Did you know that every month of May since 1963, has been devoted to honoring and supporting the nation’s senior adults? Older adults are an essential part of our society and the annual May designation of Older Americans Month formally recognizes their value. May is also National Elder Law Month, which is dedicated to promoting and providing legal support for a wide range of senior-related issues. However, and most importantly, without the aid of family caregivers, millions of seniors would be alone and without care. Indeed, family caregivers are integral to year-round elder care.

We would like to honor Older Americans Month, National Elder Law Month and family caregivers across the country, by sharing a few much needed resources on our blog.

1. Resources for respite care. Caregiving can be so rewarding but it may be a tremendous sacrifice in terms of time, money and opportunity costs, especially if a senior loved one has a physical or mental health disability. Many times, caregivers are at risk of developing their own health problems due to exhaustion and unmet needs. Respite care allows caregivers to take breaks and care for themselves.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center — ARCH helps senior caregivers find appropriate respite care programs and services for their elder loved ones. Its National Respite Locator provides a state-by-state list of facilities that can help give family members a break.

National Adult Day Services Association — This is a professional organization that provides adult day care consumer resources, including an adult day care locator and counseling on choosing the right facility for a senior loved one.

Senior Corps — Senior Corps’ Senior Companions program provides respite care for by matching older volunteers with seniors who need help with daily tasks.

2. Resources for Health Care. Do you know all the options available to seniors today? Let us share this list with you.

Department of Veterans Affairs — The V.A. provides a vast array of support services for qualifying senior veterans and their families, including a paid family caregiver benefit. The program is called Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services. Elder law attorneys are potent advocates for senior veterans’ rights and often help secure V.A. benefits if they’re denied.

Medicare — Medicare is a massive federal health program for people aged 65 and older. Senior caregivers might not realize that Medicare covers home health and skilled nursing services in many circumstances.

Medicaid — Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that provides health coverage for people with limited income and assets. Medicaid can also pay for long-term care in nursing homes.

SHIPs — State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, or SHIPs, provide free support to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.

3. A qualified Florida Elder Law Attorney can provide legal planning. The month of May is a great time to start legal planning for those you love. We know you may have questions about what you or your aging loved ones need. From advance directives to estate planning to long-term care proactive planning, we are here to help.   At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.