Kulas & Crawford Port St Lucie Florida Elder Law Resources
In recent years, the population of older Americans (those aged 65 and older) has experienced a population explosion, due in part to the Baby Boomer generation entering their retirement years. Experts predict that the older demographic will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Although seniors have many of the same legal and social concerns that their younger counterparts have, they also experience unique issues and problems. As of the 2010 Census, the City of Port St. Lucie, Florida had an overall population of almost 165,000 year around residents. Almost one in five (18.8 percent) of the residents of Port St. Lucie are age 65 or older and 8.9 percent of all households consist of someone over age 65 living alone.
Whether you are a senior yourself, a caregiver, or a loved one, finding resources to help with many of these issues can be challenging. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Port St. Lucie, Florida area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Because you never know when an emergency may arise, it is always wise to have contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resource handy. Many of those can be found on the Port St. Lucie website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information including links to contact information for city government offices, a list of neighborhood services, and even hurricane preparedness information. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Port St. Lucie Police Department and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Port St. Lucie, Florida area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
As we age, the natural aging process causes us to deteriorate physically and mentally. Sometimes, conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease speed along that natural deterioration. Thanks to advances in medicine and science along with a better standard of living, the average American can expect to be around for many years beyond retirement age. Most seniors would prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. Fortunately, services such as home health care can often allow a senior to do just that. When living at home is no longer practical or safe, Port St. Lucie residents enjoy a variety of options that include assisted living facilities and around the clock skilled nursing care. Finding the right facility for your needs, or the needs of a loved one, can be challenging. Fortunately, there are several resources that may make the search easier, including:
- The State of Florida offers a “Nursing Home Guide” that allows you to search for and compare facilities as well as offers a wide range of other helpful information and resources for seniors in need of long-term care.
- com offers a list of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and home care in and near Port St. Lucie, Florida.
- Nursing Home Compare which is found on the Medicare.gov. website is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
As the cost of long-term care continues to go up across the nation, the need to plan ahead becomes even more important than ever. The elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford urge clients to learn about LTC costs and to contemplate how they will cover those costs if the need arises in the future. Often, the best way to do that is to incorporate Medicaid Planning into a comprehensive estate plan. Planning is necessary because of the very low countable resources” limit the program imposes on applicants. Moreover, because neither Medicare nor most private health insurance policies will help you pay your LTC bill, you may be faced with the need to qualify for Medicaid or risk losing your retirement nest egg. The Medicaid planning attorneys at Kulas & Crawford can help. Leisure Time
Your “Golden Years” should be a time to sit, kick back, and relax. For many seniors, it is also a time to make new friends and spend more time with old ones. For seniors living in and around Port St. Lucie, a wide variety of places can be found to mix and mingle. The website for the “Council on Aging for Port Sr. Lucie” typically has current information about events geared toward seniors that might be coming up in the near future. For veterans, the American Legion Post 318 in Port St. Lucie and the VFW Post 4194 in nearby Stuart, Florida are always a good place to meet new friends and mingle with old ones.
Local, State and Federal Assistance
Many local, state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. A great resources for seniors is the Council on Aging of Port St. Lucie, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “To seek, develop, coordinate, and administer home and community–based programs and services for senior persons of St. Lucie County and adjoining areas.” Another excellent example is the Department of Elder Affairs for the State of Florida. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability website. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for Florida Medicaid for the Aged and Disabled.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of state and federal benefits and services available to help seniors. Making sense of the eligibility guidelines and navigating the application process, however, can be challenging. The elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford are familiar with the various benefits and services to which you may be entitled and are committed to helping you with any questions or concerns you may have about eligibility or appealing a denial. Whether you are a senior yourself or a caregiver, we are here if you need us.
Getting Help from a Port St. Lucie Elder Law Attorney
The elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford are dedicated to helping you create or update your estate plan to ensure that it covers your changing needs as a senior. If you have yet to incorporate Medicaid planning into your estate plan, now is the time to do so to ensure eligibility if you need it down the road. Along with long-term care planning, you may wish to consider executing an advance directive as part of a larger incapacity plan. An advance directive allows you to choose who will make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them at some point in the future. Finally, you should consider including funeral and burial planning to your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that you wishes will be honored at the end of your life. Please feel free to contact the experienced Port St. Lucie, Florida elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford by calling (772) 398-0720 to schedule an appointment.