Lately, the matter of Brooke Astor’s estate has been covered in the media. Like many people she had an estate plan in place which included a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, which nominated subsituted decision makers in the event she would lose the capacity to make important financial and/or medical decisions at some point during her elder years. She did not want to burden her family with obtaining a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship through the courts. She did end up suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her son took over her financial powers. He just didn’t do a very good job… [Read more…]
I’ve been trying to come up with a new slogan for area senior centers. So far I’ve come up with Senior Centers: come for the free food, stay for the crafts! or Senior Centers: It’s WAY more than BINGO!
But seriously, senior centers offer independence for aging adults. They play a very important role in the lives of elders today by encouraging them to become and remain social. [Read more…]
Can’t we all just get along?
I see it more and more and it really saddens me: families unable to “get along” when it comes to decision making for elder loved ones. It can be as simple as whether Mom and/or Dad need to meet with an Elder Law Attorney, to concerns over finances and inheritance issues, to whether siblings agree on who should serve as primary caregiver, and/or to whether assisted living/nursing home care is necessary. [Read more…]
Occasionally a minor child will end up living with someone else besides his or her parents. This could be temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent. Perhaps the parent is in the military and was called to active duty so the child goes to live with a grandparent. Maybe the parents have a health or substance abuse issues and an aunt/uncle take charge of the child. Or perhaps a child chooses to live with a relative so that they may attend a specific school.
In situations such as those it used to be that in order for the caregiver to have the authority they needed to deal with health care providers, medications, and the school systems, a guardianship was needed. This process was costly, time consuming, and actually replaced the parent’s rights to make decisions for their children during the time that the guardianship remained in effect. A trip to the Probate Court was needed to initiate and terminate the process. [Read more…]
Many elderly people rely entirely on family or other trusted individuals to help them. Whether it is for physical or emotional needs, as people grow older they tend to need more and more help from others. This dependence on caregivers or family members makes an older person more vulnerable to abuse.
For example, an older person relying on her children to provide meals, transportation and help her with financial decisions finds it difficult to complain when one of her children takes advantage of her. If, for instance, the child takes her money, hits her or neglects her care, the parent may be threatened with loss of support from the child if the parent complains. The child may also use threats of violence to keep the parent in line. [Read more…]