New Study Identifies Four Possible Tools to Stave Off Mental Decline

Apr 27,2015

With more than 47.5 million individuals affected by dementia worldwide and 7.7 million new cases annually, research is targeting ways to prevent or limit the impacts of the disease. Researchers in Finland believe they have identified four ways to stave off the mental decline that is becoming more common with older age. shutterstock_89751901

The study involved 1,260 people between the ages of 60 and 77. The participants were put into a gym program, an eating regimen based on a Nordic diet heavy in fish, and brain training over the course of two years. Researchers found that at the end of two years, those participating in these activities scored 25 percent higher than their peers. In certain tests, the difference between the two testing groups was even more pronounced: for tests involving the brain’s ability to regulate thought processes and organize, the group of individual participating in the plan developed by researchers scored 85 percent higher.

Activities that were a good match for the older individuals participating in the study included dancing, doing crosswords, computer games, and Sudoku. If you are concerned about your elderly family member’s health or if your family has already been impacted by the serious nature of dementia, meeting with an elder law attorney can help you understand your options. Set up a meeting today to learn more about planning for long term care and managing the health needs of a loved one with dementia through Medicaid planning. Email us today at

Does My Loved One Need Long Term Care Insurance?

Apr 24,2015

If you are concerned about a loved one growing older, such as a parent, long term care insurance can provide a lot of benefits in addition to your peace of mind. Long term care insurance, when purchased at the right time, can safeguard against the skyrocketing costs of a long term care event. Long term care insurance gives individuals the financial security they need and protect their finances from being destroyed by the need for long term care. The policy will activate after an initial waiting period, providing critical support so that the impacted individual can focus on recovery. shutterstock_70909603

One important thing to realize about long term care insurance is that individuals beyond a certain age are not able to get coverage at all. This depends on the carrier, but most insurance companies will not provide LTC coverage to those above age 84. Some companies have set their cap even earlier, such as 79 or 75 years of age.

These cutoffs are not the only reason you should get LTC insurance when you’re young and healthy (ideally, in your 40’s or 50s, if not younger). Your premiums can be extremely expensive or you can be denied coverage altogether if you have extreme health issues, so the longer you wait, the higher the risk that you’ll have a medical condition, making coverage hard to access.

The myth that LTC insurance is only for older people is simply not true. Younger individuals can-and do- become victims of accidents that require long term care protection. Some of the youngest individuals to make use of an LTC policy are individuals in their 20s.

The reality is that LTC insurance can be an important, but not the only, component, in planning for long term care. If you have questions about planning for LTC or what to do if your loved one is not able to get insurance, you need to consult with a Medicaid planning and elder law specialist today. Get our advice at

Don’t Be Blindsided by Long Term Care Needs

Apr 16,2015

A recent interview with Rob Lowe shows how people are often unaware of the pervasive long term care issue in the United States. Lowe, like many adults in the early processes of caring for parents, feels “blindsided” by the depth of these needs. Just a few of the statistics that triggered the connection for Lowe include: shutterstock_224167837

  • The cost of care around the country in a nursing home or a living facility, could be $87,000 a year or higher
  • 70% of those individuals above age 65 will require some type of long term care at least once
  • Nearly 60% of Americans are not comfortable talking to their families about their long term care needs

The need for long term care is one thing, and it’s certainly a lesson that is becoming more real for adults everyday as they struggle with the difficulties of helping aging parents. The statistic that is perhaps most alarming, however, is the last one. Talking to family members about long term care is a critical first step that opens the door for planning opportunities. Pre-planning for long term care events is extremely valuable for informing family members about what actions can and should be taken in the event that long term care is required. Knowing where to turn for help is essential. When you’d like to plan ahead for your own long term care, get advice from the specialists at our office who can help you and your parents chart out a safeguarded future.

For more information about long term care planning in New Jersey, contact us at

Who Handles My Affairs If I Am Unable to Do It?

Apr 06,2015

One of the cornerstones of elder law planning involves a durable power of attorney that helps you safeguard against a possible inability to manage your own affairs. Many people are familiar with the benefits of having a will to allow smooth distribution of assets upon death. Others, however, skip out on planning for a possible disability that could render them unable to manage their personal, financial, and business affairs. While you’re aware of the benefits and are of sound mind, it’s a good idea to establish a durable power of attorney so that your interests are protected. canstockphoto0953453

A durable power of attorney allows you to name the person who will manage your affairs in the event of a disability. This eliminates the necessity of otherwise having a guardian appointed to help you, which requires a court procedure. Since disability can happen as a result of numerous causes, like old age, an accident, illness, or an injury, it’s simply prudent to think about who can help you manage your affairs. While disability is something that no one wants to consider, it’s a possibility that should be safeguarded against. Even if you’re approaching old age in relatively good health, you should contact an elder law professional to set up your durable power of attorney sooner rather than later.

Our offices can help you today-send us a message at

Should I Just Give My Assets to My Kids To Qualify for Medicaid?

Apr 01,2015

In the event that you or your spouse are facing a long-term care crisis and are concerned about spending down your assets quickly in order to qualify for Medicaid, it’s important to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls of acting too fast without carefully considering your options.

Individuals who are not familiar with the Medicaid qualification process might think that it’s a safe bet to pass on assets to children in order to reduce the volume of assets linked to the individuals attempting to qualify. Passing on these assets to children may be done with good intentions, but it can actually do more harm than good if you’re not careful. canstockphoto1739163

One of the disadvantages associated with transferring these assets is that doing so gives you no control over them in the future. Imagine a scenario where the child is sued and all of the assets are taken. Although this can be disheartening to think about, it’s also important to consider that giving away too many assets in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid can actually trigger a penalty. Medicaid looks back at gifts over the previous five years to determine if an individual has attempted to disperse assets in order to qualify for the government program. Since Medicaid is geared towards low-income individuals, if it is found that you transferred assets too aggressively in an attempt to qualify, a penalty may be calculated to determine the amount of nursing home care that could have been paid for with that gift. The applicant will be ineligible for Medicaid during a particular period if this is determined.

While Medicaid is a critical program for most individuals facing a long-term care crisis, you need to apply for it and prepare for it under the guidance of an experienced elder law professional. Don’t take any actions until you’ve consulted with an expert- email us at

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