The housing crisis and decline in the financial markets have had a dramatic impact on the lives of many seniors. The inability to sell their homes has stopped a significant number of the elderly from taking essential steps to provide for their long-term health care and general well-being. A typical scenario might be the inability to fulfill plans to sell a house, condo or co-op, and then use the proceeds to enter an assisted living community with services for older adults.
An article published earlier this year on MSN Money cited a study examining these incidents, along with other predicaments the elderly find themselves in increasingly nowadays.
One very calamitous scenario involves those whose limited resources force them to choose between paying for medical care or housing costs. Some are buying inexpensive medications, or reducing or discontinuing their prescriptions altogether, due to sudden and unanticipated changes in their financial condition.
The problem with decreased property and portfolio values is that the elderly individuals generally don’t have the time or ability to recoup their losses, as most younger people do. That makes the current economic crisis especially devastating for them. In fact, the article calls attention to the precipitous rise in seniors who must now move in with their children to survive financially, up 57% since 2000.
As sad as this is, there are solutions many seniors and their families are unaware of. Elder Law makes available a wide variety of special techniques that allow an individual to retain the benefit of his or her money, income and assets, while qualifying for full Medicaid coverage of health care needs. With effective planning, most seniors will never be in the heart-wrenching circumstance of having to go without medications or doctor visits, or being subject to other dangerous or demeaning situations.
New York State funds Medicaid programs generously, and Medicaid eligibility is a possibility even for most who think they can’t qualify for benefits. If you’re facing financial difficulties imposed by the recession, it’s a good idea to consult with an Elder Law attorney to get specific advice about your situation. An experienced lawyer can provide immediate and accurate answers, shortening the time frame for obtaining benefits.
There are a number of common situations most people find themselves in when it comes to eligibility for Medicaid benefits. You can read about the solution most applicable to your circumstance here.