Getting Started: Housing

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bluehouse Getting Started: HousingNancy Nall Reporting 

We can take the best possible care of ourselves, but no one lives forever, and we need to be prepared for the inevitable declines of age, as well as informed on what benefits senior citizens can claim. Everyone should have a designated medical decision-maker, also called a durable power of attorney for health care, a trusted friend or family member who knows and respects your wishes and beliefs about your care, and can communicate them to your doctors. A living will can be very helpful, and takes the burden off family members in case of an emergency when you can’t speak for yourself.

And everyone needs to know the laws about Medicaid, the federally funded support system many older adults rely upon for health care. Several important changes are coming to Michigan’s Medicaid system in 2007, which clients and their families need to be aware of.

The Center for Elder Law reports changes in the so-called “lookback period” for asset transfers (from three to five years), as well as a cap on the value of an exempt homestead, among others. These changes can affect your long-term health-care plans, and need to be noted by all who anticipate applying for Medicaid assistance in the future.

For more information on all these issues, as well as others, try www.thecenterforelderlaw.com, www.elderslaw.org or www.longtermcare.gov .

Don’t forget other needs, as well. More active adults may want to live near a public-transportation stop, if they’ve reduced their driving or sold their cars. Elder housing should facilitate socializing for emotional support. Investigate some of the factors you need to consider as you make your decision.
 

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