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It's a very good idea to create advance directives in order to plan for the possibility that you may one day be unable to make your own medical decisions. In doing so, there can be confusion about the difference between a living will and a "do-not-resuscitate" order (DNR). While both these documents are advance medical directives, they serve different purposes.
A living will is a document that you can use to give instructions regarding treatment if you become terminally ill or are in a persistent vegetative state and unable to communicate your instructions. The living will states under what conditions life-sustaining treatment should be terminated. If you would like to avoid life-sustaining treatment when it would be hopeless, you need a living will. A living will takes effect only when you're incapacitated and is not set in stone -- you can always revoke it at a later date if you wish to do so.
When drawing up a living will, you need to consider the various care options and what you would like done. You need to think about whether you want care to extend your life no matter what or only in certain circumstances. A living will can dictate when you want a ventilator, dialysis, tube feeding, blood transfusions, and other life- saving or life-prolonging options.
A DNR is a different document. A DNR says that if your heart stops or you stop breathing, medical professionals should not attempt to revive you. This is very different from a living will, which only goes into effect if you are unable to communicate your wishes for care. Everyone can benefit from a living will, while DNRs are only for very elderly and/or frail patients for whom it wouldn't make sense to administer CPR.
In addition to a living will, you will also need a health care proxy or broader medical directive.
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.
After experiencing a life-changing stroke or other illness, your doctor may recommend rehabilitation as the next step in your journey to recovery but what does that mean, and where should rehabilitation take place? These settings known as post-acute care include home health, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing homes and long-term acute care hospitals. Should you need additional care, your care team could refer you to one of these settings based on your abilities and goals; but as a patient, you have the right to choose where you go for post-acute care.Your doctor said you need rehabilitation. What next?Independent studies show that inpatient rehabilitation hospitals are a better setting for stroke, hip fracture, and hip replacement patients. Unlike skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals are required to provide at least three hours of therapy five days a week and will allow access to trained physicians and rehabilitation equipment and technology that may not be available elsewhere.On average, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals have a lower length of stay and discharge more patients home than skilled nursing facilities. This means inpatient rehabilitation hospitals are able to help individuals return to their families, their jobs and their communities more effectively and more quickly.The services delivered at inpatient rehabilitation hospitals serve as a next step for many patients who are ready to leave the acute care hospital, but need extra rehabilitation and recovery before returning home.Doing your research and selecting the right inpatient rehabilitation hospital is a critical step for a successful recovery.Your local inpatient rehabilitation hospital of choiceAt Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Harmarville and Sewickley, we are committed to helping you regain independence after a life-changing illness or injury.Serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, we are a leading provider of inpatient rehabilitation for stroke, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis and other complex neurological and orthopedic conditions. Editors Note: This article was written by Richard C. Senelick, MD., Encompass Health. To learn more, visit encompasshealth.com.
If you have a spouse or parent in a nursing home, youre probably aware of the expensive costs involved.But did you know there are strategies available to help protect your familys savings? Even if you think you have too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, a Certified Elder Law Attorney can explore new options for you.Heres an example: Lets say Fred and Wilma are a married couple and Fred has entered a nursing home. They have $200,000 in total assets, and at first glance, it seems as though roughly half of that will need to be spent on care. However, after consulting with a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Wilma learns that she can protect the $100,000 by purchasing something called a Medicaid Compliant Annuity - a landmark court case made this possible in 2015.With the right investment device, Wilma can turn the asset into an income stream that will last the rest of her life, all while not putting that money at risk. Medicaid wont count the healthy spouses income, so this money is protected. Its important to note that this is just one example of a more complicated process.When it comes to protecting your familys savings, its best to consult with a Certified Elder Law Attorney who can find the most appropriate solution for your unique situation.Editors Note: This article was written by Certified Elder Law Attorney* Tim Sechler, Esq., Sechler Law Firm, LLC. Contact our office at 724-564-6615 or visit www.SechlerLawFirm.com. *Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation as accredited by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
At Sharek Law Firm 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.I cherish the opportunity to help secure what you love. I look forward to learning your story, hearing what matters to you, and helping you to discover what's actually needed to keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict when something happens to you (or them). We specialize in creating wills and trusts to achieve your goals, whether you're located in Pittsburgh or outside of Western PA, we are here to help all Pennsylvania residents.Our law firm was built with your needs of in mind. We understand you are BUSY, and you value ease, convenience, and efficiency. You want to know youve made the best decisions to protect your family and assets, and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. We also help make sure your adult children are properly prepared to care for you and what you leave behind.Weve developed unique systems to give you the same access to legal planning as was previously only available to the super-wealthy, so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth. And, to keep your family out of court and out of conflict, which is the greatest risk to the people you love and all you have created, even if youve already worked with a traditional lawyer or created documents online. Contact us to get started today!