In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased due in large part to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, the number of older Americans (age 65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (age 21 and younger) for the first time in history. The increase in the elderly population has caused a corresponding interest in social and legal issues that concern the elderly. Whether you are a senior yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, there are resources available to help you with many of the issues you may face. To take advantage of those resources, however, you must know how and where to find them. 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 Vero Beach, 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 resources handy. Many of those can be found on the Vero Beach website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information from the Planning and Development Department to the Recreation Department. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Vero Beach Police Department and the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Vero Beach, Florida area.
Hospitals and Emergency Care
The average life expectancy of an American has almost doubled over the last century thanks to advances in science and medicine as well as an overall improvement in the standard of living. A way to stop the natural aging process, however, remains elusive. Consequently, as we age, we tend to need more frequent doctor visits and may experience an increase in injuries and illnesses that require hospitalization. If you find yourself in need of immediate care for an acute or chronic medical condition, the following hospitals are available in the area, Indian River Medical Center provides emergency and routine medical care.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Most of us hope to spend our Golden Years in our own homes; however, there may come a time when it is no longer safe to remain in your home or when you realize that a loved one needs the type of care that you simply cannot provide by yourself. Vero Beach residents enjoy a variety of options that may help, from daily home health care assistance to around the clock medically supervised care at an area nursing home. For example:
- Home Instead Senior Care – “Our compassionate CAREGivers assist elder clients with common activities of daily living like showering, cooking and much more.”
- A Moment’s Notice Health Care — “We specialize in Home Care services provided by Certified Nursing Assistants or Home Health Aides in either your home or in a facility.”
- Brookdale Senior Living – “Our emphasis is on providing a wonderful retirement lifestyle, allowing you to do what you can and helping you remain as independent as possible.”
- Florida Baptist Retirement Center – aims “to provide a secure, enriching and Christian living environment for senior adults where freedom and independence are encouraged with quality care assured at the time and to the degree needed.”
- Palm Garden of Vero Beach – “a provider of short-term, long-term care, and rehabilitation services.”
- Consulate Health Care – “our culture creates a community where Consulate staff cares for patients and residents like family.”
As long as they are able to do so, most seniors continue to enjoy socializing with their peers. Experts tell us, in fact, that getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. Fortunately, there are several excellent places in Vero Beach for seniors to meet and mingle. The “Events” section of the Senior Resource Association website tells seniors about upcoming local events in the area. For veterans, the VFW Post 3918 is 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 for seniors. A great resource for seniors in Vero Beach is the Senior Resource Association which offers “services to support and advocate for independence and dignity of older adults in Indian River County.” 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.
If you have additional question or concerns regarding elder law issues, contact the experienced Vero Beach, Florida elder law attorneys at Kulas & Crawford by calling (772) 398-0720 to schedule an appointment.