Over the last several decades, the population of elderly in the United States has grown steadily and rapidly, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, experts tell us that by the year 2050, the number of older (age 65 and older) Americans will outnumber their younger (age 21 and younger) counterparts for the first time ever. As the number of seniors living in the U.S. continues to increase, issues that affect them, and those who care for them, are becoming more important as well. Whether you are a senior yourself, a caregiver, or a loved one, finding resources to help with many of these issues can be challenging. To help get you started, the Phoenix, Arizona elder law attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC have compiled some elder law resources that may be beneficial. If you have a specific elder law question or concern, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
As a resident of the City of Phoenix, you will undoubtedly find the need to contact local government offices from time to time. The best place to start for general city resources is the website for the City Phoenix. On the city’s website you can find links to helpful information such as how to pay city bills on the PHX Pay Online website and a listing of City Departments and Programs. At some point you may even need to communicate with the City of Phoenix Police Department. If so, contact information can also be found on the city’s website.
Hospitals and Emergency Care
As a result of the natural aging process, keeping healthy as a senior typically requires frequent visits to a physician for preventative and routine medical care. In addition, the elderly are more prone to injury accidents that require an emergency room visit. In the Phoenix metropolitan area there are numerous hospitals and emergency care centers from which to choose, including:
- Mayo Clinic – offers primary care doctors, specialist care and emergency services
- Dignity Health – routine medical care, cancer and other specialty care, and emergency services
- Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital – focus on the treatment of abnormal heart rhythm along with aortic, valvular, congestive heart, coronary and vascular diseases on both an emergency and ongoing basis.
Nursing Homes and Home Health Care
There may also come a time when you realize that long-term care is needed. Whether that means daily home health care assistance or a permanent move to an area nursing home, you will find that Phoenix offers a wide range of options. Home Care Assistance offers 24-hour around the clock care, hourly care to assist family caregivers, as well as specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care – all in your own home. If dementia is your primary concern , Green Country Care Center offers specialized care to seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. If nursing home care is necessary, try Phoenix Mountain Nursing Center, Ridgecrest Healthcare, or Beatitudes Campus. For family caregivers, the emotional and physical stress of providing that care can be exhausting. The Area Agency on Aging offers a Family Caregiver Support Program you may find very helpful.
No matter how old we are, socializing remains important. In fact, getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. If you are a veteran, there are several VFW posts in the Phoenix area. There are also several senior centers sponsored by the City of Phoenix located throughout the city.
State and Federal Assistance Programs
An excellent all around elder law resource to be aware of is the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s, Aging and Disability Services (ADS) which offers programs and initiatives for older adults in Arizona. Among other things, you will find information about reporting elder abuse as well as links to resources for caregivers on the ADS website.
Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or retirement program. For information on Social Security disability benefits, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website. Information about your Social Security retirement benefits can also be found on the website. If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you need help covering the high cost of long-term care as a senior, you may also need to apply for Medicaid, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) in the State of Arizona. Information and application instructions can be found on the AHCCCS website.
One of the best places for seniors, and those who care for them, living in the Phoenix area is the Seniors Resource Guide. On that website, you will find numerous links to resources in the areas of housing, health care, and professional services, all aimed at seniors and their families. Finally, the Area Agency on Aging has a 24 hour information and assistance hotline for seniors (602-264-4357) that may be able to direct you to additional resources.
If you have additional questions or concerns about elder law, contact an experienced elder law attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.