The older population in the United States has grown at a record breaking rate in recent decades. Experts tell us that the dramatic increase is due to a combination of a significantly longer average life expectancy in the U.S. and the fact that the “Baby Boomer” generation is moving into their retirement years. As of the 2010 Census, the City of Webster Groves, Missouri had a population of 22,995 residents, of which 15.4 percent were over the age of 65 and 13.8 percent of all households had someone age 65 or older living alone.
Although seniors have many of the same legal and social concerns that their younger counterparts have, they also experience unique issues and problems. 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 Webster Groves, Missouri area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Whether you are young or old, it is always wise to prepare for the possibility of an emergency by having contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resources handy. Many of the numbers and contact information you might need can be found on the City of Webster Groves website. Along with links and contact information for city government offices, you will definitely want to view the Senior Sampler, a sort list of services and agencies of interest to seniors, presented by the Webster Groves Senior Roundtable. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Webster Groves Police Department and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Webster Groves, 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, Webster Grove 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. Fortunately, there are several resources that may make the search easier,:
- 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.
- com offers a list of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and home care in and near Webster Groves, Missouri.
- 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.
The cost of long-term care (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. Nationwide, the average yearly cost of LTC about $100,000 for 2018. Residents of St. Louis County, Missouri are fortunate in that they paid, on average, less than the national average at about $68,000 per year that same year. Nevertheless, if you are forced to cover those costs out of pocket, your retirement nest egg could disappear rapidly. Given the fact that neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans will cover the expenses associated with LTC, you could actually be faced with paying out of pocket unless you plan ahead to ensure that you are eligible for Medicaid. The Medicaid planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC can help you incorporate a Medicaid planning component into your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that your assets are protected and you qualify for Medicaid if you need it in the future.
Retirement is certainly not what it used to be. The days of whiling away your time in a rocking chair are in the past. Today’s seniors enjoy an active social life, often making new friends, taking up new hobbies, and even pursuing romance well into their retirement years. If you are looking for places to mingle, meet new friends, or find services that may help you within the community, you might want to start with the Older Adult Activity Center. If you are a veteran, there are several American Legion and VFW posts in the broader St. Louis area, including close to Webster Groves.
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.
Getting an application for any of the numerous benefits to which you might be eligible completed and approved can be a monumental task. Navigating the application procedures can be challenging, particularly for those who have never before applied for government benefits. Applying on behalf of a family member or other loved one can be even more difficult if you do not yet have guardianship over the applicant. If you do make it through the application process, you may then have to face the fact that a significant percentage of initial applications for benefits are denied. All too often, the denial is caused by procedural faults, such as missing information on the application itself or because the applicant failed to submit required documentation in time. The elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC understand how frustrating the application and/or appeal process can be which is why we are committed to helping you through the process to ensure that you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
Getting Help from a Webster Groves Elder Law Attorney
The experienced elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC are dedicated to helping you create or update your estate plan to ensure that it covers your changing needs as a senior. If you have yet to incorporate Medicaid planning into your estate plan, now is the time to do so to ensure eligibility if you need it down the road. Along with long-term care planning, you may wish to consider executing an advance directive as part of a larger incapacity plan. An advance directive allows you to choose who will make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them at some point in the future. Finally, you should consider including funeral and burial planning to your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that your wishes will be honored at the end of your life. For more information on any of the issues that impact seniors, or to discuss specific elder law questions contact the experienced Webster Groves, Missouri elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.