Did you know Older Americans Month was formally recognized starting in 1963? Every year during the month of May, the nation has been devoted to honoring and supporting the senior population. Older adults are an indispensable part of our shared society and the annual May designation formally recognizes their value. May is also National Elder Law Month, which is dedicated to promoting and providing legal support for a wide range of senior-related issues. However, without the aid of family caregivers, millions of seniors would be overlooked. Indeed, family caregivers are integral to year-round elder care.

In honor of Older Americans Month, National Elder Law Month and family caregivers across the country, we would like to share some much needed resources on our blog.

1. Resources for respite care. In terms of time, money and opportunity costs, especially if a senior loved one has a physical or mental health disability, caregiving can be a tremendous sacrifice. Many times caregivers are at risk of developing their own health problems due to exhaustion and unmet needs. By providing respite care caregivers can take breaks and care for themselves.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center — ARCH helps senior caregivers find appropriate respite care programs and services for their elder loved ones. Its National Respite Locator provides a state-by-state list of facilities that can help give family members a break.

National Adult Day Services Association — This is a professional organization that provides adult day care consumer resources, including an adult day care locator and counseling on choosing the right facility for a senior loved one.

Senior Corps — Senior Corps’ Senior Companions program provides respite care for by matching older volunteers with seniors who need help with daily tasks.

2. Resources for health care. Do you know all the options available to seniors today? Let us share this list with you.

Department of Veterans Affairs — The V.A. provides a vast array of support services for qualifying senior veterans and their families, including a paid family caregiver benefit. The program is called Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services. Elder law attorneys are strong advocates for senior veterans’ rights and often help secure V.A. benefits if they are denied.

Medicare — Medicare is a massive federal health program for people aged 65 and older. Senior caregivers might not realize that Medicare covers home health and skilled nursing services in many circumstances.

Medicaid — Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that provides health coverage for people with limited income and assets. Medicaid can also pay for long-term care in nursing homes.

SHIPs — State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, or SHIPs, provide free support to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.

In addition, during the month of May would be a great time to start legal planning for those you love. Make it a point to help your senior loved ones locate an experienced Florida elder law attorney. Your elder law attorney will assist with everything from advance directives to estate planning to long-term care proactive planning.

We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.