Legal Feed

Ideally, family members see one another often enough that they can become comfortable discussing issues that come up naturally as parents grow older. When this is the case, adult children are likely to hear when close friends of their parents have moved to assisted living, or have become ill. They may even hear stories where their parents’ friends didn’t assign powers of attorney for healthcare and their finances so that when one or both became very ill, their children are left trying to care for their parents with their hands legally tied. Read more →


...Many families are close, while others can be both physically and emotionally more distant. Still, there is a parent-child relationship that younger people rarely think deeply about. It just is. Then there’s that first time when it really registers with you that your parents are aging. Perhaps this awareness occurs after one of them has suffered an emotional or physical trauma.  Read more →


The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) was signed into law in 2011. Since that time, milestones have been identified to meet the plan’s biomedical research goals. But until recent years, the creation of similar milestones on patient care and caregiver support has lagged.  In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Association Workgroup published recommendations – including patient-care milestones – to augment the U.S. Government’s “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.” Read more →


In my view, everyone over the age of 18 ought to have appropriate health care and financial documents that will assign a trusted person to speak for them should they, for whatever reason, be unable to speak for themselves. But most people wait until they’re well into middle age before taking care of this important legal work. Read more →


An ongoing concern for many older adults, as well as their adult children, is whether they really need to pay for the services of an attorney when planning for their finances and health care in old age. This is a valid question, and people of modest means often feel that they can’t afford an attorney. However, the reality is that many elder care problems faced by families can be avoided by consulting an attorney before their loved one needs any form of care. Read more →


Dear Carol: My mom has had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for 30 years and is nearing the end of her life. She lives in a nursing home and I visit daily. Mom’s been struggling to swallow and has been sick with a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes she's even thought that my dad, who died two years ago, is with her. She was eating and drinking little and was anxious. Two days ago, the staff told me that this could be the beginning of the end, and the time for comfort care may be coming, but they wanted to try a different antibiotic, a sedative to calm her, and a small amount of morphine for pain before making that decision. I agreed. It’s only been a day since she started the new drugs, but Mom now seems brighter and more positive. She’s eaten some soft food and she’s urinating some. I don't know what to think. Is this a pre-death rally or is she responding to the medications and actually getting better? She refuses to return to the hospital or having a feeding tube, which is consistent with her lifelong wishes. Any help or advice would be appreciated. CL Read more →