Mail, junk mail and emails never stop coming. Like most people, you probably put most of this in the circular file or hit the delete button. There are some documents and records that are a must have if you ever need to apply for government programs, such as Medicaid and VA Aid and Attendance. They can be retrieved from banks, or investment firms, or public agencies, both federal and state, but that can have its own set of aggravating problems.
One of our law firm’s elder care coordinators observed the most touching manifestation of the power of love. She accompanied a wife to visit the husband who is permanently in a nursing home due to the severe Alzheimer’s and physical disabilities which confine him to a wheelchair. His memory is so devastated that he cannot remember his wife’s name despite decades of marriage. Upon entering the
facility, they went to his room and the wife called her husband’s name. He turned around and she said, “Hi honey.” His face lit up with joy, his eyes expressing pure love, and responded, “Hi baby.” It was as touching a moment as you can imagine and brought tears to the wife and to our elder care coordinator.
Keeping Your Spouse at Home As married couples age into their later years they are often faced with significant decline in the mental and physical functioning of one of them. The healthy spouse usually goes to extraordinary lengths to give help to the one needing care, sometimes wearing out the healthy spouse.
This is a very brief outline of good things to know if anyone in your family might need long term care. For a typical married couple, it is almost always possible to get help paying for long term care at home, or if absolutely necessary, in a skilled nursing facility. For wartime veterans up to $23,238 per year may be available, and for the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, up to $14,934 per year may be available.
In 2016 the Connecticut legislature adopted a new law known as the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act that made significant changes to the power of attorney. The goal was both to improve the old Statutory Power of Attorney Act and give warning to people about powers that can be used for good and for bad. For example, if a family member is given the power to give away your assets, that could be used wisely, or could be used to take away your assets to your detriment to benefit the person who is power of attorney. These powers to change where your assets go during lifetime, or after your death, are known to attorneys as the “hot powers.” In order to give people pause to think before giving such powers, the law requires that the person making the power of attorney put their initials next to each specific authority.
A person who cannot do those things for essential selfcare due to physical or mental deficiencies is what the Public Policy Institute of AARP calls self-neglect. Some of the signs of elder self-neglect are poor personal hygiene, bedsores or skin rashes, untreated injuries or infections, weight loss and dehydration or malnutrition. Still other signs are unpaid bills, unsanitary or unsafe living conditions, poor personal hygiene, lack of food in the home, and improper or dirty clothing..