The older population in the United States has grown at a record breaking rate in recent decades. Experts predict that the older demographic will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. As a result, issues that impact seniors, and those who care for them, have taken on a heightened importance. As of the 2010 Census, there were just over 40,000 residents living in almost 18,000 households in Minot, North Dakota. In Minot, 15 percent of the population is aged 65 or older and 11.7 percent of all households has an individual over the age of 65 living alone.
Whether you are a senior yourself, a caregiver, or a loved one, finding resources to help with many of these issues can be challenging. To help you in that regard, the elder law attorneys at German Law have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Minot, North Dakota area.
Local Government and Law Enforcement
Because you never know when an emergency may arise, it is always wise to have contact information for some of the more frequently used local government resource handy. A good “first stop” is always the City of Minot website where you will find a directory of local government contact information as well as a listing of city services with contact information. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to the relevant law enforcement agency online, should you need them. The Minot Police Department and the Ward County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Minot, North Dakota area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
As we age, the natural aging process causes us to deteriorate physically and mentally. Sometimes, conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease speed along that natural deterioration. Thanks to advances in medicine and science along with a better standard of living, the average American can expect to be around for many years beyond retirement age. Most seniors would prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. Fortunately, services such as home health care can often allow a senior to do just that. When living at home is no longer practical or safe, Minot residents enjoy a variety of options that include assisted living facilities and around the clock skilled nursing care. Finding the right facility for your needs, or the needs of a loved one, can be challenging. If you need assistance locating the type of care you need, the following resources may help:
- The North Dakota Department of Health’s website offers a listing of nursing homes in the state as well as a wealth of additional information related to long-term care.
- Nursing Home Compare, found on the Medicare.gov website. is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- com offers a searchable data base of nursing home and other long-term care facilities in the Minot and surrounding area.
The cost of long-term care (LTC) in the United States has increased right along with the older population, and is expected to continue to increase in the years to come. In 2017, the average yearly cost of LTC throughout the United States was $80,000. In the State of North Dakota, residents paid among the highest LTC costs in the nation with the average cost running over $130,000 per year in 2017. Because neither Medicare nor most basic health insurance plans cover the expenses associated with LTC, it is critical that you plan ahead to ensure you can cover your LTC expenses if necessary. While Medicaid does cover LTC expenses, the Medicaid eligibility guidelines can be problematic for many seniors in the absence of advanced planning. The elder law attorneys at German Law don’t want you to get caught unprepared which is why we strongly recommend incorporating both long-term care planning and Medicaid planning into your comprehensive estate plan to ensure that you are prepared and protected in the event LTC is required at some point in the future.
Are you of those people for whom life truly begins at age 65? If so, you will find plenty of activities to keep you busy and several places where you can meet and mingle in the Minot area. One great place for seniors in the Minot area to meet is the Park Senior Center. For veterans, the VFW Post 762 is always a good place to meet new friends and mingle with old ones.
State and Federal Assistance
Many local, state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. At the local level, the Minot Commission on Aging is an excellent example. At the state level you may find the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Adults and Aging Services to be very helpful. 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.
The good news is that many of these state and federal programs do provide much needed assistance. Navigating the rules, regulations, and application procedures required to get qualified for benefits, however, can be a frustrating and all too often futile endeavor. If you are a caregiver applying for a family member or other loved one and you do not yet have the legal authority to act on his/her behalf it can be even more difficult to procure assistance. At German Law we are committed to helping you obtain the benefits that you, or your loved one, deserves. If you find that you need assistance understanding the numerous benefits available, have been denied benefits, or are faced with the need to obtain guardianship over a loved one before you are even legally qualified to apply for benefits, we would be honored to help.
Our experienced elder law attorneys are also available to assist you with other areas typically of concern to seniors and those who care for them, such as incapacity planning, tax and probate avoidance, asset protection, and incorporating your retirement plans into your estate plan. If you have additional question or concerns regarding elder law issues, contact the experienced Minot, North Dakota elder law attorneys at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.