Kemp Klein

Caring for Elders

Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish”

In these economic times, one needs to be cautious about any and all spending. However, there are situations where a small expenditure can result in big financial and emotional savings down the road. While you don’t want to run to your lawyer or elder law advisor for just anything these days, you will still need to use them for the bigger “life issues.”

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “Why do I need to meet with an elder law attorney when the nursing home people (or others) seem so willing to answer all of my questions?”

Two reasons to seek the help of an elder law expert:

First, be careful about accepting advice from persons in organizations which may have different agendas than your own. For example, a nursing home often charges $6,000 to $9,000 a month for “private pay” residents, but is only paid about $3,500 a month for Medicaid patients. This gives them a clear financial incentive to maintain a patient as a private pay (which comes directly out of your pocket) for as long as possible. An elder law attorney can determine whether you are eligible for government benefits that will cover some, if not all, of the cost.

Second, the Medicaid rules are confusing, constantly changing, and subject to interpretation by Medicaid workers. Some nursing home staff may be up-to-date, but others are not. Be careful about relying upon incomplete or inaccurate information.

Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish.” When the future of your parent(s), spouse or other elder are at stake, we recommend that you talk to an objective person who has expertise in helping people plan for these situations.

For further information regarding these matters, please contact Ms. Brazzil at 248 740 5667 or via email.