Our Top 10 Spookiest Articles of 2022 

2022 has been a bit of a frightening year, but not nearly as scary as recent years past! Since Halloween is in less than a week, it’s an ideal time to catch up on some of the scariest elder law, estate planning, and special needs planning articles of the year. From loved ones helping their parents die to homes not being protected from Medicaid to Medicare Advantage plans denying necessary care, we’ve dealt with some scary situations. We are not trying to keep our readers up at night scared out of their wits, but revisiting some of these scary topics will certainly be well worth it.

To celebrate Halloween, we’ve ranked our scariest articles from least to most scary based on readership (but you be the judge) for you to revisit, if you are brave enough to do so. As always, thank you for reading our newsletter and blog!

Note to our readers: if you’re someone who isn’t a big fan of scary things, such as depleting all of your assets paying for the catastrophic costs of long-term care, then you should proceed with caution. But if you’re curious, please read on. . .

  1. Maryland Medicaid Waivers Have a Waitlist of 21,000 names — Is That Ever Going to Change?

Across the country, at least 820,000 people — primarily the disabled and seniors — are on waiting lists for Medicaid waiver programs that could help them afford home care. Eligibility requirements, resources, and wait times for these programs vary from state to state, but most are under-resourced, leaving applicants to wait an average of 39 months. 

If that’s not scary enough, here’s the scary part for those of us who are local: More than 21,000 residents sit on waiting lists in Maryland.

  1. How One Journalist Helped Her Father Die

Death can be scary, but Ron Deprez was ready to die on his own terms. Esmé Deprez is a journalist whose father, Ron Deprez, had ALS and slowly lost his ability to complete basic tasks. His quality of life was no longer good, and he decided he wanted to die on his own terms before things got worse for him. Luckily, they lived in Maine, one of the states where Medical Aid in Dying is lawful. One day Ron told his daughter that he wanted to end his life — and that he needed her help doing it, and she was able to help her father die with dignity. 

  1. How to Respond When a Person with Dementia Asks if Someone Has Died

Imagine hallucinating about someone who died decades ago? Many people with dementia become unaware that someone they love has died and will ask about them or hallucinate about them. What should you do when your loved one with dementia believes someone who has been dead for years is still alive? When they ask about them, what do you say? When they say they see the dead person, should you tell them the person isn’t there and died years ago?

  1. Medicare Planning: Federal Report Finds Medicare Advantage Plans Often Deny Necessary Care

Some people with a Medicare Advantage plan have the false peace of mind that they will be covered no matter what. However, a common concern about Medicare Advantage plans is that they have an incentive to deny access to certain services and payments to providers in an attempt to increase profits. Insurers are given a set amount of money per patient regardless of the amount of care received. A federal report further examines this deeply scary concern. 

  1. The Nightmare of Probate: Prince’s Estate Took Six Years to Settle

Family squabbles can be a real nightmare. When Prince died in 2016, his parents had been dead for more than a decade. He had six siblings from the same father, but it’s unclear how close he was with the ones who were still alive. He was married and divorced at least twice. He reportedly had one child — a son — who died shortly after childbirth. Without a will or trust in place, his living relatives have faced a costly legal process to have the estate’s value settled and distributed.

  1. Is Nursing Home Eviction Ever Legal?

Imagine your loved one is in a nursing home, and you find out that he or she has been evicted? That’s a scary phone call to receive. Nursing home evictions, or involuntary discharges or transfers, are often in violation of the law, and they disrupt the lives of residents and their families, leading to loss of necessary care, separation from support systems, and even homelessness. Learn when a nursing home can legally evict a resident, and what hospital dumping means. 

  1. Why Are So Many Young People Having Strokes?

Many people don’t realize that more than 30% of stroke victims are younger than 65! Young adults and even children can have strokes for different reasons than older adults. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes are becoming more common in young adults. Each of these conditions increases the risk of atherosclerosis — the hardening and clogging of blood vessels — which also can increase the risk of stroke. 

  1. Scam Alert: There has been an Uptick in Pension Poaching Scams

Imagine your loved one is scammed out of thousands of dollars? Scams targeting the elderly have been around for years and have caused the elderly hundreds of millions of dollars. This article explores a new wave of scams targeting veterans — sophisticated scams that are specific to their military service. Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has seen an increase of fraudsters and non-accredited representatives who are targeting the pension benefits of senior veterans, their dependents, and survivors. There has been an uptick in a particular scam called pension poaching, a financial scam targeting those who are potentially eligible for VA benefits.

  1. The Caregiving “Crisis”: Findings from a New Genworth Study

Caregiving can be a rewarding experience for loved ones. But, at the same time, the physical, financial, emotional, and psychological strain of caregiving can have a wide-reaching impact on them. The 2021 Genworth Caregiving study explains the current state and impact of caregiving in the United States.

  1. Your House is NOT Protected from Medicaid

And here is our scariest article so far this year! It is a HUGE myth that most people think the family home is protected in connection with Medicaid. It is not. At best, it is temporarily exempt. Under federal and state law, Medicaid programs across the country are required to try to recover the cost of nursing facility stays and home and community-based services. Medicaid recipients are often not told before they accept services that they can be required to reimburse the cost of those care services, even if that means losing their home. Yikes!

Scared Yet? If Not, Here’s Something Really Scary!

If all those articles weren’t enough to petrify our readers, here’s something really scary: Nursing homes in the DC Metro area cost $12,000-$16,000 a month, an amount that will quickly wipe out all of the money you have worked your entire life to earn — if you don’t properly prepare for long-term care.

If you are now even a little bit frightened, please know that we can help you eliminate these fears. We specialize in Medicaid Planning, also called Medicaid asset protection planning, life care planning, and long-term care planning — all designed to help people like you overcome these legal and financial fears associated with aging. We give our clients the well-deserved peace of mind knowing that their entire states won’t be wiped out if nursing home care is necessary. If you haven’t met with us yet to discuss Medicaid planning, please call us for an initial consultation:

Fairfax Medicaid Planning: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Medicaid Planning: 540-479-1435
Rockville Medicaid Planning: 301-519-8041
DC Medicaid Planning: 202-587-2797

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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