In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased as a result of advances in science, medicine, and an overall increase in the standard of living coupled with the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is now moving into their retirement years. The increase in the elderly population has caused a corresponding interest in social and legal issues that concern the elderly and those who care for them. As of the 2010 Census, there were approximately 105,000 residents living in 47,000 households in Fargo, North Dakota. In Fargo, 10.1 percent of the population is aged 65 or older and 8.3 percent of all households is an individual over the age of 65 living alone.
Whether you are nearing your “Golden Years” yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, you will find that Fargo, North Dakota has a wealth of resources available to assist you. The key, of course, is finding those resources. To help you in that regard, the elder law attorneys at German Law Group have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Fargo, 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 Fargo website where you will find a directory of local government 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 Fargo Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in the Fargo, North Dakota area.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
The natural aging process typically results in physical and/or mental deterioration at some point. For some seniors the aging process is slow, allowing them to remain in their own homes for much longer than for those who suffer more serious symptoms of the aging process. Fortunately, however, seniors today have a wide variety of options when it comes to assistance with the effects of aging. Home health care services can often delay the need to move to a long-term care facility for months, even years. If the need for more extensive care does arise, however, residents of Fargo, North Dakota will find that they have a number of excellent options. 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 Fargo and surrounding area.
Long-term planning has become an essential part of a well thought out estate plan in the United States because of the high cost of LTC. With the average yearly cost of LTC across the nation approaching $100,000, and experts telling us the rising costs associated with LTC won’t be slowing down anytime soon, the need to plan for a way to cover those expenses is imperative. Unfortunately, many seniors do not realize until they need LTC that neither basic health insurance nor Medicare will cover the costs associated with LTC. The elder law attorneys at German Law Group 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 Fargo area. A great resource for what’s going on for seniors in the Fargo area is the Valley Senior Services website. 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 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.
Navigating the rules and procedures required to apply for state and federal benefits can be challenging. The elder law attorneys at German Law Group are available to help you through the process from understanding what benefits are available to you to making sure you are in a position to get approved for all the assistance available. We also understand how frustrating and confusing it can be to be denied a benefit to which you know you are entitled. At German Law Group we are dedicated to helping you appeal an unjust denial. You worked hard all your life. This should be your time to relax and enjoy your retirement years.
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 Fargo, North Dakota elder law attorneys at German Law Group by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.