“Best Kept Secret” Provides Free Care; Thousands Don’t Know They’re Entitled to Benefits. A Government Program That Saves Money and Works Better Than Anyone Expects… Is That Even Possible?

What can be done about long-term care? You want to stay in your home. You want to care for your spouse. Now, and for all the years to come. Surrounded by family and friends. Comfortable, familiar. But you cannot afford it. What if there was help? Help that did not touch your income. And you can preserve your life savings. What if your security and independence were guaranteed? Too good to be true? No, it’s PACE. The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. Most who qualify have no idea.

Too good to be true? No, It’s PACE!

Attorney David L. Carrier has supported PACE for over 20 years. “No matter what you’ve been told, take a good look at PACE. Let’s face it, care is expensive, and nobody wants to go to the nursing home anyway. PACE means you don’t have to!” “And PACE is simple: Are you 55 or older? Are you safe at home? Some medical or physical issues? PACE might be just the thing.” Carrier suggested. “It’s surprisingly easy to get what you’ve earned. Even if you’ve been told your finances are a problem, don’t hesitate. New approaches mean that thousands of more families can avoid nursing home poverty.”

PACE is a life saver. Spousal care overwhelms even the most devoted husbands, wives, and children. One study states that “caregivers between the ages of 66 and 96 have a 63% higher mortality rate than non-caregivers of the same age.”

Caregiver spouses sacrifice themselves to keep their loved one at home. And then the institution is inevitable. For single folks, sometimes, it’s their children who decide.

That’s why thousands of your friends and neighbors wind up in institutions. That’s why nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes are bursting at the seams. No husband wants his wife “institutionalized.” No wife wishes her husband in the care of strangers. And does anyone want to see years of hard-won savings evaporate overnight?

PACE provides doctors, specialists, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment, supplies, home modifications. In Kent County, a brand-new PACE Day Center has just opened. Expanded options are now available to PACE members.

You do not have to go it alone. You already paid for long-term care through your taxes.

As David Carrier has said, “You don’t have to go it alone! You have already paid for long term care through your taxes. You do not have to pay AGAIN. Free durable medical equipment. Free home alterations. No co-pays. Free transportation. Free physical and occupational therapy. And the list goes on.”

Unlike most government promises, PACE has been even better than anyone expected when it began 50 years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control says the number of people dying from Alzheimer’s Disease has jumped 54.5 percent since 1999. Data also show that an increasing number of those that died of the illness did so at home instead of in hospitals and other medical facilities. In 2014, 24.9 percent of Alzheimer’s patients died at home compared to 13.9 percent in 1999.

According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects an estimated 5.5 million adults in the U.S. and is expected to affect 13.8 million U. S. adults aged 65 years and older by 2050.

Read more at the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


This week The Law Offices of David L. Carrier announced its plan to donate $1,000.00 to Lisa Cober, a West Michigan woman who works to provide clothes and hygiene products to underprivileged children. Cober, a mother of three who was once homeless herself, understands the struggles of school-aged children faced with homelessness, and is working hard to end the cycle of poverty by providing these students with the basic needs necessary for their success. “I want to make sure these students are able to concentrate on school and not worry about being harassed by other students … how cold they are, how dirty they feel, or that they need something so minor such as socks, underwear, or soaps,” said Cober.

After hearing Cober speak at the Fox 17 Pay it Forward Gala, David Carrier decided to join her efforts. “It just fits with our values,” said Carrier, “We were so impressed by the impact that Cober has had on these families that we thought we could support her financially, as well as try to do the same thing in the Grand Rapids area.” To further Cober’s work, David reached out to Northview High School, and hopes to connect with several other area schools, to discuss starting a similar program. In order to get a jump on things, The Law Offices of David L. Carrier will be collecting personal hygiene products for children and teens at all upcoming workshops. David’s efforts to help Cober in her work are a part of a larger campaign to highlight small area nonprofits that do exceptional work in the West Michigan community.

Sadly, nursing home abuse is an everyday occurrence in Michigan. In some cases the abuse takes the form of neglect. But sometimes the abuse escalates to physical or even sexual assault.

Family members often suspect nursing home abuse but fail to report it, either because they do not know the proper procedures or they simply fear nobody will believe them. Without direct evidence, abuse allegations often lead to a “he said/she said” standoff. As a result, many family members decide it is not worth making trouble, lest the nursing home take it out on their already vulnerable relative.

What Are the Signs of Abuse?


Doing nothing and hoping the problem goes away is never a solution. There are steps you can take to help identify and stop nursing home abuse.

First, you should visit your relative frequently but not on a regular schedule. In other words, if you visit your grandmother every Wednesday at noon, nursing home staff will know to expect you and may cover up any evidence of neglect or abuse. But if you come on a different day each week–say Tuesday morning one week and Thursday afternoon the next–you are more likely to catch the abuse.

Second, ask plenty of questions about your relative’s care. Keep written notes of any questions and answers. Additionally, take note of the cleanliness and overall condition of the nursing home. Use your phone’s camera to take pictures if necessary.

Third, pay special attention to any suspicious or unexplained injuries. Bedsores are a common sign of neglect. Sudden weight loss may be a sign of dehydration or starvation. And if there are any unusual marks on your relative, it may indicate assault or battery.

Where Do I Report Abuse?

If you have any reason to suspect abuse or neglect, you should immediately inform the nursing home’s administrator or other designated official, such as the head nurse or patient advocate. And if you have any reason to believe there has been criminal abuse, such as sexual assault, you should contact the Michigan State Police or local law enforcement. Do not attempt to deal with criminal matters by yourself.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services also have oversight responsibility for nursing homes. The Attorney General maintains a special hotline (800-24-ABUSE) to report nursing homes.

Contact a Qualified Michigan Elder Law Attorney

You should also seek independent legal advice from a qualified Michigan elder law attorney who can help you take a proactive stance to address and stop any nursing home abuse before the situation deteriorates further. Contact the Law Offices of David L. Carrier, P.C., if you require immediate legal assistance.

Deciding where a loved one will reside after they are no longer able to care for themselves can be a difficult and emotional process. However, making plans for the future is often the best way to ensure an elderly relative will receive the best medical care and support possible. There are a variety of different types of assisted living facilities that can offer this care, including homes that accept insurance and those that do not. These decisions demand the greatest care and attention, so if you have questions or concerns about how to choose the best type of care facility for your loved one, it is critical to obtain the advice of an experienced elder law attorney who can help explain your options.

Types of Long-Term Care

Long-term care for the elderly is usually provided by one of the following:

  • A nurse or home care aide;
  • An unpaid caregiver;
  • Local adult day services; and
  • Residential care facilities.

Assisted Living Facilities

Often, the best course of action for many families is to reserve a space for a loved one in long-term assisted living facilities. These facilities can provide aid for seniors who do not need full-time care, but still require assistance with certain tasks, including:

  • Dressing;
  • Preparing meals;
  • Housekeeping;
  • Bathing;
  • Providing transportation to and from medical appointments; and
  • Administering medication.

In these types of assisted living facilities, residents are often permitted to live in their own room or apartment and can participate in social and recreational activities with other residents. Rent is usually paid on a monthly basis, with families paying additional fees for particular services. Most also provide licensed nursing services for those with more serious medical concerns.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide twenty-four hour nursing care for the elderly who require a high degree of medical care and assistance. Residents usually share a room and are served meals in a central dining area. Many such residences require private funding, although some accept Medicare and Medicaid.

Residential Care Homes

These are private homes that serve residents who live together, but also receive assistance and medical care from live-in caretakers. Residential care homes offer assisted living for seniors who desire a more community-based living arrangement, but who still require help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Residents can pay rent through private funds or Medicaid.

Independent Living Communities

Seniors with less serious or few medical conditions may be able to join an independent living community. In these living situations, elderly family members are able to live more independently in an apartment of their own, while still receiving assistance as needed.

Providing for an elderly family member is an extremely important responsibility, so if your elderly relative has recently been diagnosed with a medical condition or needs assistance on a daily basis, please contact The Law Offices of David L. Carrier, P.C. by calling 616-361-8400 and we will help you set-up a consultation with an experienced Michigan elder law attorney who can provide guidance.

As we age, we all need to accept the fact that we might need long-term care. You and your family must be prepared to handle the costs of long-term care. More than any other expense, long-term care costs drain the hard-earned life savings of many Michigan families. Did you know that the average cost of a nursing home in Michigan is now approaching $250 per day? Many facilities cost far more than that. The simple fact is that you can do virtually everything else right and you can still be sunk by long-term care costs. The good news is that you can protect yourself by contacting an experienced Grand Rapids Medicare planning lawyer who can help you prepare for long-term care issues.

The Cost of Long-term Care Sinks Many Michigan Families: What Can Be Done?

Self-paying for long-term care sinks far too many seniors in western Michigan. While Medicare pays for many of the much needed health costs of seniors, it falls far short when it comes to long-term care. Fortunately, Medicaid does offer some potential assistance. Many Michigan seniors assume that they will not qualify for Medicaid, and therefore, they never take advantage of this option. This means that they are stuck self-paying for care, as a result, they will quickly burn up their life-savings. Something needs to be set straight: as a Michigan senior, you have spent decades paying into the Medicaid system and you deserve your full and fair long-term care benefits. Do not simply assume that you will not qualify. If you are facing crushing long-term care costs, our team will help by:

  • Assessing your Medicaid eligibility: There are strict financial requirements for qualification, though many more seniors qualify than most people realize. Medicaid uses financial means tests that are extremely complicated. An attorney can help ensure that your assets are fairly calculated under these tests.
  • Setting up protection for your hard earned assets: It is also important that your estate, and assets, are properly structured. This must be done correctly, otherwise assets that are entitled to be protected may be exposed to long-term care bills.
  • Assisting you through the complex application process: As with many other government applications, the process for applying for Medicaid long-term care benefits can be confusing. A small mistake during the process could result in your application being denied or substantially delayed. As was mentioned previously, with nursing home costs averaging over $250 per day, a delayed application could quickly become financially devastating.

Ultimately, you need to ensure that you and your family are financially protected. If you have any questions about the cost of long-term care, or estate planning in general, please contact an experienced Grand Rapids elder lawyer for immediate legal assistance.

Contact Our Office Today

At The Law Offices Of David L. Carrier P.C., our team handles a wide variety of elder law and estate planning issues. This includes Medicaid crisis planning, probate, family trusts and much more. If you are in the Grand Rapids area and have estate planning concerns, we highly encourage you to join us at one of our upcoming LifePlan Workshops. Our friendly and experienced team will teach you what you need to know about estate planning. Please do not hesitate reserve your seat today.

We all hope to live long healthy lives, but this dream can be expensive, especially if you live in a nursing home in your old age. According to the National Center For Health Statistics, approximately 1.4 million Americans currently live in long-term care nursing homes across the country. In Michigan, the typical cost to rent a room in a nursing home that has two residents to a room and four to a bathroom is approximately $300 per day. But what is included in that price? The answer to this questions really varies from facility to facility, but often the price tag includes custodial care (meaning that the resident has help getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, and feeding), management of any medications that the resident needs, and all meals. Clearly the long-term care costs in Michigan will add up quickly and therefore it is a great idea to discuss your estate planning options with an experienced elder law attorney in order to ensure that you are in the best possible financial shape as you enter your golden years.

How Do Seniors Pay For Long-Term Care?

While the price tag associated with long-term care in Michigan can seem daunting, take comfort in the fact that there are several ways in which seniors pay for such care. The most commonly used options are briefly outlined below:

  • Long-Term Insurance: Long-term insurance is an insurance product that helps pay for long-term care such a living in a nursing home in your old age. However, make sure that you completely understand the terms of your policy as some long-term insurance policies do not pay the full daily cost of living in a nursing home and others contain maximum benefit amounts.
  • Self-Pay: Some seniors pay for their long-term care themselves by selling off their assets. However, we don’t generally recommend this path to our seniors as this strategy may eventually leave you without any money left at all.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a need-based government program that pays for long-term care for qualifying seniors. At our law firm we do everything in our power that is legally and morally permissible in order to qualify our clients for Medicaid so that they can retain as much of their savings as possible.

Do Most Nursing Homes Take Medicaid? What About Medicare?

First off, it is important to note that there is a difference between Medicare and Medicaid. While these terms are often confused, it is important to keep them straight as they are very different government programs and are intended to help different segments of the American population. Medicare is an assistance program for seniors who are 65 and older (some younger people who are disabled also qualify). On the other hand, Medicaid is a need-based public assistance program designed for qualifying people of all ages. Seniors may qualify for one or both of these programs.

Additionally, keep in mind that Medicare generally does not cover stays in long-term care facilities, however, qualifying seniors are able to get help paying for this expense from their state’s Medicaid program. But do most nursing homes take Medicaid? The simply answer is that while not all nursing homes accept Medicaid, the majority of them do. Check with the specific home that you are interested in moving into to see if they accept Medicaid.

How Estate Planning Can Help Avoid Nursing Home Poverty

Although Michigan’s Medicaid system is there for seniors who need help paying for long-term care in their old age, it is still vital to engage in estate planning as early as possible in order to help avoid nursing home poverty. The best advice that we can give you is to start planning now. Begin by ordering our free Life Plan Report and learn how to make sure that you are getting the benefits that you are entitled to under programs like Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.

Need Legal Advice?

If you are interested in proactively planning for your financial future contact the Law Offices of David L. Carrier and set up a time to attend a free Life Plan workshop. David Carrier has years of estate planning experience and would be happy to assist you personally.

Do you have a loved one in a nursing facility who would like to return home?

The Nursing Facility Transition (NFT) helps those currently living in a nursing home move into a house, apartment, or assisted living and helps put necessary services in place.

Individuals work with a Transition Specialist who will explain the process and conduct an assessment to determine what services would be needed in order to transition out of the nursing home. They will then work together to develop a plan centered around the individual’s needs and choices (if desired, family and friends may also be included in the process).

Each situation and plan of care is individualized but examples of services provide include bathing, dressing, home delivered meals, assistance with medication and housekeeping.


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  • Residing in a nursing facility
  • Currently on, or eligible for, Medicaid
  • Desire to return to the community (house, apartment or assisted living)
  • Has barriers to living independently such as needing in-home care and/or housing