Wed, 23 April 2008
Two weeks ago New Jersey became the third state (California and Washington being the others) to pass into law a bill requiring companies to offer paid leave to employees. The benefit will operate in a similar fashion to state disability benefits in that all employees will contribute an additional amount from their paychecks to help pay for this benefit.
Employees who are caring for a newborn or a newly adopted child are eligible. In addition, however, employees caring for a sick family member can take the leave, which can be as much as 6 weeks. Companies are concerned about the impact the law will have on their businesses if key employees exercise this option.
The law highlights what has become increasingly obvious, that as our population ages more people are caring for elderly loved ones than ever before. 77 million baby boomers will be reaching senior status in the next 20 years. While the paid leave bill, attempts to, in some way, address the crisis, it is clearly not the best approach. Employees who must take time off from work are dealing at that point with a full blown long term care crisis. It often begins with a call that Mom or Dad is in the hospital, then leads to the need for nursing home care, home based care or assisted living care. It is never best to deal with a problem when it has reached the critical stage.
The better approach is to address long term care issues before they arise, in what we call the preplanning stage. Usually, the signs of aging can be seen long before the crisis hits. If families can sit down and, with the assistance of an elder care attorney and other elder care professionals, prepare a plan before the need arises, chances are the employee will not need to take leave, or perhaps may need to take less time off. Preplanning also reduces stress levels for all involved and leads to better care.
Category:Long term care planning -- posted at: 10:25am EST
Wed, 2 April 2008
In the fourth installment of his podcast, Elder Law Today, Yale Hauptman, a practicing New Jersey elder law attorney, discusses how long term care planning actually decreases the likelihood of ever needing nursing home care. Learn how the long term care system actually works to push people towards nursing homes when they have no more money. Medicaid home based benefits often pay only a part of the cost of aides needed on a 24 hour 7 day a week basis, but will pay the entire cost of care if provided in a nursing home setting. It is, therefore, important to plan ahead to have the funds available to be able to stay at home.
In the second segment Yale interviews Angie Hicks of Angie’s List, a website offering reviews by consumers of local home improvement contractors. Yale and Angie talk about how Angie’s List is seeing more inquiries in recent years by children who need help finding services for their parents who live long distances away. Seeing the aging of America, Angie tells Yale that Angie’s List now offers ratings of various elder care services to assist families who are faced with the task of caring for the elderly members of the family unit from a distance.
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