May 14th, 2012
Caregiving children and family members are faced with many important concerns and challenges each day: What level of care does dad need? Will mom be safe at home? How much does long term care cost, and how are we going to pay for it?
There are countless decisions that must be made with respect to caring for elderly family members. The maze of options and resources available to our aging population may seem overwhelming and the apparent cost of long term care can be a hindrance for individuals on fixed incomes. Consulting with an Elder Law attorney is a crucial first step in formulating a comprehensive long-term care plan so that your family members can receive the assistance they need and protect their assets for the future.
An Elder Law attorney will analyze your parents’ long-term care needs and financial condition to formulate an individualized plan that meets their goals, with a focus on preserving their life’s savings and the potential need for Medicaid benefits. Elder law attorneys will review your parents’ current estate plans and advance directives to make sure all of their legal documents are up-to-date and their unique goals are being achieved.
Additionally, Elder Law attorneys have relationships with other professionals who work with seniors, such as geriatric care managers and social workers, as well as administrators at senior centers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, all of whom we can call upon as resources to best serve the needs of your loved ones. If you are concerned about your parent’s care and financial longevity, book a consultation with an Elder Law attorney at Lamson & Cutner today.
October 28th, 2009
A caregiver agreement with a lump sum advance payment can be an effective way of supplementing care in a nursing home while, at the same time, reducing a Medicaid penalty or spend down. Under such an agreement, the patient pays in advance for caregiver services that the nursing home does not provide, which improves the patient’s well being and quality of life. The caregiver can be an independent individual, an agency, or a family member.
The keys to creating a caregiver agreement that will be accepted by Medicaid are: (a) specifically define the services and hours to be provided by the caregiver, (b) calculate the lump sum payment using a reasonable life expectancy and market rates for the services involved, (c) discount the lump sum payment to present market value using a reasonable rate of interest, and (d) require the caregiver to keep a daily log and submit a detailed written invoice of the services and hours actually provided.
In one of our cases, our client was in a nursing home and needed extra care and companionship beyond what a nursing home can provide. Her daughter was willing to provide these services, so we prepared a caregiver agreement that allowed her daughter to be compensated with an up-front payment. The arrangement got the mother the extra services that she needed, and benefited the family as well.
In another case, our client was in a nursing home and needed assistance with feeding and other activities of daily living (“ADL’s”) to a much greater extent than is normally available in a nursing home. We prepared a caregiver agreement between our client and an agency, under which the agency provided the needed services. The individualized attention given to this client made all the difference in his quality of life. The agency’s fee was fixed in advance and paid as a lump sum, which facilitated the client’s Medicaid eligibility.