• Don’t Put Off Your Advance Care Plan

    Did you know that two thirds of American adults have done nothing to plan ahead for the healthcare they might need if they’re incapacitated?

    It’s a sobering statistic, one that comes from a 2017 study done by the University of Pennsylvania1. Among the 795,909 Americans from the 150 included studies, researchers found that 36.7 percent had completed some form of Advance Directive. Only 29.3 percent had completed an Advance Directive that contains actual care wishes, and 33.4 percent had designated a Healthcare Power of Attorney.

  • Telltale Signs of a Bad Care Conference

    For older adults living in skilled nursing facilities, a care conference with the facility staff is an important meeting. What are the signs that a care conference isn’t going as well as it should? We posed this question to Claire Merendino, one of the elder care coordinators at Bratton Law Group, a Life Care Planning Law Firm with offices in South Jersey, Central Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Claire has attended hundreds of care conferences over the years, and she can tell in an instant whether the care conference will be productive—or not.

  • 5 Signs You’re Working with a VA Pension Poacher

    If you were working with a VA pension poacher, how would you know? Chris Johnson, a VA Accredited attorney, Marine Corps veteran, and partner at Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law, explains.

    Have you heard of VA pension poaching? Pension poachers are organizations that help veterans apply for VA pension aid and attendance benefits and then require the veteran to purchase home care services from their organization at inflated prices and with excessive fees.

    Are you working with a VA pension poacher? Here are five warning signs.

  • Care Planning - The Secret to Quality of Life

    By Mary Jo Johnson, MPA, CMC

    During my 34 years in the long-term care industry, I have embraced the value of the care planning process, not because it is a regulation but because it is a vital tool to assure the delivery of person-centered care. 

    Transcending the medical-institutional model, person-centered care calls for a more individualized, social model of care that is built around the needs of the resident (person). It is meant to eliminate (or at least reduce) the dictating demands of the care process to one more driven by a person’s voice and choice.

  • Could You Be on the Hook for Your Parents' Long-Term Care?

    You’ve moved your mom or dad into a nursing home and breathed a sigh of relief. The stress of caring for your parent is now behind you and you can rest easy knowing that they’ll be well cared for by skilled nursing staff. Professional care, however, can come with a hefty price tag. Have you planned upfront for the long-term cost of the care being provided? What if your mom or dad can no longer pay the bill? Can you be held responsible?

    Being on the hook for your parent’s nursing home bill is a scenario that few people think about. Can it happen to you?

  • Should You Use the Safety Net?

    By Linda Anderson, CELA

    When an elderly loved one is diagnosed with a chronic illness, it can bring a tremendous amount of uncertainty to your world. How will your loved one’s condition progress? Where will you find the needed care? How will you pay for it? I’ve watched thousands of people grapple with these questions.

  • Paying for Long-Term Care - Common Mistakes

    What are the most common mistakes families make when they are trying to find ways to pay for long-term care? We posted this question to Chris Bratton, attorney and founder of Bratton Law Group, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in the Philadelphia area.

  • Elder Law without Care is an Incomplete Solution

    Elder law attorneys are known for their ability to help families find ways to cope with the high cost of long-term care. Drafting legal documents like Powers of Attorney, creating strategies to protect assets, or securing public benefits like Medicaid or VA Pension Aid & Attendance are just some of the things an elder law attorney can help you do.

    What if your family has more problems than just paying for care? What if you need help knowing what care and services your loved one needs, where to find those services, and how to make sure your loved one gets quality care?

  • Beware the Tech Support Scams

    If you’re looking after elderly loved ones who spend time online, watch out for tech support scams that target seniors.

    It all starts innocently enough. Your mom gets a phone call or an email from someone claiming that she has a serious problem with her computer, like a virus. They want your mom to pay for tech support services to fix this problem. They ask your mom to pay for these services by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.

  • Make the Most of Care Conferences

    If you think that a care conference for an elderly loved one is a meeting you can easily skip, Claire Merendino suggest that you think again. As one of the elder care coordinators at Bratton Law Group, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in New Jersey, Claire often runs into family members who don’t understand the purpose of these meetings.