In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased due in large part to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, the number of older Americans (age 65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (age 21 and younger) for the first time in history. The increase in the elderly population has caused a corresponding interest in social and legal issues that concern the elderly. Whether you are a senior yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, there are resources available to help you with many of the issues you may face. To take advantage of those resources, however, you must know how and where to find them. To get you started the estate planning attorneys at Morris Hall PLLC have put together the following Tucson, Arizona elder law resources.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Because you never know when an emergency may arise, it is always wise to have contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resource handy. Many of those can be found on the official City of Tucson website. From the city’s website you can access how to manage your water service to public transportation schedules to reporting an issue such as a code violation. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. For those who live within the city limits, the City of Tucson Police Department takes care of you while the Pima County Sheriff’s Department patrols the rest of the county.
Hospitals and Emergency Care
The average life expectancy of an American has almost doubled over the last century thanks to advances in science and medicine as well as an overall improvement in the standard of living. A way to stop the natural aging process, however, remains elusive. Consequently, as we age we tend to need more frequent doctor visits and may experience an increase in injuries and illnesses that require hospitalization. If you find yourself in need of immediate care for an acute or chronic medical condition, the following hospitals are available in the area:
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
As we age, we also typically suffer the physical and mental deterioration that goes along with the aging process. You may reach a point at which you need help to care for yourself. Whether that means daily home health care assistance or a permanent move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, you will find numerous options in the Tucson community, including:
- Kindred at Home – “services include skilled nursing visits and education to help manage chronic illnesses, including diabetes, COPD, heart failure or other diagnoses.”
- Comfort Keepers – “offers loving, quality in-home care services for a wide range of needs.”
- Fellowship Square – “offers independent living and assisted living services for a carefree lifestyle without the worries of home maintenance and household chores.”
- Elmcroft of River Centre – “an intimate, senior living community designed to provide optimal comfort, care and privacy.”
- State Veteran Home in Tucson – “120-bed skilled-nursing facility offering many amenities to Arizona's veterans such as all private rooms, full baths, and selective dining in a home-like environment.”
- Sabino Canyon Rehabilitation and Care Center – “Our therapists receive education and training to other disciplines, to ensure the continuity of care between therapy and nursing.”
As long as they are able to do so, most seniors continue to enjoy socializing with their peers. Experts tell us, in fact, 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 Tucson, starting with the city’s Senior Centers and city sponsored Senior Programs. The Tucson Seniors Resource Guide also offers current events and opportunities for seniors who wish to get out and socialize. Veterans can also get together at the VFW Post 549 in Tucson.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at 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 at some point the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) provides information on Medicaid for seniors in Arizona. To apply, navigate to Health-e-Arizona Plus.
Our experienced attorneys are here to assist you in areas typically of concern to seniors and those who care for them, such as: incapacity planning, asset protection, probate and tax avoidance, and retirement planning. If you have additional elder law questions or concerns outside of our scope of practice, we would be happy to direct you to resources that can further assist you. Contact Morris Hall PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule an appointment.