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Monthly Archives: April 2012

By Attorney David Engler

All of our parents and clients and ourselves should have durable health care power of attorneys. It is called an Advanced Directive because it takes your client’s wishes and makes them known in advance of them being incompetent of making such decisions. For many professional conservators or guardians the Health Care POA either existed or there would never be one now.

Each Health Care POA has a part where the client designates who will make such life and death decisions in the future. I thought it might be helpful to give some examples of who not to appoint.
DO NOT APPOINT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING :

1. The wife who keeps your emergency inhaler stored in a covered crock pot on the storage shelf in the basement.
2. The son who has labeled some of your favorite possessions with the word “Mine”.
3. Your husband who removed the “9” and “1” keys from the phone.
4. Your daughter who believes Tylenol is VooDoo medicine.
5. Your younger sister whose first comment after you last came out of recovery was “Your still here huh?”
6. Your neighbor who while driving you to ER with chest pains says “Wait just a sec, I’ve got to pick up just a few things from the store for the weekend.”
7. Or the grandson who tells you why can’t you old people get a buzzer reservation system like they use at Applebee’s to give us a 3 hour notice of your death.
8. The Mother who said you had to stay home on family vacations in case there was a car wreck, at least someone from the family would survive. You were only three at the time.
9. The caretaker sent over from the agency who tells you it’s her hobby to know the name of a person’s first pet; street they grew up on and mother’s maiden name.
10. Your girlfriend who knows a great astrologist in Seattle she consults for all of life’s tough questions. Madame Xanthar is always booked two months in advance so it can’t be a question that needs an answer like RIGHT NOW.

Please contact us at info@eguardianship.com if you want a Durable Health Care POA for your state, or follow our blogs at FamilyFaultLines.com or eGuardianship.com .

I appreciate the work of a caregiver and wanted to give you a moment of laugh.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

By Attorney David Engler

Caregiving

Medicare does not have any program to pay a family caregiver. Medicare has only limited coverage for home care, and when it does cover home care it does so through a Medicare-certified home health care agency. It does not pay independent caregivers, family or otherwise.

But that does not mean you are without a solution because most money spent on nursing and home health care comes from the States who pay for Medicaid in partnership with the federal government.

In many states, Medicaid has a program to directly pay a person needing home care, and that person can turn around and use the money to pay a family member (or anyone else) to provide that care. If the person who needs help in order to stay at home rather than go to a nursing home has too many assets; the senior in need might still qualify for such a direct payment program. That’s because in many states eligibility for these programs is extended to people who have low income and assets though not low enough to qualify for Medicaid.
Caregiver
These payments work through a state program, called Passport, Cash and Counseling or other similar name, often run through the state’s Medicaid program. To learn more about these cash assistance programs, contact the local Medicaid office usually run through the local welfare department. (now often called Jobs and Family Services) If your state has a Cash and Counseling or similar state cash assistance program, you can get information about it at a local Medicaid office. To find a local Medicaid office, contact the Eldercare Locator by phone toll-free at 800-677-1116, or online you can go to any search engine and type in “Medicaid” and the name of the state.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website

Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal Law

By Attorney David Engler

Adult Protective Services (APS) is responsible for investigating reports of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of Ohioans aged 60 and older. Similar agencies exist in every state. APS is part of each Ohio County Department of Job & Family Services (CDJFS). The Ohio Revised Code defines “abuse” as infliction upon an adult by self or others of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. “Neglect” is defined as the failure of an adult to provide for self the goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness or the failure of a caretaker to provide such goods or services. “Exploitation” means the unlawful or improper act of a caretaker using an adult or an adult’s resources for their monetary or personal benefit, profit or gain.

Lady

APS can petition Probate Court for a temporary restraining order to prevent interference or obstruction of its investigation by any person, including the abused adult. The court must find (a) that there is reasonable cause to believe the adult is being or has been abused, neglected, or exploited, and (b) that access to the adult’s residence has been obstructed. APS can also petition the court to approve a service plan providing involuntary services. The adult must receive a notice describing his or her rights and the consequences of a court order at least five working days before a hearing on the petition. An indigent adult has the right to a court-appointed attorney. Notice of the hearing must also be sent to the adult’s guardian, attorney, caretaker and spouse.
The court must find by clear and convincing evidence that (a) the adult has been abused, neglected, or exploited; (b) the adult is in need of protective services; (c) the adult is incapacitated; and (d) no other person authorized by law is available to give consent. If the court so finds, it must issue an order requiring protective services for up to six months, but can be re-authorized for up to a year.

But like with any governmental organization, APS can be too intrusive. Before they act there needs to be clear authority that an adult can be removed.

Recently, I met a distressed couple who had their Mother literally yanked from their home in the final months of her life. An anonymous tip was given by the Mother’s long time “friend” that she wanted to go back to the care-takers residence. The mother was in full scale dementia and would answer a few questions correctly and if asked would parrot the name of the “friend.” In horror the family of the elderly woman watched as APS took the mother from their home and moved her back to the friend’s house. After the Mother was there the friend arranged for her entire estate to pass to him. An attorney helped in the sham transfer.

In a matter of months the family desperate for help asks the Probate Judge to order an evaluation of the Mother. She had dementia for at least a year and was unable to make any decisions on her own. Be careful when a governmental agency says that it knows best. Hold on to your liberty because they are about to snatch it from you.

Probate Court acted quickly but it was too late. The Mother died a few days after the mental health assessment. Her possessions real and personal would have passed to the children, but for the friend getting everything transferred.

More than the money the family loss the beauty of being with their parent as she lived her final months. All they are left with is bitterness towards a government going too far and a scrapbook of memories.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website

Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal Law

Also published on Attorney David Engler’s Legal Blog on April 3, 2012 http://davidengler.wordpress.com// and Family Fault Lines Blog http://familyfaultlines.com//

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