Truth: Stranger Than Fiction?

Ladies and gentlemen, the stories you are about to read are true.

If we knew their names, we would have changed them to protect the innocent.

But we don’t, so we didn’t. We also did not edit the questions for spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Well, hardly at all.

Can I get a salary in addition to free room and board while caring for a parent who has dementia?

I live with my mother who has dementia. I care for her 9 pm until 9 am every day. I get free room and board and gas. No salary compensation
— Night Ranger

Dear Night:
Bad news: Paying a family member for care services is near impossible.
Good news: You may still get the homestead.

How To Get Paid Caring For Mom

Ray: I did it all. Not once did I ask “What’s in it for me?”
Shoeless Joe: What are you saying, Ray?
Ray: I’m saying “What’s in it for me?”
— Field of Dreams

Bad News Rules – No Pay For You

Getting paid for caring for your loved one without breaking the rules is complex, confusing, and convoluted. You might even think that the rules are unworkable on purpose.

Here’s what you need:
1. Legal contract. Written. Dated. Notarized.
2. Contract first. Services and Payment second.
3. No payment until services are performed.
4. No advance payment for future services or expenses.
5. Mom must live at home. Not in a “nursing facility, adult foster care home (licensed or unlicensed), institution for mental diseases, inpatient hospital, intermediate care facility.” Maybe your home.
6. Mom cannot “be eligible for home and community-based waiver, home health or home help.”
7. Mom’s doctor must prescribe the services in writing. With a care plan. And certify that without your help, mom would be going to a “residential care or nursing facility” pronto!
8. No pay for “companionship.”
9. Mom must sign the contract. Except #10.
10. Mom’s court-appointed guardian or conservator, or Patient Advocate or agent under mom’s power of attorney, may sign the contract. But the caregiver cannot be the representative.
11. Mom’s care plan must get Medicaid’s OK.
12. All these arrangements go under the Medicaid Microscope. Medicaid will “review[] the written instrument between the client and the provider which must show the type, frequency and duration of such services being provided to the client and the amount of consideration (money or property) being received by the provider, or in accordance with a service plan approved by [Medicaid].” Ouch!!

Good News Rules – House For You

Normally, mom cannot give you the house. (Unless you are blind or disabled.) without suffering severe penalties.

Here’s how it works:
1. Mom transfers the homestead to a child (you).
2. You lived in mom’s house for at least two (2) years.
3. Mom will now receive Medicaid long-term care services.
4. You provided care that would otherwise have required long-term care services.
5. Mom’s physician (M.D. or D.O.) documented #4.

So, if you are caring for mom at home, and living there too, you can’t get paid without penalty, but you can get the house. After 2 years of pretty intense care. While you are actually residing in mom’s house. Not next door. Or down the street. Change your driver’s license, etc.

Stranger Than Fiction Lesson
Mom Cannot Pay You $10 Per Hour, But Mom Can Give You A Million-Dollar House

Can a family member kick you out you are their soul [sole?] caregiver and their power of attorney but it’s their house and you pay rent

My mom got sick 3 years ago after my dad passed away I sold my house quit my job of 28 years and moved in with her and my grandmother and my son. It is her house we have been here for 3 years
— Unappreciated

Dear Unappreciated: As you now know, mom cannot pay you for services, even if she wanted to… As it is, you have no ability to require her to allow you to stay. If mom wants to evict you, she is within her rights. Mom can also revoke the power of attorney.

Three years ago, that was the time to figure out what you and your mom were willing to do for one another. That was the time to make a deal. Of course, you were not thinking of “making a deal” when you rode to the rescue. Which is why folks need to consult with an elder law attorney when making these sorts of life-changing decisions.

Yes, it seems cruel and harsh to suggest that you should “lawyer up” when you are just trying to help in a desperate situation. On the other hand, maybe a brief consultation would avoid the cruelty and harshness of being evicted by your own mom after you made such profound sacrifices for her.

Can a poa act as executor for a mentally incapacitated person named as executor?

I have a family member who claims to have poa for my mentally incapacitated parent. My parent was named as executor and that family member is claiming to be executor because of that alleged poa..

— Skeptical

Dear Skeptical: The short answer is No. Your parent’s agent is acting for your parent. Only. If you named a close friend to take care of your affairs, would you want a friend of your close friend to make your decisions? Of course not. It does not work that way.

It can be uncomfortable to challenge the family member’s claims. But you must. Do not let the “family member” get away with this sort of thing. Pushing the decision down the road will only make things worse. Much worse. Do not avoid the situation! Confrontation is tough. Be tough. Act now.

Life-Plan™ Salvation For The Middle-Class

The rich do not need me. Folks without savings, I cannot directly help. (Although a percentage of all gross revenue goes to charities.) That leaves you. Regular folks. The middle-class savers, workers, builders that I can help. You reject nursing home poverty. You choose the path of reasonable optimism, while guarding against the potential downsides. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst.

The LifePlan™ approach is the least expensive, most effective solution to the harsh reality of long-term care. Open your eyes to long-term care costs. Accept reality. Seventy percent (70%) of us aged 65 will need these services. Average: 3 years. Twenty percent (20%) of us will need services for more than 5 years. Says the federal government. Refuse to allow your lifesavings evaporate like a snowflake on a hot griddle. Recognize the reality of the caregiver spouse dying first, almost half the time and fix it. Reject nursing home poverty.

Not Chance, Your Choice
Uncover The Elephant!

There is nothing inevitable about nursing home poverty. Peace of mind and security are waiting for you. Right now. It is a choice. Despite what “everybody else” says. Despite their attempts to disguise the elephants in the room. For over thirty years, people have told me, “I’ve never heard of this before!” “If this is real, why doesn’t everyone do it?” “My lawyer / financial advisor / brother-in-law / accountant / tax person / banker/best friend / fill-in-the-blank never said anything like this…”

Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.

No Poverty. No Charity. No Waste.
It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.
Get Information Now.
(800) 317-2812

If The Shoe Fits…
Partisan Politics? Me?
Wear It!

Faithful Readers: Like most of you, I believe that cheerfulness, hard work, perseverance, loyalty, openness, and love of others are the path to success. We do not suffer smug, sanctimonious, divisive, destructive, pseudo-intellectuals gladly. Recently, I reacted to a new book that neatly encapsulates the sneering, unearned, assumed superiority of the incompetent chattering class. You may recall the piece: “They Do Not Hate You; They Despise You.”

Well. You and I are willing to “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” And most of you were warmly supportive, even enthusiastic. But there was one reaction, profane and obscene… that suggested I was indulging in “partisan politics.” How is that possible?

Is it true that support for the American middle class is a “partisan” issue? Not in my experience. I cannot believe it. I do not believe it. Honesty and integrity; respect for others; forthright conversation in the marketplace of ideas. Partisan? How? Is there a party in favor of censorship, suppression, and “holier-than-thou”, self-righteous preening?

We are committed to helping American working women and men avoid nursing home poverty and secure the best possible future for themselves and their families. We make the rules work for the folks who play by the rules. We do not appreciate deception, snobbery, or phony empathy. Simple as that.

If some folks decide to be on the other side, that is their personal choice, not ours. And we would welcome them back at any time. With open arms! But “partisan”? “politics”? Good grief. No. Not in a million years.

Avoid Probate – Save Taxes – Help The Kids

Traditional Estate Planning Means Nursing Home Poverty

Ever been on an airplane? You remember. Aluminum thing with wings. Like a city bus, but less comfortable. Sure, it was a long time ago. Before COVID. Distant memory. Return with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear…

Who could forget the flight attendant safety talk? Cabin dark and filled with smoke? Simply follow the blinking lights as you crawl on the floor! Water landing? Your seat cushion is a “floatation device.” “Sudden loss of cabin pressure”? Oxygen masks pop out from the ceiling. Good times.

We all remember what the flight attendant (do not call her a stewardess!) told us to do with those masks, right? You put your own mask on first. Not grandma’s. Not the kids’. You first! Gee, that sounds rather selfish. Lookin’ out for ole Number One, eh? So self-centered!

Why take care of you first? Pretty obvious, isn’t it?

If you are unconscious and turning blue, you are not much good to anyone. You are a problem. Not a solution. You must take care of yourself before you can care for others. Including those you love. Neglect yourself and you become a burden. A nuisance. Or worse.

Big Problem Is Not When You Are Dead

Traditional estate planning is all about what happens after you die. Focused on the kids or beneficiaries. Who gets your leftover stuff? Who pays the bills? Can we stay out of probate court? Please. How do we clean up the mess now that you have crossed over the Great Divide?

You are smart to think about these things. An inheritance can be a blessing. Thanks, Mom & Dad! Good, solid death planning makes sense. Sadly. All too often. An inheritance is a curse.

Why let the kids or beneficiaries wonder about what you wanted?

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Confusion, uncertainty, conflict. Families fight and fall apart. Certainty, clarity, confidence. Families bond closer than ever. As Matthew wrote (5:37): “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Good estate planning advice!

You should plan for your death. Nobody wants to, naturally But death planning is a good and generous thing… a considerate gift to the next generation. On the other hand, what if you neglect your death plan? What is the worst that can happen?

Well. One way or another, your survivors will figure out what to do with your earthly remains. Cremation or Casket? In a Mausoleum or on the Mantel? Bagpipers or the Chippendale Dancers? Fancy Funeral Lunch or McDonald’s Gift Cards? Big Production or No Publicity?

Your leftover stuff… someone will get it. Maybe take years. Bitter battles. Maybe go quickly. Everybody happy. Who knows?

Aretha Franklin had about 80 million dollars when she died recently. And a woefully inadequate estate plan. Her sons are still squabbling. But you know, she is safely in the ground. Taxes, government, lawyers… all got more than their fair share. But her sons did get millions.

Your kids will figure out what to do with your Precious Moments, Hummels, and workshop tools. Takes longer. More expensive. Family feud. But sooner or later those loose ends will get wrapped up and life will go on… And you won’t be there to see it. Thank goodness.

Trouble Comes When You Are Still Alive

LifePlanning™ is all about you. Now. While you are still among the living. How could your continued life be a problem? You are the one who fixes things. Does the hard stuff. Big Trouble?

Right now, you are caring for yourself. Maybe caring for your spouse, too. Or another family member. You worked. You saved. You planned for your retirement. You did all the good things and you have not been disappointed. Until…

Federal government says that if you are 65 years old, you have a 70% chance of needing skilled long-term care services. As you get older, the chance of needing services goes up. Anybody surprised? They say you will need those services for about 3 years, on average. But a big chunk of us will need services for more than 5 years. See for yourself:

By the way, this is why most folks die broke. Why don’t most families have to worry about inheritances? Nursing Home Poverty, that’s why. Most families are simply swamped by long-term care costs. Sell the cottage. Liquidate the savings. Cash in the CDs, mutual funds, IRAs, annuities. Quick, quick, quick. And it does not have to be that way.

America pays for long-term care through the Medicaid program. Simple as that. You have not saved enough to pay $30/hour for at-home care. How long can you pay $12,000/month for institutional skilled care? Or $10,000/month. Or $7500/month for assisted living memory care?

Sure, you can do it for a while. And then the savings are exhausted. So is your family. And then you get the “government solution:” Medicaid.

What if you plan ahead so that you get some payback on the tax dollars you have paid in? With every paycheck, every tax withholding, you have been paying in. And yet. If you were frugal, if you saved, if you paid your bills, if you honored your debts… you get nothing until you are flat, busted, broke.

What if you lived in debt? Always refinancing the house. Pulling every nickel of equity out to spend on whatever struck your fancy? You get credit card advertisements all the time. What if you took those cards and ran ‘em up? With no intention of ever paying? Do you know anyone doing such things? Of course you do. We all do. Maybe even in your own family.

The person who spends and spends and spends… without saving. Borrows and borrows and borrows… then defaults. Lives the high life. Always the new car or truck. Always on the razor’s edge. Well, our system rewards people like that. Long-term care for those folks is free. Right now. No problem. Right this way, your table’s waiting! But not for you…

For you… different story! You were foolish. Unwise. You worked and saved. You planned ahead. You said NO! to dependence. And when you or your loved one needs long-term care, now your security is sacrificed. You weren’t saving for your golden years, grandchildren’s tuition, that once-in-a-lifetime trip or cruise. Oh no. You were saving for long-term care. So that you could get the lowest level of care, go broke, and then get the government solution, Medicaid.

LifePlanning™ is not about getting any special deals. You will not game the system. You will not take unfair advantage. Let the grifters grift. That is not you.

LifePlanning™ is all about fundamental fairness. You don’t want a special deal, all you want is the same deal that guy is getting. Why does the system penalize people like you? Most folks just want a fair shake. But people like you get played for chumps. Sure you paid in. Just keep on paying. You thought maybe “they” were looking out for you? Nope. Look around. Smell the coffee.

What Can You Do?

LifePlanning™ keeps the American Dream alive. LifePlanning™ rejects Nursing Home Poverty. LifePlanning™ preserves your hard- earned dollars to serve your spouse, you, and the next generations. You earned it. You paid in. You did the right things.

And now they want you broke. Dispirited. Discredited. Dependent. Why do they want you a beggar? Because beggars are easier to please.

Must you go broke? Can you preserve what you have earned, protect what you value? Yes, you can. LifePlanning™ preserves your savings. LifePlanning™ does not create wealth, you did that. I know it wasn’t easy. LifePlanning™ makes the rules work for people who play by the rules. That is you.

Maybe thousands of LifePlanning™ Michigan families are wrong. Perhaps the thousands who have received long-term care benefits while preserving their life’s work are mistaken. It is possible that you just want to surrender. Give up. Wave the white flag. That is OK. Personal Choice.

Or maybe the hundreds of millions in homes, farms, and other assets protected by LifePlanning™ Michigan families will preserve and strengthen our middle-class values. For you. For the next generation.

Think about it? Not enough. Those who wish to tear down America are acting. So should you. Find out how. Ask questions. Get answers. LifePlanning™ Workshops are available on-line and in person. Don’t look back with regret. Face the future with hope and confidence.

Here’s how you start:

1. Call 1-800-317-2812.
2. Get the next LifePlanning™ Workshop.

Easy. See you there!

“Contemptible Idiots Who Are Kind Of Evil”

Clowns Are Leading The Parade While You Do The Work

Ever wonder what elite experts think about you? Probably not. You have a life to live. Bills to pay. Kids to raise. Grandchildren to spoil. You are busy. Lots of stuff going on. And yet. You cannot help noticing that things are not what they should be. Or used to be.

“Some Ideas Are So Stupid That Only Intellectuals Believe Them.”
—George Orwell

You expect politicians to be hypocrites. Tell you to do one thing, while they do the opposite. Wear masks! Except at my fundraiser/birthday party/hairdresser. No riots… stay between the velvet ropes! Unless you are firebombing federal courthouses, shooting commercial fireworks at police officers, or assaulting people in cars. By the way, shoplifting is A-OK! And rent is optional.

Everybody knows university professors are out of touch. Their job is to think Great Thoughts. Re-segregate campuses on racial lines. Tear down, cover up, or suppress politically incorrect art, speech, thought. In Madison, Wisconsin, they are removing a landmark boulder from campus, at great expense, because someone, about a hundred years ago, may have used a racial epithet in referring to that boulder. Harvard’s new chaplain is a loud and proud atheist (Let that sink in.). Insist that fairness requires women athletes to compete with “twig and berries” athletes who “identify” otherwise. Even at the Olympics.

Still, you expected more of military leaders, but… Abandon the guys who helped us fight for the last 20 years. Overnight. Slander our foreign allies who lost 70,000 dead. Abandon hundreds of billions of dollars in advanced weaponry, aircraft, ammunition, electronics, and military installations to folks who want to kill us. A/k/a bad guys. The same bad guys who also, by the way, want to subjugate the population. Again. And export terror. Again. Meanwhile, the British and the French (the French!!) rescue their civilians, while the 82nd Airborne is ordered to stand down and leave American citizens to their fate. Stupefying. (Unless you know any British or French soldiers.)

“If You Would Only Recognize That Life Is Hard, Things Would Be So Much Easier For You.”
—Louis D. Brandeis

You and I know that the world is a harsh place. Making the right decisions is a challenge. Follow through is tough. We make mistakes. Do things wrong. Take our lumps. Accept responsibility. Apologize. Fix it. And move on. Do better next time. Results. No excuses. Yes, it is difficult. But you do it anyway because that is what it takes. For you. But not for them.

Some folks rise high in academia, corporate culture, and government. Smart people who punched their tickets at Harvard, Yale, and other prestigious institutions. They did work hard to punch those tickets. Scrambling to the top of the heap is not easy, simple, or fair. And now they never make mistakes. They fell into the trap. They believe what is said about them. Surrounded by an impenetrable cocoon of adoring supporters, reality does not bite, it does not even bark.

Military fiasco? Fire the lieutenants, captains, majors. Give medals to the colonels and generals. Political disaster? No worries! If you are of the correct persuasion, it never happened. If they cannot cover it up, biased media will bend over backwards to make excuses. Educational calamity? Cannot read, write, do math, think? Eliminate honor roll. Close “elite” high schools. Erase standards.

Ever wonder how the people doing these things can live with themselves? Puzzling, isn’t it? You do not need me to tell you things are bad. Look out the window. Yes, your news sources are controlled. Directly and indirectly. Mostly by herd instinct. Wrong opinion? Get cancelled. No Tweets for You! No Facebook either. Too bad that some things are too big to cover up entirely. Afghanistan. COVID. January 6. Ongoing riots.

If you failed at your job as enormously as these folks, the “elite experts” fail, you would be on your knees praying for forgiveness. Which is why you never will fail so completely. You have the gift of humility. Humanity.

We all count on one another to grow the food, pump the oil, mine the coal, keep the electricity on, stock the shelves, build the houses, fix the cars, fill the teeth, engineer the bridges, pave the roads, replace the knees, administer the medicine, rehabilitate the sick, research the cures… We work hard, but who’s complaining? The people who are better than you. They are complaining. You annoy them. They must put up with you. They do not like it.

Arrogance and blindness. Human frailties. They go together and we all suffer from them. But when arrogance and blindness overwhelm common sense, practicality, and basic decency… well, sometimes you get a book! Like this one:

How To Talk To A Science Denier
Conversations With Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers And Others Who Deny Reason

Lee Mcintyre, Mit Press

Professor McIntyre has a distinguished resume. Harvard. Boston University. Wesleyan University. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) (of course!), Tufts. A genuine, certificated, credentialed smart person. Deep thinker. Author. Honored intellectual. Candid, too.

Unlike some other experts, he wants to talk to you. Show you the errors of your ways. In his book, he “shows that anyone can fight back against science deniers”. Courageous! The professor “use[s] his persuasive powers as a philosopher to convert” you. And he wants to teach like-minded others how to do the same. In his promotional material there is a good bit of blather about dealing with folks like us “calmly and respectfully.” A U of M professor who reviewed the work agrees. She thinks he is a champion of “listening respectfully, discussing science patiently, and fostering interpersonal trust.” Too bad she did not read the book.

Fortunately, our hero is not content with winking to his audience. He drops the mask in the book. You do not have to wonder what he thinks of you, he tells you:

“When speaking to a contemptible idiot who is kind of evil, don’t call them a contemptible idiot who is kind of evil! Many contemptible idiots find that language insulting.”

Wow. Way to “foster interpersonal trust”! Just lie to the rubes. They will never notice. Just be polite. Unless you just cannot stand being polite to contemptible idiots who are kind of evil.

“When speaking to them, we should remember that it is an insult to use the word ‘anti-vaxxer.’”

One reviewer then counted “109 uses of the term “anti-vaxx” in the book.” Interspersed with calls to civility are his true feelings. Your skepticism? Nothing more than “ridiculous conspiracy theories and partisan nonsense”. Thank you, professor!

Professor M did do some real field work. Went to an airport hotel. Spoke with Flat Earth Society members. At their convention. Well.

Out of 330 million Americans, he found the few needles in the haystack who think the world is flat. Or at least claim to think it’s flat. Hey, it’s a club. Perhaps a little common sense is in order. Don’t people join clubs for lots of reasons? I have heard of another club claiming direct descent from the stoneworkers who built the pyramids. George Washington was a member. Quick, get the fact-checkers!

But mostly, the good professor deceives himself, and his chosen audience, by describing absurdly extreme caricatures. He then beats up on those false images. COVID deniers. Anti-vaxxers. Global warming deniers. So much denial! Plus a GMO skeptic. Not sure how he fits in.

It is the sort of thing I remember from freshman year dormitory BS sessions at Notre Dame. Supreme confidence. Argumentative skill. Closed mind. Strawman Fallacy in Technicolor. Or Kodachrome.

You say, so what? Grifters gotta grift. Academic authors must flatter their audience. One more book catering to “intellectuals’” invulnerable, insufferable notions of themselves as the good and wise. What else is new?

But Professor M has done us a huge service. Without his candid revelations, you might wonder “Just how do they think about us?” The mystery is over. Case closed. The “Let’s talk” psychobabble is an amateurish smokescreen.

This is how the clowns got to lead the parade. We believed what they were saying. But they did not believe it themselves. We were conned. It was always a confidence game. They do not hate you. They do not respect you enough for that. They despise you, you contemptible idiot who is kind of evil.

Look around and see the consequences.

Never Complain And
Never Explain
—Benjamin Disraeli

The hour is late. There is no time to complain. Professor M would just write another book. But we are not helpless, and we are not hopeless. Have we faced worse than this? I do not know. What I do know is that it is up to us to make it right, one family, your family, at a time.

What does it have to do with Elder Law? Quite a bit.

The federal government says long-term care awaits 70% of Americans aged 65 or older. Three-year average length of care. And for 1-in-5, that three-year average goes to more than five years. Who pays for this care? You do. You did. Every paycheck. Every health insurance premium payment.

We, the middle class, bear the greatest burden of long-term care. Can you pay $12,000 per month without strain? Congratulations! I’d call you rich. Is paying $12,000 per month a joke because you don’t have two nickels? Don’t worry… we will pay for you.

Does a $12,000 per month bill make you sick to your stomach because it means losing the security of lifesavings? Don’t you wish you had a cottage or cabin to sell. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an extra car or truck to trade for a month of long-term care? But all you have are the CDs and life insurance you managed to scrape out of the grocery, heating, and car bills. And when it is all gone? Now you are broke. Your choices do not matter. You get what they feel like giving you.

Isn’t it obvious? Middle class families are targeted by long-term care costs. Savings evaporate. Grandparents helping grandchildren… Prohibited, Penalized.

Professor M has done you an enormous favor. Learn his lesson. You thought you were saving for your own retirement and then to offer a stepstool for the next generation. They have other ideas.

LifePlanning™ keeps the American Dream alive. LifePlanning™ rejects Nursing Home Poverty. LifePlanning™ preserves your hard-earned dollars to serve your spouse, you, and the next generations. You earned it. You paid in. You did the right things.

And now they want you broke. Dispirited. Discredited. Dependent. Why do they want you a beggar? Because beggars are easier to please.

Must you go broke? Can you preserve what you have earned, protect what you value? Yes, you can. LifePlanning™ preserves your savings. LifePlanning™ does not create wealth, you did that. I know it wasn’t easy. LifePlanning™ makes the rules work for people who play by the rules. That is you.

Maybe thousands of LifePlanning™ Michigan families are wrong. Perhaps the thousands who have received long-term care benefits while preserving their life’s work are mistaken. It is possible that just want to surrender. Give up. Wave the white flag. That is OK. Personal Choice.

Or maybe the hundreds of millions in homes, farms, and other assets protected by LifePlanning™ Michigan families will preserve and strengthen our middle-class values. For you. For the next generation.

Think about it? Not enough. Those who wish to tear down America are acting. So should you. Find out how. Ask questions. Get answers. LifePlan™ Workshops are available on-line and in person. Don’t look back with regret. Face the future with hope and confidence.

Here’s how you start:

1. Call 1-800-317-2812.
2. Get the next LifePlan™ Workshop.

Easy. See you there!

It begins. Maybe with your husband. Your wife. Could be Mom. Or Dad. Sister. Brother. Best friend. You, yourself. Little things. No big deal. But you wonder. It goes on. Stranger things. You notice. Routine changes. You adapt. You do more. It gets worse. You think. It becomes obvious to others. It becomes apparent to you. You must name it. Could it be Parkinson’s? Alzheimer’s? Lewy Body Dementia? Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)? Vascular Dementia?

Like most Americans, you know the devastation of dementia from family or friends. Many of us feel at a loss to provide help or comfort. Look for the following stages. Help your loved one and yourself.

Denial: This Is Not Happening!

Everyone at this age has some memory trouble. Strong as ever, except for the years. Absolutely nothing wrong! Anyone could have mislaid their keys, left the water running, put the laundry in the pantry. Those people do not know what they are talking about. Fit as a fiddle! Just shut up about it, will you…

Anger: How Could This Happen To Me? So Unfair!

This is the worst. How dare they say such things? About their very own father/mother! About me! All I/we have done for them! And this is our reward? Rotten ingrates. How could God let this happen?! Simply, blindly furious. Rage rage against the dying of the light.

Bargaining: Exercise, Prayer, Diet

Follow doctor’s orders. Eat more fish. Exercise more. Go to church every day. Be nicer. Pray. Pray more. Do everything you are supposed to do. Then do more. It will go away if we are/I am
worthy. Please. Only say the word and I shall be healed. Let’s make a deal!


No way out. Overwhelming grief. Powerless. So sad. Life comes to this? No solution. Cannot fix it. Blank wall. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


No, it is not getting better. This is it. Not what anyone wanted, expected, hoped. It is what it is. Terrible beauty in sacrifice. Praiseworthy endurance. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. No fault. No regrets. Satisfaction. Content.


So many folks get stuck on the first stage, Denial. Baffling behaviors, confusion in common place activities, mood swings. After a diagnosis, nothing is more common than for family and friends to realize that “this” had been going on for months, years. It becomes clear as all the explanations and excuses fall away. Why didn’t we act sooner?

Dementia is insidious and destructive. Nothing is easy. We must be on guard, but sensitive. Vigilant, but not insulting. Concerned, but not condescending. It is a difficult, narrow path to tread.

But we do it for love. Love of parent, spouse, sibling, friend. We do it for the best.

Ten Warning Signs Of Dementia

Here is some advice from the Alzheimer’s Association, people just like you. Ten Warning Signs:

If you notice any of these signs, take action

If you notice any of these signs, take action. Note your concerns so you can address them with a friend, family member or doctor.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
4. Confusion with time or place.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
8. Decreased or poor judgment.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
10. Changes in mood and personality.
Alzheimer’s Association ©2019 Alzheimer’s Association®. All rights reserved. Rev. Jun19TS-0066

No list is comprehensive. Nothing substitutes for professional evaluation and judgment. But, guided by your genuine care and concern, these ten signs point the way to early detection and effective care.

What’s Any Of This Got To Do With Elder Law?

Elder Law, I believe, is all about recognizing the reality. Dementia happens. You can ignore the possibility or prepare. You can let your lifesavings evaporate or use them to supplement available benefits. LifePlanning™ means we reject denial, overcome anger, give up on bargaining, sweep away depression. We accept life as it is, doing the best we can with what we have, never giving up, always looking for and committed to the good. Accepting life as it is. Accepting that our role is to always make it better. For ourselves, our loved ones, our families and friends. Planning that gets results.

Get Knowledge Now! Call (800) 317-2812.
There’s a LifePlan™ Workshop near you.

New Lessons To Learn

The Times They Are A-Changin’

It’s that time of year again. You have been here before. New school year beginning. First day of kindergarten. First grade. High school. Going off to college. New shoes, new clothes. Very familiar. Totally strange. Will your child or grandchild be heading to the classroom or to the bedroom? Kitchen table? Teaching with live instructors surrounded by friends and other students? Or alone through a computer screen?

Hasn’t the first day of school always been a challenge? Parents concerned about how their kids will do in new situations. Kids worried about friends, classes, sports, fitting in. And now COVID-19. Masks all day long. How is that going to work? You expect that getting the younger kids to wear masks would be tough. What about the teenagers? Especially when they discover that continuous masking irritates the skin. And that means? The most dreaded teenager plague of all: acne. Has anyone thought this through?

Normal things you don’t do anymore: baseball, weddings, cook-outs.

Hasn’t it been a strange summer? Normal things you don’t do anymore: baseball games, weddings, cook-outs. Weird things you now do all the time: wear a surgical mask, quarantine, obsessive handwashing. Fall football? Maybe in the spring, they say.

The Medicine that Dare Not Speak Its Name

The Henry Ford Health System studies a possible medicine to combat COVID-19. Henry Ford discovers good news. Henry Ford is not a bit player. They are big time. Henry Ford is a “major academic medical center with more than $100 million in annual research funding, [and] is involved in numerous COVID-19 trials with national and international partners.” www. Smart guys.

What did Henry Ford find? Only that use of this mystery drug cuts the COVID death rate in half. And it’s well-understood, generic, cheap, and widely available, with minimal side effects. Not unexpected for a drug that has been used worldwide by millions for over 75 years. Front page news? Medical Miracle? Game Changer? Nope. The wrong politician said it might be useful. So… political correctness hides the medicine that dare not speak its name. And lots of unnecessary deaths? Find out for yourself, it is easy. hydro-treatment-study

Strange times.

Founded on the Rock or Building on Sand?

Doctors finding remedies for deadly diseases are ignored. Are you okay with that? Rioters stop firefighters from fighting fires. Nodding in approval? Police officers are overrun with riots and looting. Feeling good? Courts and judges release accused criminals to commit more crime. Smiling yet?

Maybe we all need to go back to school. To relearn what we have always known.

Work hard. Save for a rainy day. Pay it forward. Lend a hand. Play by the rules. Help the unfortunate. Worship as you will. Keep an open mind. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Rules we have lived by. Ideas that built our nation. Your life of commitment to these simple but profound ideals has provided more prosperity for more people than at any other time in history. Living these bedrock truths is the strongest foundation for the future.

The simple fact is that America is getting older.

Middle Class Must Succeed

Who works harder than middle class folks? Who saves more? Who pays more taxes? Who volunteers more? When the going gets tough, who do they expect to help?

But if you’re like me, you’re not here to complain, but make things better. What should regular, middle class Americans, workers and retirees, do in times like these? Same thing as ever. Dig deeper. Try harder. And that starts at home. With you. Single or married. Kids or no kids.

The simple fact is that America is getting older: every day another 12,000 Baby Boomers turn 60, 65, 70. The “Greatest Generation” is in its 70s, 80s, and 90s. Poisonous rhetoric and slanted commentary about the “Me Generation” and the supposed self-centeredness of the Boomers are poisonously wrong. The truth is that 75% of Baby Boomers are right now caring for parents, have already done so, or expect to.

If your husband or wife is caring for you, almost half of the time your spouse will die first. And many more will die shortly after you do. Much sooner than expected. Skilled nursing home care, according to the State of Michigan, costs almost $9000 every month for the most basic care.

At this moment in history, America needs your example of middle-class success. Too many unfortunate young people have become disillusioned and hopeless, led astray by angry rhetoric and disinformation. LifePlanning™ embodies middle-class American values. We all win, one person, one family at a time.

Learning the Wrong Lesson

A terrible lesson has been accepted and taught by most planners and attorneys. Spend it down. Spend it all. You are not in control. You cannot choose. Your values are wrong. Nothing can be done. It is a counsel of despair.

But it does not have to be that way. The LifePlan™ approach keeps you in charge. Your life savings protected. Your life choices respected.

As with so many other things, though, the burden falls hardest on those who have worked and contributed the most.

Medicaid is the way America pays for long term care. As with so many other things, though, the burden falls hardest on those who have worked and contributed the most. No savings? No problem! Live life on a credit card? Medicaid is there for you. Work hard and save? Be frugal? Debt was dumb and savings were smart? Do the right things? Medicaid will not help until poverty. Until all your life’s efforts are wiped away.

But if you plan you can: Keep savings. Provide for loved ones. Receive at-home care. Participate in choosing a care facility if necessary. And still pay it forward.

You keep the cottage, the rental, the hunting land, your lifesavings.

Emergency Rules Mean Middle Class Safety

With COVID-19 expansion, you keep the cottage, the rental property, the hunting cabin, your lifesavings. And still get comprehensive, at-home care. You think it is too good to be true.

Dozens of other families thought so too. But they made the call. Folks just like you, except they picked up the phone. No co-pays, donut holes, or out of pocket expenses. Keep your income. Too good to be true! Not this time.

Elementary Education

1. Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly is PACE. You paid for PACE through your tax dollars. You stay at home through PACE goods and services. No nursing home or assisted living, until that is what you need.
2. COVID-19 puts extraordinary demand on long-term care facilities. Care at home does not.
3. Expansion of eligibility under COVID-19 means thousands more qualify.
4. Facts are free.
5. PACE means: Life Savings Protected. Life Choices Respected.
6. PACE is available now. No waiting list. Do you think that will be true next month? Into the fall and winter? Is there a better time to act?
7. PACE is not for everybody. But if it is for you and your loved one, it is a Godsend.

Core Curriculum

1. Over 55.
2. Medical Need. (We will help you determine).
3. Income Limits: If married, may adjust.
4. “Safe at home,” with assistance.

Many other families are already taking advantage of these new rules. Why not you? The call is free, the information is free, the results can be priceless.

CALL THE PACE HOTLINE 1-800-317-2812