Depression can affect people of any age, but it is much more common in older people. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry estimates about one-quarter of older people examined by healthcare professionals have some level of depression. If you have had a doctor’s exam recently, you may have noticed that the doctor or his staff asked a few quick questions about your frame of mind, and depending on age, they also give a mini mental evaluation relating to memory.
Sooner or later many families face the problems of an aging parent’s decline, such as creeping dementia or decreased physical mobility. It’s not pleasant to see that once strong and vibrant parent slowly lose the ability to be independent, and a big impediment to planning and getting a medical diagnosis is both the parents and the adult children being in denial.
The title is a quote from the daughter of an elderly couple who were suddenly faced with the need for long term care at home. This can happen to anyone at any time, but of course the probability is much greater the older a person is. That can be due to disease, physical or mental decline or a sudden accident such as falling down the stairs. So what exactly is “this stuff”?
Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are federal programs run by the Social Security Administration. Neither is part of the Social Security fund everyone knows about that sends checks each month to those who have reached the age of 62 or older.
The Veterans Administration has established new rules that affect eligibility for the VA Aid and Attendance program, which provides money for long term care services to qualifying veterans. These new rules went into effect on October 18, 2018 and create a revised asset limit and a method to impose a penalty period for an applicant who has given away assets during a 36 month period prior to applying for benefits.
Upon admission to a long term nursing home, the person being admitted is handed an admission packet of well over twenty pages. In that is an explanation of the patient’s “Bill of Rights,” established in federal and Connecticut law. This law applies to nursing homes, residential care homes, and chronic disease hospitals. That packet lets residents and their families know the limits of what such facilities can or cannot do.