Helping Seniors Age In Place

Long Island Elder Law and Estate Planning Lawyers

Asset protection planning is part of a senior’s ability to age in place, stay independent, and continue living at home as they grow older.
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Most older adults want to “age in place” and remain in their homes and communities as they age rather than move into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. For those who wish to maintain their independence and continue living at home as they grow older, taking certain steps to protect their physical, mental, and financial welfare is essential.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as a senior’s “ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” According to 2021 data from AARP, more than three-quarters of adults 50 and older say they would prefer to age in place.

To ensure that you will have the support you need for safely aging in place, take the following into consideration:

  • Ensuring that spaces in the home are safe and easily accessible to make getting around easier;
  • Planning for proper nutrition;
  • Home modifications to promote safety, such as handrails, temporary ramps, no-slip bath rugs, and assistive seating;
  • Address mental health concerns through preventative care;
  • Wearables and smart monitoring devices such as smartwatches, medical alert bracelets, contact sensors, smart locks, and smart plugs; and
  • Maintain social connections and encourage the formation of new ones.

Money management can also be an area of concern for seniors and caretakers. Seniors want to make sure they have sufficient financial resources to remain in their homes and communities comfortably, eat well, care for their medical needs, and have fun.

Creating a budget with the help of financial counselors and geriatric care managers can benefit someone on a fixed income. There may even be volunteers in your area that offer a similar service. Being aware of how to prevent and avoid common types of scams that target the senior population is equally as important.

Be sure that you have a Power of Attorney in place so that a loved one or friend can help. It is a legal document that appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs.

Seniors and their families should also plan for handling the cost of long term care to allow the senior to say at home longer. At some point it may be necessary to have a home care aide provide assistance with care, which can be costly. You might assume that government assistance or health insurance will step in and cover the cost if you cannot afford these services. Unfortunately, neither health insurance nor Medicare covers long-term care. Because obtaining long-term care insurance can be very expensive, Medicaid could become your only option.

It is important to be aware that New York’s 2023 Medicaid asset limit is $30,182. However, even those with assets exceeding that limit may become eligible through proper planning, such as the creation of an irrevocable trust and transferring assets to that trust to protect them. Also, New York may shortly be implementing a 30 month lookback period for home care Medicaid, making planning in advance essential to protecting assets.

Careful planning is the best way to accomplish your goal of staying home as you age. If you are considering plans to age in place and want to review your estate planning and asset protection options, the experienced Elder Law attorneys are Kurre Schneps LLP are ready to assist you.
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