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Helping Seniors Stay Connected During the Surge

Let's look at what we can be helping seniors stay connected during the pandemic surge. I think I was more upset about my father having Thanksgiving alone than he. My small family is scattered across the states, and it was not safe for us to be together. While I worry about my dad living solo, he sees friends, can handle facetime without tech support, and is the master of the pithy text. Not all seniors are faring as well. Physical and mental limitations cause many of our nation’s seniors [...]

By |2020-12-01T08:30:13-05:00December 1st, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Family|

Personal Reflections on Being Thankful in the Face of the Pandemic

As a Director of Care Coordination of Rothkoff Law Group, I have unfortunately witnessed how the current pandemic has affected the lives of so many vulnerable older adults. As we still digest our Thanksgiving dinner and prepare for the holiday season before us, many people (myself included) are facing the disappointment, anger, and grief of not being able to spend the holidays with our loved ones as we have in years past. Sure, I had my own personal woes that I can attribute to “typical 2020;” but I have reflected [...]

By |2020-11-25T08:24:50-05:00November 25th, 2020|Around the Office, Blog|

Can Nursing Home Residents Leave the Facility for the Holiday

Can and should nursing home residents leave the facility for the holiday? If a resident decides to leave the facility for the holiday, CMS recommends certain actions when the resident returns. Consider this scenario: A client was in a local nursing home for a rehabilitation stay following a fall resulting in hospitalization. His spouse communicated that her husband wanted to come home for the day to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family, and would be devastated if he was unable to due so for health reasons. The nursing home [...]

By |2020-11-20T15:17:42-05:00November 20th, 2020|Nursing Home|

There is No Place for Politics in Elder Care Law

It is my personal opinion that there is no place for politics in elder care law. I recently discussed the election during a dinner conversation with a friend. We discussed our political views and opinions. He correctly observed he never sees political opinions on my Facebook or LinkedIn pages. He inquired why I chose not to engage in a political discussion, suggesting whether it was because I wanted to be perceived as apolitical from a business perspective. In a way, he was right, but not for the reasons he [...]

By |2020-11-11T10:43:02-05:00November 11th, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Health Law, Nursing Home|

PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines

Let's take a moment to review the new PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines that have been established post COVID. It has been a very difficult eight plus months for both loved ones and residents of long-term care communities (LTC), referring to residents in assisted living, personal care homes and nursing homes). Social isolation has taken an extreme toll on the residents. During the past few months, many family members have taken advantage of outside visits with residents. However, as the weather turns colder and with the [...]

By |2020-11-04T09:10:40-05:00November 4th, 2020|Blog, Elder Care, Health Law, Law Update, Nursing Home|

A Caregivers Guide to How the Holidays Affect those with Alzheimer’s

Let's look at how the Holidays Affect those with Alzheimer’s. November not only brings with it the beginning of the holiday season and a time of gathering and celebrating with our loved ones, but it has also become a time to educate people about Alzheimer’s Disease. Thirty-Seven years ago, in 1983, President Ronald Regan declared November National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At that time, there were under 2 million people living with this disease in the US. Sadly, that number is closer to 5.5 million currently. In fact, Alzheimer’s [...]

By |2020-10-27T14:02:43-04:00October 27th, 2020|Aging, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care|

Hiring an Advocate for Seniors

Hiring an advocate for seniors is no easy task. I know first hand. Prior to working at Rothkoff Law Group, I had experience at multiple estate planning law firms as a legal assistant. When I was hired, I thought that there must be some mistake, as I had no experience with public benefits. Since then, I have learned from the ground up, manage my own team of Public Benefits Specialists and have found a platform to advocate for underserved populations. However, now that I have overseen multiple hiring processes [...]

By |2020-10-21T10:24:22-04:00October 21st, 2020|Aging, Blog, Elder Care, Health Law|

Will I Lose My House if I Go on Medicaid?

One question I am almost always asked: Will I lose my house if I go on Medicaid? Throughout my legal career – beginning as a public interest attorney in Philadelphia through my work at Rothkoff Law Group – I have given many community presentations on advanced-care planning and long-term care. This is the one question I am almost always asked. First, to clarify, Medicaid is a health insurance program administered by the states and jointly funded by the states and federal government. Medicaid programs vary by state, but generally [...]

By |2020-10-13T12:44:31-04:00October 13th, 2020|Blog, Medicare, Nursing Home|

New Jersey Law Protects Assisted Living Residents in a Community that is Closing

As many of you know, Five Star Senior Living has announced the closing of Cherry Hill Senior Living, an assisted living community in Cherry Hill, NJ.  In the unfortunate COVID-19 era, there may be more closures to come.  However, it is important to know New Jersey law, at least to an extent, protects current residents of AL communities that are closing, particularly those who are already on Medicaid or may shortly be transitioning to Medicaid. Pursuant to New Jersey law, “If a facility licensed to operate as an assisted [...]

By |2020-10-08T09:16:54-04:00October 8th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog|

Recognizing and Treating Depression in Older Adults

Recognizing depression in older adults can sometimes be a challenge. National Depression Screening Day is held annually on October 8th. While depression is not necessarily a normal part of aging, it is a serious medical issue that afflicts many older adults. Common life events such as feelings of isolation, losing loved ones, retirement, undergoing serious medical procedures, or receiving a new medical diagnosis may contribute to these feelings of loss and sadness. Depression in older adults may often go unnoticed and undiagnosed in older adults. Symptoms of mental health [...]

By |2020-10-02T10:04:55-04:00October 2nd, 2020|Blog, Caregiver|

Important CMS Update on Nursing Home Visitation

After six months of strict visitation restrictions in nursing homes, on September 17th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo significantly easing those restrictions. The new guidance, which is effective immediately, permits outdoor visitation, indoor visitation, and compassionate care visits and lays out a framework for those visits.  CMS notes that this guidance replaces all previous guidance.  Highlights of the September 17 memo include: General Guidance About Visits Visitation should be person-centered, consider the resident’s physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, and support their quality of [...]

By |2020-09-21T08:42:42-04:00September 21st, 2020|Health Law, Nursing Home|

The Importance of Nursing Home Care Plan Meetings

As an elder care law firm, our emphasis is on health care advocacy via our five elder care coordinators. For those clients in a nursing home setting, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important to engage in health care advocacy since loved ones are unable to regularly visit or participate in person in care plan meetings. This article will discuss what is a care plan meeting and why it is so very important for families to participate in the care plan to be aware of their loved [...]

By |2020-09-16T16:20:54-04:00September 16th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Nursing Home, Uncategorized|

Caring for Elderly Parents as an Only Child

Let's look at the challenges of caring for elderly parents as an only child. Growing up as an only child, I would repeatedly ask my parents why I did not have a sibling. I vividly remember my mother’s response. She believed in “one child per family.” While most of my friends had larger families, I did not readily accept this somewhat odd response, but I moved on. Now, at age 50, I have come to realize that the question I should have been asking was what will happen when [...]

By |2020-09-09T13:44:28-04:00September 9th, 2020|Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care|

Reviewing Your Health Insurance During Medicare Open Enrollment

As Fall approaches, everyone looks forward to the crisp weather, pumpkin spice and Halloween, but here at Rothkoff Law Group, it also means preparing for the Medicare open enrollment period. Open enrollment in 2020 will run October 15, 2020 through December 7, 2020. Any changes made during this time will take effect for 2021. While many may ultimately not need to make any changes at all, it is a good reminder to assess your needs for the upcoming year. During open enrollment, you can make the following changes: Change [...]

By |2020-08-31T09:49:27-04:00August 31st, 2020|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare|

Long Term Care Residents Can Vote and Should Vote

Long term care residents can vote and should vote. It is their constitutional right even in the midst of a pandemic. The latest coronavirus challenge: How do we hold a general election during a pandemic? As the politicians, media, advocacy groups, and pundits debate the merits of remote voting, one voice is notably absent – advocates for residents in long-term care communities. While some of the more cantankerous long-term care residents may disagree, moving to a long-term care setting does not strip people of their rights as citizens. Long [...]

By |2020-08-25T10:22:19-04:00August 25th, 2020|Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Nursing Home|
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