The older demographic (65 and older) in the United States has experienced a population explosion in recent years. A considerably longer average life expectancy than in years past, coupled with the fact that members of the Baby Boomer generation are moving into their retirement years, has experts predicting that older Americans will outnumber their younger (21 and younger) counterparts for the first time ever by the year 2050. The dramatic increase in the senior population has spurred a corresponding focus on the social and legal issues and concerns that are unique to seniors. Whether you are a part of the population explosion yourself or have a loved one who is, you likely have the need for resources to help you address some of those issues and concerns. Fortunately, if you live in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, there are numerous resources available to help you. But where are they and how do you locate them? The estate planning attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC have put together the following elder law resources to help get you started.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Emergencies can arise at any time. Because you never know when an emergency may arise, it is important to have contact information readily available. Did you know that the City of Scottsdale has an Emergency Preparedness page on the official City of Scottsdale website? The city’s website can also help you learn more about other important matters, such as when to be ready for your trash pick up, how to take a defensive driving class, or information on "things-to-do" in downtown Scottsdale. Of equal importance is being able to quickly locate relevant, local law enforcement agencies. For those who live within the city limits, the City of Scottsdale Police Department takes care of you while the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department patrols the rest of the county.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
As we age, we typically suffer the physical and mental deterioration that goes along with the aging process. You may reach a point where you need help to care for yourself. Whether that means daily home health care assistance or a permanent move to an assisted living facility, you will find numerous options in the Scottsdale community, including:
- Arizona Department of Health Services – publishes a list of skilled nursing facilities throughout the state.
- Nursing Home Compare – provides detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.
- com – offers a list of skilled nursing facilities along with reviews.
- Arizona Care Planning Council – offers information and reviews for a variety of different long-term care options.
Finding the right facility for your needs is only one consideration. The cost of long-term care (LTC) in the United States has increased as the older population has increased, and shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come. In 2017, the average yearly cost of LTC in Arizona was about $90,000. Because neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC, it is imperative that you plan ahead. While Medicaid does cover LTC expenses, the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can be problematic for many seniors in the absence of advanced planning. For these reasons, the estate planning attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC strongly recommend incorporating Medicaid planning into your comprehensive estate plan.
Most seniors enjoy socializing with their peers for as long as they are able to do so. In fact, experts tell us that getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. Fortunately, there are several excellent opportunities for seniors in Scottsdale. Information for seniors, including information for the city’s two senior centers, can be found on the City of Scottsdale website. Veterans can also get together at the VFW Post 3515 in Scottsdale or at one of several American Legion posts.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically for seniors. An excellent example is the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Aging and Adult Services. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 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. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. 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 have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need long-term care in the future, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) provides information on Medicaid for seniors in Arizona. To apply, navigate to Health-e-Arizona Plus.
Navigating the rules, regulations, and application procedures for the various state and federal benefit programs can be a frustrating and sometimes futile undertaking. At Morris Hall PLLC we are committed to helping you obtain the benefits that you, or your loved one, deserves. Whether you simply need assistance understanding the numerous benefits available, or are faced with the need to go through the entire guardianship process before you can even start applying for benefits, we are here to help.
Our Elder Law Attorneys Can Help
Our experienced, compassionate, and caring team of elder law attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC is dedicated to helping our senior population and the people who care for them. Our team can provide assistance with your estate planning needs, including the need to coordinate retirement planning with your existing estate plan, asset protection, Medicaid planning, and incapacity planning.
For more information on any of the issues that impact seniors, please feel free to contact an experienced Scottsdale elder law attorney at Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.