As Bette Davis wisely noted, “Getting old is not for sissies.” Aging requires a great deal of patience, adaptability, and fortitude. If you have an aging parent who is having increasing trouble with daily tasks or excursions, it is time to evaluate whether they need home care.
A talented elder care attorney can be invaluable in this process. If you reside in Southeastern Massachusetts or on Cape Cod, contact the excellent legal team of Surprenant & Beneski.
We are committed to providing you with the up-to-date knowledge and guidance you need.
Most people prefer, if possible, to stay in their homes as they age rather than move to a nursing facility, and recently this has become a more manageable option. What kind of home care is needed depends on your parent’s circumstances.
Indications That Your Aging Parent May Need Home Care
It is often difficult to observe subtle changes in your parent’s appearance, abilities, and behavior, especially if you see them frequently. Sometimes, after a brief hiatus, concerning differences become apparent; at other times, a single incident may highlight a problem. For instance, a parent’s fall may be a sign that they need an assistive device like a walker or someone to walk with them when they go out. The following signs may indicate that your aging parent needs home care:
- Their mental status is altered and becomes a risk to their safety, e.g. they may forget the names or contact information of loved ones, maybe forgetting to turn off the stove, bathe, or take essential medication.
- They have suffered a severe injury, been diagnosed with a serious illness, or are recovering from surgery and require frequent therapy, wound dressing, injections, etc. In such cases, Medicare typically covers the cost of home care.
- They have poor balance, have had a fall, or have unexplained cuts or bruises.
- They are managing multiple health conditions that complicate one another.
- They have to visit doctors, urgent care facilities, or the hospital often.
- They have trouble going to the store, getting to appointments, visiting family or friends, attending religious services, buying groceries, or picking up prescriptions.
- They look uncharacteristically unkempt or disheveled; their home is unclean.
- They have stopped engaging in activities they’ve previously enjoyed because they have more trouble getting around or are experiencing increased pain, making it hard to participate in book club discussions or exercise classes.
- They’re having difficulty preparing meals, eating, or swallowing, or they forget to drink enough and become dehydrated.
- They have lost or gained a significant amount of weight, perhaps finding it too taxing to prepare meals or substitute caloric snack foods.
Our skilled elder law attorneys will assist you in evaluating the need for home care and help you prepare and arrange for it as well.
How Medicare or MassHealth/Medicaid Can Help
We know the intricacies of Medicare and MassHealth/Medicaid and the applicable laws and will discuss your options accurately and clearly. If your parent has recently been hospitalized and is homebound, they may be eligible for home services through Medicare, including nursing care and physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
If your parent has a low income and few resources, they may also qualify for Medicaid home services (up to 42 hours per week) through the program known as Home-and Community-Based Services Waivers (HCBS). Even if your parents have sizable assets, we can use estate planning tools to keep them eligible for Medicaid while protecting their accumulated wealth.
Contact Our Accomplished Elder Care Attorneys to Protect Your Aging Parent
Our lead attorneys, Daniel Surprenant, and Michelle Beneski are two of only 24 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the state of Massachusetts. We have been helping clients secure health care for their aging patients for decades. We realize that there are emotional, as well as logistical issues involved in this process and will be sensitive to the feelings of everyone involved.