Senior Resources: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

1) Do I need to be a Senior to volunteer at the Senior Center?

2) What is the difference between Home Care and Home Health?

3) What is a Reverse Mortgage and do I qualify?

4) Why is a Will so important?

5) What is a Living Will?

6) What is the difference between an Advance Directive and a

POLST Form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)?

7) Why should I have a Durable Power of Attorney?

8) How do I pay for Care?

9) How do I get Mom/Dad to stop driving?

1)  Do I need to be a Senior to volunteer at the Senior Center?

We welcome younger volunteers with parental consent/supervision. Please consult with the volunteer coordinator to determine the best fit for your needs and availability.
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2)  What is the difference between Home Care and Home Health?

There are two basic types of care in the home: home health and home care. The biggest difference between the two is that home health care is a higher level of care that is deemed medically necessary by a physician.

 

Home Health:

Doctor prescribed including skilled care (care provided by nurses or aides) and specialized caregiving in such areas as rehabilitation.  Home health care nurses can administer medication, aid with activities of daily living (ADL's such as bathing, transferring, dressing, feeding, etc.).

 

Home Care:

Sometimes referred to as in-home care, caregivers can provide reminders to clients to take medication, aid with activities of daily living (ADL), light housekeeping, transportation to appointments, etc.

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3)  What is a Reverse Mortgage and do I qualify?

A reverse mortgage is a loan that enables older homeowners to convert part of the equity in their homes into tax-free income without having to sell the home, give up title, or take on a new monthly mortgage payment. The reverse mortgage is an excellent financial planning tool that is used by homeowners from all walks of life to enhance their retirement years. While some have needed a reverse mortgage more than others, the growing popularity of this product is evidence of its benefit in a wide array of financial circumstances.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 years old. In the case of a couple or co-owners, both must be 62 if their names appear on the title to the

home. They must have sufficient equity in their home and the home must be their primary residence.  There are no credit-score or income requirements.

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4) Why is a Will so important?

Your Will is the main document setting out all of your wishes after you die.  A Will specifies who administers your estate, who will act as a trustee of any trust that is part of your Will, who will raise any minor children and state who gets what property and how they will receive that property.  For instance, you may want to keep things very simple and leave all your assets to your spouse outright.  If you have minor children, however, you may want to make sure they get their inheritance in a trust so it’s not spent all at once.  For those people who have a taxable estate, they may want to leave their assets to their spouse in trust and not outright as a means of reducing or eliminating estate tax.  And, for those individuals planning for a spouse’s or child’s disability, your Will can create a trust that enhances the beneficiary’s quality of life while allowing him or her to qualify for various forms of assistance.  So if you have specific needs, you will want a comprehensive Will tailored to your specific situation.

 

For more information please visit:

http://jmhugglegal.com/

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5)  What is a Living Will?

A Living Will, also known as a Health Care Directive or Directive to Physicians, is a written document where you state your medical wishes to doctors, hospitals, family, friends, etc.  Washington State has a prescribed form Living Will, however, you are entitled to add more detail and guidance to the form.  At its core, the document states you do not want any extraordinary medical procedures performed in the event you are in a permanent unconscious condition or a terminal condition.  The form also allows you to elect to receive food and water intravenously or to decline to receive food and water.  Additional provisions may include a period of time to remain in an unconscious state before terminating life support or the number or type of doctors to be involved in determining your medical prognosis. 

 

For more information please visit:

http://jmhugglegal.com/

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6)  What is the difference between an Advance Directive and a POLST form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)?

The POLST form is different from an advance directive. An advance directive states the patient’s wishes and appoints a healthcare representative to make decisions if the patient is unable to do so. This is important information for family members to know. But an advance directive does not have the kind of authority in the healthcare system that a POLST does. The POLST is an actual order from a physician, like a prescription. It gives specific directions to medical personnel and is strictly followed. It can be filled out by a nurse or social worker, but it must be signed by a physician or nurse practitioner in order to be activated.

All patients should have both an advance directive and a POLST. If a patient is no longer able to speak for himself or herself but has an advance directive and a healthcare representative, the physician who is preparing the POLST form should consult the healthcare representative. The advance directive and the healthcare representative will provide information about the patient’s preferences that will be helpful when completing the POLST.

The POLST form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) is designed for individuals with serious or life-threatening illness. It was developed to ensure that a patient’s wishes for care would be honored by all medical personnel in the event that the patient is unable to speak for him/herself. It can be used to guide daily care decisions such as the use of CPR or tube feeding. It also states that measures to ease pain are always provided regardless of any other care decisions.

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7) Why should I have a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney is the best way to ensure your affairs are managed if you become incapacitated or disabled.  Generally, this type of power of attorney will become effective only when you are incapacitated.  The person appointed to act for you may, consistent with the document and your best interests, pay your bills, invest your assets, file tax returns, and sign contracts, among other things.  You should also include provisions for health care decisions.  If you do not have a power of attorney, a guardianship proceeding may be necessary to appoint someone to manage your affairs.  These proceedings can be long and costly.  A well drafted power of attorney is definitely worthwhile.

 

For more information please visit:   

http://jmhugglegal.com/

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8) How do I pay for Care?

Depends on what kind of care is needed.  Medicare pays for short term skilled care in the home (requires a physician order) and is only related to medical services, it does not pay for custodial (personal care).  If caregiving services are needed, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, or housekeeping – there are agencies to hire on an hourly basis. There also is a program offered through the state (Medicaid) called COPES that will pay for in home services, provided that clients meet both the personal care requirements and income and resource guidelines. 

 

For Assisted living, nursing homes, adult family homes – options are to pay privately or again through state funding.  Medicare only pays for nursing home (rehabilitation) care after a 3 day hospital stay if client requires additional medical rehabilitation/skilled services.   Please call Evergreen Info and Assistance at 425-899-3200 for specific information related to your situation.

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9) How do I get Mom/Dad to stop driving?

Be frank and honest in your concerns of her driving abilities.  Enlist support from her physician or other trusted and respected person in her life. You can request a driver re-examination form to submit to the Department of Licensing.  Paper copyies are available through the Evergreen Information and Assistance – 425.899.3200 or online at www.dol.wa.gov

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