Top 14 Articles of 2014

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From non-traditional living options to stricter driving laws in Virginia, we covered a lot of ground in 2014. It was a year that included a new act to help special needs families, enhancements to the Medicaid program, and amazing new technological innovations to help seniors age-in-place. At the Farr Law Firm, we expanded from Fairfax to new locations in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Rockville, MD to offer comprehensive Elder Law and Estate Planning services to help more seniors and their loved ones. To celebrate the new year, we’ve ranked our most popular articles from last year based on open rate. Check out the list to see the year’s highlights and tell us what you’d like to see next year. As always, thank you for reading our newsletter and blog!

1. Casey Kasem’s Daughter Was Granted Conservatorship, But Where is Casey?: Before the sad passing of Casey Kasem, the late radio personality who died from Lewy Body Dementia, his wife and children were at odds over his care and visitation. This article describes the unfortunate details of this ordeal and lessons learned from it.

2. Yellow Dot on Car Can Save Your Life: The Yellow Dot program is designed to help crash victims, especially seniors, communicate with rescuers during the crucial first 60 minutes after a serious crash that can make the difference between life and death for the critically injured. This article provides more details about this potentially life-saving program.

3. John Travolta: Dyslexia or Dementia?: During the 2014 Academy Awards show, John Travolta took the stage and introduced Idina Menzel, but as he read her name from the teleprompter, he said “Adele Dazeem” instead. This article explores whether dyslexia or dementia could be the reason for this major flub, which was seen by more than 43 million people.

4.Non-Traditional Living Options for Seniors: Many Americans assume that when they grow old and frail, they will have go to an assisted-living facility or a nursing home. But this is not always the case. This article focuses on popular non-traditional housing options for seniors, such as co-housing, villages, and more.

5.Don’t Forget These Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions: When filing taxes, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you’re entitled to. This article provides helpful but often overlooked deductions to keep in mind as you prepare your taxes.

6. Visit Your Parents Often . . . or Else: A national law in China called the “Law of Protection of Rights and Interests of the Aged” requires the offspring of parents older than 60 to visit their parents “frequently” and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met. This article provides details about this law and whether it could happen in the U.S.

7.Unusual Alternatives for Disposing of Your Body After Death: When most people think of what happens to their bodily remains after death, a traditional funeral and casket burial are what typically come to mind. This article provides details about alternatives, such as green burial, mummification, and more.

8. Top 10 Medicaid Myths: A look at the facts about Medicaid uncovers many common misconceptions about the program that are simply myths. This article looks at and dispels some of myths about exactly who qualifies for Medicaid, what coverage it provides, and how you can plan for long-term care for yourself or a loved one.

9. Intelligent Underwear, Smart Shoes, and Other Amazing Innovations for Seniors: Technology is contributing to greater independence, expanded personal connections, and healthier lifestyles for seniors. This article explores new possibilities, including the option to plug into healthcare information from home, track symptoms, and access therapy remotely, that make it easier for older adults who are living life more independently.

10.Stricter Law for Mature Drivers Goes into Effect in VA on New Years: Virginia joined 33 states and the District of Columbia in enacting tougher standards for mature drivers. This article describes that law that went into effect yesterday, January 1, 2015.

11. Before You Choose a Nursing Home . . .: This article explores important things you should do (and look out for) when selecting a nursing homefor a loved one.

12.Better Care Coordination Will Save Tax Payers Billions: Poorly coordinated transitions and hospital readmissions are both excessively costly and risky. This article examines how the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP), part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, is designed to support people coming out of the hospital so they don’t wind up right back in.

13. Are IRAs Assets for Medicaid?: With the possible exception of a primary residence, IRA’s and other retirement assets such as 401(k)’s are often the single largest asset for many seniors. This article explores whether IRAs are countable assets for Medicaid.

14.Tax Day: Seven Unusual Deductions: Did you know you could take a tax deduction for bingo, pet moving, and clarinet lessons? This article discusses some of the wackiest tax deductions you can take.

3.Thank you for making these our top stories of 2014. We promise many new and exciting things to come in 2015! We also hope you will consider taking the advice that these articles offer. Please consider attending one of our seminars in Fairfax or Fredericksburg (and coming soon to Rockville, MD and Washington, DC). As always, if you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 in Fairfax, 540-479-1435 in Fredericksburg, 202-587-2797 in Washington, D.C., or 301-519-8041 in Rockville, MD, to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

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