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Seniors as well as their caregivers should be aware of the risks posed by Medicare scams and how to avoid falling victim to this type of fraud.Each year, Medicare loses tens of billions of dollars to abuse and errors. Older adults who receive Medicare may be subject to this type of fraud perpetrated by identity thieves, scammers, and deceitful health care providers.Safeguard Yourself From Medicare ScamsTo start, there are several easy ways for you to lower your risk of being scammed in the first place.Dont share your Medicare number over the phone.Have your Medicare card with you only when necessary. Otherwise, leave it at home. (Think of it like a Social Security card or credit card and protect it in the same way.)Be aware that Medicare representatives will never come to your residence uninvited. They also will not call you out of the blue to verify your information or to offer free or low-cost equipment, such as a back or knee brace.Hold onto your receipts and bills from past medical appointments so that you can compare them to your Medicare statements.Always look through your Medicare Summary Notices when you receive them. Keep an eye out for any errors or discrepancies regarding services, tests, or medical supplies that you did not receive, or that you were charged for more than once. You can call your health care provider and ask them to explain a charge and, if necessary, you have the right to dispute charges that are wrong.Why Do I Need to Report Medicare Fraud?Medicare abuse is far from being victimless. Reporting fraud to the proper authorities is crucial to help stop it.If someone steals your Medicare card or number, you could receive bills for health services you did not receive or become a victim of identity theft.A health care provider who may be fraudulently charging you for services can spell trouble for more than your wallet. A dishonest provider could be misdiagnosing you or even subjecting you to treatments or services you do not need or that could potentially negatively impact your health. Sometimes, billing errors are made by accident, but if you find that your provider makes these types of mistakes frequently, it may signal a potential case of fraud.Ultimately, fraud that goes unchecked can lead to higher Medicare costs for you as the consumer.What to Do If You Suspect Medicare AbuseThere are a number of options for reporting incidents that you suspect may constitute Medicare fraud:Call the Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or file your complaint online.Call 1-800-MEDICARE to report suspected abuse by a Medicare provider.In addition, each state (and the District of Columbia) has a dedicated Senior Medicare Patrol, or SMP. This service can monitor your Medicare account for fraud and TBD. Search online for your local SMP.Experienced elder law attorneys are also equipped to help protect you from abuse. Contact Sharek Law Office at 412-347-1731 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15-Minute Call to learn how we can help. This article is a service of Sharek Law Office, LLC. We dont just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life and Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge. Please note this is educational content only and is not intended to act as legal advice.
When navigating the complexities of aging in the Sunshine State, elder law attorneys can be your guiding light.Whether you are contemplating assisted living, independent living, memory care, or planning to age in the comfort of your own home, having an elder law attorney by your side can make the journey smoother and safer.Florida Seniors are All UniqueWith 4.2 million seniors, Florida is the retirement capital of the US, with great weather, no state income tax, and plenty of outdoor activities, parks, and attractions for seniors and their visiting families.Florida seniors all have unique lifestyles, health conditions, and circumstances. Some are active and healthy, others are beginning to notice the effects of aging, and some need assisted living or other care and assistance right now.But one thing that all Florida seniors have in common is the need for a qualified Florida elder law attorney. Heres why.Why Elder Law Attorneys are Essential for Florida SeniorsElder law attorneys are specialized legal professionals who understand the unique challenges that Florida seniors face.They possess knowledge spanning various fields such as estate planning, long-term care arrangements, Medicaid eligibility, veterans benefits, and more.These experts can be instrumental in securing your financial well-being, healthcare arrangements, and overall peace of mind as you or your senior loved ones age.Crafting a Long-Term Care PlanChoosing the best long-term care options can be a tough decision. Emotions often run high among family members, and an elder law attorney can provide the necessary objective perspective to create a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs.They can help you assess the legal necessities, whether staying at home, moving to an assisted living community, or opting for specialized memory care or other services and communities.An elder care attorney can also help you determine the best way to pay for long-term care and whether to use real estate or savings, or other income to pay for it. Also, your Florida elder care attorney can tell you what benefits your long-term care insurance will or wont pay.Establishing a Durable Power of AttorneyMany seniors will face conditions where others might have to eventually make decisions for them, like dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and other chronic and worsening conditions.A Florida elder law attorney can draft the proper and needed documents allowing a designated individual to make medical or financial decisions for you or your senior loved one should you become physically or mentally incapacitated.In Florida, this might include powers of attorney, a living will, a Health Care Surrogate Designation, an Advance Directive, and more.An advance directive in Florida is a written or oral statement about how you want medical decisions to be made when you cant make them yourself. You can also express your wish to make an anatomical donation after death.Some people make advance directives as part of their estate planning. Others make them when concerned or diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.A qualified Florida elder law attorney can help with all of these documents and the planning for future events. And an elder law attorney can also assist with guardianship proceedings if needed.Navigating Medicaid and Veterans BenefitsUnderstanding Medicaid eligibility can be a daunting task, but it doesnt have to be. An elder law attorney familiar with Floridas Medicaid system can guide you through the process and advise on how it can impact your financial decisions.Additionally, if you are a veteran, an elder law attorney can help you apply for the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit and other resources that can offset the cost of long-term care.Protecting Assets and Establishing Living TrustsElder law attorneys can help safeguard your assets from potential financial exploitation. They can also assist in setting up a living trust, an effective estate planning tool that can prevent your assets from going through probate and ensure your estate goes to the loved ones or organizations you choose.Choosing an Elder Law Attorney in FloridaSelecting the right elder law attorney is crucial. Look for a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) who has significant experience in elder law and has fulfilled the required number of hours of continuing education. You can search the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) or the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) for a certified elder law attorney in Florida.Remember, the goal is to find an impartial professional dedicated to protecting your best interests. With the right guidance, you can confidently and effectively navigate your senior years in Florida.Is an Elder Care Attorney Right for You?A trusted and qualified elder care attorney is vital for you and your senior loved one. Legal decisions are complex and impact the quality of life and medical and financial decisions for seniors and their families.You must know your legal rights and have the proper legal documents signed and drafted before they are needed. When there is an accident or medical emergency, it is often too late.A qualified Florida elder care attorney can avoid these issues and give you the peace and comfort you need to age in comfort.At Florida Senior Consulting, we constantly work with elder care attorneys to help ensure your wishes, or those of your senior loved one, are fulfilled.We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options and decisions can seem confusing, this is all we do.We have certified staff, professional nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (800) 969-7176 or visit us at FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.
Why You Need an Elder Care AttorneyMarch 8, 2023As we age, we constantly make decisions about our healthcare, finances, and overall well-being. But, all of these decisions have legal considerations. Seniors and their families must have legal support to navigate this complex landscape. Elder care attorneys specialize in addressing the unique legal needs of seniors. This article will explore why elder care attorneys are a valuable resource, how to choose the right one, and the services they can provide to your senior loved one.Why You Need a Florida Elder Care AttorneyElder care attorneys know all the legal needs of seniors. They can provide a wealth of knowledge and resources to help seniors navigate the legal complexities of aging. They are familiar with the legal needs of seniors who want to age in place and those who choose to move to an assisted living community. With an elder care attorney on your side, you have a trusted advisor who can help you make informed decisions about your senior loved one's healthcare, finances, and other vital aspects of their life.Estate PlanningOne of the primary reasons seniors need an elder care attorney is to help with estate planning. Estate planning involves creating a plan for your assets in the event of your death or incapacity. An elder care attorney can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that considers your wishes, family dynamics, and legal or tax considerations.Long-Term CareAnother key area where an elder care attorney can provide support is developing a long-term care plan. As we age, the likelihood of needing long-term care increases. A Florida elder care attorney can help you evaluate your options, such as self-funding, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance. Your attorney will develop a plan to meet your needs and protect your assets.Protection Against Financial AbuseNationwide, seniors are the target of financial thieves and con artists. One in five seniors over 70 will be exploited for an average of $17,500. If the senior knows the scammer, the cost is $50,000. Having an elder care attorney can help protect you and your family.Florida is serious about protecting its senior citizens and established the Department of Elder Affairs to protect seniors from physical or financial abuse or exploitation. If you suspect any senior abuse or exploitation, call their hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).An elder care attorney can help establish safeguards to protect your assets and ensure your financial well-being.How Do I Choose an Elder Care Attorney?Choosing the right elder care attorney is an important decision, and there are several factors to consider.Credentials: Only attorneys licensed with the Florida Bar Association can practice law in Florida. Make sure your attorney has a current license. The Florida Bar also allows you to see their disciplinary record for the past 10 years.Specialization: Look for an attorney who is a member of an elder law group like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). This professional association requires members to meet rigorous education, experience, and continuing education standards.Experience: Look for an attorney with experience in elder law. This area of law is complex and constantly evolving, so it is important to choose someone who deeply understands the issues facing seniors.Communication: Look for an attorney who is a good communicator and takes the time to understand your needs and concerns. You want someone responsive and attentive to your questions and concerns.Fees: Make sure you understand the attorney's fee structure and what services are included. You want to avoid surprises down the road, so knowing what you are paying for is important.What Can an Elder Care Attorney Do for Me?Now that we've explored why seniors need an elder care attorney and how to choose the right one, let's take a closer look at the services they can provide. Here are a few critical areas where an elder care attorney can support you and your senior loved ones.Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, and POAEstate planning is a critical component of preparing for the future. It ensures that your wishes are fulfilled when you are no longer here. An elder care attorney can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that considers your wishes, family dynamics, and legal or tax considerations. This includes creating the proper legal documents, including a will and a trust, and appointing a power of attorney to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. In Florida, a health care power of attorney is an advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you cannot do so. The document is called a Health Care Advance Directive.Developing a Plan for Long-Term CareThe best time to plan for our later senior years is before we get there. An elder care attorney can help you evaluate your options, such as self-funding, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance, and develop a plan that meets your needs and protects your assets. They can also advise you on structuring your assets and income to qualify for Medicaid benefits if necessary.Helping with Access to MedicaidMedicaid is a federal and state-funded program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors who need long-term care. However, qualifying for Medicaid can be a complex process. An elder care attorney can help you navigate the eligibility requirements and apply for benefits.Applying for Veteran's BenefitsFlorida senior veterans and their spouses may be eligible for various benefits, including healthcare, disability compensation, and pension benefits. A Florida elder care attorney can determine if you qualify for any benefits and how to access them.Protecting from Financial ExploitationScammers and other unscrupulous individuals often target seniors to exploit their vulnerability. An elder care attorney can help put safeguards in place to protect your assets and ensure your financial well-being. This may include creating a trust or appointing a guardian to oversee and protect your finances.Setting Up a Living TrustA living trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer assets to a trustee who manages them on your behalf. A living trust can help you avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and protect your privacy. An elder care attorney can help you create a living trust that meets your needs and provides for your loved ones.Summary: The Importance of a Florida Elder Care AttorneyKeeping our senior loved ones protected as they age is one of the essential loving things we can do. To most people, that means providing their seniors with the best care, living conditions, and quality of life.But it also means ensuring they are protected legally in all aspects of their lives. And this often calls for an elder care attorney who is an expert in all senior legal issues.The time to get all your senior's legal documents in order is before you need them. This is especially true with health care advance directives, powers of attorney, will, and trusts.Let us help.We will work with you to find the best home care help or assisted living community for their needs. We work with hospitals, care facilities, home health care, senior living communities, and elder care attorneys daily. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. We know how to help with the move to assisted living while ensuring a smooth transition into the new community.While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do. Florida Senior Consulting helps seniors decide their next best steps so they can live their best lives safely and securely.We have certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.
The Rehabilitation Center at Shell Point offers state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient services with high functional outcomes and low hospital readmission rates, and features waterfront dining in a resort-style setting. Specialized therapy programs include aquatic therapy, cardiac and pulmonary care, orthopedics, stroke care, dysphagia and pain management. Admission open to the public based on availability.
The Springs is an assisted living facility in the Waterside neighborhood at Shell Point, featuring 105 private residences. The Springs amenities and services are designed to enhances one's quality of life through the aging process. These services have been designed to enhance dignity and independence through a variety of recreational, social, physical, and spiritual programs that convey the exceptional lifestyle for which Shell Point is known.
Shell Point provides a wide variety of independent living residences, three assisted living facilities, and a skilled nursing center with specialized rehabilitative services, memory care, and hospice. Browse the floor plans, locations, and sizes available in our five neighborhoods: The Island, The Woodlands, Coastal Links, Palm Acres, and Waterside. Visit www.shellpoint.org