Helpful Web LinksSchedule Consultation
Helpful Web Links
The following links have a variety of information on issues, resources, and services for older adults. If you are a client of Keystone Elder Law the Elder Care Coordinator can assist you in using this information to develop a comprehensive plan of care for you.
www.adamscounty.us—Adams County Website
www.ccpa.net – Cumberland County Website
www.dauphincounty.org – Dauphin County Website
www.franklincountypa.gov— Franklin County Website
www.co.lancaster.pa.us – Lancaster County Website
www.perryco.org – Perry County Website
www.yorkcountypa.gov – York County Website
The above are websites for counties in South Central PA. Among the information on them will be information on their respective Aging offices.
www.aging.state.pa.us This site connects you to the PA Department of Aging. Under “Office of Long Term Living” there is an “A-Z Directory of Services.” They also have information on all of the different PACE programs, and under “Brochures” you can access and/or request a copy of a booklet entitled, Benefits & Rights for Older Pennsylvanians.
www.dhs.pa.gov This is the website for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. You can apply online for all the benefits they offer. Since DHS licenses personal care homes, you can get listings for all personal care homes in any county, and you can also see DHS’s inspection reports on those homes. Click on “Search for Provider/ Inspection Results,” then click on “Personal Care Homes Directory.”
www.health.state.pa.us This site connects you to the PA Department of Health. While there is a variety of information on health issues, one of the best features is being able to get listings of providers and the Department of Health inspection reports on these providers.
www.medicare.gov This is a great website for complete information about Medicare. They have wonderful tools to help people not only understand how all the Medicare programs work, but it can help you find out what specific insurance companies provide Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D (prescription coverage), and Medigap policies in your area.
www.nih.gov This is the website for the National Institutes of Health. If you click on “Health Information,” you will have a vast array of information available on almost any health topic.
https://eldercare.acl.gov This is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services. It not only has a variety of topics listed, but it can provide information on local resources.
www.learningcenter.pahomecare.org This website provides courses on how to provide care for older people. It is open to family caregivers as well as professional caregivers. It is a great resource to learn what care is needed and how to provide it.
www.caregiving.org This is the website for the National Alliance for Caregiving. If you are a caregiver for a spouse or other family member they have publications and links to sites which can provide valuable information.
www.pabar.org This is the PA Bar Association’s website. Click on “Law Related Public Education,” then click on “”Law Related Information for Consumers,” and finally click on “Legal Guide for Senior Citizens.” This is an almost 100 page document on legal information specifically for seniors.
www.lcplfa.org The Life Care Planning Law Firms Association pioneered the collaborative approach of legal and social services to elder care. It is the model upon which Keystone Elder Law was formed. Their website has a “Resources” tab for seniors and their families. The “Directory” tab lists member firms throughout the United States
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can be used to give another person the right to sell a car, home, or other property in the place of the maker of the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney might be used to allow another person to sign a contract for the maker of the Power of Attorney (the person who makes a power of attorney is called the “principal”). It can be used to give another person the authority to make health care decisions, do financial transactions, or sign legal documents that the principal cannot do for one reason or another. With few exceptions, Powers of Attorney can give others the right to do any legal acts that the makers of the Powers of Attorney could do them themselves. A General Power of Attorney gives the “power of attorney Agent” or simply “Agent” (the legal name of the person who is authorized to act for the principal) very broad powers to do almost every legal act that the principal can do. When Elder Law Attorneys draft general Powers of Attorney, they still list the types of things the Agent can do but these powers are very broad. People often do general Powers of Attorney to plan ahead for the day when they may not be able to take care of things themselves. By doing the General Power of Attorney, they designate someone who can do these things for them.
Normal Powers of Attorney terminate if and when the principal becomes incompetent. Yet many people do Powers of Attorney for the sole purpose of designating someone else to act for them if they cannot act for themselves. It is precisely when persons can no longer do for themselves that a Power of Attorney is most valuable. To remedy this inconsistency, the law created a Durable Power of Attorney that remains effective even if a person becomes incompetent. The only thing that distinguishes a Durable Power of Attorney from a regular Power of Attorney is special wording that states that the power survives the principal’s incapacity. Even a Durable Power of Attorney, however, may be terminated under certain circumstances if court proceedings are filed. Most Powers of Attorney done today are durable.
Yes. At the time the Power of Attorney is signed, the principal must be capable of understanding the document. Although a Power of Attorney is still valid if and when a person becomes incompetent, the principal must understand what he or she is signing at the moment of execution. That means a person can be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease or be otherwise incompetent sometimes but as long as they have a lucid moment and are competent at the moment they sign the Power of Attorney, it is valid even if they do not remember signing it at a later date. At the time it is signed, the principal must know what the Power of Attorney does, whom they are giving the Power of Attorney to, and what property may be affected by the Power of Attorney.
Any competent person eighteen years of age and older can serve as an agent. Certain financial institutions can also serve. There is no course of education that agent must complete or any test that Agent must pass. Because a Power of Attorney is such a potentially powerful document, agents should be chosen for reliability and trustworthiness. In the wrong hands, a Power of Attorney can be a license to steal. It can be a big responsibility to serve as an agent.
Medicare is health insurance and covers medical services such as physician appointments, therapy, blood tests, x rays, medical procedures and hospitalization. Medicare will sometime pay for rehabilitation in a long-term care facility for a period of 20 to 100 days, but not longer. In long-term care, Medicaid covers the cost of ongoing support services for daily functioning, such as room and board in a nursing home.
Medicaid is a federal program that is overseen by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In Pennsylvania, Medicaid is called Medical Assistance and is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
In Pennsylvania, Medicaid funds are not available to pay for assisted living or personal care.
For Medicaid to pay for care in a nursing home, an individual recipient must be determined to need a nursing home level of care by a physician and the local Office of Aging. An individual whose income is not greater than three times the poverty level may keep up to $8,000 of total resources, but may otherwise keep only $2,400. The cash value of life insurance counts as a resource, but one car and a residential home does not count as a resource.