Planning For Both Immediate And Long-Term Needs Related to Disability and Aging
Whether you’re an individual living with disability, a senior who wants to age in place, or the caregiver of the aforementioned individuals, putting the proper immediate and longer-term plans in place can feel quite overwhelming. Our goal with this post is to provide some structure around, and resources related to, disability and aging-in-place planning to lighten the load of caregivers, as well as those needing to put plans in place for themselves.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS RELATED TO DISABILITY AND AGING IN PLACE
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Patient Lift Systems
Often, the most immediate need related to a new disability diagnosis – and even desires to age in place/age at home – is figuring out what DME, patient lifts, and other accessibility and safety equipment makes most sense for the individual in-question. For some, mobility is so limited that a patient lift that allows for safe, reliable transport from one room to another is what’s needed to allow for basic human daily needs like bathing and accessing the toilet. For others, installing grab bars, poles, and rails may be all that is needed to help a patient stand, sit, or feel safe when showering or getting into or out of bed. Others may want and need a staircase lift chair to access a particular floor of their home, and still others may need a wheelchair ramp to provide easy access in and out of their home.
We know that a new disability or desire to age in place can bring lots of money worries, including paying for DME or patient lifts. Visit these site pages and sections to learn more about various DME financing and DME funding options:
- Funding Sources
- Financing Options
- Funding Resources (in-depth articles and information about particular funding sources)
The team of disability & aging in place experts and durable medical specialists at Lift & Care Systems has been helping individuals living with disability in MA, CT, and RI enjoy the best quality of life and greater independence for almost 30 years. Our skilled team can install and teach you how to correctly use one or several of the following types of products that help both seniors and disabled individuals enjoy more freedom and a higher quality of life: ceiling lifts, body support & slings, staircase lift chairs, wheelchair ramps, bathroom safety for seniors, mobile lifts, pool lifts, vertical platform lifts, accessible showers, wall-to-wall patient lifts.
Reach out for a free consultation about how we can help you and your loved one related to accessibility and safety DME needs.
Home Health Aides, Companions, and Other Helpers
Depending on the nature and severity of your or your loved one’s disability or health situation, you may find you need to bring in a home health aide, companion, or someone who can help with household chores – like cooking and cleaning – pretty immediately. We’ve found that one of the best sources for identifying local “helpers” or “paid caregivers” are town and city elder care services/senior centers. Most maintain a list of individuals and organizations interested in and skilled at such work. If you don’t know how to identify or contact your city’s or town’s elder service organization, you can simply call your city or town hall. Or, the following state-wide organizations should be able to point you in the right direction for the type of disability or aging at home assistance you and your loved one need:
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
- Rhode Island Health and Human Services
- Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services
LONG-TERM NEEDS RELATED TO DISABILITY AND AGING IN PLACE
While your need for DME, lift systems, and helpers may be so immediate that you initially have to pay for the aforementioned with your own funds (until you have time to complete paperwork related to public benefits or other funding options), when you’ve completed the immediate tasks outlined above, you’ll definitely want and need to think about long-term disability and aging in place planning. You’ll likely want and need to engage both a financial planner and a lawyer with expertise in disability, elder law, and/or estate planning who can help ensure that you or your loved one can access any public benefits for which you qualify (such as social security disability, Medicaid, and Medicare), as well as protect your assets. Often a financial planner can introduce you to an appropriate lawyer and vice versa.
Special Needs Trusts For Those Living With Physical Or Developmental Disabilities
We were pleased to recently learn of another South-of-Boston organization who, like us, serves individuals living with disability and those aging in place in MA & RI (note that we also serve CT). The PLAN of MA and RI (The PLAN)’s mission is to offer effective, appropriate special needs estate planning and financial planning services. While this nonprofit works directly with individuals who need their services or the caregivers of those individuals, they also regularly work with the special needs professionals engaged by disabled or aging individuals or their caregivers – such as lawyers, CPAs, and financial planners. The PLAN offers pooled special needs trusts that protect benefits and offer service coordination by licensed social workers – trusts that can be funded by individuals for themselves (first-party trusts) or funded by others for an individual with special needs (third-party trusts).
Each U.S. state also has a “protection & advocacy” organization that ensures that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected. They can offer legal advice related to any possible discrimination/prejudice you or your loved one may feel you are experiencing related to disability:
Centralized Disability And Aging In Place Resource
We make every effort to provide information that individuals living with disabilities, individuals aging in place, and caregivers of the aforementioned individuals would find both helpful and timely – related to both short-term and long-term disability and aging in place needs. We hope you’ll return regularly to the to learn what’s new related to aging in place and disability equipment as well as funding and financing.