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Knowing the Right Questions

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

I recently read an article in a senior care magazine that addressed the possibility of personal tax deductions for home health services or assisted living. I am not an expert on tax codes, but I live and work around hundreds of individuals that might be able to benefit from this information. I started thinking about the tremendous learning curve that Seniors and their families go through. Knowing the right questions to ask is the key to getting the best information and resources. Most people that are beginning to investigate retirement living have no idea where to start. And to complicate matters, there is often a time crunch that necessitates making decisions very quickly. On the other hand, those of us who work in senior living deal with these issues daily. What is old hat to us comes as a total revelation to a new inquirer.

Our main job is to help educate people. We don’t have all the answers, but we do know where to get them. For instance, every day, I meet veterans and/or their widows that don’t know anything about the Aid and Attendant Benefit. This financial aid is called the forgotten benefit because so few people know about it. We can point them in the right direction for vital information that may result in thousands of dollars of tax-free money. We can help Medicare recipients get the most benefit from a rehab stay. We can interpret Medicare A and B services. For those that have Long Term Care insurance policies, we can provide a list of questions to ask so that they can understand the best way to take advantage of the policy. All retirement communities are different in their business and service model. Knowing the questions to ask will bring clarity to your research.

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