Category Archive: Planning for the future

Why are women disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease?

Submitted by Julie Shatzer, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of Programs, Alzheimer’s Association, Central and North Florida Chapter, www.alz.org/cnfl

Maria Carrillo PhDWomen are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Nearly two-thirds of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women and two-thirds of the more than 15 million Americans providing care and support for someone with Alzheimer’s disease are women. This devastating disease places an unbalanced burden on women at work and at home, forcing them to make difficult choices about their careers, their relationships and  their futures.

As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop AD over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.

So why does this disease seem to affect more women than men? At first glance, the answer may be that women generally live longer than men, making them more likely to reach the ages of greater risk. However, there is emerging evidence that suggests there may be unique biological reasons for these differences beyond longevity alone. These biological underpinnings may contribute to the underlying brain changes, progression and symptom manifestation in Alzheimer’s disease.

There is evidence that biological sex differences may affect mortality in men differently than women, but how that affects Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia incidence is not clear. Do hormones play a role? What about our genes? Do lifestyle components such as sleep patterns, stress and depression influence sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease?

To tackle many of these questions head on, the Alzheimer’s Association convened top experts in the field of biological sex and Alzheimer’s disease to explore these issues in depth. The “Gender Vulnerability Related to Alzheimer’s Disease” think tank identified gaps in our knowledge and next steps in research needed to advance our understanding. During the think tank, three main topics were discussed: underlying biological mechanisms, the role of hormonal factors and the impact of lifestyle factors.

As a direct result of this think tank, the Alzheimer’s Association announced the new Sex and Gender in Alzheimer’s (SAGA) grant funding program, aimed at supporting scientific investigation that addresses the gaps in our understanding of the role biological sex and related genetic, biological, lifestyle and societal factors may play in increasing vulnerability for Alzheimer’s. Additionally, projects funded through SAGA will help meet a need to incorporate learnings from the developing biology fields to merge the expanding field of sex biology research with Alzheimer’s pathophysiological studies.

As with all of our grants, applications for SAGA funding will undergo the Alzheimer’s Association’s rigorous peer-review process. I look forward to sharing more about these grants when they are awarded later this year.

 

About the Author (Photo): Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., is Chief Science Officer, Medical and Scientific Relations, at the Alzheimer’s Association.

SAGA was made possible from the generous support of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative (WARI), a campaign that supports research grants specific to sex-biology and gender issues in Alzheimer’s and other dementias. To date, the Alzheimer’s Association has raised $1.6 million for the initiative, including a generous $1 million in support from the Sigma Kappa Foundation.

Non-Profit Assists Elderly with Healthcare Costs

Nick & SharonIt is estimated that more than one million seniors and disabled individuals will have to make the hard decision of choosing between paying for medications and feeding themselves. Despite their daily struggle, they are considered “too rich” to qualify for the benefits needed to improve their quality of life. Often, they are told they need to “spend down” what little they have managed to save, leaving them with practically nothing in order to qualify for help. To make things even worse, the cost of healthcare, medication, and living expenses continue to increase. What many people don’t know is that they don’t have to spend down their assets to qualify for the benefits they need, and that’s where Advocates & Guardians for the Elderly & Disabled (AGED) can help.

AGED, Inc. is a non-profit Special Needs Trust Company that assists elderly and disabled persons with income and/or asset requirements allowing them to qualify for federal and state benefits such as Medicaid Benefits. By taking your excess income and/or assets and placing them in a Pooled Special Needs Trust, it represents a legal way to qualify for Medicaid. The funds in the trust can typically be used to pay bills such as mortgage, rent, utilities, caregivers, and others as needed.

“It’s all about sheltering your income and assets,” says Nick Barton, Executive Director of AGED, Inc., which has offices in Longwood and at One Senior Place of Greater Orlando. “Many seniors simply fall through the cracks because they can’t pay for their medications and don’t realize they can use this kind of trust.”

Barton admits that the biggest challenge is to get seniors and disabled individuals to realize that this solution is available and to understand what a difference it can make in their lives. The key, he says, is to get in front of Care Managers, Hospital Discharge Planners, Legal Guardians, Elder Law Attorneys, and Medicare Insurance Specialists because they see the patients and clients that need the help.

Basically, you can use a Pooled Special Needs Trust if you are over the income and/or asset limit for government benefits, and don’t want to spend down assets in order to qualify for benefits. Reducing medication and healthcare costs can help free up available income to help people age in place at home, which may help prevent and/or delay the need for a nursing home. Similarly, this type of trust can help people who are facing a nursing home stay and have limited funds to private pay, or who are already on Medicaid and may lose benefits due to the sale of a home, settlement, or inheritance.

The potential benefits of a Pooled Special Needs Trust include Medicare Part B reimbursement, a reduction in prescription medication costs and medical co-pays, access to durable medical equipment (DME), home health care, and reduced cost of nursing home and assisted living facilities.

“You see people struggling, and it’s frustrating because they don’t have to live like that,” says Barton. “It’s amazing how many people suffer needlessly because they aren’t being informed and educated on their options.”

Barton’s company supports senior and disabled causes throughout Florida, including The Seniors Intervention Group, South Orlando Rowing Association (Adaptive Rowing), Best Buddies, and Florida Adaptive Sports. He believes it all ties into helping those who need it the most.

For Barton, the best part of what he does is giving people peace of mind. “It’s incredibly stressful when you can’t afford critical medications,” he says, “and we want seniors and disabled individuals to not only be able to take their medications, but to also be able to eat, pay their bills and live a good quality of life.”

To find out more about how AGED can help you set up a Pooled Special Needs Trust, qualify for government benefits, reduce medication costs and preserve your assets, contact Nick Barton at 407.682.4111 or visit www.trustaged.org.

Photo caption – AGED Executive Director, Nick Barton, and Senior Trust Advisor, Sharon Reich, at the AGED office at One Senior Place in Altamonte Springs.

 

***

One Senior Place is a comprehensive, one-stop resource office with access to information, advice, and services for seniors. Not only are a variety of businesses available in one location, but we also offer educational seminars on a regular basis, and our Senior Resource Library is available to help you find what you are looking for. Call 407-949-6733 for more information or for a complimentary consultation with a One Senior Place Aging Services Expert.

VIDEO: Why would someone need a professional guardian?

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Buying an Annuity Doubler to Pay for Long-Term Care

Submitted by: Kathleen Flammia, P.A., Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, One Senior Place Resident Business

Kathleen FlammiaMedicare beneficiaries may now discuss options for care at the end of life with their health care providers.

Beneficiaries of course were already free to talk about advance care planning with their doctors or other qualified health professionals, but the practitioners could be reimbursed for such discussions only during a patient’s “Welcome to Medicare” visit, a time when the topic may not seem very relevant. As of January 1, 2016, Medicare will pay physicians for speaking at any time with Medicare beneficiaries and their families about different options for care and treatment at the end of life.

These purely voluntary conversations will help enable patients to end their lives on their own terms. Patients are often unable to express themselves when a crisis is at hand and a decision needs to be made about how much or little care they want when facing a terminal illness. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one-quarter of Medicare’s budget is spent on patients in their last year of life.  For many patients, life-prolonging medical procedurs are unwanted and unwelcome.  A 2011 study found that when medical personnel know what kind of care a patient wants at the end of life, Medicare can be spared significant sums and the patient is more likely to die at home rather than in a hospital in some areas.

Now that discussions about advance care planning are a regular Medicare benefit, seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will be able to learn about health care options that are available for end-of-life care, such as advance directives, palliative care and hospice care.  They can then determine which types of care they would like to have, and share their wishes with their practititioners and family.  After sufficient conversations with their doctors and other health professionals, the beneficiaries may be ready to execute legal documents, such as advance directives or “POLST” forms, and name a health care proxy to ensure that their wishes will be carried out. Studies have found that 40 percent of people over age 65 have not written down their wishes for end-of-life treatment.

An early version of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) would have allowed Medicare to pay for these patient discussions, but former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and other opponents of health reform characterized them as government “death panels,” and the provision never made it into the final health care legislation. The Obama administration tried again in 2011, enacting a Medicare regulation that would have reimbursed doctors for discussing end-of-life planning with patients during their annual checkups, but quickly reversed course and withdrew the regulation, apparently fearing that it would revive the specter of  ”death panels” at a time when the health reform law was under fierce attack from Republicans.

Under the new regulations, the advance care planning discussions can take place during the annual wellness visit or at a separate appointment.  They are a reimbursable benefit under Medicare Part B and there will be a copayment if the conversation is not part of the annual wellness visit.

Talk to your elder law attorney about drawing up the documents to help ensure you receive the end-of-life medical treatment you want — no more and no less.

###

The Law Office of Kathleen Flammia has been serving Orange County and surrounding areas for the past fourteen years. Kathleen Flammia began her Elder Law practice in the heart of Winter Park, Florida after being in the criminal defense arena for 15 years.

Medicare Now Covers Conversations About End-of-Life Care

Submitted by: Kathleen Flammia, P.A., Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, One Senior Place Resident Business

Kathleen FlammiaMedicare beneficiaries may now discuss options for care at the end of life with their health care providers.

Beneficiaries of course were already free to talk about advance care planning with their doctors or other qualified health professionals, but the practitioners could be reimbursed for such discussions only during a patient’s “Welcome to Medicare” visit, a time when the topic may not seem very relevant. As of January 1, 2016, Medicare will pay physicians for speaking at any time with Medicare beneficiaries and their families about different options for care and treatment at the end of life.

These purely voluntary conversations will help enable patients to end their lives on their own terms. Patients are often unable to express themselves when a crisis is at hand and a decision needs to be made about how much or little care they want when facing a terminal illness. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one-quarter of Medicare’s budget is spent on patients in their last year of life. For many patients, life-prolonging medical procedurs are unwanted and unwelcome. A 2011 study found that when medical personnel know what kind of care a patient wants at the end of life, Medicare can be spared significant sums and the patient is more likely to die at home rather than in a hospital in some areas.

Now that discussions about advance care planning are a regular Medicare benefit, seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will be able to learn about health care options that are available for end-of-life care, such as advance directives, palliative care and hospice care. They can then determine which types of care they would like to have, and share their wishes with their practititioners and family. After sufficient conversations with their doctors and other health professionals, the beneficiaries may be ready to execute legal documents, such as advance directives or “POLST” forms, and name a health care proxy to ensure that their wishes will be carried out. Studies have found that 40 percent of people over age 65 have not written down their wishes for end-of-life treatment.

An early version of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) would have allowed Medicare to pay for these patient discussions, but former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and other opponents of health reform characterized them as government “death panels,” and the provision never made it into the final health care legislation. The Obama administration tried again in 2011, enacting a Medicare regulation that would have reimbursed doctors for discussing end-of-life planning with patients during their annual checkups, but quickly reversed course and withdrew the regulation, apparently fearing that it would revive the specter of “death panels” at a time when the health reform law was under fierce attack from Republicans.

Under the new regulations, the advance care planning discussions can take place during the annual wellness visit or at a separate appointment. They are a reimbursable benefit under Medicare Part B and there will be a copayment if the conversation is not part of the annual wellness visit.

Talk to your elder law attorney about drawing up the documents to help ensure you receive the end-of-life medical treatment you want — no more and no less.

###

The Law Office of Kathleen Flammia has been serving Orange County and surrounding areas for the past fourteen years. Kathleen Flammia began her Elder Law practice in the heart of Winter Park, Florida after being in the criminal defense arena for 15 years.

Can Social Security Benefits Be Garnished to Pay Debts?

Submitted by: Kathleen Flammia, P.A., Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, One Senior Place Resident Business

Kathleen FlammiaIf you don’t pay your debts, creditors can get a court order to garnish your wages, but what if your income comes from Social Security? The answer is that it depends on the kind of debt.

For most types of debt, including credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans, Social Security cannot be garnished to pay the debt. If you owe money to a creditor, the creditor can go to court and get an order to take money from your bank account. If your Social Security check is directly deposited in the bank, the bank is required to protect Social Security benefits from garnishment. When a creditor tries to freeze a debtor’s bank account, the bank is required to look at the debtor’s previous two months of transactions to determine if the debtor received any Social Security benefits by direct deposit. For example, if you receive $1,500 a month in Social Security, the bank is required to allow you to use up to $3,000 in your account.

If you receive a Social Security check and deposit it in the bank yourself, the bank can freeze the entire amount in the account. You would be required to go to court and prove the money in the account came from Social Security.

There are certain debts, however, that Social Security can be garnished to pay for. Those debts include federal taxes, federal student loans, child support and alimony, victim restitution, and other federal debts. If you owe federal taxes, 15 percent of your Social Security check can be used to pay your debt, no matter how much money is left.

For student loans and other non-tax debts, the government can take 15 percent of your Social Security check as long as the remaining balance doesn’t drop below $750. There is no statute of limitations on student loan debt, so it doesn’t matter how long ago the debt occurred. (In fact, student loan debt may be the next crisis facing elderly Americans. In 2015, bills were introduced in the House and Senate, HR 3967 and S 2387, to stop the government from garnishing the wages of elderly and disabled Social Security recipients.)

The rules for child support and alimony vary depending on the law in your state. The maximum amount that can be garnished is 50 percent of your Social Security benefit if you support another child, 60 percent if you don’t support another child, or 65 percent if the support is more than 12 weeks in arrears.

These rules do not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is protected from garnishment even if the creditor can garnish regular Social Security. Social Security Disability Insurance can be garnished in the same way that Social Security is garnished.

If you feel your Social Security is being improperly garnished, contact your lawyer.

For more information about Social Security, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/social-security.

###

The Law Office of Kathleen Flammia has been serving Orange County and surrounding areas for the past fourteen years. Kathleen Flammia began her Elder Law practice in the heart of Winter Park, Florida after being in the criminal defense arena for 15 years.

Memory: Health & Hope Q&A with Kathi Ridner, One Senior Place Director

Kathi Ridner at her desk 2015 croppedKathi Ridner, Director, answers questions about the upcoming special event, Memory: Health & Hope at One Senior Place Brevard/Space Coast on Friday, February 19th at 1:00 pm. This program is also being offered at the One Senior Place Greater Orlando in Altamonte Springs on Friday, February 19th at 10:00 am.

Q: Why host an event such as “Memory: Health & Hope” at One Senior Place?

A: From the time we opened our doors 10 years ago, One Senior Place has focused on hosting educational events and presentations that provide the seniors of Brevard County with information that will help them age well. There are amazing strides being made in clinical research in the field of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Many of us are concerned about our memory changes, and up until now it has been a very sad and frightening prospect. The purpose of this special event is to share a sense of hope, for the first time ever.

 

Q: In your own words, what sets Dr. Cajal above other doctors in the area to discuss dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

A: Dr. Cajal is not only an expert in Alzheimer’s, Dementia and the aging brain, but as a Triage Specialist and Neuroscientist for Compass Research, she can speak about the strides being made in the clinical research arena. This information is not always available to physicians practicing medicine in the traditional office or hospital setting at this time.

 

Q. What is the deadline for people to call for a free memory screening appointment?

A: Compass Research conducts baseline memory screenings at no charge by appointment at One Senior Place in Viera on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 12-4pm. Since this is an ongoing service that we offer, people can call 321-751-6771 to schedule an appointment anytime that it’s convenient for their schedule. 

 

Q. What is the deadline for RSVP?

A: People interested in attending should call as soon as they can since we have limited seating.

 

Q. Why should seniors attend this event?

A: One Senior Place has always strongly advocated for seniors and their families to be armed with information, and this event will shed new light on a subject that concerns all of us.

The Experts in Aging Ask: “How is Your Memory?”

The Latest Research on Dementia Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Cajal Seminar(Viera, FL)  January 26, 2016 –  Viera-based One Senior Place, the Experts in Aging, will host Dr. Marieke Cajal, Triage Specialist and Neuroscientist at Compass Research, for a presentation on “Memory: Health & Hope” on Friday, February 19th at 1:00 PM.  Dr. Cajal will discuss memory loss, the aging process and the newest research regarding the prevention and treatment of dementia.  The Compass Research seminar will focus on signs, symptoms and treatments for memory loss and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Cajal will share the latest information and answer audience questions. Free memory screenings will be available by appointment to those who are concerned about their memory.  Seminar seating is limited and an RSVP is required.  Refreshments will be provided at the Viera marketplace for senior resources at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road.  For more information about One Senior Place, the experts in aging, visit their website at www.OneSeniorPlace.com or call (321) 751-6771.

Director, Kathi Ridner, is excited to share the wealth of new information recently uncovered about memory loss.

“We’re living in a tremendously exciting time for medical breakthroughs,” said Ridner.  “New information is coming to light that may help prevent the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.  Even more exciting is the possibility of an actual cure in our lifetime.”

“Memory: Health & Hope” will be followed by two additional memory events in March and April: “Dinner with the Doctor” and a showing of the movie, Alive Inside.  For information on these and the dozens of events presented annually by One Senior Place, call 321-751-6771.  One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families.  To learn more about One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging visit www.OneSeniorPlace.com.

##

Photo 1 (attached)Dr. Marieke Cajal, discusses the latest findings on memory loss and its prevention on Friday, February 19 in Viera.  To reserve a seat for the event, RSVP by phone to 321-751-6771.

 

Dr. Marieke CajalPhoto 2 (attached)Dr. Marieke Cajal will discuss the latest research regarding the prevention and treatment of dementia at One Senior Place on February 19. Reserve a seat by calling 321-751-6771.

 

About Compass Research and Dr. Marieke Cajal –  Dr. Cajal is a Triage Specialist and Neuroscientist at Compass Research, one of the country’s leading research facilities in the area of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Cajal has also worked as a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, and as a visiting researcher for Harvard Medical School. Within Compass, Dr. Cajal performs various cognitive assessments, as well as aids families in identifying opportunities for research.

Compass Research is a clinical research company dedicated to testing investigational medications that cover a broad range of diseases and disorders. Their staff has over 400 years of combined clinical research experience in all fields of medicine, and they are proud to be at the forefront of Alzheimer’s and Dementia research. Compass currently is exploring the prevention of memory loss with genetic testing and medications aimed at preventing or delaying onset of memory loss and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Compass serves over 200 sponsors, from small bio-techs to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and has completed over 1,300 trials.  More about Compass Research is available on their website at www.CompassResearch.com.

 

About One Senior Place– Now in its tenth year, One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging, is a marketplace of resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their family caregivers in Central and East Central Florida.  Completely unique, One Senior Place at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road in Viera is a one-stop information hub and mini-mall “revolutionizing the way America shops for elder care and services.”  One Senior Place is home to a wide variety of senior-focused businesses, a resource library and is the site of educational seminars and presentations for seniors.  In 2008, One Senior Place was named Florida’s Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  In Brevard, they were honored as  Business of the Year by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce.  A second location, One Senior Place Orlando, opened in Altamonte Springs in December of 2011.  More information about One Senior Place and One Senior Place Orlando can be found on the company website at www.OneSeniorPlace.com or by calling 321-751-6771.

Stay Informed
 
Business Directory
Senior Living Options
Directory Search
In-Home Care
About Us
FAQ
Testimonials
Articles & News
For Professionals
OSP University
Request Information
Revolutionizing the way America shops for elder care and services.
Home | Code of Ethics | Privacy Policy | Sitemap © Copyright 2018, One Senior Place - Orlando, Florida..