Volume 8 Issue 4
Karla B. Levinson, Esq.
Tanya S. Sellers, Esq.
1326 King Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Did You Know?
Some animals posses the
ability to change color in the Winter. The arctic fox, arctic hare, Peary
caribou, ermine, and collared lemming all change turn white during the snowy season. While it’s commonly believed that the color change is for snow camouflage purposes, the real reason may actually be more related to white hair having better insulating properties. Keep this in mind next time you complain about going gray!
As many of you know, our passion is educating our community about important elder law issues. Here are just a few of the things we’ve been doing outside of the office this Fall. If you are ever interested in having one of us speak to your group or organization, please contact Candy at (302) 656-3393 x115 for details.
- Karla presented “The Top 10 Things Every Attorney Needs to Knox About Elder Law” to the small firms & solo practitioner section of the Delaware Bar Association.
- Candy exhibited at the Swank Dementia Conference at Rehoboth Country Club.
- Karla spoke to the Evergreen Adult Day support group.
- Karla presented to the social services team at Kentmere Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.
- Candy exhibited at the Spring Arbor Health Fair in Middletown.
- Karla gave an overview of Medicaid to the team at Westminster Village.
- Karla spoke to a group of volunteers about important elder law issues at Delaware Hospice.
- Karla served on a panel at Fieldstone Country Club for a group of Morgan Stanley’s Michael Odorisio’s clients.
- Karla discussed Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts with a group of clients over lunch at Capers & Lemons.
- Julia and Candy attended the Rothkoff Law Group Symposium for Elder Care Professionals in Pennsylvania.
- Karla presented information on the new VA regulations to a group of assisted living and home health care professionals.
- Tonya McBride celebrated her 12 year anniversary with the office.
- Julia Tieste celebrated her 8 year anniversary with the office.
- Karla was recognized as a “Top Elder Law Attorney” by Delaware Today Magazine for the third year in a row.
- The office was the official Santa Sponsor for Delaware Hospice’s Annual Festival of Trees at The Summit in Hockessin.
- Karla presented information on the new VA regulations to the care team at Bayada Home Health.
- Kate and Candy attended the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Dementia Conference at Dover Downs.
- Karla presented “The Top 10 Things Every Accountant Needs to Know About Elder Law to a group of accountants.
- Candy and Kate attended the New Castle County Marketing and Admissions Professionals meeting at Churchman Village.
- Karla spoke to a group of seniors at Rockland Place about VA Aid & Attendance.
- Karla spoke to the care team at Home Instead about elder law issues.
What If Tomorrow You Couldn’t Drive?
How would you cope if, suddenly, you lost your ability to drive, particularly if you live alone or have little access to friends or family? Educate yourself on alternatives before the need arises so that you don’t panic after. Consider your alternatives. Is travel medically necessary? Some medical trips may be covered by Medicare or Medicaid, workers compensation, or insurance. For travel/shopping investigate the following:
- Local agencies: Pay a “membership fee” for access to volunteer drivers. Typically you must schedule trips at least three business days ahead.
- Senior centers: Often offer transportation to shopping, the library, or entertainment events–but first you must get to the center.
- Churches or service clubs such as Rotary, Lions or Kiwanis may organize volunteer drivers.
- Colleges, and even some high schools, may have groups dedicated to helping older adults. However, hiring a young driver, even a grandchild, comes with risks you may not want to assume, notably driving experience.
- Private companies that offer travel assistance for a fee.
Before you schedule a trip, gather information. Find out:
- How long has the company been in business.
- Their reputation for reliability and courtesy.
- If they carry adequate insurance.
- How they screen and train drivers, including defensive driving, CPR, passenger assistance.
- How they screen and the qualifications of medical attendants.
- If vehicles are easily accessible and air conditioned.
State agencies handling transportation or services for older adults can provide information on bus schedules including fixed routes, off-route stops, special equipment such as steps or ramps, and smaller buses for people with disabilities that lock down wheelchairs for safety, all with drivers trained in assisting passengers.
DART’S public transportation is still the most cost-effective alternative for seniors and people with disabilities. Count on accessible vehicles, qualified, courteous drivers, and a fixed schedule with some flexibility to allow off-route stops. Robert Merritt, a frequent DART paratransit user, shares, “DART para-transit services provide me with a critical link to the outside world, access to necessary services like medical appointments, and an opportunity to participate in community activities that are fun, educational, and life-affirming…as if I were able to drive.”
DART offers reduced fares for people age 65 and over or who have a certified disability. The reduced fare on DART’s regular bus service is $0.80 vs. $2.00 regular fare and $4-5 for paratransit, depending on whether the trip is within ADA service area. Call DART at 1-800-652-3278.
Delaware’s Senior Citizen Affordable Taxi Service (SCAT) offers a 50% discount on taxi fares. Discount tickets can be purchased for $5 at DART Transportation stores. Call 1-800-652-3278, Opt. 2 for locations. You will need a DART SCAT photo ID, then just call to request a trip.
Don’t wait until you can’t drive–plan now and have one less worry about your future.
This article is courtesy of Myrle Gilpin Bowe. Mrs. Bowe is a Freelance Writer, Memoir Coach, and Speaker. Please visit her website at www.writerbowe.com.
Home for the Holidays
After the holidays, we typically receive a rash of calls from adult children who have found their family member to have aged a little more than expected since their last visit home. Some typical signs that a relative may need assistance are:
- Weight loss/poor personal hygiene
- Unusually cluttered, dirty, or messy home
- Unusually loud or quiet, paranoid, agitated behavior
- Self-imposed isolation
- Unusual purchases
- Signs of forgetfulness (i.e. unopened mail, unpaid bills, unfilled prescriptions, etc.)
If you notice physical and/or mental symptoms that indicate your loved one may need some extra help, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We would be happy to talk about keeping your family member safe and, in turn, giving you peace of mind.
This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice, consult a licensed attorney. The examples used are simplified for ease of understanding and illustration of general concepts.
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The Highest Compliment Is Your Trust!
We would like to thank YOU for continuing to refer our firm to others. It is because of you that we can assist so many with their elder law needs.
A warm thank you to:
Kevin Baird, Esq. – Baird Mandalas Brockstedt, LLC
George Brancati, Esq.
Wendie Brost – Delaware Hospice
Brad Bugher – Merrill Lynch
William Burk – Sparano Vincelette & Joiner
Rich Costello – Group Insurance and Investment Solutions
Donald L. Gouge, Jr., Esq. – Donald L. Gouge, Jr., LLC
David Rash – Wells Fargo Advisors
Susan Ricciardi – Regal Heights Healthcare
Joan Schneikart, Esq. – Delaware Department of Labor
Gina Shaffer, Esq. – Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover, LLC
Rick Sommer – Master, Sidlow & Associates, P.A.
In addition to our professional referral sources, we would also like to thank our wonderful clients for sending their friends and families our way. We are grateful for your referrals!