Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy 48th Anniversary to Medicare!

Medicare provides access to health care for millions of seniors and those with disabilities. Nearly 50 million Americans—15 percent of the nation’s population and growing—depend on Medicare for health security.

New information released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows a strong Medicare program:
  • Over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Prescription drug savings have averaged $1,061 per beneficiary in drug costs while a beneficiary is in the “donut hole” coverage gap that the law closes over time. 
  • 16.5 million people with traditional Medicare took advantage of at least one free preventive service in the first six months of 2013.
  • Recent changes in the new health law have also added additional protections to curb fraud and abuse and extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. 
“Medicare is much stronger as a result of the health care law,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Spending has slowed to historic levels, as seniors are enjoying enhanced benefits and greater savings on drugs.”

Medicare does face financial challenges and AARP is calling for responsible, commonsense solutions that would help ensure Medicare’s continued success, including fair prescription drug prices and ridding Medicare of waste, fraud, and abuse. AARP released the first in a “commonsense solutions” series on the 48th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare into law on July 30, 1965.  Click here to see the video.

This year, Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15- December 7, 2013. Just as you are planning for the Open Enrollment Period, you should plan for your future and for your loved ones. If you have not done Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), or if you have a loved one who is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, call The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Training Needed for Caregivers Is Lacking

Family caregivers and home health care professionals (collectively referred to in this article as “caregivers”) provide in-home care for family members or others who are chronically ill, disabled or elderly. Their goal is to help their loved ones or clients remain in their homes as long as possible, or in residential facilities rather than long-term care institutions.

Most caregivers typically have a genuine desire to help people, along with lots of patience and compassion. The job is often physically demanding and emotionally taxing.  Given all the complicated medical issues and day to day tasks, is there training available for caregivers?

Training can provide fresh ideas and new solutions, but according to a recent NY Times New Old Age blog article, sufficient training for caregivers is lacking. Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute, said there is "a huge gap," referring to an absence of available training in demanding caregiving tasks. Training that exists through local Agencies on Aging deals mostly with "activities of daily living", such as helping someone bathe, dress, eat, or use the bathroom -- not the demands of nursing-style care, Ms.Reinhard observed. That leaves the burden on caregivers to be assertive and ask for help or find out what training exists in their area.

These are some available caregiver training options:
The NY Times article suggests that the best way for caregivers to learn caregiving techniques is to ask a professional for help. Experts suggest that no videos or written manuals can substitute for one-on-one, hands-on instruction. If your loved one or client is in the hospital, make sure care instructions are clearly explained to you before discharge. If you don't get them to your satisfaction, don't sign the form that says you have been given instructions on what to do. The hospital is legally obligated to ensure that discharges are safe, and this operates in a caregiver's favor. The same goes for the pharmacy: don't sign that sheet that the pharmacist hands you indicating that you have been adequately informed about the medications you are purchasing if you haven’t been.

Caregiving can be rewarding, but it can also physically and emotionally demanding. The Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr advises that if you are a caregiver, don’t let your own needs or health take a back seat.  Many caregivers are at the age when they are developing their own chronic issues. Be sure to take good care of the person you are caring for and yourself too! Part of doing so is planning for your future and for your loved one's future. Call the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Open Enrollment Period is Approaching: The Medicare.Gov Plan Finder Tool

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D runs from October 15 to December 7. If you are researching and comparing Medicare Part-D and Medicare Advantage plans, the Plan Finder is a helpful tool. It lists all of the plans available in your area, with details about the premiums, and personalized information about the out-of-pocket costs you’d pay specifically tailored for your drugs and dosages.

 What can you find out using the Plan Finder?
  • Get the total out-of-pocket costs, including premiums, deductibles and co-payments, you’d pay over the year under each plan. You might find out that a plan with a low premium and high co-pays for your drugs actually costs more over a year’s time than a plan with a higher premium and lower co-pays for the drugs you need.
  • The tool also shows whether a generic is available for any of your medications; whether the plan offers lower rates for using a mail-order or preferred pharmacy; and whether it imposes any restrictions, such as requiring prior authorization for certain drugs.
  • Just as you are planning for the Open Enrollment Period, you should plan for your future and for your loved ones. If you have a loved one who is already in a nursing home or nearing the need for nursing home care, call The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation. 
P.S. Read today’s Ask the Expert for more details about Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period and the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Long-Term Care in the United States- The PACE Program

The following post was written by guest blogger, Carly Lee.
Want to submit a guest blog post? Read the Guidelines here.
Many people in the U.S. will require some form of long-term care (LTC). Over the decades the population has been continuously increasing mainly due to Americans living longer. More services are required to care for the aging population. Twenty-five percent of individuals, most over the age of 85, will need extensive care that deals with cognitive and functional conditions (Hokenstad, 2005). Many elderly Americans have expressed wanting to retain their independence while still receiving medical treatment and help with activities of daily living.

In Chapter 8, different types of long term care (LTC) are described. The most well-known being nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. In the past, LTC was typically provided at a nursing home but due to the skyrocketing costs, families can end up spending their life savings on these facilities. An article from the New York Times states that “the nursing home model is no longer financially viable or medically justified” (Berger, 2012).

There is an innovative program that provides comprehensive healthcare for the elderly called PACE, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. With PACE, the patient has an interdisciplinary team that includes doctors, social workers, nurses, and many other services while continuing to live at home. The program exists is 29 states today and is paid for primarily by Medicare and Medicaid with no deductibles, co-insurance, or copayments (Berger, 2012). PACE care supervisors are focused on preventative care in order to avoid patients being hospitalized or going to a nursing home. Family participation is also strongly encouraged.

According to the Medicaid website (, individuals must meet four main eligibility requirements. First, the individual must be 55 years of age or older and able to life in their home and environment safely. In addition they must live in an area where the PACE program is provided. Lastly, the individual has to be eligible for nursing home care as well.

The services make this program extremely efficient in maintaining and improving one’s health. Recipients receive care that is flexible and can accommodate their lifestyles. For example, not only does the program provide transportation for medical appointments, but the driver also assists the participant to and from the vehicle if needed. This service takes a good amount of pressure off of family care givers who have to rearrange their own lives and schedules to assist loved ones. For medications, the program covers all Medicare Part D prescriptions. Participation in the program is completely voluntary and participants can opt out any time. The downside is that the consumer most use a doctor that is in-network with the program.

PACE promotes preventative care by offering activities that encourage nutrition and socialization. Berger briefly describes CentreLight Healthcare, the largest PACE program in the nation, located in New York. CentreLight has day centers which provide nutritious meals, activities, and an opportunity to make new friends. Recently Northern Virginia established the first PACE program in that area, InovaCares for Seniors. With more program locations available along with the rising costs of nursing homes, physicians, family members and Elder Law attorneys are promoting PACE to clients.

Despite recent improvement in the quality of nursing homes care, alternatives choices are becoming increasingly popular (Hokenstad, 2005). Sultz and Young (2011) frequently point out that the health system needs to be continuous, organized, and integrated in order to provide the most beneficial care.

About the author:
Carly Lee is a student at Towson University who wrote this article as part of her class on “Health Care in the U.S.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recent AARP Report Illustrates Need to Address Long-Term Care Demands

A new report released by AARP last week highlights the challenges facing states in providing long-term services and supports (LTSS). The report comes at a time when states are beginning to implement LTSS options in the Affordable Care Act that increase access to Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS).

The report examines findings of the third annual survey of LTSS systems across 49 states and the District of Columbia, highlighting transformations and reforms that are underway and trends across the country.
The findings in the report signify that:
  • States are actively exploring ways to better serve individuals with ongoing health care and support needs;
  • More states are increasing participation in HCBS options within the Affordable Care Act as well as initiatives for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare;
  • There is increased demand for non-Medicaid services, including Adult Protective Services, as the caseload for adult protective services – for victims of abuse or exploitation – has increased in the last two years without increased funding in many states;
  • State policymakers are committed to advancing a national dialogue for how to best address the increasing demand for services.
“It’s increasingly evident that we need to rethink how we address long-term services and supports in this country,” said Susan Reinhard, Senior Vice President for the AARP Public Policy Institute. “Long-term services and supports are critical not only to the population they serve, but also to the family caregivers who support them.”
The new report, “At the Crossroads: Providing Long-Term Services and Supports at a Time of High Demand and Fiscal Constraint” is available here:
We here at the Fairfax Elder Care Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. believe that with the rising costs and growing need for long-term care, Medicaid Asset Protection Planning is one of the best ways to provide for your future long-term care needs. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a free consultation. We can meet with you, assess your financial situation, and determine strategies for your long-term care plan.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nursing Home Use by Medicaid Seniors is Down

Many believe that an aging population means that there will be an explosive growth in the number of Medicaid beneficiaries in nursing homes. But, according to more than 35 years of research (see above), this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, statistical data shows that nursing home use by Medicaid-eligible seniors has fallen by nearly one-third, from 1.4 million in 1995 to just over 1 million in 2010.

Where are Medicaid seniors living, if not in nursing homes? Studies show that many families are opting for less-restrictive types of care, ranging from assisted living to supervised adult day care. In fact, senior Medicaid beneficiaries are increasingly using home and community-based services (HCBS) options, both private pay and Medicaid-funded.
In 2010, assisted living facilities had about 700,000 residents, and about one in five were receiving Medicaid. Below are some possible reasons why nursing home use by senior Medicaid beneficiaries has declined:
  • State Medicaid programs have been shifting care from nursing facilities to home and community-based settings;
  • Seniors’ enrollment in Medicaid is growing very slowly even though the overall older population is growing rapidly;
  • Nursing homes would rather provide rehabilitation services instead of long-term care because Medicaid pays an average of $125 a day for a long-term care resident, while Medicare pays $500 or $600-a-day for a short-stay patient.
According to Don Redfoot of AARP, “the trend away from Medicaid nursing home stays for seniors is a good one. It is good for seniors, good for the Medicaid program, and even good for many facilities whose real value-added may be in shorter-term rehabilitative care.” Redfoot states that “Older people continue to lag far behind their younger counterparts in their access to HCBS that can enhance independence and generally have lower per-person costs. Over half of Medicaid expenditures for aged beneficiaries (55 percent) still go toward paying for nursing home services, though that is down from 76 percent in 1975. Eliminating Medicaid’s institutional bias could turn the good news about Medicaid use in old age into great news — both for beneficiaries and for the country.” Read Mr. Redfoot’s article on the AARP blog and the recent Forbes article, “Nursing Home Use by Medicaid Seniors is Plunging”, for additional details.

Do you have a loved one who is in a nursing home or nearing the need for nursing home care? Or are you simply looking to plan ahead in the event nursing home care, or one of the other alternatives described in the article, is needed in the future? Nursing homes in Northern Virginia cost $12-$15,000 per month. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into a nursing home, while also helping ensure that you or your loved one get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Learn more at The Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost  consultation.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Long-Term Care Panel Faces a Tight Deadline

The Commission on Long-Term Care held its first meeting late last month on Capitol Hill. The panel is faced with a three-month deadline to produce a report that offers Congress recommendations on how to finance long-term care services, such as Medicare and Medicaid, for seniors and disabled Americans.

Congress established the panel as part of the Jan. 2 fiscal cliff deal. It took three months for congressional leaders and President Barack Obama to appoint the commission’s 15 members. The group is sharply divided politically with nine members appointed by Democrats and six by Republicans. Under the law, the panel’s recommendations are due to Congress six months after its members are appointed. But nearly three months passed before the commission finally convened.

At the initial meeting, statistical experts explained how the nation's growing population of seniors will become more dependent on long-term care services. Among them was Dr. Bruce Chernof, the commission’s chairman who also heads the SCAN Foundation, a research organization that focuses on elder care. According to Chernof, "We know that 70 percent of people over the age 65 will need some form of long-term services and support." The rising cost of those services threatens to deplete individuals' savings and add to the nation's budget problems because of the expenses borne by Medicare and Medicaid.

Anne Tumlinson, senior vice president of the research firm Avalere Health, estimated that total number of people getting long-term care will be 16.5 million in 2050, a 70 percent increase from today’s numbers.

Medicare, the health care program for the elderly and disabled, does not cover long-term care whatsoever. Medicaid is the federal-state program that covers more than 60 percent of the people living in nursing homes.

Using long-term care insurance to pay expenses is not an option for many Americans, as premiums rise and companies that can’t make a profit leave the market.“We have a very short time line,” said Chernof. “There are a lot of things we would have liked to do as a commission, but we will be done by the end of September.”

We here at the Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. believe that with the rising costs and growing need for long-term care, Medicaid Asset Protection Planning is one of the best ways to provide for your future long-term care needs. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a free consultation. We can meet with you, access your financial situation and determine strategies for your long-term care plan.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Common Natural Sweetener Mannitol May Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Nearly 1.5 million Americans live with Parkinson's disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. Fortunately, a new study indicates that the artificial sweetener mannitol, a common component of sugar-free gums and candies, may hold potential for treating PD.

Researchers took interest in mannitol because, when given as an injection, it can reach the brain and stop some proteins in the body from clumping together (clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein are a well-known sign of PD.) In support of this idea, feeding mannitol to fruit flies improved their PD-like symptoms, allowing the flies to regain their normal movements.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved an oral form of mannitol as a diuretic to help flush excess water out of the body, and a mannitol injection to prepare people for chemotherapy.  Much research still needs to be done before we understand the impact on people with PD, for example, what doses would be needed to be safe and if the drug would be effective. So, people with PD should not attempt to medicate themselves by eating large amounts of sugar-free candy or chewing gum.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills and speech.  In its advanced stages, sufferers could become disabled, with problems feeding themselves, talking and walking.

Are you or a loved one suffering from Parkinson’s Disease? At The Fairfax Elder Care Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and their loved ones.  We can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs.  We help protect your hard-earned assets while maintaining your comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring your eligibility for critical government benefits. Please call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Veterans Can Receive Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Benefits

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event such as a war, an assault, or a disaster. The effects of PTSD can be debilitating, with symptoms ranging from severe nightmares and flashbacks to insomnia and increasing social isolation.

Due to the severity of emotional problems that PTSD can cause, the Veteran's Administration (VA) enacted regulations that classify PTSD as an injury, enabling veterans to receive monetary benefits – but only in limited cases.
VA services are provided to all veterans who have completed active military service and those who were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.  A veteran must file a formal claim using forms provided by the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration.  Although many vets won't qualify for monetary compensation, they are eligible for PTSD support, provided by PTSD treatment programs nationwide that offer mental health assessments and testing, psychotherapy, family therapy, and group therapy.

Additionally, the VA offers Specialized Intensive PTSD Programs, which provide treatment in a "therapeutic community," many in a live-in residence. The VA has nearly 200 PTSD treatment programs. A referral is usually needed to access the specialty programs.
Are you or your spouse a veteran? A benefit that you may be eligible for is Veterans Aid and Attendance.  Nearly 182,000 veterans and their spouses take advantage of the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, but VA officials say that many more are eligible.

To be eligible, beneficiaries must be at least 65 years old (or totally disabled), veterans or married to veterans who served during wartime, and must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions..  Applicants must also be medically needy, meaning  they need help with at least one activity of daily living: eating, walking, dressing, bathing, using the toilet, or adjusting prosthetic devices. Residents of nursing homes are automatically medically needy; those in assisted living facilities are almost always medically needy; those who require home health care are also typically eligible.
Evan H. Farr is an Accredited Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, who understands both the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and the Medicaid program and the interaction between both benefit programs.  If you are a Veteran or the spouse of a Veteran meeting the above requirements, please meet with us.  We can work with you to evaluate whether you qualify for The Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and help you file the paperwork.  Veterans can take advantage of a special 15% discount at The Fairfax Veteran’s Planning Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.  Call us at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Is “National Sandwich Generation Month”-Juggling Aging Parents and Growing Children

July is National Sandwich Generation month, an observance honoring a generation of adults “sandwiched” between managing their aging parents’ growing medical and financial needs and raising a family of their own. Sandwich Generation Month is a month of awareness to commemorate and celebrate the dedication, patience and caring of adults who are part of the Sandwich Generation. It is officially registered within the National Special Events Registry as an annual national observation, occurring each July 1-31. 

According to the Pew Research Center, 47% of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). Also, one-in-seven middle-aged adults (15%) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child. This number is projected to grow, as people are having children later in life and living longer. In fact, US Census Bureau statistics indicate that the number of older Americans aged 65 or older will double by the year 2030, to over 70 million.

Despite the everyday struggles and exhaustion associated with caring for children under age 21 and aging parents, members of the Sandwich Generation have gracefully continued their care of those closest to them. In fact, at this time, adult children are the most common providers of informal care, and many adult children also provide financial help to their parents. For tips on caregiving and alleviating stress, read some of our recent blog posts including:

More Men are Becoming Caregivers for Loved Ones with Dementia, Only-Children: Caregiving without Siblings, Feeling Torn Between Caring for Your Children and Your Parents, and more (use the search function on the left and search for “caregiving.”)

What happens when your parents need more help than you can provide? Nursing homes in Northern Virginia cost $12,000 - $15,000 per month, which can be catastrophic for even wealthy families. By being proactive and planning for long term care in advance, you can help make sure your parents always receive the care they need without worry or financial struggle.  You’ll further avoid many costly legal headaches that adult children face when they are not prepared for their parent’s incapacity or ongoing care needs.  It’s never too early to get started. Learn more at The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Evan Farr Interview Appears in July 2013 Cat Fancy Magazine

Evan H. Farr, CELA was interviewed for the article “A Practical Guide to Pet Trusts” in the July 2013 issue of Cat Fancy magazine. Below is some information excerpted from our newsletter about Pet Trusts, to help you decide if a Pet Trust makes financial sense for you and your family.
Many of us who think of our pets as family members want to ensure that they are cared for after we become incapable of doing so. One way to fulfill this responsibility is to set up a pet trust, or a legally sanctioned arrangement that provides for the care and maintenance of your pet(s) in the event of their your disability or death.

Because pet trusts are enforceable by law, pet owners can have peace of mind knowing their pets will be cared for according to their instructions. The directions left in a trust can be very specific, and can even include your pet’s favorite brand of food, how many times you visit the veterinarian, and your pet’s walk/exercise schedule. A trust that goes into effect while the pet owner is still alive can provide instructions for the care of the animals in the event that the pet owner becomes gravely sick or injured. Since pet owners know the particular habits of their animals better than anyone else, they can describe the kind of care their pets should have and provide a list of the person(s) who would be willing to provide that care.

Unlike a Will, which has to wind through the nightmare of probate, a Pet Trust should be created along with your living trust and should be designed to take effect immediately upon your incapacity or death so that your beloved companion does not have to linger in a shelter while the courts cut through paperwork. Most pet owners opt to leave pets to family or a close friend. The main value of the pet trust is the fact it’s legally enforceable. If your designated caretaker does not live up to obligations, the courts can step in.

Since there are several states in which a pet trust is not valid, and other states where enforcement is discretionary, it is advisable to set up a trust with the help of a Certified Elder Law Attorney, such as Evan H. Farr, who specializes in estate planning. If you live in Virginia, the law (Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 55-544.08) states that “A trust may be created for the care of an animal or animals alive during the settlor’s lifetime.  The trust terminates upon the death of the animal, or upon the death of the last surviving animal covered by the trust.”

You can find out more at your complimentary consultation at The Fairfax Estate Planning Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.  You can then decide if the trust makes financial sense for you and your family. If so, we can work with you to include all of your pet’s needs and your wishes for your pet, and name a caretaker and a trust administrator for when the inevitable happens.

Please call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation. While you are in the office, be sure to visit with all of the animals who live here, including Saki and Alley (our Siamese cats), Big Red (our betta fish), Ernie and Jannette (our African Dwarf Frogs), Baxter (our adorable mutt) and Commander Bun Bun (our lop-eared love bunny) and be sure to read our “Critter Corner” column in our Friday “Ask the Expert” newsletter each week.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Men are Becoming Caregivers for Loved Ones with Dementia

Compared to just 15 years ago, twice as many men are assuming caregiver roles for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Men now make up 40% of caregivers in the United States, contrasting the 19% reported 15 years ago, according to data from studies by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

The increase of males in caregiver roles can also be attributed to the following factors:
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia are much more common in women over the age of 65 than in men of the same age;
  • changes in the economy, layoffs, and early retirements;
  • longer life expectancies and changing gender roles. (source: USA Today)
Men deal with being caregivers differently than women do. Research has found that women tend to deal with illnesses emotionally, whereas men tend to be more stoic. Caregiving can be both mentally and physically challenging for anyone assuming the role. The National Family Caregiver Support Program offers services for family members to help them better manage their caregiving responsibilities including counseling, training and respite care services. Groups like Men Who Care, a support group founded two years ago at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, have emerged to help men, in particular, cope with their new roles and share advice. Learn more about the programs and services that may be of assistance to you or your loved ones on the U.S. Administration on Aging website.
Caregiving can be rewarding, but it can also physically and emotionally demanding. The Fairfax Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr advises that if you are a caregiver, don’t let your own needs or health take a back seat.  Many caregivers are at the age when they are developing their own chronic issues. Be sure to take good care of the person you are caring for ­and yourself too!

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia? Persons with dementia and their families face special legal and financial needs. At The Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from dementia and their loved ones. We help protect your loved one’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits. Call us today at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Protecting Your Older Loved Ones from Falls

One in three older Americans falls every year, making falls the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people age 65 or better.

Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries and significant loss of independence. Those over age 75 who fall are more than four times more likely to be admitted to a skilled nursing facility. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. These are some steps developed by the National Council on Aging to help your older loved one reduce their risk of a fall:
  • Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe: If they’re concerned about falling, dizziness, or balance, suggest that they discuss it with their health care provider.
  • Discuss their current health conditions: Find out if your older loved ones are experiencing any problems with managing their own health, having trouble remembering to take medications, or having difficulty doing things they used to do easily. Remind them to take advantage of all the preventive benefits now offered under Medicare, such as the Annual Wellness visit.
  • Ask about their last eye checkup: If your older loved one wears glasses or contact lenses, make sure they have a current prescription and they’re using the glasses/contacts as advised by their eye doctor.
  • Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair. These are all signs that it might be time to see a physical therapist or it might be time for a cane or a walker.
  • Talk about their medications: If your older loved ones are having a hard time keeping track of their medicines or are experiencing side effects, encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctor and pharmacist.
  • Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home: There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer, including increasing lighting, making sure stair rails are secure and installing grab bars in the shower/tub. Read our recent blog post, entitled “Remodel or Relocate” for more details.
When taking these preventative measures isn’t enough, what would happen if a nursing home care is needed for your loved one? Nursing homes in Northern Virginia cost $12,000 - $15,000 per month. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting you from having to go broke to pay for nursing home care, while also helping ensure that you get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Learn more at The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nursing Home Survival Guide Hits #1 on Amazon Best Seller List

Evan H. Farr, CELA, Medicaid Asset Protection expert, hit #1 on best-seller list with “Nursing Home Survival Guide: Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Security,”  his second book to reach #1 in the past two weeks.
* Screenshot above is from 6/25/13 at 3:56 p.m. Complete title of the book was cut off so screenshot would fit in this post.
Certified Elder Law Attorney Evan H. Farr released his latest book, Nursing Home Survival Guide:  Helping You Protect Your Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care by Preserving Dignity, Quality of Life, and Financial Securityin April 2013. A week after his new release, How to Protect Your Assets From Probate PLUS Lawsuits PLUS Nursing Home Expenses with the Living Trust Plus™, reached #1, the “Nursing Home Survival Guide” book followed suit and surged atop the Amazon Best-Seller List, reaching #1 in the “Elder Law” category. The Nursing Home Survival Guide also reached the top five in the “Health and Medical Law” category.
In the Nursing Home Survival Guide, Mr. Farr provides invaluable information and guidance to families dealing with the possibility of nursing home care and struggling to make the best decisions for themselves or their loves ones.  Mr. Farr, a nationally-renowned Best-Selling author and frequent educator of attorneys across the U.S., uses his mastery of the subject to educate consumers about the ever-changing landscape of nursing home care in America and, most importantly, how to get the best care and how pay for that care without going broke.

Readers can get expert advice on diverse topics ranging from the basics -- how do you select the best facility, what does Medicare cover, how to get the best long-term care insurance -- to the advanced, such as Veterans Aid & Attendance Planning, Medicaid Asset Protection, Pre-Need Medicaid Planning, and Medicaid Crisis Planning.  Mr. Farr provides access to a valuable Nursing Home Evaluation Tool and insights using case studies featuring some of the most common Medicaid Asset Protection strategies and how they pertain to real-life situations.  Readers will also become educated about the rights of nursing home residents, estate and Incapacity Planning, how to find the best lawyer, and more.  

Buy the book on

To learn more about Evan Farr, creator of the Living Trust Plus™ Asset Protection Trust, and to learn how you can legally and ethically protect you or your client’s assets from nursing home expenses, visit the Living Trust Plus™ Web site at or the Farr Law Firm’s website at, or call Toll-Free 1-800-399-FARR.

To order a copy of the book, please click here.  



Renee Eder
Director of Public Relations
The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.