When an elder person’s abilities to take care of their interests comes into question, often the best choice is to have both the medical professionals and elder attorney lawyers work together to ensure that both medical and legal issues are managed in the best way possible for your loved one.
Bifocal, a publication of the American Bar Association, discussed some areas in which a team approach would be helpful to the care of the elder person in need.
Capacity to Make Decisions
Age related health problems can often cause loved ones and caregivers to be concerned about important decisions being made by an elder person. Because some medical problems affecting cognitive abilities can cause poor judgment or exploitation against them, lawyers and the person’s medical team should discuss legal the least restrictive legal avenues to protect the patient, whether it be advanced directives, powers of attorney, or guardianship.
Neglecting One’s Self
Many aging adults, especially those living alone at home, tend to forget their own needs. They may neglect to eat, sleep, or bathe properly. Often, they have no interest or ability to maintain sanitary conditions and their home becomes dirty and cluttered to the point of genuine health concerns.
If the elder person has begun deteriorating mentally, they are especially susceptible to being taken advantage of through financial, physical, or psychological abuse. A physician and lawyer will know how to not only diagnose the condition, but determine the best ways to legally protect the vulnerable adult.
Problems with Family Members
Family members often help to attend to the care of their elderly relatives that need protection from the above issues. Unfortunately, sometimes the caregiver may be tempted to also take advantage of the situation for their own best interests. An elder care lawyer is familiar with these attempts and can take swift action to stop it and protect the client in the future.
Understanding Health Insurance Requirements
Even the most diligent and highly cognitively aware individuals often get confused with medical insurance requirements, especially Medicare and Medicaid. Mistakes made in admitting policies and transfers to nursing homes can cause a permanent denial of benefits, which is something that can be avoided when hospitals, doctors, and your attorney coordinate your medical care.
Attorney’s Can Help
When these or other notable concerns are apparent, the legal assistance of a compassionate family law attorney is invaluable to help the elder in need live with dignity and grace, but at the same time be protected with the least restrictions possible according to their unique situation.
Attorney Rex B Bushman is an experienced family law attorney who is here to help you and your family get the support you need.