Jelly Treats for People with Dementia

Lewis Hornby invented Jelly Drops, a hydrating treat for people with dementia, after his grandmother was hospitalized for dehydration.

Dehydration is a serious problem for people with dementia as they often forget or don't want to drink, and Lewis hopes his invention, which is 90% water, can help.

Lewis has won several awards for his creation, including the Helen Hamlyn Design Award, the Snowdon Award for Disability and the DESIRE Award for Social Impact.

To view the story and video on BBC News, click >>HERE<<

Breaking News on VA Rule Changes

The Veterans Administration has announced rule changes that will impact many, including a three-year look-back window.

Department of Veterans Affairs Rule AO73

On January 23, 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs proposed Rule AO73, regarding net worth, asset transfers, and income exclusions for needs-based benefits. The final wording of this rule has been posted and will take effect on October 18, 2018.

Regulations.gov offers the following summary of the new rule:
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulations governing veterans' eligibility for VA pensions and other needs-based benefit programs. The amended regulations establish new requirements for evaluating net worth and asset transfers for pensions and identify which medical expenses may be deducted from countable income for VA's needs-based benefit programs. The amendments help to ensure the integrity of VA's needs-based benefit programs and the consistent adjudication (decision-making or judgment) of pension and parents' dependency and indemnity compensation claims. Lastly, the amendments effectuate statutory changes for pension beneficiaries who receive Medicaid-covered nursing home care, a statutory income exclusion for disabled veterans, and longstanding statutory income exclusions for all VA needs-based benefits.

A key element of the new rule, Regulations.gov clarifies that the VA proposed to amend its adjudication regulations governing its needs-based pension benefit for wartime veterans and for surviving spouses and children of wartime veterans, as well as its adjudication regulations governing its older pension programs and parents' dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC).

The new rule included the adoption of several proposed specific provisions:

First, VA adopted proposed changes to the pension benefit program with respect to the amount of net worth a claimant could have to qualify for pension (for purposes of this supplementary information, references to a claimant include a beneficiary). It adopted a bright-line net worth limit and defined as the limit the dollar amount of the maximum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) for Medicaid purposes, at the time of publication of the final rule. It defined net worth for VA purposes as the sum of a claimant's assets and annual income.

Second, VA adopted a proposal to set forth the manner in which VA calculates a claimant's assets. It adopted a proposal to clarify VA's treatment of a claimant's residence for asset calculation purposes. It adopted a definition of “residential lot area” to mean the lot on which a residence sits that is similar in size to other residential lots in the vicinity, but not to exceed 2 acres (87,120 square feet), unless the additional acreage is not marketable.

Third, VA adopted a proposal to establish a 36-month “look-back” period and a penalty period not to exceed 10 years for those who transfer assets during this look-back period to qualify for pension. It established that a transfer for less than fair market value would include an asset transfer to, or purchase of, any financial instrument or investment that reduces net worth and would not be in the claimant's financial interest were it not for the claimant's attempt to qualify for pension.

Finally, VA adopted a proposal to define and identify medical expenses that VA may deduct from countable income for its needs-based benefits that utilize such deductions. It adopted definitions of “activities of daily living” (ADLs); “instrumental activities of daily living” (IADLs); “custodial care”; and “assisted living, adult day care, or similar facility.” It defined “custodial care” as regular assistance with two or more ADLs or supervision because an individual with a mental disorder is unsafe if left alone due to the mental disorder. The rule provides that, generally, medical expenses do not include either assistance with IADLs or meals and lodging in an independent living facility. The rule provides that an in-home care attendant's “hourly rate may not exceed the average hourly rate for home health aides published annually” in the Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs published by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

For full details of each of the aforementioned provisions, please use the following link to Regulations.gov:
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=VA-2015-VBA-0003-0871

For further information, one can contact Timothy Bailey, Acting Assistant Director, Pension and Fiduciary Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 21P1, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 632-8863. (This is not a toll-free number.)

Trusts, Privacy, and a Little Respect

People often ask us questions like “How much money in assets should I have to warrant doing a trust?” Our answer revolves around questions such as “What are your concerns?” and “What are you trying to accomplish?”  A significant reason that people choose to do trusts is that trusts are private.  Notice only goes to the beneficiaries about the trust once a person becomes a beneficiary.  With a will and any type of probate action, all of your natural family and heirs receive notice, and all of your estate information is public.  One might say that telling a disinherited child that they are disinherited in a million-dollar estate—and that there is an open probate to which they can object—is kind of like “poking a bear.” 

One of our favorite Pandora internet radio stations is the Aretha Franklin station.  We appreciate all that Ms. Franklin accomplished in the arenas of civil rights and women’s progress, but at her passing, she joined the estimated 70% or more of the U.S. population who have completed absolutely no estate planning.  The following article about Aretha Franklin addresses some of the potential problems that can occur in cases like these.

Click HERE to read the full article.

How to Make Flying With Disabilities Less Stressfull

 BY ANDREW W

If you’re nervous or anxious about flying with a physical disability, it may not be as bad as you think!

If you have one of the best airline credit cards, you’ll save money by booking award flights with miles and points.  And many of these cards also have perks like airport lounge access and priority boarding which can make your flying experience much less stressful and more accessible.

Having access to an airport lounge, for example, can provide you with a calmer atmosphere while you wait for your flight.  And priority boarding can help you board earlier and get settled into your seat before everyone else so you don’t feel rushed.  Miles and points can also make Business or First Class seats attainable for folks who need extra legroom, which comes in handy on a long flight!

Click HERE to read the full article.

102-year-old runner Ida Keeling setting race records

Ida Keeling, 102, still running despite have arthritis in her hands and knees. She is so inspiring!

 

Click >> HERE << to watch her video.

Financial Crimes Against the Elderly

Two-thirds of financial crimes against the elderly are perpetrated by family, friends or other trusted individuals, Wells Fargo survey finds.

Click >> HERE << to read the article.

The Barber Helping Men with Dementia

There are some people that are simply amazing. 

Click >>HERE<< to see how great Lenny is!!

Dr. Seuss Does Advance Directives

Dr. Seuss Does Advance Directives: A Tim Boon Poem | ZDoggMD.com

See video—->HERE<–

Barbara Bush

It seems Barbara Bush's death  has brought up some End-Of-Life debates.

Click —->HERE<—-To Find Out More About It.

2018 Top Scams

A little mid-week reading for you. The Senate Committee on Aging has released their 2018 Fraud Book, listing the top 10 elder scams of 2018.  Fighting Fraud: Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors  lists the top 10 scams of the year, based on reports to the hotline, which are…

 

Click—->HERE<—-To find out