Kulas & Crawford Stuart Florida Elder Law Resources
Experts tell us that the number of older Americans has grown steadily over the last several decades — and shows no signs of slowing down in the decades to come. As the senior demographic continues to grow, issues that impact them have taken on a correspondingly important focus. Many of legal and social issues that impact the elderly are the same issues that impact other segments of the American population; however, they also experience issues and problems that are unique to their age group. As of the 2010 Census, the City of Stuart, Florida had an overall population of 15,593 year around residents. Seniors make up an above average segment of the population in Stuart with almost one in three (32.9 percent) residents falling into the 65 or older age cohort and one in four (26.1 percent) households consisting 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 Stuart, Florida area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Whether you are young or old, it is always wise to prepare for the possibility of an emergency by having contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resources handy. Many of those can be found on the City of Stuart website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information including links to contact information for the City Manager, the Emergency Management Department and the city utilities. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Stuart Police Department and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Stuart, Florida area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Like most people, you would probably prefer not to dwell on the physical and mental deterioration that frequently accompanies the natural again process nor on the possibility that you could develop Alzheimer’s or another age-related dementia condition. You should, however, plan for the possibility that your body and/or mind will deteriorate with age given that the average American can expect to be around for many years beyond retirement age. If you do live well into your “Golden Years,” you will probably want to remain in the comfort of your 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 a practical or safe option, Stuart residents enjoy a variety of options that include home health care, 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 Stuart, 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.
The average nationwide cost of a year in long-term care for 2017 was over $80,000. Florida residents can expect to pay ever more, with a statewide average for 2017 of just over $105,000 per year. 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 given the fact that Medicare will not help pay for LTC. Because many seniors turn to Medicaid for help covering the high cost of LTC, incorporating Medicaid Planning into your estate plan is usually a good idea to ensure that you meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements. For many seniors, Medicaid planning is crucial because of the program’s very low “countable resources” limit used when determining eligibility. The good news is that the Medicaid planning attorneys at Kulas & Crawford can help. Leisure Time
Retirement doesn’t have to mean sitting in a rocking chair watching the world go by. On the contrary, many seniors spend their senior years making new friends and socializing with old ones. For seniors living in and around Stuart, a wide variety of places can be found to mix and mingle. The Kane Center provides a wide variety of resources to seniors and the City of Stuart website has a Special Events section that offers current information about events coming up in the near future. For veterans, there are several American Legion Posts in the Stuart area as well as the VFW Post 4194.
Local, State and Federal Assistance
Many local, state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. 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 Stuart Elder Law Attorney
At Kulas & Crawford, our experienced, compassionate, and caring team of elder law attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping our senior population and the people who care for them with legal issues and concerns, such as the need to coordinate retirement planning with your existing estate plan, asset protection, Medicaid planning, and incapacity planning. Our experienced elder law attorneys are also available to assist you with other areas typically of concern to seniors and those who care for them, such as incapacity planning, asset protection and incorporating your retirement plans into your estate plan. For more information on any of the issues that impact seniors, please feel free to contact the experienced Stuart, Florida elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford by calling (772) 398-0720 to schedule an appointment.