When we typically think of estate planning, we see grandma and grandpa putting together a Will and possibly setting up some trusts for the following generations. It’s all about providing for our offspring, right? [Read more…]
How the New Massachusetts Safe Driving Law Affects You or Your Elderly Loved One
The Safe Driving Law has officially become effective in Massachusetts as of Sept. 30, 2010. Massachusetts now joins an increasingly growing number of states that ban texting while driving. However, a major part of this bill is also targeted at elderly drivers who are over the age of 75.
On June 2, 2009, a 93-year-old driver hurt a mother and toddler in a stroller when he drove his car into a Danvers Wal-Mart. He stepped on the gas pedal because he thought he was stepping on the brake. The next day, a 73-year-old Middleboro driver accidentally drove her minivan into a crowd of people attending a Vietnam War Memorial in Plymouth. As a result, eight people went to the hospital. Read this blog for more information. In an effort to reduce the number of accidents involving elderly drivers, Massachusetts legislators passed the new Safe Driving Law. [Read more…]
Hoarding: How to Help a Loved One Declutter
The issue of hoarding has recently gathered a great deal of attention, particularly due to news reports and popular television shows. However, hoarding is not a new or a small problem. The problem of hoarding has been documented since the turn of the century and is thought to significantly affect nearly 15 million Americans, many of them elderly. A great article recently appeared in the Boston Herald dealing with the clinical aspects of Hoarding. Unfortunately, research has been lacking in this area – until now. [Read more…]
More Protection Than a Health Care Proxy Alone?! MOLST – a Pilot Program in Worcester
Some people think that Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are only useful further down the road. They think, “I’m healthy. I don’t need to worry about those things now.” Even while you are healthy, there is one document that everyone over the age of 18 should have in place: a Health Care Proxy (HCP). A health care proxy is necessary to ensure that someone, a health care agent, will be available to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them on your own because you are incapacitated. Currently, in Worcester County, another form is also worth considering: the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) form. This medical order works with the HCP to inform your health care agent and your doctors what you actually want to happen in various circumstances. [Read more…]
Senior Centers: The Importance of Elders Staying Active & Social
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…]
Elder Mediation: A Great Option to Diffuse Family Tensions When Planning for Elder Care
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…]
Why I Also Make Housecalls
While some clients book traditional consultations at my office, I always make myself available for home visits with my clients. While the idea of a housecall has gone the way of black & white televisions, I find that meeting clients in their home, on their “turf,” helps make what is usually an emotional process, a bit more comfortable. In their home, clients tend to be more relaxed and at ease. The conversation goes a different way and I can sense the pride they have in sharing their home with someone. Coffee and tea flow more easily and taste better from your favorite mug than a styrofoam cup. [Read more…]