What Are Elder Law and Special Needs Planning?Elder law and special needs planning involve preparing for expected and unexpected life circumstances, including the possibility of becoming incapacitated as well as protecting and providing for future needs of loved ones with disabilities.At its core, Elder Law focuses on the unique needs of older persons and practice areas that address issues of concern for aging adults, adults with disabilities/incapacity, their families and caregivers. Unlike traditional estate planning, Elder Law begins by assisting you with issues associated with a long and healthy life, rather than simply planning for death. It mixes legal and practical issues such as being able to continue residing in your home if you had a chronic condition, having someone help in managing your finances, and not becoming a victim of financial abuse in the process. Elder law endeavors to help you solve the problem of not knowing what you dont know.Special Needs Law focuses on solving legal problems for individuals with special needs and their caregivers. Although there is no uniform definition of special needs, the phrase describes individuals with a wide variety of physical or mental conditions who require assistance with personal care needs, activities of daily living, paying bills, managing finances, etc., who may be vulnerable to and need protection from exploitation or abuse, and who may need access to public benefits or any number of other types of assistance. If you currently provide care for a child or loved one with special needs (such as mental or physical disabilities), you must have contemplated what may happen to him or her when you are no longer able to serve as the caregiver. Frequently, parents and grandparents are concerned about how their children and grandchildren will be cared for after the parents or grandparents deaths and want to plan in advance to protect their special needs loved one. Elder Law and Special Needs Planning encompass many different fields of law, including, for example: Disability planning, durable powers of attorney, living trusts, advance directives, other tools to delegate management and decision-making to another in case of incompetency or incapacity Estate planning, including the management of finances and assets during life and disposition on death using trusts, wills, and other instruments Special/Supplemental Needs Trusts Conservatorships and guardianships Long-term care planning and placements Trust and probate/estate administration Elder abuse and financial exploitation Medicaid planning Retirement and Social Security planningWhen each day seems to present a new challenge, thinking about the future can be overwhelming. A plan can help break things down into achievable pieces. No matter what age or stage, it is getting started that counts.This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.This article was submitted by Ashley Day, Esq., A Day Law, LLC. Reach her at 251-277-3377.
Life is a journey filled with transitions, and one of the most significant transitions many individuals face as they age is transitioning from independent living to assisted living. This transition can be a challenging decision, but it often becomes necessary when daily tasks and self-care become more difficult to manage alone. In this blog, we will explore the steps and considerations for patients and their families when making the move from independent care to assisted living, with a special focus on the Grace Pointe Continuum of Care difference.Assessing the Need for Assisted LivingThe first step in transitioning to assisted living is recognizing the signs that indicate a need for additional support. These signs may include:Difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and meal preparationMemory problems or cognitive decline that impact safety and well-beingFrequent falls or injuries due to mobility issuesSocial isolation and lonelinessMedication management challengesThe need for regular medical supervision and assistance Open CommunicationOnce the need for assisted living becomes apparent and the process of transitioning from independent living to assisted living begins, it is essential to have open and honest discussions with the individual who will be making the transition. This may involve a family meeting or conversations with healthcare professionals. It is crucial to listen to the concerns and preferences of the person who will be moving, as their input should be valued throughout the decision-making process. Navigating the Continuum of Care with Grace Pointe: Your Assurance of a Smooth TransitionAs weve discussed earlier, the decision to move from independent care to assisted living, marking the transition from independent living to assisted living, is a significant one, and its natural to have concerns about the future. Many individuals and families worry about whether theyll receive the care they need as their health requirements change.At Grace Pointe of Greeley, we understand these concerns and are committed to ensuring a seamless transition through our Continuum of Care. Lets explore how Grace Pointes approach is different and how we provide residents with the assurance they deserve.The Continuum of Care Approach: A Personalized PathwayOne of the key features that sets Grace Pointe apart is our Continuum of Care approach. This approach is designed to help residents and their families identify their current care needs and anticipate future requirements. Ongoing assessments are done by our care team to help create a personalized care plan that evolves with the individuals changing needs. This means that residents at Grace Pointe who are looking into transitioning from independent living to assisted living are not locked into a specific level of care, and theres no need to worry about a dishonest bait and switch scenario.Heres how the Continuum of Care approach works:Initial Assessment: When a resident joins Grace Pointe, we conduct a thorough assessment of their health, preferences, and care needs. This forms the foundation of their care plan.Regular Reassessment: We understand that health can change over time. Thats why we commit to regular reassessments of our residents. If their care needs increase or decrease, we adjust their care plan accordingly.Transparent Communication: We foster open and transparent communication with our residents and their families. If a change in care level is required, we discuss it thoroughly and collaboratively.To provide you with a deeper understanding of the exceptional care and support offered at Grace Pointe of Greeley, we invite you to read testimonials from residents and their families who have experienced our continuum of care firsthand. These heartfelt accounts will shed light on the compassionate and personalized care that sets Grace Pointe apart in the journey and benefits from independent living to assisted living.The benefits of independent living at Grace Pointe of Greeley are clear; here, residents can enjoy a worry-free life without the burden of household maintenance while maintaining a healthy level of independence. Yet, when it comes to transitioning to higher levels of care, such as assisted living or nursing care, the process can be emotionally challenging for both loved ones and their families. This shift can be accompanied by mixed feelings, as it often involves adapting to new routines, healthcare requirements, and a shift in the level of autonomy. Grace Pointes Continuum of Care approach supports each transition without the need for residents to physically relocate. Instead, they add necessary services while remaining in their current living units, tailored to each individual and their family for the ultimate peace of mind.Your Peace of Mind at Grace Pointe of GreeleyAt Grace Pointe of Greeley, we are deeply committed to our residents well-being. The transition from independent living to assisted living should not be a source of anxiety. At Grace Pointe of Greeley, we go above and beyond to ensure that residents have peace of mind about their care journey. Experience the Grace Pointe difference through our Continuum of Care approach, where we tailor each transition, ensuring that your family member moves seamlessly from one living arrangement to another with care, compassion, and a deep sense of belonging.We understand that everyones care needs are unique, and we are dedicated to providing the right level of care at the right time, tailored to you and your familys needs. With Grace Pointe, you can be confident that you or your loved one will receive the care and support needed to thrive at every stage of life.
The short answer is no, they are not the same. A DNR stands for a DO NOT RESUSCITATE order. A Living Will is a completely different document that is used during a very different time.A DNR should be entered into at your doctors office or in the hospital, not at your local estate planning and elder law attorneys office.Typical estate planning documents that an attorney will assist you with would include a financial and medical power of attorney as well as a Last Will and Testament and maybe a Trust of some type. The confusion often lies in the fact that in a medical power of attorney, you will often see a Living Will as a part of the document.This is collectively known as an Advance Healthcare Directive if medical power of attorney and living will are together in one document. The Living Will does not kick in until the individual is end-stage medical. While there is a very long medical definition for this term, I simply like to state it as when two qualified physicians put in writing that there is no realistic hope of recovery and that you will always remain vegetative, comatose, permanently unconscious, and terminally ill. A medical power of attorney, living will, or advanced health care directive are often documents that are obtained from your estate planning and elder law attorney and not from your health care provider.On the other hand, a DNR or DO NOT RESUSCITATE order is intended to let emergency and other medical professionals know whether or not they should resuscitate you. Methods often used for resuscitation would be things such as defibrillators, breathing tubes, ventilators, CPR, and other invasive techniques.The DO NOT RESUSCITATE order comes into play when the heart has stopped beating or the person has stopped breathing. The medical power of attorney, on the other hand, comes into play when the person simply cannot answer questions for themselves. That could be for numerous other reasons, such as being under sedation or incapacitated, unconscious due to an accident, or unable to speak.Certainly, it does not necessarily mean that the heart has stopped beating or that you have stopped breathing. The Living Will does not kick in until the end of life, but the heart is often beating, sometimes due to heroic and lifesaving measures, but the DNR will prevent those heroics if that is your wish.We truly believe that it is imperative for you to talk to your estate planning and elder law attorney about the estate planning documents as outlined above as well as discuss with your doctor about a DNR order. While you are discussing the DNR order, we would also recommend that you have a conversation with your healthcare professional about a POLST (Physicians Order of Life-Sustaining Treatment). These are documents that will be obtained directly from your doctor and they will be able to assist you with the nuances of how they work.We hope this article provided insight into the definition of a DO NOT RESUSCITATE order and the difference between a medical power of attorney and a Living Will. If you would like further information about these items, contact our office. Wed be more than happy to assist you. Call us at (717) 845-5390.