A Guide to Retirement & Senior Living in Florida

Retire to Florida, Retirement Communities, Senior Living Facilities      Geriatric Care Managers

Elder Law

Reverse Mortgages

Financial / Insurance Services

Important Phone #'s & Web Sites
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Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers have been educated in various fields of human services — social work, psychology, nursing, gerontology — and trained to assess, plan, coordinate, monitor and provide services for the elderly and their families.

Advocacy for older adults is a primary function of the care manager. The GCM should belong to the
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and certified by one of the three certification organizations for care management — the National Association of Social Workers, the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, or the Commission for Case Managers.

This service was developed for the purpose of helping families deal with the decisions associated with caring for an older person. The care manager will identify and recommend community and private resources and at the request of the family, may also monitor and report the clients status or progress.

PAYMENT: An initial assessment fee could range from $250 to $750 with additional costs of $50 to $200 for follow-up hourly consultation. Medicaid, Medicare or insurance rarely cover the cost of a geriatric care manager.

You can find GCMs through:
• The Area Agency on Aging in your parent’s community
• Hospitals, senior centers, geriatric assessment centers and charitable organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association
• The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers at (520) 881-8008
• The Eldercare Locator Service at (800) 677-1116

For more information go to: Care Manager or Home Healthcare Agencies

Elder Law

Most elder law attorneys specialize in one or two areas of elder law.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys list the following areas: Estate planning; Health insurance selection; claims and appeals; Social Security and disability claims and appeals; Preservation and/or transfer of assets; Disability planning; Conservatorship and Guardianship; Living trusts; Probate, Administration and management of trusts and estates; Long-term care and/or admission to life-care communities and nursing homes; Age discrimination; Retirement planning and benefits; Elder abuse; Fraud recovery; and Health law.

It is important to ask a lot of questions to determine if a particular attorney is suitable for your needs.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys may be reached at (520) 881-4005 or go to:

Reverse Mortgages

This type of loan requires no repayment for as long as you live in your home. You are given monthly income for life or cash whenever you choose. A select few let you preserve equity for your heirs.

Read More at:
AoA Programs

Articles regarding reverse mortgages:
Reverse Mortgage Lending Bucks Mortgage Lending Trend
The Reverse Mortgage...Friend or Foe?
What Is a Reverse Mortgage Loan?
New Company Offers Educational Materials on the Reverse Mortgage
Retirement Income Options: Reverse Mortgage
The Lowdown on Home Equity Loans
Loans for Business Owners with Poor Credit

Financial / Insurance Services

Long Term Care Insurance is a safety net that covers the on-going care of an individual that may include home care, hospice care, nursing home care or care in an apartment or assisted-living facility.

Statistics show that 72 percent of elderly Americans are impoverished after paying (out-of-pocket) for one year of long-term care.

According to a Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home in the U.S. is $90,000 a year. And if an individual wishes to remain in his/her own home, versus entering institutionalized care, the national average rate for a home health aide is $18.58 an hour or $446 a day for round-the-clock care.

If you think the government or your health insurance will cover these costs, you’d better think again.

The majority of long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare or most health insurance plans. Medicare only pays for skilled and rehabilitative care (doctors and nurses) and does not cover custodial care including help with activities of daily living. Medicaid will cover… but… only after an individual has depleted all their assets.

With a little planning, you can avoid burdening family members and still leave some assets behind:

First decide if Long Term Care Insurance makes sense. If you have a large amount in assets, you’ll probably want to purchase a policy. However, if you can’t afford the premiums without changing your lifestyle, then it may not be an option for you.

Be sure the policy does not require hospitalization prior to coverage. If it does, you could be responsible for a hefty amount prior to accessing coverage.

Make sure the policy you choose allows for inflation. Select one that has compound inflation protection increases (usually around 5 percent) to cover rising costs.

Once you’ve decided on an affordable plan, look for a solid company with a proven track record.

Check pricing at:
Long Term Care Insurance Tree

For more Long-Term Health Care Insurance information contact: the United Seniors Health Cooperative at (202) 393-6222, or go to: LTC-FEDS

Important Phone Numbers & Web Site Addresses

AARP (800) 424-3410 www.aarp.org
Aging & Adult Services (941) 338-1396 www.agingcare.com
Alzheimer's Disease Association (800) 272-3900 www.alz.org
American Heart Association (State Office) (813) 570-8809 www.aha.org
Area Agency on Aging (Statewide) (800) 262-2243 www.mfaaa.org
Agency for Health Care Administration (941) 338-2366 www.fdhc.state.fl.us
Elder Abuse Hotline (800) 962-2873 www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/abuse
Elder Helpline (Statewide) (800) 861-8111
Florida Bar - Elderly Referral Panel (Statewide) (800) 414-2000
Florida Department of Elderly Affairs (850) 414-2000 www.elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php
Long-Term Ombudsman Council (Manatee/Sarasota) (941) 338-1493
Meals on Wheels (Manatee Co.) (941) 747-4655 www.mealsonwheelsplus.org
Meals on Wheels (Sarasota Co.) (941) 366-6693 www.mealsonwheels-sarasota.org/information.cfm
Medicare Hotline (800) 638-6833 www.medicare.gov/
Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213 www.ssa.gov
United Seniors Health Cooperative (202) 479-6973 www.ushc.org
Veteran's Administration (800) 827-1000 www.baypines.va.gov/visitors/sarasota.asp

• The following National agencies can also provide information about assistance and long-term care:

The Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116) can direct you to your Area Agency on Aging. They will give you information on local long-term care resources and programs. Visit their website at: www.aoa.gov

The Nursing Home Information Service at the National Council of Senior Citizens, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 1200, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301-578-8938) has information on community services and offers a free guide on how to select a nursing home.

The Health Care Financing Administration publishes the "Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home" and the annual "Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare". The nursing home guide includes a detailed checklist. Visit their website at: www.cms.gov

Each state Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman visits nursing homes on a regular basis and handles complaints. Find your ombudsman by calling the National Association of State Units on Aging at 202-898-2578. The association has publications about long-term care and can provide a list of facilities.

• Other sources of information include:

The Leading Age is an association of 5,400 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. 2519 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20008. call 202-783-2242. Visit their website at: www.leadingage.org

The Assisted Living Federation of America, 1650 King St. Suite 602. Alexandria, VA 22314; call 703-894-1805. Visit their website at: www.alfa.org

The American Health Care Association,1201 L Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20005; call 202-842-4444.
SeniorNet Non-profit organization that teaches seniors (50+) to use computers and the Internet at over 140 learning centers nationwide.
WidowNet Information and support resources for and by widows and widowers.

• More Reading:

Grand Times: A weekly magazine for active seniors containing controversial, entertaining and informative articles on books, travel, and products and services which make life easier.

Mature Resources: A monthly online magazine for seniors and baby boomers filled with articles and news. Topics covered include financial and retirement planning, health, travel, golf, anti-aging, legal issues, senior specialists, elder care, and long-distance caregiving.

Senior Journal: A Web Site for senior citizen news and information. It contains a wide range of interesting and helpful information for seniors and caregivers. There is probably no Web Site or print publication that carries as much daily senior citizen news as this one.

Today’s Caregiver: An online version of bimonthly magazine for caregivers which focuses on such topics as mobility, incontinence, Alzheimer’s, burnout, grief, and long distance caregiving.

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