For many disabled Americans living in their home, their main asset IS their home. Therefore, every legal and financial measure must be taken to protect the nest egg that allows them to live with freedom and independence. From daily money management to establishing a will, decisions should be made with care, including hiring trustworthy consultants. Seek out organizations that work specifically with people with disabilities; here are a few to get you started.
A Little Help provides in-home, professional, confidential personal everyday money management and household management services for seniors in the Twin Cities. They’ll balance your checkbook, pay your bills and monitor medical bills. Outside the Twin Cities, Elder Circle provides conservator/guardianship and health care directive services to Itasca County residents who are not able to manage their finances or personal care needs. The first step in managing finances is getting organized. The Daily Care-LogTM Complete Caregiving Diary is a calendar book that includes logging for caregiver scheduling, household management, medical team contact information, meal planning, medications, exercise, recreational activities and more.
These life management tasks could overwhelm any household, but are particularly vital to people who are a target for fraud and identity theft. That’s why it’s important to seek out legal services that not only protect your assets but also your name. Pre-Paid Legal offers legal service plans providing access to justice for individuals and families with a special emphasis on their Identity Theft ShieldSM, where you get regular monitoring of your credit report.
Once your home finances are in order, you can now seek out funding for additional allowable services that provide needed support to individuals. Medical Assistance (MA) is a state health care program for disabled and elderly Minnesotans who have limited income and assets. MA helps pay for health care costs not covered by Medicare or other payers. It pays for certain home health services such as assistance with personal care, medication setup and administration, other nursing services, and speech, physical, and occupational therapies. MA also helps pay for nursing home costs if you have limited income and assets. Establish a relationship with a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, who advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities, and similar adult-care facilities. For assistance with waiver services contact the MN Dept. of Human Services Disabilities Division or Opportunity Partners Consumer Directed Support Services. From understanding the requirements of state and country waiver programs to managing the programs and resources to connecting families with quality services, they understand the systems. They can provide the support coordination and can serve as the legally required Fiscal Intermediary/Employer of Record.
You’ll often find your best resources through word-of-mouth, so don’t be afraid to open up a discussion with trusted friends and family. Financial or legal discussions may seem uncomfortable, but with the influx of choices in medical care comes confusion, risk and paperwork.
A Little Help: www.alittlehelpinc.com
Pre-Paid Legal: www.prepaidlegal.com
MN Dept. of Human Services Disabilities Division: www.dhs.state.mn.us
Opportunity Partners Consumer Directed Support Services: www.opportunities.org
The Daily CareLogTM Caregiving Diary: www.osspublishing.com
Lisa Schmidtke is the President and Founder of House-calls Network. Their Web site, www.housecalls-network.com, contains a directory of resources that can help the growing population of seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers live independently. House-calls Network also sells aids for daily living and adaptive clothing.
Lisa Schmidtke can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 952-221-0722. Housecalls Network does not endorse any particular provider. They assume no responsibility for transactions between the readers of this article and listed organizations.