In recent years, the population of older Americans (those aged 65 and older) has experienced a population explosion, due in part to the Baby Boomer generation entering their retirement years. Experts predict that the older demographic will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Although seniors have many of the same legal and social concerns that their younger counterparts have, they also experience unique issues and problems. As of the 2010 Census, there were 36,124 people living in Commack, New York. Of the total population, 16.8 percent are age 65 or older.
Whether you are a senior yourself, a caregiver, or a loved one, finding resources to help with many of these issues can be challenging. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Commack, New York area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Whether you are young or old, it is always wise to prepare for the possibility of an emergency by having contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resources handy. Many of the numbers and contact information you might need can be found on the Suffolk County Government website. Although you can always call 911, it is also helpful to know how to locate your local law enforcement agency online. If you live in the Commack, New York you will need to contact the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office for help if you need it.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Like most people, you would probably prefer not to dwell on the physical and mental deterioration that frequently accompanies the natural aging process nor on the possibility that you could develop Alzheimer’s or another age-related dementia condition. You should, however, plan for the possibility that your body and/or mind will deteriorate with age given that the average American can expect to be around for many years beyond retirement age. If you do live well into your “Golden Years,” you will probably want to remain in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible. Fortunately, services such as home health care can often allow a senior to do just that. When living at home is no longer a practical or safe option, finding the right facility for your needs, or the needs of a loved one, can be challenging. Fortunately, there are several resources that may make the search easier, including:
- The New York State Health Department’s website offers profiles for licensed nursing homes throughout the state.
- com which offers you the ability to search for all types of care, including home care, assisted living care, and skilled nursing facilities in and near Commack.
- Nursing Home Compare found on the Medicare.gov. This is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licensed nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- S Department of Health and Human Services offers the “eldercare locator” website.
As the cost of long-term care continues to go up across the nation, the need to plan ahead becomes even more important than ever. For 2018, the average cost of a year in LTC throughout the State of New York was over $140,000. Consequently, the elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia urge clients to learn about LTC costs and to contemplate how they will cover those costs if the need arises in the future. Often, the best way to do that is to incorporate Medicaid Planning into a comprehensive estate plan. Planning is necessary because of the very low “countable resources” limit the program imposes on applicants. Moreover, because neither Medicare nor most private health insurance policies will help you pay your LTC bill, you may be faced with the need to qualify for Medicaid or risk losing your retirement nest egg. The Medicaid planning attorneys the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia can help.
Retirement doesn’t have to mean sitting in a rocking chair watching the world go by. On the contrary, many seniors spend their senior years making new friends and socializing with old ones. Fortunately, there are several excellent options in Commack for seniors who want to get out and socialize. The Senior Center in the nearby town of Huntington is one option. Another great resource is the Suffolk County Office for the Aging.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. An excellent example is the New York State Office for the Aging. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability website. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. . If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for New York Medicaid for seniors. Although predominantly funded by the federal government, each individual state administers its own Medicaid program.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of state and federal benefits and services available to help seniors. Making sense of the eligibility guidelines and navigating the application process, however, can be challenging. The elder law attorneys the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia are familiar with the various benefits and services to which you may be entitled and are committed to helping you with any questions or concerns you may have about eligibility or appealing a denial. Whether you are a senior yourself or a caregiver, we are here if you need us.
The experienced elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia are dedicated to helping you create or update your estate plan to ensure that it covers your changing needs as a senior. If you have yet to incorporate Medicaid planning into your estate plan, now is the time to do so to ensure eligibility if you need it down the road. Along with long-term care planning, you may wish to consider executing an advance directive as part of a larger incapacity plan. An advance directive allows you to choose who will make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them at some point in the future. Finally, you should consider including funeral and burial planning to your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that your wishes will be honored at the end of your life. For more information on any of the issues that impact seniors, or to discuss specific elder law questions, contact an experienced Commack, New York elder law attorney at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia by calling 631-941-3400 to schedule your appointment.