Sunday, May 20, 2012

Now You Need a Lawyer to Get Old

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Power of Attorney, Living Will, etc., etc., etc.

I am trying to help my Mom navigate old age. Her husband is in a nursing home now, and she is very confused. How long will Medicare pay for him? What about Medicaid "spend down"? What will she be responsible for? What part should his children play in his care?

My sisters and I have come up with a lot of questions, but not many answers. One sister is too far away. Another sister is busy with teaching school and grandchildren. Another sister is busy with three active girls and all of their activities. So, I have taken on the task of finding an attorney to answer our questions and guide Mom. I have an appointment with an Elder Law attorney on Wednesday, in Ohio because that's where Mom lives and where the nursing home is located.

In the meantime, they have sent me a package full of materials and a long questionnaire to complete. There is a lot of information that I will have to get from Mom, and sometimes she has a hard time finding the papers and documents. I think this is going to get more difficult before it gets easier.

This is one of those issues that you don't think much about until it's upon you. Then you find out you have a lot in common with many others your age. I have spoken to more than one person who has gone through this with their parents. It has made me think about my own aging process, too. My husband and I have long-term care insurance. We attended a Medicare seminar last year, and I have been saving information about Social Security and Medicare. I am thinking now; where will I be five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? It's a lot to think about.

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