In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased due in large part to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, the number of older Americans (age 65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (age 21 and younger) for the first time in history. The increase in the elderly population has caused a corresponding interest in social and legal issues that concern the elderly. In the Village of Rockville Centre, New York the overall population was 24,023 people as of the 2010 Census, of which 16.3 percent were age 65 or older. Moreover, 13.3 percent of the households had someone aged 65 or older living alone.
Whether you yourself are enjoying your “Golden Years,” or you are the caretaker of someone who is, you will find a number of vital resources in the Rockville Centre area to help you. Of course, knowing what those resources are and where to find them is critical to benefitting from those resources. To help you locate those resources, the elder law attorneys at Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Rockville Centre, New York area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
If you are a senior living alone, or you are concerned about a loved one who is, it is wise to know who to call in case of an emergency. 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 Village of Rockville Centre, New York, you may fall within the jurisdiction of the Rockville Centre Police Department or the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department. In addition, the Village of Rockville Centre website provides contact information for numerous local offices as well as an online services and forms section that may be helpful. The Nassau County Department of Human Services Office for the Aging is another excellent resource for seniors and their caregivers.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Most of us hope to spend out Golden Years in our own homes; however, there may come a time when it is no longer safe to remain in your home or when you realize that a loved one needs the type of care that you simply cannot provide by yourself. The choice of a long-term care facility is a highly personal choice, and one that should only be made after careful thought and deliberation. Whenever possible, planning ahead is best as it allows you the time you need to properly research your options. As the population of older Americans increases, options for long-term care are increasing as well. Likewise, the amenities and services offered by LTC facilities are expanding to provide choices and options that were not available just a generation ago. The following resources may be helpful in your search for the right facility:
- Published by Nassau County, a list of skilled nursing facilitiesin the Rockville Centre, New York area that are licensed by the New York State Health Department.
- comwhich offers you the ability to search for all types of care, including home care, assisted living care, and skilled nursing facilities in and near Rockville Centre.
- Nursing Home Comparefound on the Medicare.gov. This is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- Elder Care Locator, a website managed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, that also allows you to search for long-term care options in your area.
As the cost of long-term care continues to increase throughout the nation, the need to plan ahead becomes even more important than ever. The elder law attorneys at 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 crucial, however, 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 at Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia can help.
As long as they are able to do so, most seniors continue to enjoy socializing with their peers. Experts tell us, in fact, that getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. Fortunately, there are several excellent places in Rockville Centre for seniors to meet and mingle, starting with the Nassau County Social Adult Day Care Program. The county website also publishes a list of clubs and recreational programs for seniors with contact information. For veterans, the American Legion Post 303 is an option as are the various VFW posts in the area.
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.
Being entitled to benefits is certainly a good start; however, getting an application completed and approved is crucial and that can be a monumental task. Navigating the governmental red tape can be challenging under the best of circumstances. If you are attempting to apply on behalf of a family member or other loved one, it may be even more difficult if you do not yet have guardianship over the applicant. Worse still is the reality that a significant percentage of initial applications for benefits are denied, often for no other reason than the application itself was missing information and/or documentation. The elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia are available to help you through the process from understanding what benefits are available to you to making sure you are in a position to get approved for all the assistance available.
Our experienced elder law attorneys are dedicated to helping ensure that you (or your loved one) are prepared and protected so you can enjoy your “Golden Years.” That may include incorporating incapacity and long-term care panning into your estate plan as well as discussing the use of advance directives and funeral planning to ensure that your wishes are honored at the end of your life. If you have additional questions or concerns about any of these elder law issues, contact an experienced Rockville Centre, New York elder law attorney at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.