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Upcoming Program for Healthcare Professionals

Legal Planning for Family Caregivers; What Professionals Need to Know

One of the hardest tasks in the world is putting together a plan your clients hope will never have to be used. When the unexpected happens, however, it helps to have the documents in place to deal with life’s complications. This session will focus on the legal planning necessary to plan for today, and the future.

Presented by: Helen Mesoloras, JD

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Time: 9:00am-10:00am

Location: Belmont Village, 1035 Madison Street, Oak Park, Illinois

Continuing Education:   1.0 continuing education credit will be awarded to Illinois Nurses, Counselors, and Social Workers.

Registration:  There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Please contact 847-462-0885 or events@elderwerks.com to register.

Flyer Regarding Event: Click here

From Dutton & Casey – Professional Level Programs in October

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition

Topics to be covered include: What legal options are available in planning and paying for long-term care? What are Powers of Attorney, Living Trusts and Wills and why are they important? How can Medicare, Medicaid, Long-Term Care Insurance and Personal Care Contracts maximize a person’s quality of life?

 Presented by: Kathryn C. Casey, JD, CELA

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Location: Covenant Home of Chicago, 2720 W Foster Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Time: Registration and Light Meal – 5:30pm; Program: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Event Registration: This FREE program is both for family members and health care professionals. A 1.5 continuing education credits will be awarded to Illinois Nurses, Counselors, and Social Workers. There is no cost to attend, however registration is required by contacting 847-462-0885 or events@elderwerks.com

Prepare to Care

One of the hardest tasks in the world is putting together a plan you hope you and your loved one will never have to use. When the unexpected happens, however, it helps to have the documents in place to deal with life’s complications, especially when they are designed to help you care for someone close to you. This session will focus on the legal planning necessary to plan for today, and the future.

Presenter: Helen Mesoloras, JD

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2015

Time: 9:00am-10:30am

Location: Lexington Square, 400 W. Butterfield Road, Elmhurst, Illinois

Registration:  This program will award 1.5 continuing education credits will be awarded to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses. There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required  by contacting 847-462-0885 or events@elderwerks.com

 

 

 

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition; What Social Service Providers Need to Know

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition; What Social Service Providers Need to Know

When a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition is given, not only do clients need to prepare medically, they need to prepare legally. This session will address important topics such as Powers of Attorney, Living Trusts, Wills. What legal options are available in planning and paying for long-term care? How can Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and personal care contracts maximize a person’s quality of life? and more.

Presented by:  Kathryn Casey, JD, CELA

Date:   Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Program:   8:30 am – 10:00 pm

Location:   Belmont Village, 500 McHenry Road, Buffalo  Grove, Illinois

 OR

 Date:   Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Program:   5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location:   Belmont Village, 545 Belmont Ave, Carol Stream, Illinois

Continuing Education: continuing education credit will be awarded to Illinois Nurses, Counselors, and Social Workers.

Registration:     There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required by contacting 847-462-0885 or events@elderwerks.com

 

 

Marriage Equality and Elder Law: Planning for Your Future

Marriage Equality and Elder Law: Planning for Your Future

Finally, all people can be married.   The implications of marriage, especially for older adults who are planning for their future, should be understood as it can impact you  both financially and legally.  Attend this session presented by Janna Dutton, Certified Elder Law Attorney, who has devoted her entire legal career to elder law, and learn what you need to know in order to make a decision that is appropriate for you and the person you love.

 Date: Friday, August 7, 2015

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00 pm.

Location: SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual Older Adults) in Bellwood, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. Please contact Eric Vironet at eric@wsseniors.org.

Race Judicata

Race Judicata

The attorneys and staff are sponsoring, and participating in this 5K race, which supports Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2015

Registration: please go to http://www.cvls.org

In connection with the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services’ Adult Protection Services Project, our attorneys assist, pro bono, the Cook County Adult Protective Services Agencies with their abuse, neglect and financial exploitation cases.

Kathryn Casey

Partner Kathryn Casey earned her Certification in Elder Law (CELA). The CELA certification has frequently been referred to as “the gold standard” for elder law and special needs practitioners.

 Kathryn,  who joins Janna Dutton and only a few other attorneys in Illinois with this certification,  has practiced exclusively in elder law since 2004 when she began representing clients in adult guardianships and elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation litigation. Since then, her practice has expanded to include probate and trust administration, estate planning, retirement benefits, special needs planning, long term care planning, Medicaid applications, and senior housing issues.

read more about our attorneys.

Dementia, Ethics and Elder Law

Dementia, Ethics and Elder Law

Please join us for an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics topics such as: a framework for addressing common ethical dilemmas involving people with dementia, determination of decisional capacity, risk factors for neglect, abuse, exploitation, and undue influence, solutions for helping those at risk and more.

Presented by: Kathryn Casey, JD, CELA  and Dan Kuhn, LCSW

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00pm

Location: Friendship Village, 350 W. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, Illinois

Registration: This program will provide 3 continuing education credit hours in ethics for Illinois Social Workers and Counselors. There is no charge to attend. However, registration is required. Please contact lecia.szuberla@elderwerks.com to register

Exciting News from Dutton & Casey

Partner Kathryn Casey has completed the long and difficult process to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). This certification has frequently been referred to as “the gold standard” for elder law and special needs attorneys.

In our ongoing commitment to provide the highest level of services to our clients and their families both of our Partners, Janna Dutton and Kathryn Casey, are certified.

Please click on the link below to learn more about the process to become a CELA and how this level of knowledge and dedication can better assist you and / or someone you care about.

https://www.duttonelderlaw.com/certified-elder-law-attorney…/

Hospital Stay – Observation or In-Patient – WHO KNOWS ???

Medicare beneficiary’s inpatient or outpatient status in a hospital affects the way that Medicare bills the beneficiary as well as whether the patient qualifies for Skilled Nursing Facility care following the hospital stay, so it is really important for a beneficiary to understand their rights.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy created a handout that describes the issue surrounding observation status, and provides steps that patients can take to try and resolve the issue. Please click on the link below to view the packet: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/self-help-packet-for-medicare-observation-status/

In Illinois, hospitals are not required to tell a patient if they are being put under observation status or being admitted to the hospital, so it is important for the patient to ask. Please view the fact sheet, created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for more information about the difference between inpatient and outpatient status: http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11435.pdf

– source Make Medicare Work Coalition http://www.ageoptions.org/services-and-programs_makemedicarework.html

Presentations for Attorneys

Elder Law Short Course, 9th Annual

Elder Law continues to be a rapidly changing field. This course is designed to provide you with current, pragmatic practice guidance that you can use to help your clients.

Presenters from Dutton & Casey: Janna Dutton, JD and Helen Mesoloras, JD

Dates: Thursday, November 21, and Friday, November 22, 2013

Location: Hilton Lisle, 3003 Corporate West Drive Lisle, Illinois

Registration: This program is for attorneys and being offered through the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. for more information.

Winter UnProgram 

Presenter: Helen Mesoloras, JD.

Topic:  Drafting Powers of Attorney and Estate Planning Documents

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Location: Hilton Lisle, 3003 Corporate West Drive Lisle, Illinois
Registration: This program is for attorneys and is offered through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Illinois Chapter.

Illinois Expands Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) to Physician Orders on Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

Illinois Expands Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) to Physician Orders on Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

On March 14, 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health released a revised version of its “IDPH Uniform Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Advance Directive.”  The updated form is subtitled “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (POLST)  This form represents a widely recognized best practice that documents medical orders for life-extending treatments for seriously ill patients. POLST is now in use in 38 states with adoptions by Illinois and Indiana in 2013.  It is intended to promote more patient-centered conversations between physicians/other healthcare professionals and the patient or legal surrogate.

click here to learn more

Program for Community Members and Professionals

Taking Control of Your Future: Strategies for Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

Adequate legal planning for older age involved more than writing a will. This session will address important topics which can impact your physical, mental and financial health. Doing some simple advance preparation now can help you avoid legal pitfalls down the road.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date:  Wednesday. May 29, 2013

Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Location:  Terrace Gardens Assisted Living, 8415 Waukegan Rd, Morton Grove, IL 60053

This session is part of a 6 week series, “Resources for Navigating Life Transitions: Your Personal GPS,” being sponsored by Elderwerks, Terrace Gardens, Right at Home, and Dutton & Casey.  Click here for a flyer on the event.

There is no charge to attend this, or any session. However, advanced registration is required. Click here  to register.

One hour of continuing education will be awarded for Illinois Social Workers, Counselors, and Registered Nurses.

YOUR Legal Update from Dutton & Casey – Attorneys at Law (Estate Planning I Probate I Elder Law)

In case you are new to reading our blog, this is the link to read all of our newsletters.

The goal of our newsletter is to provide helpful, and understandable, information on estate planning, probate, and elder law related topics.

Please feel free to share this resource.

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR SPRING 2013

TRUSTS :What They Are, How They Work, and How They May Help You or Someone You Care About

Presented by: Kathryn C. Casey, JD.

A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” There are different types of trusts (revocable, irrevocable, testamentary, and special needs), and each type of trust serves a different purpose. Katie’s presentation style and vast knowledge on this subject make her the perfect person to speak on this important topic.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Program: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Location: Kenneth Young Center, 1001 Rohlwing Road, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Registration: There is no charge to attend. However, advanced registration is required. click here to register

Continuing Education: This program will award 1.5 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers and Counselors.

Elder Law and Ethics, 2013

Please join us for an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics topics such as:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Risk factors for neglect, abuse, exploitation, and undue influence
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Changes to Medicaid

Presented by: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Registration: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM – 12 Noon

Location: Covenant Home, 2720 W. Foster, Chicago, IL 60625

Continuing Education: This program will award 3.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses. This program satisfies the Illinois social worker 3 hour ethics requirement.

Registration: Registration is closed. This session is full.

Elder Law and Ethics, 2013

Please join us for an interactive presentation and case studies of elder law & ethics topics such as:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Risk factors for neglect, abuse, exploitation, and undue influence
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Changes to Medicaid

Presented by: Kathryn C. Casey, JD

Date: Friday, April 19, 2013

Registration: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM – 12 Noon

Location: The Admiral, 929 West Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60640

Continuing Education: This program will award 3.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses. This program satisfies the Illinois social worker 3 hour ethics requirement.

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and seating is limited. Click here to register.

Legal Ability Planning – How To Prepare For and Prosper In Adulthood

Adequate legal planning for living with a disability, whether your own or your loved one’s, involves more than writing a will. It requires legal documents designed for living. Attend this session, led by an attorney practicing disability and elder law, as she discuss important topics including health care planning and coverage, financial and health care surrogate decision-making, long term care, and other important planning tools designed to protect your physical, mental, and financial health, or that of someone you care about, during life.

Presenter: Janna Dutton, JD

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Jewish Community and Family Services, 5150 West Golf Road, 2nd Floor, Skokie, IL 60077

Continuing Education: This program will award 2 clock hours to Illinios Social Worker and Counselors.

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and seating is limited. Click here to register.

Are You Prepared to Serve All Seniors? Think Again.

As professionals, we are very aware of the challenges faced by our aging population, especially those who are frail or ill. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals facing a health crisis, the challenges are often magnified. Out of fear, both real and perceived, many LGBT seniors delay or avoid getting the care they need.

This training, offered through the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and sponsored by Dutton & Casey, the Senior and Community Resource Center at St. Alexius Medical Center, Center on Halsted, and Elderwerks, will provide you with information and resources to best serve LGBT older adults and address the unique challenges faced by this community. The training will include group discussion, interactive small group activities and break-out sessions.

Presenter: Britta Larson, M. NH, Senior Services Director at the Center on Halsted

Dates: Monday, April 22, 2013 or Monday, September 23, 2013

Registration: 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Presentation: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: St. Alexius Medical Center, 1555 Barrington Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Continuing Education: This program will award 4.0 clock hours to Illinois Social Workers, Professional Counselors, and Nurses.

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced registration is required and seating is very limited. Click here to register. for the April session. Click here to register for the September session.

Legal Planning for Family Caregivers: What Social Service Professionals Need to Know

As social services professionals, you are often the first people who families turn to for answers to their questions. Attend this session, presented by Kathryn Casey, an attorney who concentrates in elder law and disability and special needs planning, to assist in having these answers. Questions to be covered include: “What are the duties and authorities under a Power of Attorney for Property, Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Trust or Living Will?” “What options are available in planning and paying for long-term care?” “How can family caregivers utilize Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and personal care contracts to maximize another’s quality of life?” And… bring your questions!

Presenter: Kathryn C. Casey

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Registration: 8:30 AM-9:00 AM

Session Time: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

Location: St. Alexius Medical Center, 1555 Barrington Road, 4th Floor Conference Room B, Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Registration: There is no cost to attend. However, advanced reigstration is required. Click here to register.

February 2013 Issue of YOUR Legal Update

The February issue our of newsletter has been published.

This issue contains helpful articles and information on our educational offerings, for community members and professionals, for Spring.

click here to read the latest issue.

Are You Really “In” The Hospital

If you have Medicare, did you know that even, if you stay in the hospital overnight, HOSPITAL you might still be considered an “outpatient”?

Your hospital status (whether the hospital considers you an “inpatient” or “outpatient”) affects how much you pay, qualification for rehabilitation, and more.

Resource Information –

Next Step in Care, a campaign of United Hospital Fund, provides hospital admission and Emergency Room guides to provide basic information about “observation status” and what to ask. This information is important as it is a rising trend to be in an “observation” rather than “in-patient” in the hospital.

Click here to open the hospital admission guide.

Click here to open the Emergency Room guide.

Click here to read it as a standalone piece.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

For their publication on hospital status (observation or in-patient), click here.

Scam Alert

12-5-12          

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Commerce Commission alerted utility customers to a recent scam targeting residents in the Chicago area in which someone claiming to be a utility employee asks for immediate payment of a bill either at a customer’s door, over the telephone or by e-mail.

 The ICC has received complaints from utility customers about scam artists claiming to be utility representatives, telling customers that their service will be disconnected unless payment is made directly to the scammers. The scammer may direct the consumer to purchase a prepaid credit card, “Cash Card” and to call them back with the personal identification number (PIN).  The stories can vary, for example, with the scammer saying that the customer’s billing cycle has changed and payment must be made immediately, that the account is past due and payment can be made to them directly to avoid disconnection of the utility service, or the customer’s previous payment was rejected or never received.

 “If someone appears at your door claiming to be from your utility company and asking for immediate payment of your bill, I would slam the door in their face, call the police and contact your utility company directly. Utility companies do not go door-to-door collecting payments,” Madigan said. “Any consumer who has provided their personal information to make an on-the-spot payment to someone claiming to represent a utility company should contact my office’s Consumer Fraud Bureau with the details.”

 ICC Chairman Doug Scott urged consumers to always ask for identification from those who knock on their door offering a “service.” “Scam artists are good at what they do, so arm yourself with information before doing business with anyone who comes to your door or calls you on the telephone.  Ask for identification and if doesn’t look right to you, it probably isn’t.  You don’t have to do business with anyone who shows up at your door or calls you asking for personal information,” Scott said.  “Contact the utility and check it out for yourself.” 

The Attorney General and the ICC offer these reminders to utility customers:

 *Never provide personal information to anyone who comes to the door or calls you claiming to be a representative of the utility.

 *Contact the utility at the phone number listed on your bill to confirm the caller or the representative at your home is a verifiable employee of the utility.  Do not call a different number suggested by the potential scammer.

 *Utility field personnel in Illinois do not take payments from consumers. Be on guard with anyone who asks for your personal information, or says you must pay immediately and suggests a method to get the money quickly.

 If you suspect you have been scammed, have a suspicious incident to report or have questions, contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-386-5438 or the ICC at 1-800-524-0795

Resource for Family Caregivers in Chicago Area

Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class

Thursdays, October 4 through November 8, 2012

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Rush University Medical Center, Tower Resource Center

1620 W. Harrison Street, Suite 04527, Chicago

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

This six-week education program is exclusively for family and friends caring for older adults with long-term conditions. Each weekly class provides family caregivers with the skills and confidence to better care for themselves while caring for others. Many caregivers have raved about the class, including those caring for a spouse or partner as well as adult family members and friends caring for an elder. Class members will receive The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class.

Participating caregivers report they:

  • · Are better at caring for themselves
  • · Have fewer feelings of anger, guilt and depression
  • · Have increased confidence and ability to cope with the demands of caregiving
  • · Take more advantage of community services

Skills learned build upon each other from week to week , plan to attend all six sessions.

Rush Generations member: $30 (parking validated and scholarships available)

Non-member: $50 (parking not validated)

Please call 1-312-563-2703 for more information or to register.

 

Janna Dutton and Kathryn C. Casey Welcome Attorney Helen Mesoloras to the Firm

On June 1, 2012, Attorney Helen Mesoloras joined Dutton & Casey, PC, Attorneys at Law.

Helen concentrates her practice in elder law, with a focus on long term care planning, guardianships, probate and trust administrations, and estate planning. She represents clients in routine guardianship and probate matters, as well as more complex Medicaid and special needs planning cases. She enjoys working with clients and their families to develop and implement plans to achieve their goals, and guides her clients in every step of the plan.

To learn more about Helen Mesoloras, the firm of  Dutton & Casey, and how we can assist you, or someone who you care about, please review our website.

 

Being Prepared for an Emergency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Disability.gov (the federal government website for comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide) urge all people, especially older adults and people who have a disability, to plan ahead in case of an emergency.

Not only should the plan include supplies, it should include legal planning such a powers of attorney and other tools. For more information on how Dutton & Casey, PC., Attorneys at Law, can assist you prepare for an emergency, please review our website or send us an email.

Advocacy Needed to Prevent Proposed Medicaid Changes in Illinois

The STAMP Act, HB 2840 just passed the executive committee  of the Illinois General Assembly and will go to the floor next.  If passed, the STAMP Act will dramatically cut the  Illinois Medicaid program. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services proposed many changes  incorporated into the Bill which will significantly restrict Medicaid eligibility of seniors for long term care coverage. 

 Please click here to read more and learn how you can help.

The New Illinois Power Of Attorney Act And How It May Affect You

On July 1, 2011, the new Illinois Power of Attorney Act will go into effect. Existing properly executed Illinois powers of attorney will remain valid; however, one may want to consider revising existing powers of attorney to make the most of the amendments to the Act. For any adult 18-years-of-age or older who does not have in place properly executed powers of attorney, this is a good time to obtain them.

Helping your parents stay out of the nursing home

Aging parents and their children sometimes disagree over the issues of safety versus independent living. Here are steps you can take to make your parents’ home safer.

By Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times

February 6, 2012

 

 

Your parents say they couldn’t bear to lose their independence. Their hearts are set on staying in their own home for the rest of their days. And you understand. It’s what you’d like for them too. But they’re not as young as they used to be. Not as strong and on top of things. And you can’t help wondering if their plan is really wise, or even feasible. So you worry.

The question of what’s best for mom and/or dad is one that bedevils many children with aging parents, says Dr. David Reuben, chief of the geriatrics division in UCLA’s Department of Medicine. “One of the things older people want most is to stay in their own homes. But there’s always a tension between autonomy and safety. Children may want to err on the side of safety, but parents may want to err on the side of autonomy.”

Of course, the time may come when physical or cognitive limitations make independent living impossible. But until then, there are steps you can take to make your parents’ home safer, their lives in it easier — and your concerns about them a little less daunting.

To make a home more elder-friendly, a safety assessment is a good place to start, says Myra Hyatt, a specialist clinical social worker at the Landon Center on Aging at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. That means having an occupational therapist inspect your parents’ home for safety concerns and suggest ways to deal with them. These are some of the main issues that often come up in such assessments.

Stuff happens, so be prepared. If they have a personal emergency response system, your parents can call for help, 24/7, with only a push of a button. Newer systems can detect when a person has fallen down, so even if they’re too injured to push the button, the system will automatically alert an operator, Hyatt says.

Being prepared can prevent stuff from happening. An emergency response system is a very fine thing, but in the long run it’s more important to create an environment where such a system is needed as rarely as possible, says Linda Ercoli, director of geriatric psychology at UCLA. “If you fall and break your hip, you might be able to push a button and get help, but the fact remains that you’ll have broken your hip.”

Indeed, your parents’ home may be booby-trapped with all sorts of falls waiting to happen — including slippery showers or tubs (add grab bars), slide-prone throw rugs (get rid of them or tape them down) and fate-tempting steps and stairs (consider installing ramps or even chairlifts). Poor lighting is another open invitation for your parents to take a tumble or bang their heads or stub their toes. With brighter, better-positioned lights, you’ll be sure they can see what they’re doing and where they’re going.

Be an alarmist. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be standard in every home. But your parents might also benefit from other, more specialized alarms, Hyatt says — for example, an alarm that goes off if a pot has been left unattended on the stove for too long, or one that reminds them to take their medications (and alerts someone else if they don’t).

Life-simplifying devices. Clothing that fastens with Velcro — instead of buttons or zippers — can make a welcome difference for fingers stiff with arthritis. And for backs no longer terribly keen on bending, an extra-long shoehorn can be a real blessing. Speaking of recalcitrant backs, a handy-dandy reacher/grabber allows for bend-free retrieval of items that fall on the floor as well as stretch-free retrieval of objects from high shelves.

Staying connected. Isolation can be a problem for seniors, especially as they become less mobile. If their hearing has also gone downhill, talking on the phone may be difficult. But a phone with amplified speakers can help, Hyatt says. And if their eyes aren’t so sharp anymore, big buttons can help too. So can email with big fonts.

Senior centers and adult day care are other good options for those who can get to them — as are pets, at least in the right circumstances. “They make great companions,” Reuben says. “People relate to them exceptionally well.” On the other hand, he warns, “if your parents can’t walk very well themselves, they obviously won’t be able to walk a dog. And pets can get underfoot.” Tripping over a leg-rubbing cat or toy-chasing dog can cause falls. Think goldfish?

Food. Nutrition can be problematic for seniors, Ercoli cautions. “Will they eat right — or even at all?” Perhaps your parents are eligible for Meals on Wheels services. Also, senior centers often offer no- or low-cost lunches. You might even hire someone to shop for groceries and prepare meals.

Professional services. Staying in their own home can be a lot easier for your parents if they don’t need to worry about keeping it clean or keeping the yard looking good. You can hire professionals to do those and almost any other chores your parents might no longer feel up to.

Taking care of business. Maybe it’s time for you to take charge of your parents’ finances — pay their bills, balance their checkbook. And it’s important for them to consult an elder law specialist, Hyatt says. How they handle their assets can have big-bucks repercussions down the road, affecting their eligibility for programs like Medicaid, to name just one example.

Take care of yourself too. Worrying about and caring for your parents can wear you down, Hyatt says. “You can become isolated yourself and find yourself thinking, ‘I want my life back.’ Part of the challenge is the guilt you feel.” That’s where caregiver support groups come in, she says. You can be open and frank there, even about the feelings you’re least proud of. “Everyone there will get it,” she says. “They won’t think you’re a monster.”

Resources. Countless agencies and organizations are dedicated to providing invaluable — but often free or low-cost — senior services. Information about many of these is available from your local Area Agency on Aging, which in Los Angeles County can be reached at (800) 510-2020 or css.lacounty.gov (click on the “Programs” tab). There you can find help with many of these issues, as well as others. Also, for a thorough “Housing Safety Checklist for Older People,” visit and click on the “Housing” tab.

“Find help,” Hyatt says, “because it’s out there. And it can mean you stay the course and keep your parents at home as long as you can.”

health@latimes.com

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For information on how the law firm of Dutton & Casey can assist you assist you, or someone who you care about, plan for today…and tommorrow, please click here.

Medicaid, Spousal Impoverishment and Same-Sex Couples

SAGE, the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults has published a booklet on  Medicaid, Spousal Impoverishment and Same-Sex Couples.

Click here to go to the SAGE website for the guide and other helpful information.

One of the Practice Areas of  the law firm of Dutton & Casey is Medicaid planning. For information on we can assist you, or someone who you love, please click here.

Attorney Janna Dutton, founder of Dutton & Casey, P.C.

Partner Janna Dutton has been named a “Top Ten Elder Law Lawyer” and was listed in the Leading Lawyers Magazine – Consumer Edition for 2011. 

A lawyer can not purchase the distinction of being a leading lawyer, they are recommended by their peers.  Please click here for more information on Leading Lawyers.

For information how the firm of Dutton & Casey can assist you, or someone who you care about, please go to www.duttonelderlaw.com.

National Caregiver Support Line for Veterans

The Veterans Adminstration has established a National Caregiver Support Line for Caregivers of
Veterans — spouses, children, other family members and friends of Veterans as well as Veteran themselves.  

for more information on the program, please go to https://duttonelderlaw.com/resources/articles.html

Medicare D

Just a reminder, Medicare beneficiaries have until December 7 to enroll in, or change, Medicare D coverage.

For Resources on Medicare D, please go to www.medicare.gov; www.medicareinteractive.org; www.insurance.illinois.gov/ship

Who Are We?

Dutton & Casey, PC (Elder and Disability Law)

Advocates for Elders, Persons with Disabilities, and their Loved Ones.

The law firm of Dutton & Casey, P.C., is committed to serving our clients with the comprehensive and personally tailored service they need and deserve. With 50 years of combined legal experience, we have acquired the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to address the full scope of elder law and disability issues. 

Our Areas of Concentration:

  • Medicaid Eligibility
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation Litigation
  • Estate and Disability Planning
  • Guardianship
  • Litigation
  • Mental Health Law
  • Probate Administration
  • Public Benefits
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Trust Administration

* Full Time Social Worker/Certified Care Manager On Staff

Office Locations:

Arlington Heights, Chicago, Skokie, and Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Phone / Video Conferencing  Appointments are also Available.

Contact Information:

Telephone:      312-899-0950 or 847-261-3584

Website:          www.duttonelderlaw.com 

 

-please click here for a flyer on the law firm.

Internet Scams

The Family Caregiver Toolbox

Don’t Become the Victim of a Scammer ToolBox

If you have a telephone or an e-mail address, you have no doubt been the target of a scammer. No one is immune from these criminals, who are using more sophisticated techniques every day. Some e-mail scammers have even learned how to make their correspondence appear as if it’s coming from a trusted government source, such as the IRS. The victims of Internet crime alone lose millions of dollars each year.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones. A variety of reputable agencies and organizations have compiled resources and tips that are a must-read for anyone who uses a telephone or computer.

A new toolkit from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), produced in partnership with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation — “Savvy Saving Seniors: Steps to Avoiding Scams” — is helping to educate older adults and their caregivers about how to protect themselves from financial abuse and scams. The toolkit includes a list of signs for caregivers to look for when concerned about their loved ones. Go to www.ncoa.org/assets/files/pdf/Steps-to-Avoiding-Scam-Handbook-10-12-11.pdf.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center, provides helpful “Internet Crime Prevention Tips.” Go to www.ic3.gov/preventiontips.aspx#item-16. View more tips at www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud.

for more information on resources for family caregivers, go to thefamilycaregiver.org

Identifying Family Caregivers

Identifying Family Caregivers

Suzanne Mintz
2011-NFCM-Sm

There are more than 65 million family caregivers in America. Some are just beginning the caregiving journey while others have been providing care for five, 10, 15, even 20 years or more. It’s hard for those who are just beginning to help Mom and Dad with a few activities each week to relate to those of us who are providing more than 40 hours of care a week to a spouse/ partner, child, or parent who is severely ill and/or disabled, who lives with us, and who needs help with virtually all the ordinary activities of daily living such as dressing, toileting, eating, etc.

Those at the beginning of the journey don’t interact with the healthcare system as much as “high-burden” family caregivers — those of us who are putting in more than 40 hours a week helping a loved one. I fit into the latter group and I suspect that most of you reading this article do too. When there is talk about family caregivers needing help, about the nation’s most vulnerable citizens — and those who require the most resources — we and our loved ones are the people being discussed.

Within the caregiving community, advocates, scholars, researchers and others have all lamented the fact that as a rule, family caregivers don’t self-identify and that is the reason it is so hard to reach us with information and support. People at the beginning of the family caregiving journey are less likely to self-identify as family caregivers and that may be OK, but it is very important that high-burden family caregivers self-identify, or are identified as such by others.

The other day I had one of those “I should have had a V8” moments. I realized that it is less important for family caregivers to self-identify than it is for healthcare providers and the healthcare system to identify who are family caregivers. How can our healthcare system provide patient- and family-centered care, as we are told it should, if it doesn’t identify half of the equation? It doesn’t make sense really, and it certainly isn’t respectful. I have an idea about how family caregivers can be identified through their interaction with the healthcare system, an idea that is easy to implement and will cost virtually no money at all.

We’ve all filled out countless medical intake forms that become part of the medical record. They ask about our health history and even that of our parents, but they never ask, “Do you provide care for a family member or friend who is chronically ill and/or disabled?” or, “If you have a chronic illness or disability, is there a family member or friend who provides care to you or helps you manage your illness or disability?”

How can doctors, nurses and others pay attention to us, find out what care we provide at home, and keep an eye on our own health if they don’t know who we are? It’s important that they know exactly what type of care we provide our loved ones.

Do you do any of the following: take a loved one to the doctor regularly, manage his/her medications, or help him/her get in and out of bed and to the toilet, or eat or dress? How long have you been providing care? Do you have chronic back pain or feelings of depression? Knowing this type of information can impact the plan of care that healthcare professionals recommend and it can alert them to any problems you might have as well. While in some cases it’s obvious that there is a family caregiver, if it isn’t in the record, it isn’t official; consequently, we are truly invisible to the healthcare establishment, the government, and private insurers, despite the rhetoric to the contrary.

Given all the talk about patient- and family-centered care, not identifying family caregivers is at best an oversight and at worst hypocritical; either way, we need to correct this glaring omission. It’s important to inform healthcare professionals, key healthcare decision makers, the government, and private insurance companies that “family caregiver” is not just a term to pay tribute to, but, rather, that we are real people who provide long-term care for millions of Americans.

What you can do to ensure that family caregivers are identified in medical records:

  1. Attach a piece of paper to every intake form you fill out for yourself or your loved one. Put your name and your loved one’s name at the top and then write: “I am John Smith’s wife and his primary caregiver,” or, “My daughter, Nancy Dale, is my primary caregiver,” or a similar phrase. List the top five to 10 tasks you do and note the impact on your health and well-being (chronic back pain, depression) and your life (having to cut hours at work). Save this information on your computer and print it out each time you take Mom to the doctor or visit your own.
  2. Talk about the idea with your pharmacists, nurses, or others you come in contact with who have some connection to the healthcare system. They have probably never thought about the idea of identifying family caregivers on medical records.
  3. Write to your insurance company. Tell them that knowing who among their beneficiaries are family caregivers, and/or who have family caregivers, will provide them with an opportunity to find new ways to improve care and cut costs.
  4. Use social media to spread the idea. Talk to family, friends, and even clergy.

The goal is to create a buzz so that family caregivers and everyday people, as well as providers and decision makers, realize that something is missing on medical records: information about whether someone is or has a family caregiver. November is National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month. Let’s make NFC Month 2011 the time we began the movement to identify family caregivers in medical records.

 Click here for more information on the National Family Caregivers Association.

How to Tell When Your Parents Need Help…

How Do I Know When My Parents Need Help?

As your parents age, you may begin to wonder or worry: “Are they safe at home? How can I tell if they need help?” Your parents are independent, private people who are not going to share with you incidents that make you think they are not okay. They do not want to go to a nursing home and lose their independence. They love their home and enjoy being in it. So they are not going to tell you the things that happen that may send them to a nursing home. As a matter of fact, they will hide these issues from you. They are afraid of going to a nursing home, and this is a rational fear. They have seen their friends and neighbors placed into facilities when their health begins to decline. All of their possession are sold or given away, the home they have spent years in is sold, they can no longer sleep in if they feel like it or eat whatever and whenever they want; their losses are great. You need to acknowledge that this is a rational fear, something that may happen to them that can be unpleasant.

The following is a list of indicators for change. Observing any of these things happening does not mean your parent cannot live at home. What it does mean is the situation needs to be assessed. Professional or informal and volunteer services can be put into place to allow your parent to stay in their home safely.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Falls, accidents or bruises
  • Forgetting food on stove (look for burned or scorched pans)
  • Unpaid bills or utilities being shut off
  • Housekeeping decline: dirty walls, floors, windows or bathtub
  • Unable to maintain home; broken items not being repaired over long time
  • Refrigerator and cabinets empty; not enough food
  • Unable to recognize or react to danger
  • Getting lost or locked out of the house
  • No longer able to transfer independently from bed to wheelchair
  • Incontinence
  • Lack of social support
  • Decreased interest in fun or social activities
  • Medication errors
  • Increased emergency room visits
  • Wearing dirty clothes
  • Needs to reminded to bathe; has dirty hair or personal odor

For more infomation, please click here

Family Caregivers: How to Avoid Holiday Traps

Family Caregivers: How to Avoid Holiday Traps

Caregivers can rewrite the holiday rulebook to reduce stress, increase joy

From Vicki Rackner, MD, 

Holidays, meant to be a celebration of shared joy and connection with family and community, can quickly become a time of burden and a reminder of alienation and loss.For caregivers, holidays can bring an extra measure of activities and caregiver stress1. “I wish the calendar would flip directly from November to January,” said Fern, 67. “We just got settled into a routine now that Mom moved in with us, and all I see are a longer to-do list and disrupted schedules.”Holiday celebrations can destabilize any family, and family caregivers know this better than most because people who attend to the needs of aging parents, a sick spouse or family friend already live on the edge of a delicate equilibrium. As Gary, 59, so colorfully said, “Since Dad had his stroke, my life is held together with rubber bands and bubble gum. I’m concerned that Christmas will herald its collapse.”

For self-preservation, many caregivers let go of rules about how holidays should be celebrated. “Being a caregiver for my sick wife offers many gifts,” said John, 73. “Maybe the most important is the invitation to look at our life in a new way. Almost out of necessity, I stripped down our holiday celebrations.”

5 Holiday Traps for Caregivers
There are several common holiday traps that family caregivers fall into, but they can be avoided. Just follow a simple concept: Free yourself from ideas about what shouldhappen, and give yourself permission to celebrate holidays in a way that works for you and your family.

    • Trap #1: Planning for the worst. Many caregivers think, “This could be Dad’s last Christmas, so I want to make it really special.” Wouldn’t it be great if we came into the world with an owner’s manual that included the expiration date! We do not. I have seen patients defy all medical odds and laugh about the doctor who gave them six months to live—20 years ago. Then there are the tragic untimely deaths. We should all celebrate as if this is our last holiday season!
  • Trap #2: Creating Norman Rockwell scenes. The idea of a picture-perfect holiday has an emotional tug that’s particularly seductive to family caregivers who may long to return to earlier, carefree days of health and vitality.While there is no perfect holiday celebration, you can create holiday rituals that are perfect for your family. Say at a family meeting, “Our lives are different this year, so we need to think about how our holiday celebration will be different. What are the two or three things that make the holiday special for you?” For most people, it’s the little things that make a big difference, like the Russian Tea Cakes, the special hand-embroidered tablecloth, or playing board games. Create a montage of your family’s perfect holiday.
  • Trap #3: Buying your way out of guilt. For people in the sandwich generation2, caring for both children and parents, the guilt that someone is getting shortchanged looms large. Who doesn’t wish for more hours in the day so that children and friends, even the person in the mirror, would get more time and attention? The life of a caregiver leaves big gaps. If you try to fill the gaps with gifts, you will undoubtedly find that it does not work very well.All family members, including children, need to know they are loved and treasured. Gifts are one way to say this, but what most kids of all ages really want is more of you. Consider a different kind of holiday gift, like a coupon for 10 minutes of undivided attention each day, a trip to the ice cream store, or a visit to the zoo.During a holiday dinner, how about shining a “spotlight” on each person at the table, with each guest offering a story that demonstrates why this person is special? You could write the comments on 3×5 cards and give them wrapped in ribbon or mounted in a collage.

    Consider inviting your kids to give rather than receive by touching the lives of those less fortunate. Serve a meal at a shelter. Invite a lonely neighbor to your house. Look for a chance to give a stranger a $20 bill, or whatever you can afford.

  • Trap #4: “Smile!” This instruction, given before every photo, captures the tone for holidays. Over and over, we’re told there’s a right way to feel during a holiday, and that’s happy. Family caregivers have a spectrum of feelings that rise to the surface during holidays, like sadness or anger or disappointment. It is sad that it’s not safe for Dad to live alone any more, so set aside some time to acknowledge those dark feelings. Suppressing the feeling does not make it any less real, and adds to your holiday burden. [Note: For help with handling feelings of grief and loss, see 5 Steps to Help You Through the Grieving Process3]
  • Trap #5: Party On!If you are an extrovert—someone who gets recharged from being in the presence of others—you are in your element during holidays. Party on!For introverts who get recharged by spending time alone, or those who have limited pep because of illness, holidays can be emotionally depleting. There is still hope for a joyous holiday celebration, it just requires some advanced planning.Plan a social calendar that’s reasonable for you as a caregiver and for your loved one. Be realistic about your energy limits before you make endless commitments, and ask family members to do the same. If either you or your loved one is an introvert, it’s perfectly reasonable to respond to some invitations with, “Thanks for the lovely offer. Unfortunately, we have other plans. I’m sure you’ll have a terrific time, and I’m sorry to miss it.” The host does not need to know that your other plans are a nap.

Your life became different when you became a family caregiver, and it’s time to do things differently. Free yourself from the idea that there’s a right way to celebrate a holiday. Look at your family and decide how to make holidays work for you, and then adjust the family expectations. That’s the recipe for celebrating the blessings in your life, and the joy and love you share with others.

Vicki Rackner, MD, FACS, is a surgeon who left the operating room to help patients and family caregivers enjoy better health. A noted expert on the doctor-patient relationship, Dr. Vicki serves employers through Medical Bridges4, and welcomes everyone to join her Caregiver Club5.

Medicaid Protection for Same-Sex Couples

When one partner in a long-term relationship needs expensive long term care, often the only way for the couple to pay for it is to look to Medicaid.  Historically, there have been no spousal impoverishment protections afforded to partners in same-sex relationships when one partner needs long term care and applies for Medicaid.  However, the combination of the new Illinois Civil Union Act and a policy change recently announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ensure that Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections are afforded to Illinois same-sex civil union partners.

 Click here to read the entire article.

Increase in Prevention of Spousal Impovershment Standards for 2012

The amounts for 2012 of monthly income, and total assets, that a person can keep when their spouse enters a long-term care nursing hom, supportive living,e or needs the services of the Illinois Community Care Program (CCP) and federal financial assistance is used to help pay for these services have been released.

Click here to read more.

National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month.

 

In addition to providing emotional and physical support, family caregivers often give much more to those in their care. Nearly 40 percent of family caregivers reduce their work hours or quit their jobs, plus spend an average of more than $5,500 of their own money annually to help provide the care they give. Yet amazingly, unpaid family caregivers provide 90 percent of the long-term care provided in the U.S. So this November, be sure to remember and recognize the family caregivers you know. For more details, visit

 

 

www.thefamilycaregiver.org.

 

 

-We, at Dutton & Casey, thank the family caregivers, who we are privileged to assist, for your efforts to support your family members.

 

Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protections for Same – Sex Civil Union Partners

When one partner in a long-term relationship needs expensive long term care, often the only way for the couple to pay for it is to look to Medicaid. Historically, there have been no spousal impoverishment protections afforded to partners in same-sex relationships when one partner needs long term care and applies for Medicaid. However, the combination of the new Illinois Civil Union Act and a policy change recently announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ensure that Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections are afforded to Illinois same-sex civil union partners.
On April 1, 2011, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, effective immediately “[t]he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will notify states of their ability to provide same-sex domestic partners of long-term care Medicaid beneficiaries the same treatment as opposite-sex spouses in the contexts of estate recovery, imposition of liens, and transfer of assets. This includes not seizing or imposing a lien on the home of a deceased beneficiary if the same-sex domestic partner still resides in the home. It also includes allowing Medicaid beneficiaries needing long-term care to transfer the title of a home to a same-sex domestic partner, allowing the partner to remain in the home.” In additional to these protections, the partner in the community is allowed to receive assets, in addition to the home, from the nursing home partner in an amount sufficient to bring the community partner’s assets to the Community Spouse Asset Allowance standard – presently $109,560. The community partner may also be eligible to receive income from the nursing home partner when Medicaid is paying for that partner’s long term care.
The new Civil Union law which became effective on June 1, 2011 provides that a “party to a civil union” is to be included in any definition used in state law where the term “spouse,” “family,” “immediate family,” “dependent,” “next of kin” and other terms that denote “spousal relationship” are stated. The Civil Union Act stops short of granting same-sex couples the right to “marry”; however, it does guarantee “[a] party to a civil union … the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois to spouses.
The Civil Union Act in Illinois mandates that the Illinois State Medicaid agency, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, treat partners in civil unions the same as married partners. The federal Medicaid agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, is allowing states to treat same-sex partners as opposite sex spouses for purposes of Medicaid. Therefore, same-sex partners in Illinois Civil Unions should be afforded Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections if Medicaid coverage of long term care becomes necessary for one of the partners. Dutton & Casey, P.C. is available to represent civil union partners needing long term care in accessing Medicaid and Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections. Please note, federal Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections apply to the Medicaid programs covering nursing homes and assisted living (supportive living) facilities, as well as to the home based services program, the Community Care Program, administered by the Illinois Department on Aging.

Event: Elder Law Update

In this session, Attorney Janna Dutton will update you on two important subjects…New Power of Attorney Act and DRA. Bring your questions!

Date: September 15, 2011 – 830-10am

Location: Terrace Gardens Assisted Living, 8415 North Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, Illinois   60053

Registration: There is no cost to attend this program. However, advanced registration is required. Call 847-470-4550 or email tbischoff@bethanymethodist.org by September 12, 2011. Seating is limited.

Continuing Education: 1.5 hours of credit will be awarded to LPC, LCPC, LSW, LCSW, and RN. Credits provided by Silver Connections.

Event: Elder Law and Ethics, 2011

This program will provide an overview of Elder Law topics within an ethical framework. Discussion will This program will provide an overview of Elder Law topics within an ethical framework.  Discussion will include topics of importance to all individuals working with older adults.  These will topics will be presented via interactive lecture and case studies. The following topics will be presented:

  • Determination of decisional capacity
  • Factors that contribute to a person’s risk for neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Solutions for helping those at risk
  • Updated on the changes to Medicaid (DRA) and what impacts they may have

 

Date: Wednesday, September 14 , 2011

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Firm Speaker: Janna Dutton, JD

Location: The Abington, 3901 Glenview Rd, Glenview, IL 60025-2467

Click here for a flyer.

To Register: No charge to attend. Pre Registration is required by calling Vicki in marketing department at The Abington. Phone: 847-729-0000  or sending an email to: vickibmktg@theabington.com

Event: Taking Pride in Wellness

The Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders at Center on Halsted provides enriching social, cultural and educational programs for the diverse lesbian, bisexual, and transgender older adult population of Chicago. This goal of this Wellness Fair is to educate older adults, caregivers and loved ones of ways to stay healthy in a holistic way. There will be workshops, participatory activities and a vendor fair with topics that touch on upon parts of wellness including intellectual, social, and spiritual health.

Date: Friday, September 16, 2011

Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm

Location: Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613

For the flyer on the program, click here.

Alzheimer’s: Early Planning Critical to Financial Health

In a recent article in Reuters Magazine, Alzheimer’s: Early Planning Critical to Financial Health, working with a certified elder law attorney is an important step in planning for the future.

Janna Dutton, founder of Dutton & Casey, is one of only 8 certified elder law attorneys in Illinois.

Click here to read the article.

For additional information on how Dutton & Casey can assist you, or someone who you care about, please go our website.

Planning for a Hospital……Discharge

An admission to, and a discharge from,  the hospital can be scary for the patient, and the family. The National Family Caregiver Alliance published a guide on the hospital discharge process. It is vital to pay attention, and be involved, in the plans being for when your relative leaves the hospital.

read the entire article.

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The law firm of Dutton & Casey concentrates in assisting older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. Many times, plans following a hospital stay also include the need for legal planning.  With over 50 years in expertise and offices in Chicago, Skokie, Arlington Heights, and Vernon Hills, the advocates at Dutton & Casey are available to assist. Please click here to read more about how we can assist you or those you care about.

Warning about a Scam

Warning about “Living Well” Grant Funds Scam

The U.S. Administration on Aging has alerted the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP programs) to a phone scam in which the caller tells the call recipients that they are eligible for a “Living Well” grant. The caller then instructs the recipient to complete a grant “application,” provide a cell phone number, and wire money through Western Union. The recipient is told that s/he will be contacted on their cell phone when it is time to pick up their “grant” funds at Western Union. 

This is definitely a scam. The Administration on Aging provides “Living Well” grants to several states, but those grants do not have anything to do with calling individuals or requesting money. If people receive calls like this, they should report the incident to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office consumer fraud hotline at one of the numbers below:

 (800) 386-5438 (Chicago)
(800) 243-0618 (Springfield)
(800) 243-0607 (Carbondale)

 Consumers are also encouraged to report calls like this to the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

 The Federal Trade Commission has information available on their website about fake government grants scams like this one: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/phonefraud/government.shtml

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The Law Firm of Dutton & Casey, PC., is dedicated to serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and the people who care for them. Please go to www.duttonelderlaw.com for more information on our services and for additional resources.

Family Caregiver Training in Arlington Heights Illinois

Training Tips for the Caregiving Marathon, Speaker: Daniel Kuhn, LCSW

May 18, 2011     7:00-8:30 p.m.

Arlington Heights Senior Center, 1801 Central Road, Arlington Heights, IL

 Please call Kathy Peck at (847) 253-5500 ext. 375 to reserve your seat

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For assistance with the legal planning that is involved with being a family caregiver, please contact the law office of Dutton & Casey. Kathryn Casey is an experienced elder law attorney who sees clients in our Arlington Heights office. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.duttonelderlaw.comor email us at contact@duttonelderlaw.com

 

New Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimers Disease

In April, 2011,   new diagnostic guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease were released.  This information  is to important to only be shared once. Please review the guidelines, again, and share this information. We can all be part of the process to assist people receive the care they deserve!

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For assistance with the legal planning that is needed with a diagnosis of a cognitive disorder, please contact the law office of Dutton & Casey. We are compassionate advocates for older adults, people who have a disability, and the people who care about them. Please go to our website  at  www.duttonelderlaw.com  or email us at contact@duttonelderlaw.com. We will be honored to assist.

YOUR Elder Law Connection… From Dutton & Casey

The April, 2011 issue of the newsletter from the Law Firm of Dutton & Casey was published today.

Please take a few minutes to read the newsletter… it contains many helpful articles and resources focusing on older adults, adults who have a disability, and the people who care about them, including family members and professionals.

Should there be any questions on the newsletter, to learn more about the many resources that the attorneys and staff can provide, or/and to schedule an appointment with a firm attorney, please go to https://www.duttonelderlaw.com/

10 Common Estate Planning Questions

 Attorney Melissa Howitt recently wrote an article answering the 10 questions most often asked about estate planning.  Please click here to read this informative, and easy to understand, article.

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To discuss estate planning for you or someone you care about, please contact the office of Dutton Casey, PC, to schedule a consultation with a firm attorney. 312-899-0950 (Chicago), 847-906-3584 (Arlington Heights), 847-261-4708 (Skokie), or send an email contact@duttonelderlaw.com.

Your Elder Law Connection, from Dutton and Casey, P.C.

The January 2011 issue of “Your Elder Law Connection” has been published.

This monthly publication contains useful information for older adults, adults who have a disability, and their loved ones.

Please click on the link to be directed to the newsletter:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs010/1102793168627/archive/1104185870572.html

New Years Resolutions for Family Caregivers

At the New Year, many people make resolutions and establish new goals. For family caregivers, many of whom put their needs last, making, and sticking with, some changes, can be very helpful. 

The article, located at, http://www.agis.com/newyearsresolutions/default.aspx
provides some wonderful suggestions for changes.
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Item 8 mentions getting important papers organized…for you and the people who are cared for and about.

At Dutton & Casey, we can assist with this task and many, many more! Please visit our website at www.duttonelderlaw.com. While you are there, please sign-up for our electronic newsletter. This monthly publication contains information on programs/services/resources that can be valuable tools for older adults, people who have a disability, and the people who care about them, including family members and professionals.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Late into the day on Wednesday, November 18th, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ( Dem.- NV) unveiled the proposed health care reform bill senate leaders plan to bring to a floor debate at the end of November. The bill, named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is a combination of the health bill approved by the HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee and the Senate Finance Committee bill.

Key elder issues:

  • Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement
  • The Elder Justice Act
  • Criminal Background Checks on Long-Term Care Workers
  • The CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) Act 

According to the NCCNHR, there’s no word yet on whether Senator Reid has enough votes to pass the bill, but he is expected to call for a procedural vote by this weekend.

Keeping up with all the recent health care reforms and bills can be quite a task. Luckily, Senate leaders prepared an overview and section-by-section analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Click here to view it.

For more information on how these proposals will affect-term care planning for yourself or a loved one, contact the attorneys at Janna Dutton & Associates.

11/23 UPDATE: On November 21st, the U.S. Senate Democrats got a “fililbuster proof 60 votes that will allow them to bring their version of health care reform to the Senate floor for debate.”  While the vote is considered historic, the passage of this bill is in no way a sure thing.  Read here for complete details from the Examiner.com.

Geriatric Care Managers: Experts in Developing Personalized Care Plans

Caring for an elderly parent or loved one can be a full-time job. Even when a family can agree on a care plan, which is not always the case, the plethora of decisions that need to be made and the never-ending pile of documents that need to be filled out is overwhelming. In addition to that, you have your own life to live and yourself to take care of.

It’s tempting to want to handle everything yourself, but sometimes outside help can actually allow you to provide the best possible care for your loved one, not to mention allow you to take better care of yourself. In September, the New York Times published an article on geriatric care managers, or what they also refer to as the equivalent of a case worker. Aptly named, these care managers do just that–manage the care of your family member. They have both the time and the expertise that family members often do not, which can greatly improve your elder’s quality of life. (See complete article for costs)

A good care manager will thoroughly assess the individual and use that assessment to determine a care plan that will meet the individual’s needs. Amongst a variety of other changes, this could mean that home care is recommended, or that sleeping and eating times must be adjusted. Plus, using someone outside of the immediate family can help in a few ways. One family member explained that he couldn’t get his mom to listen to him, but she would always listen to the care manager. It also provides the family with the option to be the “good cop” while the care manager is the “bad cop.” Persuading an older person not to drive anymore is a good example of when the good cop/bad cop routine might come in handy (and be more effective).

Click here to see the article in full. It provides some examples of how geriatric care managers have assisted families in finding and maintaining the right kind of care, costs involved and ways to find the right care manager for your family.

Here is an interview from ChoiceElderCare.org with a registered nurse and care manager on the benefits of care management. 

For legal advice on long-term care planning for yourself or a loved one, contact the attorneys at Janna Dutton & Associates.

Am I old enough for an Elder Law attorney?

We often get asked this question by potential new clients when calling to make an appointment for a consultation.   The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc., (NAELA) states its goal is to establish “NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age.”

Many attorneys who practice in the broad field of elder law are dedicated to planning for the needs of older adults; however, Elder Law is not simply limited to issues affecting those in their later years of life.  In addition to advising as to wills, trusts and simple estate planning, so much of elder law is concerned with disability law and planning for special needs.  Medicaid planning, guardianship, powers of attorney, living wills, and special needs planning are all essential issues to consider when developing an effective estate plan.

For example, a younger client who has a child with special needs may seek advice about the provision of a special needs trust to ensure that child’s needs are met upon the parent’s death.  Older couples who contemplate the need for nursing home care may consult an elder law attorney for Medicaid planning and asset protection.  An adult child may seek an elder law attorney to represent them in petitioning for the appointment of a guardian for a parent or family member who requires assistance with finances or health care decisions and has not designated an agent under power of attorney.

If you would like to meet with an attorney to discuss your particular needs and concerns visit our website or call 312-899-0950 to make an appointment.