In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased due in large part to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, the number of older Americans (age 65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (age 21 and younger) for the first time in history. The increase in the elderly population has caused a corresponding interest in social and legal issues that concern the elderly. Whether you are a senior yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, there are resources available to help you with many of the issues you may face. To take advantage of those resources, however, you must know how and where to find them. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at German Law have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Grand Forks, North Dakota area.
Hospitals and Emergency Care
The average life expectancy of an American has almost doubled over the last century thanks to advances in science and medicine as well as an overall improvement in the standard of living. A way to stop the natural aging process, however, remains elusive. Consequently, as we age we tend to need more frequent doctor visits and may experience an increase in injuries and illnesses that require hospitalization. If you find yourself in need of immediate care for an acute or chronic medical condition, the following hospitals are available in the area, Altru Hospital provides emergency and routine medical care
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Most of us hope to spend out Golden Years in our own homes; however, there may come a time when it is no longer safe to remain in your home or when you realize that a loved one needs the type of care that you simply cannot provide by yourself. Grand Forks residents enjoy a variety of options that may help, from daily home health care assistance to around the clock medically supervised care at an area nursing home. For example:
- Comfort Keepers – “creates custom home service plans to meet your family’s needs.”
- Home Care Companions – offers companionship, homemaking, and personal care.
- Anne’s Guest Home – “healing of the spiritual and physical, as well as the psychological, social, and emotional needs of the people we serve.”
- Valley Memorial Homes – “provides compassionate Christian care and service to enhance the quality of life for those we serve.”
As long as they are able to do so, most seniors continue to enjoy socializing with their peers. Experts tell us, in fact, that getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. Fortunately, there are several excellent places in Grand Forks for seniors to meet and mingle. The Grand Forks Senior Center is always a good place to start your search for senior activities. Finally, the Grand Forks Park District offers programs for seniors throughout the year that you might enjoy.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. An excellent example is the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Adults and Aging Services. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability website. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. . If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for North Dakota Medicaid for the Aged and Disabled.