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Maine Center for Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

SAGE Advice: Support and Advocacy for Gay Elders

Maine Center for Elder Law associate attorney Britton Ryan Garon is a self-described "younger, straight ally" for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders). She is also a board member of SAGE Maine, which was founded in 2013.

Garon was recently interviewed for an article in The Village. "No one wants to speak about aging in this country period, let alone the issues facing the LGBT community. Death and dying are swept under the rug. The less it is acknowledged, the harder it is to put plans in place."

Read the full article written by Faith Gilman.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Get A Leg Up On Tom Brokaw

Did you happen to see the TED Talk in which Tom Brokaw had a conversation with his daughter, Jennifer? During the talk, Tom admitted that unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my living will. In factI’m not even sure where it is at this point.”

You can click here to watch the video. I set up the link to jump right to the spot, but I encourage you to watch the entire video. It’s only about 20 minutes long and well worth the time.

It’s always nice to see that celebrities are real people with real problems, and Tom’s case raises a few important questions.

  • Does your living will still reflect your wishes? There are many reasons why you may want to update your living will and/or healthcare power of attorney: Has your relationship with your family changed? Is your agent still able and willing to act on your behalf? Has your health changed? Have your beliefs changed? Have you moved? 

  • Have you discussed your wishes with your family? What you want and don't want?

  • Do you know where you living will is? Tom Brokaw admits he doesn’t know where his living will is. This is a common problem, which is why we encourage our clients  to sign up for DocuBank. A DocuBank Emergency Card lets you and your doctor access your living will & other emergency info immediately when needed. It’s like you have your documents right in your pocket!

We want to make sure that you stay ahead of Tom Brokaw!  It’s important that your living will and advance directives reflect your true wishes, and that you and your family know where they are and can access them when they’re needed.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Caregiving Changes Focus of Practice for Britton Garon

How does a new lawyer poised to begin a career in criminal prosecution make the change to Elder Law? Providing end-of-life care for her mother and grandmother changed Maine Center for Elder Law attorney Britton Garon's focus. "I very clearly realized that I wanted to help people prevent all of the devastating things that can happen during an illness or at the end of life."  

Personal Experience Leads to Career in Elder Law


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

For Love's Sake

91-year-old Real L'Heureux broke out of the dementia care facility he resides in to be with his girlfriend.

Maine Center for Elder Law attorney Barbara Schlichtman was interviewed for this recent Portland Press Herald story written by staff writer Matt Byrne. The story is a bittersweet one of aging, love and decision-making. The article brings up many important issues families have to consider when faced with a decline in a loved one's abilities. Senior's Daring Escape Raises Troubling Question.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Should you use your 401(k) before Social Security?

My wife would like to retire at 62. Would it be better for to use the funds from her 401(k) first to get to the age of 65 before filing for Social Security?

See the full answer here, http://www.usatoday.com/story/experience/weekend/lifestyle/2014/10/30/use-401k-before-social-security/18008107/

Every situation is different. But it can be beneficial for many individuals to consider waiting to at least full retirement age (FRA) before starting Social Security and using 401(k) or IRA distributions to fund the "bridge period" between the time retirement starts and Social Security is claimed, says James Mahaney, a vice president with Prudential Financial.

The reasons are two-fold. One, if your wife starts Social Security at age 62, she'll lock in a permanent "real" reduction of 25%. "I say 'real' because the lower benefit will provide a smaller base on which cost-of-living-adjustments will apply into the future," says Mahaney.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Town Where Everyone Talks about Death

La Crosse, Wisconsin spends less on health care for patients at the end of life than any other place in the country, according to the Dartmouth Health Atlas.

Reducing costs wasn't the reason La Crosse has its advance directive program. Bud Hammes was trying to help their patients, and the reduction in spending was an accident. But now, lots of other communities want to copy the La Crosse program.

Full story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/03/05/286126451/living-wills-are-the-talk-of-the-town-in-la-crosse-wis


Friday, March 14, 2014

Maine Center for Elder Law Opens Portland Office

Maine Center for Elder Law opened a Portland office in January 2014.  The office is on Monument Square, directly above Longfellow Books and Foley's Bakery.  The building was formerly Benoit's Department store, http://www.mainememory.net/artifact/7872

Parking is available in the connected parking garage.  You enter next to Foley's Bakery and take the elevator to the 2nd floor.  Allow time for some coffee and one of the best baked goods in town.  You can shop at the farmer's market on Wednesdays.

Attorney Barbara Schlichtman will be the attorney in the Portland office most of the time; however, all attorneys will meet clients in Portland when necessary.  Barbara works in Kennebunk part of each week along with attorneys Martin C. Womer and Britton R. Garon.

Maine Center for Elder Law continues to focus its practice on elder law and special needs planning.  Elder law inludes guardianships, conservatorships, estate planning documents, MaineCare planning and applications.

You may call Barbara Schlichtman on her direct line at 207-619-2529.  This number is directed to whichever office she is occupying.  The primary number for Kennebunk remains 207-467-3301.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Do Elderly Parents Fall For Scams That Seem So Obvious To Us?

There are various reasons why our elders are such easy prey for these thieves.  One root cause is isolation and loneliness, a fact of life for many seniors who are not closely monitored by loved ones.  A pleasant, slick professional calls on the phone in a friendly and engaging manner and traps the vulnerable elder with kind words, attention and a feeling of connection.  The thieves are trained and smart.  They smell the kill. They know exactly what to say to get the elder to trust them.

Another very important factor is diminished cognition in the elder.

Read full story, http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt/2014/02/13/why-do-elderly-parents-fall-for-scams-that-seem-so-obvious-to-us/


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gift idea: Sensory Quilt

We recommend this quilt because its textures seem to comfort people with fidgety hands.

Sensory Quilt is now on the market. It makes a great holiday gift or can be a tool used by caregivers to help soothe clients. For those of you who haven't seen it, the Sensory Quilt is a colorful, beautiful lap quilt with five different textures and various activities.

http://sensoryquilt.com/


Friday, October 11, 2013

Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15, 2013

This link to the Medicare website offers lots of useful information, http://www.medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/whats-new/whats-new.html.

In most cases, this open enrollment period may be the one chance you have to make a change to your health and prescription drug coverage for 2014.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Alaska, Hawaii and Maine scored among the nation's best for nursing homes

Staffing is a key factor in determining a nursing home's quality of care, according to new state-by-state analysis from advocacy group Families for Better Care.

The organization graded each state's overall quality of nursing home care based on eight metrics, from the Kaiser Health Foundation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and state long-term care ombudsman programs. Families for Better Care touts this as the first report of its kind.

“States whose nursing homes staffed at higher levels ranked far better than those with fewer staffing hours,” said Brian Lee, executive director of FBC and former Florida long-term care ombudsman. This finding supports what many stakeholders have been saying for years, Lee noted.

Alaska, Hawaii and Maine scored among the nation's best for nursing homes, and all earned “A” grades in all staffing categories, such as direct care staffing hours and registered nurse hours. Alaska was ranked No. 1 in the nation overall. Rhode Island came in at No. 2, followed by New Hampshire.

Full article: http://www.mcknights.com/better-staffing-means-better-care-new-nursing-home-state-rankings-suggest/article/307083/


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The Maine Center for Elder Law is a practice of Perkins Thompson, P.A. The Center assists clients with Medicaid (MaineCare) Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, and Probate, Estate & Trust Administration matters in York County, Cumberland County and nearby Maine counties.



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