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August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day! In celebration of this day honor your elders and show them your appreciation for their contribution to our community, family and home. Consider volunteering at a local nursing home, or meals on wheels program, for just an hour or two. If nothing else, a simple smile can go a long way to lonely elderly person having a rough day.
Many Senior Citizens do not like to consider themselves old, and age can sneak up on you fast, especially the older you get. If you are one of those senior’s in denial take this day to review your Retirement Accounts, dust off that old Last Will & Testament you created 30 years ago when your children were minors and review what it actually says, or schedule a health check up with your physician. Then, of course, once you have completed one or two of these dreaded tasks treat yourself to the Senior Discount at the local diner.
Typically those who are around someone with depression will notice it more than the person suffering from it. If you notice that your loved one is wanting to sleep a lot, doesn’t seem to be interested in doing activities he or she once enjoyed, showing signs of change in their eating habits or weight (up or down), or just being in an overall “down” mood, you could be seeing signs of depression. Comments like “ I’m no good anymore,” “ I don’t want to do anything.” Or “ I wish I were dead” should be taken seriously and attended too. If you believe your loved one is showing signs of depression, it is crucial to have a physician examine your loved one.
If the physician has diagnosed dementia, the person still needs to be diagnosed for depression, because depression can often accompany dementia.
Antidepressants can help relieve the symptoms in a few weeks. Some other good options are healthier and more nutritious eating, exercise, and an adequate amount of sleep.
A Do Not Resuscitate order, or a DNR, is a type of advance directive. An DNR means you do not want your heart or breathing restarted under certain circumstances.
DNR”S are honored if cardiac arrest occurs during surgical operations or other medical prcedures. The reason for this policy is that surgery is intended to improve quality of life or lead to significant recovery. And if a patient (or his or her agent) has agreed to a surgical procedure, the situation does not represent the kind of terminal situation expected by the person who signed the DNR order.
You may wish to be kept alive as long as possible, no matter your condition, or you may prefer to decline all life support if your condition is terminal. You may want some kind of care, like pain management, but not others. Whatever you decide, choose an agent whom you trust will honor your wishes if such a time comes. A frank discussion with your agent, your family members, and your doctors will ensure that they all understand your choice.
Faced with a situation where recovery is not expected, but mechanical means exist to prolong life, doctors and family members face difficult decisions concerning use of life support. Doctors, who have taken an oath to do all in their power to maintain life, may have professional or religious reasons for not wanting to comply with a patient’s wish to deny or discontinue life support. Doctors may also fear liability issues that may arise after distraught family members rethink a decision to deny life support.
However, despite some physicians’ reluctance to comply with advance directives, the federal Patient’s Self-Determination Act and the U.S. Supreme Court have granted individuals the right to make such decisions.
1. Eat a balanced diet. Over eating is proving to be one of the growing problems in our society.
2. Exercise your body! Try to make the trip to the gym or exercise at least 2 days a week. Every time your heart beats, roughly 25% of the blood goes to your brain!
3. Exercise your brain. Play mind games such as crossword puzzles. These games have been observed to stimulate brain activity!
4. Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
5. Go to your doctor for regular check-ups!
6. Socialize and have fun! There is to much stress in day to day life. There is a human need to socialize and be engaged. Life is short and precious, enjoy it!
7. Save for financial stability. Knowing that you have a reserve of finances is a great relief on the average American’s mind.
8. Sleep! The simplest, yet one of the most neglected things our body and minds need, is sleep.
9. Don’t Retire From Life! When you retire stay active and do things you want to do. Retirement is suppose to be one of the best times of your life. Consider taking up that hobby you always wanted to do, but never had the time!
When someone is in a nursing home and receiving Medicaid, their primary residence is exempt. Therefore, the government generally will not force you to sell your home. However, in order for it to be exempt there must be a spouse or disabled child in the home, or the person in the nursing home must have expressed their intent to return home.
Due to estate recovery, if the government paid for nursing home care, it has the right to recover that money. Recovery takes place in probate, where the biggest asset is usually … your home. So even though your home was exempt during your life, it may be taken after your death.
With a little advanced preparation and planning there are strategies that can keep you in your home for your lifetime and pass it to your loved ones outside of probate upon your passing.
The Department of Defense provides military funeral honors at the burials of veterans, however you have to request this honor. Military funeral honors include the presence of an honors detail to fold and present the U.S. flag to the next of kin and play “Taps.” Funeral home directors request funeral honors from the Department of Defense. Other honors for deceased Veterans may include: Headstones and Markers; Presidential Memorial Certificate, Reimbursement of Burial Expenses and/or Burial in a VA National Cemetery.
Most of us look forward to these winter holidays as a time to spend with family, enjoy the spirit of giving, and even relax a few days away from the stress of our jobs. Every year we hear about how stressful the holidays are, and yet we look forward to them anyway. Why is it that estate planning—another activity rife with benefits that admittedly comes with a little stress—is often avoided at all costs? In truth, the things we do to make our holiday planning more enjoyable and less stressful can be applied to estate planning as well:
1. Don’t wait until the last minute. Not doing our shopping (or planning) ahead of time often means we won’t get what we want. The same can be true of estate planning. Some areas of planning (specifically planning for Medicaid, retirement, and long-term care) must begin at least a few years before you think you’ll need it.
2. You can’t please everybody. Just as blended families have to come to terms with the fact that they won’t please every in-law every year, you have to accept that you may not be able to please all of your children or heirs in your estate plan. In the end, an estate plan is about your assets and your wishes.
3. Planning ahead makes execution easier. Everyone knows that braving the stores at the height of the holiday season is much easier if you’ve thought ahead and already know what you’re getting. Estate planning also benefits from a little bit of forethought, and the whole process runs smoothly if you go into your attorney’s office already having made a list of assets, goals, and people you trust.
4. Expect to get what you pay for. Paying $5 for the tree in the corner of the lot doesn’t mean you’ve gotten a deal; more often it means you’ve gotten a tree that will lose all its needles in the next 2 days. Don’t make the mistake of getting a “deal” on an estate plan that won’t withstand the test of time.
5. Don’t forget the extras. That radio controlled car looks nice under the tree, but it’s not much fun if you’ve forgotten the batteries to make it go. Your estate plan may also require some “extras” to make it work: funding, memorandum of intent, letters of notification to fiduciaries, etc.
With a little planning your holidays—and your estate—can be easy and stress free. Contact our office to get started on your estate plan before the year is over.
The days are getting shorter, the weather cooler, and the skeletal arms of trees reach for the skies as their colorful apparel rests on the ground. All of these signs point to just one thing… No, not the estate tax repeal (although that does loom close); I’m referring, of course, to the upcoming holiday season—a time to slow down, spend time with family, and appreciate the blessings in our lives.
During this time of celebration and Thanksgiving, our office would like to offer our sincere thanks to you, our clients and readers, for the time you have spent with us, the trust you have put in us, and the role you have let us play in your lives. We hope we may continue to serve you in the coming year.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers, and may you enjoy a wonderful holiday season.