Maine Center for Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Financial protection for Maine's elderly advances

The House passes a bill to deter assets exploitation as Maine prepares for a surge in its population of seniors.

L.D. 527, sponsored by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, a former Cumberland County sheriff, was passed by the House on Tuesday. It now awaits votes in the Senate.

The bill would clarify state law to say that people with dementia and other cognitive impairments cannot consent to financially abusive conduct by caregivers that would be criminal without the consent.

In a state plan released last year, the Department of Health and Human Services said one in five Mainers older than 65 have been exploited financially by family members, caregivers or scammers.

Dion, who is now a lawyer, said that as a police investigator, he often walked away unsatisfied from unprovable cases involving elders. Often, many seniors couldn't "consent the way the general public understands consent," he said.

Full Story

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Read Testimony Supporting Law Against Financial Abuse

Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging offered testimony in support of LD 527, which would clarify state law to say that people with dementia and other cognitive impairments cannot consent to financially abusive conduct by caregivers that would be criminal without the consent.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Discount Drug Plans May Not Be Saving Medicare Money

Preferred-pharmacy plans that promise lower prices for people who agree to buy theirprescription drugs from certain stores may be costing the U.S. Medicare program more money to support, pharmacists said.

While Medicare patients get reduced co-payments in the plans, offered by companies including UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH)and Humana Inc. (HUM), the insurers are shifting the burden of those discounts onto the federal government, according to an analysis today by the National Community Pharmacists Association. The agency that runs Medicare told insurers in a Feb. 15 letter that it has begun to scrutinize the costs of preferred pharmacies.

Full story:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boomers reinvent themselves in retirement

The Baby Boomers who grew up during the hippie counterculture movement are unlikely to follow in their parents' footsteps as they approach retirement.

But Boomers, many of whom are turning 65, have no road maps. They not only have to figure out how to make their money last, but they need to reinvent themselves in the second act of life.

"Before, retirement was a destination," says Dorian Mintzer, a therapist and board-certified retirement transition coach based in Boston."You had your retirement party and bought your condo in Florida. Now it's a process. It's a journey that can be daunting but can be very exciting, too."

Full story,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Medicare to change policy on requiring that patient is 'improving'

Medicare will revise the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to correct suggestions that Medicare coverage is dependent on a beneficiary "improving." New policy provisions will state that skilled nursing and therapy services necessary to maintain a person's condition can be covered by Medicare.

For decades, Medicare beneficiaries – particularly those with long-term or debilitating conditions and those who need rehabilitation services – have been denied necessary care based on the "Improvement Standard".

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Researchers find 10 best technologies for older drivers

The result is 10 items that mature drivers can look for when shopping for a new vehicle that will likely make their driving experience safer and less stressful.

"Our primary interest was equipping consumers to have this info so when they go shopping they can bring our list and talk to the salesman and use it in the decision-making process," Olshevski said.

While the list includes some technologies like lane-departure warning or parking assist systems that may only be available on more expensive vehicles, others are more common: electronic stability control is now mandatory for all passenger vehicles made after 2011.,0,7744146.story

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Journalists create nursing home inspection database

Use this tool to search more than 25,000 nursing home inspection reports, most completed since January 2011, and encompassing over 130,000 deficiencies.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Video describes elder law practice

This video is created by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and Stetson University College of Law, which offers a master's of law in Elder Law.  The video is targeted toward upcoming attorneys to explain "What is Elder Law?"  However, it is a good explanation of issues that an elder law attorney can address.

This video could also be useful for caregivers trying to decide what issues they face.  In our office, we often see adult children who want to take care of their parents, but don't know where to begin.  This video is a good resource.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

For Elders With Dementia, Musical Awakenings

The clip shown on NPR's website is part of a documentary called Alive Inside, which follows social worker Dan Cohen as he creates personalized iPod playlists for people in elder care facilities, hoping to reconnect them with the music they love. Cohen tells NPR's Melissa Block that the video of Henry is a great example of the link between music and memory.

"He is able to actually answer questions and speak about his youth, and this is sort of the magic of music that's familiar for those with dementia," Cohen says. "Even though Alzheimer's and various forms of dementia will ravage many parts of the brain, long-term memory of music from when one was young remains very often. So if you tap that, you really get that kind of awakening response. It's pretty exciting to see."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kaiser Family Foundation offers a brief on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act

One component of the Affordable Care Act is to increase access to health insurance by expanding eligibility for Medicaid benefits. The Medicaid program provides health insurance coverage to people with low incomes and is funded jointly by the federal and state governments.  This report offers a clear explanation of the act in terms of Medicaid expansion.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Bill would protect Survivor Benefit Plan for special-needs kids

The “Disabled Military Child Protection Act,” introduced by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., on March 29, would allow military retirees who participate in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to transfer their benefits to a special-needs trust for their disabled children that would be accessible after the retiree dies. Civilian federal retirees are able to establish similar trusts for their disabled children, but there is no equivalent within the military’s retirement system.

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The Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC, assists clients with Medicaid (MaineCare) Planning, Planning for VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, and Probate, Estate & Trust Administration matters in York County, Cumberland County and nearby Maine counties.

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