Home Health Care in Demand

Author: Bonnie Lawston: NY Estate & Probate Litigator
Stephen Sternbach: Star Multi Care: Home Health Care

According to a study conducted at the Ohio State University, there are more than 33,000 home health care providers in the United States, offering assistance to approximately 12 million people. Nearly 70% of the home health care patients are over the age of 65, and a large percentage (about 64%) are women. Home health care providers offer a wide range of services, including care related to diabetes, Alzheimer’s’, osteoarthritis, cancer, hypertension and heart conditions.

Home health care employees are typically registered or licensed practical nurses, but may also include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and dietitians. Many home health care providers combine medical services with life assistance services, such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to medical or other appointments, medication management and companionship.

The benefits of home health care have long been known. Treatment in the home means that many people do not have to go into hospital, convalescent or other institutional long-term nursing care facilities, places where they will be unfamiliar with surroundings, or feel isolated. With in-home health care treatment, a patient can go about his or her life in a normal fashion, stopping only to receive necessary treatment. Because of familiarity with surroundings, there is less likelihood of injury due to tripping, slipping or falling. In addition, there are substantial psychological benefits to being in one’s own home.

Contact the Professionals at Star Multi Care

At Star Multicare, we provide a full range of  in-home health care services, and also work with people in assisted living or other residential care facilities. To learn more about the ways we can help you and your loved ones, contact us online or call our office at (877)920-0600

Home Health Care—Protecting Your Legal Interests

When you require health care services in your home, you want to make certain your legal rights and interests are protected. Attorney Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, has provided sound counsel to seniors and their families for more than 20+ years. She can work with clients and providers in New York and out of state.    Ms. Lawston will evaluate and discuss your personal needs and wishes to develop the best estate plan and living plan for you while maximizing your savings and Estate for your family and loved ones.  We prepare all the necessary documents including living Will, health care proxy, power of attorney forms, limited and general, living trusts, DNR and other directives such as funeral wishes, your Last Will and Testament and other related documents.   Associated with our office and had picked by Ms. Lawston are other specialists such as real estate broker, financial investor,  estate CPA and estate home improvement developer.   Our practice is focused on estate planning and administration so our experience works for you and saves time and money.   There is no coincidence that “law” is part of our name.  Let us help you now to save you and your family money, time, aggravation but most of all, ensure that your wishes are carried out.

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Legal Documents to Consider When You Seek In-Home Health Care

As our population ages, and more and more people require regular medical care, the demand for home health care services continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.5 million people were receiving home health care services in 2007, with an average of 315 days of care.

Home health offers many distinct advantages. Your loved one gets to stay in familiar and comfortable surroundings, allowing a greater sense of independence. Staying with a known routine in a familiar environment minimizes stress and anxiety, which can help improve health. In addition, because the attention is one-on-one, there is less likelihood that medications will not be properly administered or that required procedures or treatment will be neglected.

Before you bring in home health care, though, you want to execute certain documents, so that care providers know what to do in any situation that may arise. At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, in the Town of Huntington, NY, we have extensive experience helping people protect their rights and the rights of loved ones when in-home, assisted or nursing home care is required. We can work with you to make certain all your concerns are addressed, and that you have prepared and put in place all necessary documentation. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 877-581-8498 for an appointment.

Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to designate a person who will act on your behalf if you are unable to do so, whether due to injury, illness or any other condition. You can create a power of attorney that goes into effect immediately, or limit it so that it only goes into effect if you have been declared incompetent or otherwise unable to manage your affairs. You can create a power of attorney for all decisions or limit it to specific issues, such as financial or legal matters.

Advance Medical Directive

An advance medical directive is essentially a health care power of attorney. You can use an advance directive to set forth who will make decisions regarding your health, and you can also specify whether certain types of treatment may be used, such as life support.

Guardianship

If you are unable to manage your affairs, and want to appoint someone else as a permanent representative, you can set up a guardianship. Your guardian will have a legal duty to act in your best interests, and will have the right to buy or sell property, pay bills, and take legal action on your behalf to protect your rights.

Contact Our Office

To learn more about how we can help you protect your rights when you need home health care, contact our office online or call us in Huntington Station at 877-581-8498.

Home Health Care Service Providers

If you are considering retaining the services of a home health care provider, contact Star Multi Care or call their offices at 877-920-0600 . Star Multi-Care offers a wide range of in-home medical and non-medical services, and has offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. If you or your loved ones spend winters in Florida, you can travel back and forth between your home in the north and your Florida home without an interruption in home health care services.

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Less then half of all adults do not have a Will ? Why not?

If you do not have a Will or a current valid Will,  then your money and assets may not go to the people that you want it to go to and the Court will dictate how it is distributed pursuant to the applicable law that controls your case based on your jurisdiction and residence.   With a valid Will,  you decide who receives your assets.   If you have minor children, with a Will, you can chose their guardian,  how they receive the assets etc…..

Make sure that you have the right amount of insurance to maintain your family’s lifestyle if you are not here.   Plan for now and the future will take care of itself. 

Organize all your financial and other information.   Make sure that all your legal documents are in place.  Make sure you list all life insurance policies and assets.  BE SURE to change the beneficiary of each asset to reflect your wishes.    An asset that has a direct beneficiary will control,  not your Will.  

To ensure that your documents are in one place and can be obtained,  register at willregistry.info.  A great database where you can access important documents.   For example, if you are in the hospital in another state and need your health care proxy document – if you are register – you can get a copy on line.   

Wills and other estate planning documents and consultations are not that expensive.    A simple Will can range from $350.00 and up.    Our office will update your documents and make changes at no cost to you.    Contact us for more information.  

 

 

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Protecting Your Legal Rights When Confronting Alzheimer’s Disease

Author: Law Office Bonnie Lawston: Bonnie Lawston
New York and Long Island Estate Attorney

When your loved one begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, your focus tends to be on medical issues—the kinds of treatment that may be available, the effectiveness of different medications. However, there are steps that you need to take as soon as possible to protect your rights and the rights of your loved one. The Alzheimer’s Organization identifies specific issues that you want to address after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, we have extensive experience helping people protect their rights and the rights of loved ones when in-home, assisted or nursing home care is required. This blog post identifies the legal concerns you may have after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as well as the measures you can take to protect your interests.

We understand that, when you have a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you may not know where to go to for sound and comprehensive advice about your treatment options. We work closely with Star MultiCare, a highly regarded provider of home health care services. Star Multicare provides a broad range of in-home care  options for people living in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Q: Bonnie, what do you need to do if a family member receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?

A: You should immediately contact a lawyer who has experience crafting and executing a wide range of planning strategies. You will want to identify what types of care are available, as well as how you will pay for care. You will likely want to consider home health care vs. institutional care, and verify whether you have insurance coverage for the preferred type of care. If your loved one owns property or has access to financial accounts, you will want to take immediate steps to minimize the risk that they will sign away or lose these assets without fully understanding what they are doing. This typically takes the form of a guardianship or a conservatorship.

Q: What is the primary legal concern when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

A: The issue that can present the most challenges is whether your loved one has legal capacity, or the ability to enter into legally binding agreements. Once there has been a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, there can be a presumption that the person does not understand that they are making legally binding decisions, or that they cannot understand the full consequences of their decisions. If so, any legal actions they take—preparing a will or trust, buying or selling property, transferring assets—can be challenged because of lack of capacity.

Q: What documents should be executed once there has been a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s?

A: If your loved one has just been diagnosed, and the dementia is mild, they will likely still be ruled to have the legal capacity to enter into binding legal agreements. If so, you will want to be sure that they have all necessary estate planning measures in place, including wills or trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and living wills. They can also voluntarily establish a guardianship or conservatorship. If they lack capacity, you will have to seek a court order establishing the guardianship or conservatorship.

To learn more about how we can help you protect your rights after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, contact our office online or call us in Huntington Station at 877-581-8498.

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What Can You Do about the Adverse Effects of Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem today that burdens loved ones and their families. The U.S. government website, alzheimers.gov  reports that over five million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is most prevalent among the elderly, but is not a normal part of aging.

Diagnosis requires testing by qualified professionals. We cannot predict Alzheimer’s occurrence and certainly no one plans on getting it—not the loved one plagued by the disease nor the family members who must deal with their loved one’s care. However, there are actions you and your family should take or consider ahead of time as part of planning for elder care.

Legal options

The Law Office of Bonnie Lawston  based in Long Island, New York works on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients and their families. Our firm can help you plan for long-term care such as assisted living, a nursing home facility, or a home health care service. Structuring assets to provide for elder care is often an issue and guidance can be vital for arriving at the right solutions whether involving a trust or annuity, selecting long-term care insurance, or working out how to qualify for Medicaid. Through a durable power of attorney, you can designate a third party to make financial decisions for you. You should also designate a healthcare proxy and devise a living will that allows family and physicians to know your wishes about end-of-life care.  As well as funeral directives and other options.

Caregiver options

Memory loss is probably the most noticeable Alzheimer’s symptom, and it creates significant problems for seniors who must take medications. Medications are vital for controlling diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, and other diseases. Eating a proper diet, remembering to eat, and managing other daily living tasks can also be problematic. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s patients frequently have difficulty adapting to changes in environment. In fact, moving a senior with Alzheimer’s to a long-term care facility may create further instability. Fortunately, home health care services are available that allow Alzheimer’s patients to receive proper care 24/7 within their own homes. And for some patients, this may be a better option.

Over the past 70 years, Star Multi Care  has provided home health care services to meet individuals’ needs. We often assist Alzheimer’s patients and their family members and also work in conjunction with attorneys, physicians, long-term care insurers, and other professionals involved in the elderly person’s care.

 

 

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Protecting Your Loved Ones as They Age

Author: Bonnie Lawston

If your parents or a loved one have suffered an injury or have an illness that makes it difficult or impossible for them to address their own needs, you may need to secure in-home care services. At the same time, you will want to take all appropriate legal measures to protect your loved ones and to give you the authority and flexibility necessary to quickly and effectively handle legal, medical, financial and other issues.

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, we have extensive experience helping people protect their rights and the rights of loved ones when in-home, assisted or nursing home care is required. This blog post answers basic questions about the services offered at the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston.

Q: Bonnie, give us an overview of the range of services you provide.

A: We offer comprehensive estate planning and asset protection counsel. We will help you put together an effective plan for the distribution of your property in the event of your death. We also understand, though, that many people save and work their entire lives to build a substantial estate, only to lose most or all of it to the costs of medical care in their final years. We can help you take steps to safeguard your assets, and to find alternative means of paying for the care that you need. We also assist individuals who need to put a guardianship or conservatorship in place for a loved one who can no longer manage his or her affairs.

Q: It appears that more and more senior citizens require in-home and other types of constant care as our society ages. What role does your office play in protecting individuals and their families when regular care is needed?

A: We provide a wide range of services to individuals and their families. We work directly with companies, such as Star Multi Care, that provide comprehensive, in-home, medical and non-medical services. We will help you structure your assets so that you can pay for the care needed, but so that there is minimal impact on the value of your estate. We will also review, prepare, amend or negotiate the terms of any agreement with a care provider.

We will prepare all the necessary estate planning documents such as trusts, power of attorney forms, living wills and health care proxy. We will discuss your options to help avoid probate and other issues.

Q: My parents have health issues, but can manage their own affairs most of the time. Can I set up a guardianship that only goes into effect when necessary?

A: Yes. We can create a guardianship or even a power of attorney that will only be activated if a doctor or mental health professional expressly states in writing that your loved one lacks capacity to manage their own affairs. This allows your loved ones to maintain their independence and dignity, but also gives you the protection you need to safeguard their assets and affairs.

Q: My parents spend their winters in Florida. Does that pose any problems?

A: No. We can set up all documents so that your parents’ needs are addressed regardless of where they live. Star Multi Care offers in-home care services in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.


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