Planning for the care of our loved ones, especially aging parents, can be both a physically and emotionally challenging process. The situation becomes more complex and intensified when dealing with family members affected by dementia. The foresight to execute proper legal documents to ensure that the authority to implement proper medical and financial decisions is in place is paramount. In addition, taking advantage of all the legal provisions to protect the estates of our loved ones is exacting, complex and best left to those with knowledge and expertise. Finally, when all resources have been exhausted, the process of applying for Medicaid coverage is enormously time consuming, requiring stringent and meticulous navigation of the complex governmental system.
My mother, and then my father, had the unfortunate fate of developing progressive dementia and physical ailments that left me exhausted beyond capacity as a caregiver addressing their needs. The decision to place mother in a nursing home was difficult and emotionally painful but necessary. Confronted with the financial enormity associated with this decision and the multiple complex financial resources of my parents, I sought legal advice with Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC., initially consulting Jason Frank, Esq., and then working closely with Kandace L. Scherr, Esq. and her staff. The interaction was not only professional but personal, ensuring that every legal document and need was carefully addressed. In my particular circumstance, Kandace was able to preserve certain assets of the estate and relieved me of the enormous burden of compiling complex detailed financial matters in preparation for Medicaid. I underestimated that scrutiny of the Maryland Bureau of Long-Term care. Kandace and her team were scrupulous in making sure every detail and requirement were met. Despite the complexity of my particular case, the approval proceeded expeditiously and smoothly.
Within two years of my mother’s admission to long-term care, my father became severely medically incapacitated. His mental clarity declined. As he approached the need for 24-hour care, it became apparent that he, like my mother, would require assistance in a long-term care facility. Fortunately, Kandace had preplanned this event, ensuring that all the legal documents addressed specific requirements far in advance of this event, considering both parents would eventually be incapable of making decisions. As my father’s medical condition made it difficult for him to visit my mother, he only wished that he could join her. Soon after meeting the medical criteria for long-term nursing care, my father was admitted to the same institution. The financial issues became more complex and demanding. Again, Kandace was able to preserve additional assets, meeting strict legal criteria and smoothly transitioned my father into long-term care with Medicaid.
My father shared with my mother for almost 1 year while in long-term care until he died on April 12th of 2017. What I considered financially impractical or impossible came to fruition thanks to the effort, exacting diligence, and compassionate professionalism of Kandace and her team. The memory of my two parents together, holding hands, day by day, after 69 years of marriage, is embodied in my memory forever.