Maine Center for Elder Law

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Everything Gets Complicated When a Person has Dementia

An Annals of Internal Medicine paper reports that the money needed to treat dementia in a patient’s final five years is greater than for heart disease and cancer. Take a look at this New York Times article by Gina Kolata.
Three diseases, leading killers of Americans, often involve long periods of decline before death. Two of them — heart disease and cancer — usually require expensive drugs, surgeries and hospitalizations. The third, dementia, has no effective treatments to slow its course.

So when a group of researchers asked which of these diseases involved the greatest health care costs in the last five years of life, the answer they found might seem surprising. The most expensive, by far, was dementia.

The study looked at patients on Medicare. The average total cost of care for a person with dementia over those five years was $287,038. For a patient who died of heart disease it was $175,136. For a cancer patient it was $173,383. Medicare paid almost the same amount for patients with each of those diseases — close to $100,000 — but dementia patients had many more expenses that were not covered.

On average, the out-of-pocket cost for a patient with dementia was $61,522 — more than 80 percent higher than the cost for someone with heart disease or cancer. The reason is that dementia patients need caregivers to watch them, help with basic activities like eating, dressing and bathing, and provide constant supervision to make sure they do not wander off or harm themselves. None of those costs were covered by Medicare.

"Everything gets complicated when a person has dementia," noted Dr. Christine K. Cassel, a geriatrician and chief executive of the National Quality Forum.

Maine Center for Elder Law attorneys have helped many seniors and their families with estate planning designed to fit each unique situation. We never know what life will bring our way, but we do know we can plan in advance--for everyone's sake.

Read more of the NYT article here.

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

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,

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.

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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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