ward. And because SHE DOES have her mental faculties she DOES speak up and complain about staff..the place she's in wants her transferred because no one wants to deal with her.

I just thank Good everyday I have family -- and we all know that doesn't mean they'd do anything for you.
The truth is -- in this world if you happen to need constant care and help (due to mental or physical need)…..you could be in for some awful final years. My acquaintance is only 67 now and could EASILY live another 15-20 years like that.
Is she on Medicaid? If so, are home and community based services possible? She seems like a prime candidate. Or PACE.
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,833 posts, read 14,341,548 times
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Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
The services I am writing about are not the ones you are mentioning, Sicilee, but rather 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 there was a loved one advocating for you. Perhaps the 'loved-one' is totally incapacited too, or the person is the last of his family line, or the kids won't lift a finger to help the parent.

We have brokerage houses that help us to invest our money, but why can't there be ethical organizations that help us spend our money on the best care for which we are eligible given our finances? And organizations (highly regulated of course) that advocate for the guy with a million dollars in the bank if he needs an advocate.
Your state has a department of aging. Find the nearest office, and schedule a meeting. Remember that we are into a trend of smaller government now, so services will be harder to find. But there should be something out there for you.
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:55 PM
 
38,070 posts, read 14,878,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post

Often the best alternative is to arrange for an attorney to manage this, often using someone in his office to do most of the day-to-day legwork. Many elder attorneys and some estate planning attorneys have administrative staff who will handle bookkeeping, medical bills, etc. Some attorneys farm it out to subcontractors.

There is also the National Guardianship Association. They have only be around since the mid-90's, but they are establishing guidelines and professional certification exams and requirements for a 'hired gun' guardian. I think this is something that is very much needed, and I intend to keep my eye on this organization as I age and reach a point that I need to reconsider my current arrangements.
NGA is so needed.

I'm trying to imagine what I would do if I had a child that needed guardianship after I was gone. Then do that for myself and my spouse.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:19 PM
 
Location: NC
6,543 posts, read 7,956,796 times
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How can we know that NGA is legit? Or that their certified persons are up to the task? Are there failsafes? Do they self regulate or are they regulated? I kind of see the need as being on the level of the legal profession or medical profession in terms of ethics and responsibility. If NGA accomplishes this then that is excellent and it might catch on.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 657,721 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.
You can locate and hire a public fiduciary to become your advocate. If you choose, they become your power of attorney working in the same capacity as a trusted family member or good friend. Here in Sun City, AZ there are more people than any body realizes that do not have family to see after their affairs. Also, if you have friends near your age they may not be healthy enough in time to properly take care of your needs. In some instances, a local fiduciary will he hired and work with out of town relatives. Of course there is a fee for their services whereas a family member might do the work for free. However, the fiduciary is not expecting an inheritance.

Many years ago in Arizona a person could just hang out a shingle and call themselves a fiduciary. After many reports of financial abuse and incompetency the state of Arizona stepped in. Fiduciaries now have to be certified, licensed and bonded. The state has also set maximum fees that a fiduciary can charge for their services.

There is a non-profit organization in Sun City named CAM (Community Assistance Network). They offer many services to low income seniors. One service they offer is a free consultation with one of their volunteer lawyers. The lawyers will advise people what they need to get their legal documents in order. They will also refer people to trusted fiduciaries and companies that prepare legal documents. As in hiring any professional, you need to interview and check references of any fiduciary you actually hire. I have two friends that have recently hired a fiduciary. They really like the person they hired but will probably not need their services in the immediate future.

There are several very nice non-profit communities in the area that have independent apartments, assisted living and skilled nursing care on their campuses. They are reasonably priced and some do accept subsidized housing and Medicaid. I have been researching these various communities now in the event I should have a need in the future. I would like to be the one who picks my next home. I live in a nice duplex in Sun City and am very happy. However, I am thinking about an independent apartment in the future, maybe in 5 yrs. I think it would be nice to be situated somewhere nice for the remainder of my life.





























. I have done some research into all of these communities. It is my hope that I will know exactly where I would
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: NC
6,543 posts, read 7,956,796 times
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^^^Yes! That is exactly what we need. I wonder how you find these people in other states, and if there is a society or something that they belong to.
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