Important Medicare Provisions Seniors Should Know About

Congress is gearing up to pass a budget reconciliation package, and there are several important Medicare provisions affecting seniors, including first-time Medicare coverage for vision, hearing, and dental care.      These Medicare provisions are proposed to phase in vision, hearing, and dental benefits in 2022, 2023, and 2028, respectively. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that vision benefits would cost $30 billion over 10 years, hearing benefits would cost $89 billion over 10 years, and dental benefits would cost $238 billion over 10 years.  The legislation would also make broader changes to prescription drug coverage under Medicare. In addition to [...]

2021-11-09T16:19:33+00:00September 24, 2021|

Planning Ahead for the Medicaid Look-Back Period

What is a Medicaid Look-Back Period, and why should you be concerned about planning ahead for Medicaid benefits? We encounter the following factual scenario on a regular basis, which will shed some light on why you may want to start planning now. Mom can no longer live independently. Mom sells her house and moves in with her son and his family. Son uses mom’s money to remodel or add an addition to his home and to help pay household expenses, such as utilities, food, maintenance. Mom never puts anything in writing indicating son can use her money for such expenses. [...]

2021-11-09T16:20:43+00:00September 16, 2021|

Self-Directed Medicaid Home Care Options

For a multitude of reasons, even once approved for Medicaid, many families have been hesitant to move their loved ones to an Assisted Living or Nursing Home environment, opting instead for home care. However, home care through an agency comes with issues of its own, primarily rooted in staffing shortages. It is no secret that the United States’ aging population is growing, an impending crisis exacerbated and exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently called out Pennsylvania’s lack of comprehensive eldercare solutions, rating their “level of preparedness at a ‘C’ or ‘D,’” not nearly good enough to match [...]

2021-11-09T16:22:42+00:00September 10, 2021|

Recognizing and Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

In addition to advocating for the needs of our clients, the Rothkoff Care Coordination team often addresses the need of the caregiver with whom we communicate, including the impact of caregiver burnout. A caregiver is typically a spouse or adult child who is assisting with tasks ranging from meal preparation and medication management to physically assisting their loved one with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, and grooming. Sometimes caregiving simply involves concern over the aging loved one’s wellbeing and checking to make sure this loved one is okay. Caregivers provide this support out of love, respect, and a [...]

2021-11-09T16:23:08+00:00September 2, 2021|

Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Love for Lois

Every year, thousands of Americans lace up for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s—the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. And every year, our team walks for our dear friend and former co-worker Lois, who is living with this disease. Lois’s grandson, Jared Fisch, pens an anecdotal essay on what it looks like to be on the other end of Alzheimer’s watching a loved one change before you. Read on below and join the Rothkoff Law Group – Love for Lois team in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She’s Not Who She Used to Be I [...]

2021-11-09T16:24:37+00:00August 26, 2021|

Preventing Falls: Tips on Caring for Aging Parents

As our loved ones age, it's important to help in preventing falls in an effort to help save them from devastating effects on their health. There are steps you can take to lower the risk. It is always a good idea to have a conversation with your loved one’s doctor about what might be appropriate. Here are a few talking points for preventing falls to discuss with your loved one and/or their doctor. Start by asking your loved one’s doctor whether they are at high risk for falls. Ask your loved one’s doctor whether they are any steps you can [...]

2021-11-09T16:25:12+00:00August 19, 2021|

Nursing Home Visitation

Unfortunately, nursing home visitation and visits to long-term care communities in NJ, PA, and beyond are once again being limited or restricted due to residents and/or staff contracting the COVID-19 virus. We have seen the devastating consequences of visitation restrictions on long-term care residents. During the past year, long-term care advocates have called for each community to allow for an “essential caregiver” during a health care emergency.  In June 2021, a bill was introduced in Congress to recognize essential caregivers. The Essential Caregivers Act (H.R. 3733) is bipartisan legislation that would give nursing home residents the right to have access [...]

2021-11-09T16:27:33+00:00August 11, 2021|

Pennsylvania Updates Nursing Home Regulations

Acknowledging that current statewide nursing home regulations are insufficient to meet the physical, psychological and social needs of residents, Pennsylvania announced a number of changes this past week.  One of the most significant being a 35% increase in direct care provided to each nursing home resident -  4.1 daily hours, up from 2.7. Although lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic contributed to these new nursing home regulations, studies show that raising the number of care hours improves quality of care, prevents infections, falls, malnutrition, and dehydration.  In short, more care creates better outcomes. Of course, any new law, regulation or [...]

2021-11-09T16:26:41+00:00August 5, 2021|

Qualified Income Trust for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult process. Many people believe they have successfully navigated all clinical and financial criteria, only to discover that the applicant requires a Qualified Income Trust, or QIT. Prior to December 1, 2014, all Medicaid applicants in the State of New Jersey with a monthly income in excess of the annual income limit, $2,382.00/month in 2021, were ineligible for the benefit. The creation of QITs has allowed for a wider range of applicants but has further complicated the Medicaid application process. Improper use of a QIT can result in [...]

2021-11-09T16:29:07+00:00July 22, 2021|

LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights

New Jersey is one of four states leading the charge against discrimination based on sexual orientation in long-term care facilities. In March of this year, Governor Murphy signed S2545/A4388, known as the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights, into law. The new law, similar to those in Massachusetts, California, and Illinois, bans discrimination in long-term care communities based on gender identity and sexual orientation.   The significance of the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights is twofold. First, it mandates the staff and administration of long-term care communities receive training on caring for and preventing discrimination against LGBTQI+ seniors. Secondly, the law establishes [...]

2021-11-09T16:30:00+00:00July 22, 2021|
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