Throughout the last several decades, the population of older Americans has steadily increased – and experts tell us that that growth will continue for the foreseeable future. The rise in the elderly demographic has caused a corresponding focus on the issues and challenges that they face. Likewise, caregivers for the elderly frequently encounter new problems.
As of the 2010 Census, the population of Prairie Village, Kansas had a population of approximately 21,447 residents with residents age 65 or older making up 17.9 percent of the population and almost 13 percent of households consisting of someone age 65 or older living alone.
If you are a senior, or the caretaker of someone over the age of 65, you will find that Prairie Village has numerous resources available to assist you with issues often faced by seniors and their caretakers. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Prairie Village, Kansas area.
By far, one of the most helpful resources for a resident of Prairie Village is the city’s official website. On the website you will find contact information for city government offices as well as a wealth of information for residents. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to emergency contact information such as the Prairie Village Police Department which serves the residents of Prairie Village. You may also need to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department if you live outside the city limits.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Most of us go to great lengths to remain in our own homes for as long as possible. As time goes by, however, you may reach at a point at which you realize that additional help is needed to care for yourself or for someone you love. Whether that means daily home health care, assisted living, or the type of care you can only receive from a nursing home, there are numerous options from which to choose in Cambridge and the surrounding area. A number of reliable resources are also available to help you find the care you need, including:
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services offers the “eldercare locator” website which also offers a searchable database.
- Caring.com which offers you the ability to search for all types of care, including home care, assisted living care, and skilled nursing facilities in and near Prairie Village.
- Nursing Home Compare found on the Medicare.gov. This is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- Kansas Care Planning Council where you will find a list of LTC providers along with a wealth of information for seniors and those who care for them.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest concerns when you, or a loved one, need LTC is the cost of that care. In 2018, the average yearly cost of LTC throughout the United States was close to $100,000. In the State of Kansas residents were fortunate to pay, on average, less than the national average at about $70,000 per year for LTC in 2018. Nevertheless, when you consider the fact that neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC, even the lower average cost doesn’t eliminate the need to plan ahead. Fortunately, Medicaid does cover LTC expenses; however, the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can make qualifying for benefits difficult, reinforcing the need to plan ahead. The estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday recommend incorporating a Medicaid planning component into your comprehensive estate plan now so you will be prepared to qualify for Medicaid if the need does arise in the future.
If you are a retiree, you already know that seniors today don’t consider their “Golden Years” to be a time to kick back and take it easy. On the contrary, today’s seniors often seek out new adventures while enjoying a very active social life. If you are looking for places to socialize, you might want to start with the Johnson County Recreation Department which offers a list of activities and resources for seniors. If you are a veteran, you may wish to visit the American Legion Post #327 located in Shawnee or the VFW Post 7397 in nearby Lenexa.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. An excellent example is the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Many seniors 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. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. 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. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. 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. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for KanCare (Kansas’s Medicaid program). You may also qualify for the Frail Elderly Waiver Program which offers an alternative to long-term care.
Although you (or your loved one) may be entitled to a wide variety of benefits, getting an application completed and approved can be a monumental task. Navigating the governmental red tape can be challenging under the best of circumstances. If you are attempting to apply on behalf of a family member or other loved one, it may be even more difficult if you do not yet have guardianship over the applicant. Worse still is the reality that a significant percentage of initial applications for benefits are denied, often for no other reason than the application itself was missing information and/or documentation. The elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday are available to help you through the process from understanding what benefits are available to you to making sure you are in a position to get approved for all the assistance available.
Getting Help from a Prairie Village, Kansas Elder Law Attorney
Our experienced, compassionate, and caring team of elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday 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.
If you need assistance with an elder law issue in Prairie Village, Kansas, contact the experienced elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100 (Oklahoma) or 913-385-9400 (Kansas) to schedule your appointment today.