In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased as a result of advances in science, medicine, and an overall increase in the standard of living coupled with the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is now moving into their retirement years. As a result, issues that impact seniors, and those who care for them, have taken on a heightened importance. Although seniors have many of the same legal and social concerns that their younger counterparts have, they also experience unique issues and problems. As of the 2010 Census, the City of St. Peters, Missouri had an overall population of 47,484 year around residents. One in five (20.1 percent) of the residents of St. Peters are age 65 or older and 11.6 percent of all households consist of someone over age 65 living alone.
The older population in the United States has grown at a record breaking rate in recent decades. Experts predict that the older demographic will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. As a result, issues that impact seniors, and those who care for them, have taken on a heightened importance. As of the 2010 Census, the City of St. Peters, Missouri had an overall population of 52,575 year around residents. Just over one in ten (11.4 percent) residents in St. Peters fall into the 65 or older age cohort with 9.5 percent of all households consisting of someone over age 65 living alone.
Whether you are a senior yourself, or the caregiver of one, living in the St. Peters, Missouri area, you will undoubtedly find the need for a number of elder resources from time to time. 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 St. Peters, Missouri area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Because you never know when an emergency may arise, it is always wise to have contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resource handy. Many of those can be found on the City of St. Peters website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information including links to contact information for city government offices. Best of all, there is an entire section of the city’s website devoted to services and resources seniors may find helpful. 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. Peters Police Department and the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the St. Peters, Missouri area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Like most people, you would probably prefer not to dwell on the physical and mental deterioration that frequently accompanies the natural again process nor on the possibility that you could develop Alzheimer’s or another age-related dementia condition. You should, however, plan for the possibility that your body and/or mind will deteriorate with age given that the average American can expect to be around for many years beyond retirement age. If you do live well into your “Golden Years,” you will probably want to remain in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible. Fortunately, services such as home health care can often allow a senior to do just that. When living at home is no longer a practical or safe option, St. Peters residents enjoy a variety of options that include home health care, assisted living facilities and around the clock skilled nursing care. Finding the right facility for your needs, or the needs of a loved one, can be challenging though. The following resources may be of assistance in locating the right agency or facility for yourself or for a loved one:
- 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.
- comoffers a list of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and home care in and near St. Peters, Missouri.
- Nursing Home Comparewhich 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 Councilwhere you can search facilities and find a variety of helpful information for seniors and caregivers.
- The Eldercare Locatorwebsite, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, also offers a searchable database of care providers in the St. Peters community.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest concerns when you, or a loved one, need LTC is the cost of that care. The cost of LTC in the United States has increased right along with the older population, and is expected to continue to increase in the years to come. In 2017, the average yearly cost of LTC throughout the United States was over $80,000. In the State of Missouri, residents are fortunate to pay, on average, less than the national average with an annual average cost of $65,000 per year in 2017. Although Missouri residents may pay less than the national average, a LTC bill can still wipe out a retirement nest egg in no time. Because neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC, it is critical that you plan ahead to ensure you can cover your LTC expenses if necessary. Fortunately, Medicaid does cover LTC expenses; however, the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can make qualifying for benefits difficult if you failed to plan ahead. The elder law and Medicaid planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC don’t want you to get caught unprepared which is why we strongly recommend incorporating both long-term care planning and Medicaid planning into your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that you are prepared and protected in the event LTC is required at some point in the future for yourself or a spouse.
Retirement doesn’t mean sitting on the porch and watching the world pass by – unless of course that what you want to do! If you prefer to remain active though, there is plenty to keep you busy. In fact, experts tell us that getting out and socializing is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. For seniors living in and around St. Peters, a wide variety of places can be found to mix and mingle. Fitness and recreational opportunities for seniors can be found on the city’s website, as can a listing of volunteer opportunities for retirees. Seniors also enjoy meeting at the Mayor Tom Brown Senior Center in the center of town. For veterans, American Legion Post 313 and VFW Post 2866 are excellent options to find new friends and catch up with old ones.
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.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of state and federal benefits and services available to help seniors. Making sense of the eligibility guidelines and navigating the application process, however, can be challenging. The elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC are familiar with the various benefits and services to which you may be entitled and are committed to helping you with any questions or concerns you may have about eligibility or appealing a denial. Whether you are a senior yourself or a caregiver, we would be honored to help you through the eligibility process.
Getting Help from a St. Peters Elder Law Attorney
At Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC our experienced, compassionate, and caring team of elder law attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping our senior population and the people who care for them with legal issues and concerns, such as the need to coordinate retirement planning with your existing estate plan, asset protection, Medicaid planning, and incapacity planning. Our experienced elder law attorneys are also available to assist you with other areas typically of concern to seniors and those who care for them, such as incapacity planning, asset protection and incorporating your retirement plans into your estate plan. Please feel free to contact the experienced St. Peters, Missouri elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.