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Category Archives: Assisted Living

Crisis Management: It’s Not Too Late

At Scott Bloom Law, we are always encouraging families to plan ahead when it comes to the eldercare needs for their loved ones and themselves. However, we understand that when an unexpected crisis arises, immediate action is required. During these highly stressful times, the decisions made carry immense consequences for the elderly and their families. Recognizing the signs of an imminent crisis and understanding the options available once time becomes of the essence, allows families to find the best possible solutions. Utilizing the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable elder law attorney allows families, confronted with so much at once, to make rational decisions with short-term and long-term considerations accounted for. In this blog, we look at signs that your elderly loved one may be on the brink of a crisis and how an elder law attorney can help with crisis management.

Signs of Trouble

The unfortunate truth for us all is that at some point we will be unable to help ourselves with life’s daily functions. The ability to complete the mundane, everyday tasks, that in our younger days we may have taken for granted, at some point becomes too difficult and, all too often, requires immediate action. Here are some of the most common signs that your elderly loved one may be on the brink of a crisis:

  • They are struggling to maintain their physical health– Are your parents or elderly loved ones forgetting to regularly bathe? Do they pay little to no attention to their hair, nails, skin? These physical signs may be a sign of a deeper issue.
  • They are no longer able to handle their finances- Are overdue bills or the lack of a balanced checkbook putting your loved one in financial trouble? These issues need to be addressed immediately to prevent further financial penalties.
  • They begin forgetting names, dates, even what year it is- Have they forgotten the names of people they have known for years? Are they no longer able to recall momentous life events? These signs of memory slippage could portend to larger neurological issues that need the proper care.
  • They no longer take care of their living space- Are dust and cobwebs prominent in their home? Are dishes piled up often and dirty clothes unattended to? These are definite red flags that steps are needed to be taken.

How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help with Crisis Management

At Scott Bloom Law, our team treats every crisis situation with a customized plan that ensures that all issues are being properly addressed. All of our clients come to us with a unique set of problems and at different points in the timeline of their crisis. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Careful consideration must take place to find the appropriate next steps that enable families and their elderly loved ones to be in as comfortable a position as possible. After listening to your concerns and learning about your particular issues, we develop a crisis plan specifically tailored to your current needs, with an eye towards what other issues may arise in the future. When it comes to crisis management, you and your loved ones deserve to be advocated for by a compassionate and knowledgeable legal team.

At Scott Bloom Law, we are a team of advocates who care, always fighting for what’s best for our clients and their families. With knowledge, experience, and compassion, we strive to find solutions that make the aging process as emotionally and financially easy as possible. Serving Pennsylvania and South Jersey, visit us at scottbloomlaw.com or call 215-364-1111, to schedule a free consultation.

Protecting Your Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

The process of choosing a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in-home medical care is complicated, difficult, and often emotional. The last thing on your mind is the possibility that those responsible for the care of some of our most vulnerable loved ones would abuse or neglect their patients. Unfortunately, it does occur way too often and leaves the victims and their families struggling with the ramifications. The abuse can come in many forms and being able to prevent and detect it allows families to ensure the health and safety of their loved ones. In this blog, we discuss the different types of abuse, how to spot them, and how, if needed, an elder law attorney can help protect your loved ones.

Types of Elder Abuse

The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” According to the US Department of Justice, at least 10% of adults age 65 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year,
with some older adults simultaneously experiencing more than one type of abuse. Below are some of the types of elder abuse according to elderabuse.org that you should be aware of to prevent and detect:

  • Elder Neglect– When a responsible caregiver fails to meet the medical, social, or psychological needs of an older adult.
  • Physical Abuse- When violence, force, or the threat of force is used to harm an older person.
  • Financial Abuse/ Exploitation- When someone takes money or property from an older person without their knowledge, understanding, or consent.
  • Psychological Abuse- When someone attempts to intimidate, demean, or belittle an older person with words or actions.
  • Sexual Abuse- When someone forces unwanted sexual contact on an older adult.
  • Nursing Home Abuse- When any form of abuse occurs in an institutional setting such as a nursing home.

Signs of Elder Abuse

While the prevention of any abuse is the ultimate goal, being able to identify the signs of elder abuse allows us to put a stop to it and hold the abusers responsible. Below are some of the signs your loved one is being mistreated or abused:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Bruising, cuts or welts
  • Bed sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Mood swings and emotional outbursts or unusual depression
  • Reclusiveness or refusal to speak
  • Refusal to eat or take medications
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness
  • Caregivers that do not want the patient to be left alone with others
  • Sudden changes in financial situation or missing personal items

How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, it is imperative to report it as soon as possible to the nursing home or caretaking facility involved.  You will also want to document any discussions or interactions that you may have with that facility or agency. An attorney with experience and knowledge in all facets of elder law can help advocate for you and your loved ones when abuse takes place.

At Scott Bloom Law, we are a team of advocates who care, always fighting for what’s best for our clients and their families. With knowledge, experience, and compassion, we strive to find solutions that make the aging process as emotionally and financially easy as possible. Visit us at scottbloomlaw.com or call 215-364-1111, to talk to find out more.

Benefits of Hiring an Elder Law Attorney for Medicaid Planning

When an elderly loved one experiences a life-changing health episode, options for long-term care will be undoubtedly pricey. Applying for Medicaid benefits is most families’ first move when told by a doctor that their loved one will require long-term, full-time care. Unfortunately, too many people have not adequately prepared for these decisions and the experience can be overwhelming and stressful for all involved. Seeking counsel from an experienced, knowledgeable elder law attorney can save families money and provide peace of mind that their loved ones’ needs and wishes are being met. Below, after a brief summary of what Medicaid entails, are some of the benefits of hiring an elder law attorney for Medicaid planning. 

What is Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal assistance program that is administered by the states. It is designed to help those who are financially eligible pay for the cost of long-term care and allows access to other medical and healthcare benefits. Because Medicaid is a needs-based program, there are strict financial requirements in order for someone to be eligible for Medicaid assistance.

Benefits of Retaining an Elder Law Attorney

  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest – Conflicts of interest can arise when a nursing home refers the family of a resident to a Medicaid specialist for assistance with the preparation of Medicaid documentation. Often this Medicaid specilaist has loyalties to both the facility that provided the referral and the client applying for benefits. When the facility and person preparing the documentation both want the Medicaid application to be successful, there is no conflict. However, it often benefits nursing homes when residents pay privately for as long as possible before going on Medicaid, and this can provide an incentive on the part of Medicaid specialists to ensure that Medicaid applications are delayed or denied. An elder law attorney hired to assist with Medicaid planning, however, only has a duty to his or her client, thereby eliminating conflict of interest concerns. 
  • Experience and knowledge – Elder law attorneys, with their years of experience, have the knowledge necessary to successfully and compassionately advise their clients on how to achieve their legal goals, regardless of what they may be. And in the elder law arena, these goals are often related to Medicaid. 
  • The availability of malpractice insurance – When an attorney or other professional makes an inadvertent error, malpractice insurance typically covers the loss. However, other advisers in the Medicaid arena often lack such coverage. Therefore, while mistakes by experienced elder law attorneys are rare, clients can rest easy with the assurance that unlikely errors will be covered. 
  • Peace of mind – Finally, consultation with an experienced elder law attorney will provide you with the peace of mind that you have all your bases covered in regards to Medicaid planning. An experienced attorney will take legal issues into consideration during the process that other Medicaid advisers may miss, ensuring that you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to. 

At Scott Bloom Law, we are a team of advocates who care, always fighting for what’s best for our clients and their families. With knowledge, experience, and compassion, we strive to find solutions that make the aging process as emotionally and financially easy as possible. Visit us at scottbloomlaw.com or call 215-364-1111, to talk to find out more.

Life Care Planning – Tend to Personal Matters in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Life Care Planning should be handled by an elder law attorney. Their clients should be primarily senior citizens and they should specializes in eldercare matters across the board.

When it’s time to start making decisions about our care, our finances and our wishes, it is very important to find someone we trust. An elder law attorney can help guide your way through your journey of life care planning. Many lawyers touch on elder care issues but the majority of these attorneys’ clients may not be seniors.

Life Care Planning can be talked about at your home!

Sitting down and talking about life care planning can often be very overwhelming. What would you say if a qualified Elder Law attorney would make a house call to talk about your personal matters in the comfort of your own home? Would that make you more comfortable?

The Law Office of Scott D. Bloom understands that seniors and their families are dealing with many emotional issues. Moreover, most people wait until they need to make these decisions in the short term. Most of the time, this happens due to a crisis as opposed to a family planning ahead for the future.

Let Scott Bloom make your life care planning easier by calling today to schedule a free consultation in the comfort of your own home. All of your questions will be answered and the start of your planning can get underway.

We want to be the elder law attorney and firm for the rest of your life and walk with you every step of the way. From our home to yours, The Law Office of Scott D. Bloom is here to help in whatever legal and supportive way possible.

Scott Bloom & Ask the Attorney Panel in Princeton, New Jersey

Scott Bloom Is Proud to Be a Part of Upcoming “Ask the Attorney” Panel in Princeton, New Jersey

The next Mercer County Network Connections forum will feature Scott Bloom as an “Ask the Attorney” speaker. It will address Elder Law issues.

The purpose of the presentation is to answer questions from professionals who care for and also advocate for seniors. Professionals are often approached by their clients, residents and families with legal questions that are hard for them to answer. The forum gives them the chance to ask questions and to educate themselves on elder care law issues.

Joining Scott Bloom on the Attorney panel is Carl Archer of Carl Archer Law and Victor Medina of Medina Law Group.

The “Ask the Attorney” forum will be held:

  • Wednesday March 12th
  • 8:30 am
  • Brandywine at 155 Raymond Road in Princeton, New Jersey

CLIENT Testimonial

Our family had the good fortune to find Scott Bloom.  He was invaluable helping us set up our trust. We had an unexpected health crises and realized that we had nothing in place to protect our children.  Scott explained our options and got the necessary paperwork ready for us to hand to our family, accountant and banks. Scott was absolutely the right attorney at the right time for us. We would highly recommend him and his team.
- Tricia B., Hamilton, New Jersey

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