The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”) has designated May as National Elder Law Month in part to facilitate discussions about long-term care planning and spotlight the steps involved in putting a long-term care plan in place.
When you or a loved one have to make long-term care decisions, it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming task. Everyone can agree that they want to do what is best, but what is best is not always an easy concept to define, especially if you don’t know all the choices and options that are available.
Elder law attorneys can act as guides through this unfamiliar world of long-term care. It is our job to help demystify this strange new world. We can inform you of the options and resources available for housing, caregiving and financial assistance. We can define unfamiliar terms and concepts and help you map out a plan for care. We can introduce you to geriatric care managers, caregiver support groups, long-term care community admissions counselors and home health care representatives.
We can educate you on what legal documents you or your loved one need to preserve the ability to choose who will speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. We can help you walk through the decisions of whether you need a will or a trust and what is the difference between a living will and a last will and testament. We can help you ask the questions that you didn’t even yet know you should be asking.
We can help with long-term care planning whether the need is now or the need is in the future. However, there is a big advantage to seeking guidance before a long-term care need arises. It is called preservation of choice. Pre-need planning allows you or your loved one to explore a wide range of options at a leisurely pace and most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to document choices while you still have the unquestioned ability to choose for yourself.
So hopefully National Elder Law Month will inspire you to take steps towards preserving your own options for choice and inspire you to seek guidance from an elder law attorney today for your long-term care needs of tomorrow.