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Disability, special needs, and long-term care planning in Austin
Elder law in Austin encompasses many things. For instance, disability and special needs law are what protects your loved one if they become mentally or physically incapacitated and are no longer capable of making decisions for themselves. This can include a living will that clearly spells out what medical treatments your loved one wants (and doesn’t want) and how to set up a power of attorney that will hold up in court.
Long-term care also falls under the purview of elder care law. Long-term care can be defined as the services a senior uses to live safely when they are no longer capable of taking care of themselves. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are examples, but any special accommodations that allow your loved one to age in place are also included. The paperwork that goes into these services is also included, including fighting with insurance companies and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Facts and stats on elder care law in Austin
What are the chances elders in Austin will fall victim to scams?
Seniors may be more trusting than other populations, and scam artists are not above using that to their advantage. The FBI compiled data on the number of elderly scam victims in 2020 and determined that over 105,000 Americans lost a combined $1 billion, and that only 28% of such cases were even reported. Here is how many of those victims resided in Texas:
6,342 Elderly Fraud Victims in 2020
If you fear that your loved one could become the victim of fraud, you might want to look into guardianship or conservatorship. Essentially, you ask for a court to appoint a representative for your loved one who always has their best interests in mind. Alternatively, a lawyer for seniors in Austin could help you set up a power of attorney so that you could represent your loved one.
What are some signs of elder abuse that caregivers in Austin should look for?
Most of us are vaguely aware of what elder care abuse is but don't realize the myriad of forms it can take. The following checklist from the National Center on Elder Abuse details five of the most common forms of elder care abuse as well as what to look for if you suspect something:
- Physical Abuse
- bruises, wounds, cuts, fractures, sprains, or other signs of physical trauma
- recent falls
- signs of punishment such as evidence of physical restraint
- medication overdoses
- Psychological Abuse
- emotional distress or withdrawal
- lack of self-care
- lower self-esteem or feeling of despair and worthlessness
- dementia behaviors like biting, rocking, and sucking
- Sexual Abuse
- bruises and abrasions in the chest or genital region
- STDs, bleeding, and trauma in genital areas, genital infections
- increased anxiety or depression
- agitation, restlessness, and sleep disturbances
- Financial Abuse
- sudden changes in bank account or to a will or other financial documents
- disappearance of funds, possessions
- poor financial decisions
- unpaid bills and other financial distress
- anxiety and depression
- unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
- personal hygiene issues
- untreated bed sores
- untreated/unattended health issues
- malnutrition or dehydration
That is a lot of information to absorb, but it's good to have. If you think that there is even a sliver of a chance that your loved one may be the victim of one or more of these types of abuse, consult an Austin elder law specialist immediately. They will be able to advise you on the appropriate next steps.
Why should I help the senior in my life find an elder care attorney in Austin?
There are many reasons to find your loved one a top-notch lawyer. A certified Austin elder law professional can protect your loved one from frauds, scams, and elder care abuse. They can also help ensure that your loved one's final wishes are executed, including how their estate is distributed among their chosen heirs. Your loved one may also gain peace of mind from the knowledge that their passing will not place an undue burden on their loved ones, something that many seniors are very concerned about. If you aren't sure how to go about finding a qualified legal professional, we can help.
Elder care attorneys in Austin
We don't want to think of our loved ones having untreated sores in a nursing home or not getting enough to eat at home, but we can't just assume that it isn't happening either. Please use our free resources to ensure that somebody will stand up for your loved one.