Articles Tagged with brooklyn elder law


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines to help prevent and mitigate falls among senior citizens in 2012. The CDC program is called STEADI, an acronym coming from the full title Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries. Research shows that falls are the leading cause of injuries, death and emergency room visits for trauma. If a senior citizen falls it can literally be a traumatic, life altering event or even a deadly one. The silver lining is that many falls are preventable. Last year the Obama Administration announced that that the White House Conference on Aging, the Administration on Aging awarded $4 million in various grants to help expand STEADI. It is estimated that the increased funding will help reach an additional 18,000 at risk senior citizens. It is further hoped that the funding will increase participation in evidence based community programs and improve the overall programs long term viability. The CDC developed these guidelines in conjunction with British and American Geriatric Societies.

The American and British Geriatric Societies already had clinical practice guidelines in place to better define the various risk factors in falls by senior citizens. The CDC guidelines contain basic information about falls, methods to begin conversations with seniors, balance assessment tests, gait assessment tests along with instructional videos for the gait and balance tests and even case studies of the the fall risks for different senior citizens. The program and recommendations are all inclusive in that the STEADI program at the CDC website has a testing protocol for professional medical care providers, to information about webinars and other instructional videos, material for senior citizens themselves, important facts about falls, referral forms, posters for professional establishments, with posters also available in Spanish and Chinese and most importantly, it has a toolkit for medical professionals.


The New York Times ran an article on December 23, 2015 discussing the distance that the average American lives from their mother. As revealed in longitudinal study published in 2010, half of Americans live 18 miles or less from their their mother. As shown in the graph plotting these distances, the half of Americans who live less than 18 miles usually live extremely close. 40 percent live five miles or less. It seems as if the 40 percent and five mile mark is where the divergence occurs. 55 percent live less than 28, 60 percent live at least 47 miles or less, 65 percent live 80 miles or less and 70 percent live 129 miles. Depending on whether you live in the suburbs, the far suburbs, rural America or in the inner city with a reliable and timely public transportation system, these percentages and distances mean different things. 128 miles is not insurmountable and is actually a common commute if you live in Philadelphia and have to commute to Manhattan.

If you live in Southern New Jersey and have to battle the daily commute to Manhattan the same 128 miles is entirely different. Other factors also play out in your ability to see your parents as often as you want or need to. If you are a busy emergency room physician, working 24 hour shifts, you may not be able to see them anywhere near as often as need be or as you want. If your parents rely on you for basic assistance with medical issues or long term care decision making and you cannot dedicate the time to help them, you may want to consider a relatively under utilized service in the form of a geriatric care manager. In addition to assisting their clients and families make informed decisions, they are professionals who almost always work in the community and have a better working knowledge of different issues that may crop up with one provider or facility but not another.


If you are a parent, stepparent, grandparent or caretaker of a special needs child you need to prepare for the day when you are no longer able to physically and financially care for your special needs loved one. While it is not suggested that you stop caring for the special needs loved one today, there is no better time than to start your planning than now and to actually try it out, so as to cure any unanticipated issues now while you still have the mental, emotional and financial wherewithal. First on the list of priorities is to find a standby guardian who can step in and care for your loved one without complication, so as to insure a seamless transition. Better still is to have two caretakers who can assume responsibility for the day to day needs of your special needs loved one. This blog has discussed the wisdom and utility of a standby guardian.

While it is essential for you to discuss these plans with any standby guardian and alternate standby guardian, as any legal responsibility to assume guardianship requires the consent of the standby guardian, it is always best to discuss these decisions with your loved one. Many autistic children do not deal with change very well. As such, having the standby guardian come in to run the show and do what you do on a daily basis is best. The same applies for any alternate standby guardian. It would also be best to discreetly disclose your financial planning, income and expenses with the standby guardian as well as any alternate. Any monies coming in from public agencies or even benevolent societies as well as a review of key service providers would be necessary for the standby guardian to understand if you become incapacitated, disabled or otherwise unable to provide the same level of care that you currently provide for your special needs loved one.


There are currently 1,900 continuing care retirement communities throughout the country, with approximately one half of a million residents.   As you may already know, continuing care retirement communities are communities that offer seniors or older adults – depending on the community – independent living options with various medical and social care features.  There is a recent trend to offer senior housing options in association with universities, which usually give the residents cutting edge medical care.  The residents also benefit from being allowed to attend college lectures and have access to the universities exercise and recreational activities.  


At some point in your life you or a loved one may need full time care in a nursing home facility. As part of the process of being admitted into a nursing home you, on your own behalf or on behalf of a loved one, may have to sign a nursing home agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of your residency in the facility. This agreement, by whatever name it may be called, e.g., admission agreement, provider agreement, or nursing home contract, is a legally binding document that governs the relationship between you and the nursing home. For that reason it is important that you become familiar with the terms and conditions in the nursing home contract for your own benefit or to protect your loved one.

Understand Your Rights

Every nursing home resident has rights that nursing homes are required to honor.  These rights include, among others, access to quality medical care, the freedom from discrimination and third party payment guarantees, and a complete and understandable disclosure of the facility’s rules and regulations. You have the right to be an active participant in your care, and be informed of your treatment, and the operations of the facility in which you or a loved one are a resident. However, sometimes nursing home facilities either ignore the rights of the patients in their facility, or act in a negligent manner. To the extent you have a dispute with the facility, residents have the right to assert your grievances to the nursing home, and even government officials, without the fear of reprisal.

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