Throughout the nation the number of older Americans is increasing at a historic rate. Experts tell us that the dramatic growth in the senior population is a result of an increased life expectancy coupled with the fact that members of the Baby Boomer generation – the largest generation in history — are entering their retirement years. While seniors face many of the same problems that their younger counterparts do, they also struggle with unique issues and challenges. Moreover, those who care for them often encounter problems they have never before faced. As of the 2010 Census, the City of Fenton, Missouri had an overall population of 4,022 year around residents. Residents 65 and older represent 16 percent of the Fenton population with 7.2 percent of all households consisting of someone over age 65 living alone.
Whether you are a senior yourself, a caregiver, or a loved one, finding resources to help with many of these issues can be challenging. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Fenton, Missouri area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
As a resident of Fenton, one of your best resources will undoubtedly be the City of Fenton website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information including links to contact information for the Mayor’s office, various city departments, and a section specifically for residents.. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office services residents who live in the Fenton, Missouri area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Most of us go to great lengths to remain in our own homes for as long as possible. As time goes by, however, you may reach at a point at which you realize that additional help is needed to care for yourself or for someone you love. Whether that means daily home health care, assisted living, or the type of care you can only receive from a nursing home, Fenton offers numerous options from which to choose. A number of reliable resources are also available to help you find the care you need, including:
- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers a “Show Me Long Term Care in Missouri” which allows you to search for and compare facilities as well as offers a wide range of other helpful information and resources for seniors in need of long-term care.
- Eldercare Locator which is provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging and offers a searchable database of long-term care facilities.
- Nursing Home Compare which is found on the Medicare.gov. website is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- Missouri Care Planning Council where you can search facilities and find a variety of helpful information for seniors and caregivers.
Locating the right long-term care (LTC) facility is only half of the battle though. Figuring out how to pay for the high cost of LTC is the other half. In 2018, the average yearly cost of LTC nationwide was almost $100,000. In the Fenton, Missouri area, LTC costs were noticeably below the national average for 2018 at an average of $68,000 per year. Nevertheless, with an average length of stay of three years, a LTC bill can quickly deplete your retirement nest egg if you are forced to pay out of pocket which could happen because neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC. Fortunately, Medicaid does cover LTC expenses; however the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can be problematic for many seniors which is what makes advanced planning so important. To ensure that your retirement nest egg is protected, and you are eligible for Medicaid if you need it in the future, the estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC can help you incorporate Medicaid planning into your comprehensive estate plan.
In the 21st century, retirees no longer look at retirement as a time to slow down. On the contrary, many seniors consider retirement a second chance to socialize, travel, and even spark new romances. For seniors living in and around Fenton, a wide variety of places can be found to mix and mingle. A listing of Parks and Recreation programs activities and events is a great resource as is the Seniors page on the city’s website. For veterans, there are several American Legion and VFW posts in the Fenton area.
Local, State and Federal Assistance
Many local, state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. A great resources for seniors is the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability website. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for Missouri Healthnet for Seniors.
Many seniors, and loved ones, find the dizzying array of state and federal benefits to be confusing. Navigating the rules and procedures required to apply for those benefits can be equally confusing. At Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC we understand how frustrating it can be to run into one roadblock after another when trying to secure benefits to which you know you are entitled. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping you in any way we can, whether you need help understanding the benefits available, applying for those benefits, or appealing a denial.
Getting Help from a Fenton Elder Law Attorney
Whether you are a senior yourself or a loved one, our experienced elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC are committed to helping you with the myriad of legal issues you may be facing. Along with planning ahead for long-term care by incorporating Medicaid planning into your estate plan, we can also review your existing estate plan to make sure other areas of importance of covered. For example, as a senior it is vital that you have an incapacity plan in place as well as tools and strategies that protect your assets. If you have strong feelings about end of life medical care we can discuss executing an advance directive that would legally require health care professionals to honor your wishes in that regard. Likewise, we can incorporate a funeral planning component into your estate plan to prevent conflict among your loved ones after you are gone and guarantee that your funeral and burial will occur in accordance with your wishes.