Senior citizens have needs that are more than concerns about Social Security and health care. The Law Offices of Mary Ann Tardiff, the Atascadero attorney, recently released a list of concerns that seniors frequently face these days.
Today’s seniors are vital and healthy for much longer than their parents or grandparents. Living longer and being able to do more means there are more social challenges for living the good life. Along with those social challenges, the challenges of safe living situations, health care, accessibility, and all forms of elder abuse are, sadly, still with us. Mary Ann Tardiff is committed to working with elders and their families to help seniors be safe, healthy, and productive and care for their estates and their families.
Let’s take a look at some of the top concerns for today’s senior citizens:
- Age and job discrimination: Just because someone celebrates their 65th birthday doesn’t mean they are ready to settle down. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that seniors 55 and over make up nearly 20% of the workforce. While financial concerns may influence the decision to continue to work, there are many other contributing factors. Seniors today have valuable knowledge, education, skill, life and professional experience, energy, and a work ethic to bring to any employer. Those skills and experience are priceless but not every employer has the same opinion about the value of years of experience, education, and perfect skills. Age discrimination in the workplace is a real issue. Not only does that discrimination deprive a business of needed skills and experience, but it also threatens the individual’s financial situation and sense of personal worth and, it’s illegal.
- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits: In most circumstances, signing up for and using these benefits are trouble-free. Once signed-up, payments and services are automatic. But, there are those occasions when someone at the governmental level makes a mistake or a decision based on wrong information and a nightmare starts. A legal advocate such as the Atascadero attorney, Mary Ann Tardiff, can cut through the government red tape.
- Estate planning: Seniors who have built up any kind of holdings, even if it’s just the family home, are going to be well-served by an attorney who is fully versed in California laws for estate planning, trusts, wills, and probate. Trusting that heirs won’t fight over an estate, or that a will alone will guarantee your wishes are carried out after your death, are not the best estate planning strategies. As of 2022 in California, any estate valued at more than $184,500 that is not in a trust, or has certain Transfer on Death (TOD) provisions filed, is subject to probate. A will alone may or may not have a bearing in probate court. Most of us have more estate value than we think we do. The family home is only part of the estate. Retirement accounts, insurance policies, personal belongings such as jewelry, art collections, and even vehicles are all part of the estate. These days, we can think we are poor, but the probate court may see it differently.
- Living wills: We can tell our children what our end-of-life wishes are, but there’s no guarantee those wishes will be honored. A living will, also known as an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD) and associated powers of attorney (POA) for finances and health decisions are the best way to make sure health care, financial, and end-of-life wishes are honored.
- Eldercare: We can say to our children, close relatives, and friends that we wish to age at home, or describe the kind of elder care we want, but, again, there’s no guarantee those wishes will be honored.
- Elder abuse: Elder abuse is more than many think. Some of the aspects of elder abuse are subtle, resulting in trusting seniors losing their homes and savings. Some elder abuse is physical abuse. Some abuse takes place in senior living facilities and, saddest of all, some elder abuse takes place at the hands of family. Many local agencies have departments that focus on senior abuse issues. Anytime elder abuse is suspected file a report with the police and with the local senior or adult services department. The senior who is being victimized may also need a legal advocate, meaning it’s a smart move to reach out to the Atascadero attorney, Mary Ann Tardiff.
Assisting families with elder care issues
Family members are often the first to notice changes in an elder’s behavior. Memory loss, falling, a serious illness, forgetting to eat or pay bills, and changes In hygiene habits may mean the elder is no longer able to take proper care of himself and it’s time for the family to intervene.
The elder may be uncooperative to the point he or she is a danger to self. They may be making unsound decisions about health or finances. Another relative or a caretaker may be taking unfair advantage or even physically harming them.
Mary Ann Tardiff helps senior citizens and families reach the most appropriate decisions about elder care and safety, including assisting with any necessary court proceedings.
If you or a family member need assistance with a senior welfare issue, call Mary Ann Tardiff today.