Due in large part to the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is now entering retirement, the population of older Americans has increased dramatically in the recent years. Moreover, experts expect that growth to continue in the decades to come. Because of the rapid growth in the elderly population, issues that impact the elderly, and the people who care for them, have become increasingly important. As of the 2010 Census, Sugar Land was home to 78,817 people comprising 26,709 households. Of those households, 5.3 percent were made up of someone over the age of 65 living alone and 10.4 percent of the entire population fell into the “65 and older” age bracket.
Whether you fall into the “over 65” demographic yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, there are a number of resources available to help you with the elder law issues you may face. To help you easily locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm have put together some Sugar Land, Texas elder law resources that you may find helpful. If you have specific questions or concerns about an elder law issue, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
As a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, it is always a good idea to have some of the more frequently used local government resources handy. Many of those can be found on the official website for the City of Sugar Land. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Sugar Land Police Department and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office service Sugar Land residents and those in the surrounding area.
Nursing Home, Home Health Care, and Assisted Living Facilities
The natural aging process typically results in physical and/or mental deterioration at some point. For some seniors the aging process is slow, allowing them to remain in their own homes for much longer than for those who suffer more serious symptoms of the aging process. Fortunately, however, seniors today have a wide variety of options when it comes to assistance with the effects of aging. Home health care services can often delay the need to move to a long-term care facility for months, even years. If the need for more extensive care does arise, however, you will find plenty of options in Sugar Land and the surrounding area. For help finding the right facility for your needs, try:
- Texas Health and Human Services website where you will find a list of all licensed nursing home facilities along with a variety of additional resources for seniors and caregivers.
- Care Planning Council of Texas which also offers a list of skilled nursing facilities as well as alternatives such as home care and assisted living facilities. You will also find a wealth of information and resources for issues that impact the elderly.
- Nursing Home Compare located on the Medicare.gov website is the government’s official Medicare website.
- com which offers a list of skilled nursing facilities along with reviews.
Long-term care (LTC) planning should be an integral part of your overall estate plan given the high cost involved in LTC. The average cost of a year in a LTC facility across the nation was over $80,000 in 2017; however, as a resident of Texas you can expect to pay a little less, on average, than the national average at $70,000. The estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. encourage you to explore your LTC options long before the need for care actually arises so you have some idea where you would prefer to live and what the cost of that care is likely to be. In addition, unless you can afford to pay out of pocket for LTC, you will need to incorporate Medicaid planning into your estate plan to ensure that your assets are protected if you need to qualify for Medicaid down the road.
Leisure Time for Seniors
Seniors are no longer expected to sit on the front porch watching the sun set each day. These days, most seniors enjoy an active social life well into their “Golden Years.” If you are looking for places to mingle or meet new friends in and around Sugar Land, Texas you will find plenty of options. A good place to start if you are searching for leisure time activities for the elderly is the T.E. Harman Senior Center, Sugar Land’s community center for older residents. If you happen to be a veteran, you will undoubtedly want to check out the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts in the area.
State and Federal Assistance
As an older Texan, there are a wide variety of state and federal assistance programs you may be interested in, starting with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). The DADS program is a crucial resource for older adults living in assisted living or nursing home facilities. As a senior, you may 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. Information about your Social Security retirement benefits can also be found on the website. 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. 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. In addition, if you need long-term care at some point, you may need to qualify for Texas Medicaid benefits to help cover the high cost of that care.
While many of these state and federal programs can provide much needed assistance, navigating the rules, regulations, and application procedures can be a frustrating and all too often futile endeavor. If you are a caregiver applying for a family member or other loved one and you do not yet have the legal authority to act on his/her behalf it can be even more difficult to procure assistance. At The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. we are committed to helping you obtain the benefits that you, or your loved one, deserves. Whether you simply need assistance understanding the numerous benefits available or are faced with the need to go through the entire guardianship process before you can even start applying for benefits, we are here to help.
If you are a senior, or the caregiver for someone who is a senior, in the Sugar Land, Texas area and you have questions or concerns about any elder law concerns, contact an experienced Texas elder law attorney at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. by calling 281-759-3213 to schedule your appointment today.