Over the last several decades, the number of older Americans (age 65 and older) has increased at an unprecedented rate. Experts tell as that as the Baby Boomer generation continues to move into their retirement years, the older population will continue to swell for the foreseeable future. As of the 2010 Census there were 14,787 people living in West University Place with 9.8 percent of that population falling into the “65 and older” age bracket. In addition, 5.4 percent of all households had someone 65 or older living alone.
The dramatic growth in the older population has caused a corresponding interest in issues that affect seniors and those who care for them. The basic premise of the laws of supply and demand dictate that as the demand for senior resources increases, so should the supply. To take advantage of those resources, however, you must know how and where to find them. To help you, the elder law attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm have put together some elder law resources for West University Place, Texas area 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 West University Place, 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 West University Place Township website. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The West University Place Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office services residents who live in and around West University Place.
Nursing Home, Home Health Care, and Assisted Living Facilities
Although the average American can now expect to live almost twice as long as he or she would have just a century ago, our bodies cannot escape the effects of the natural aging process. For many seniors, this means more frequent doctor visits and an increase in injuries and illnesses that eventually lead to the need for home health care, assisted living alternatives, or skilled nursing care. If so, the following resources may be helpful to you in locating the right service or facility:
- 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.
Finding the right facility for your needs is only one consideration. The cost of that care is another. The cost of long-term care (LTC) in the United States has increased as the older population has increased, and shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come. In 2017, the average yearly cost of LTC in Texas was about $72,000. Because neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC, it is imperative that you plan ahead. While Medicaid does cover LTC expenses, the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can be problematic for many seniors in the absence of advanced planning which is why the estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. strongly recommend incorporating Medicaid planning into your comprehensive estate plan. By taking the time to plan ahead now you can protect your assets in the future and ensure that you will qualify for Medicaid if you need help covering the high cost of LTC.
Leisure Time for Seniors
Retirement no longer means and end to your social life. On the contrary, most seniors enjoy an active social life as long as they are able to do so. If you are looking for places to mingle, meet new friends, or find services that may help you within the community, try West University Place Senior Services page located on the city’s website. If you happen to be a veteran, there are a number of VFW and American Legion posts in the area.
State and Federal Assistance
Whether you are a senior yourself, or a caregiver, numerous state and federal assistance programs may be of interest to you, such as 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.
Navigating the rules, regulations, and application procedures for the various state and federal benefit programs can be a frustrating and sometimes futile undertaking. It can be made even more difficult if you are a caregiver applying for a family member or other loved one if you do not yet have the legal authority to act on his/her behalf. 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.
Our experienced, compassionate, and caring team of elder law attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. are dedicated to helping our senior population and the people who care for them with legal issues and concerns, including 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 funeral planning. For more information on any of the issues that impact seniors, please feel free to contact an experienced West University Place, Texas elder law attorney at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. by calling 281-759-3213 today.