Your Local Elder Law Attorneys
The Slonim & Lemieux Law Firm attorneys are focused on Elder Law (Probate, Guardianship, Estate Planning & Medicaid Planning) in Brevard county (Melbourne, Viera, and Palm Bay) and Osceola county. We take pride in working closely with our clients to ensure that they obtain the best representation for the value. Helping people is our job. Preserving our client’s rights and interests is our focus.
Areas of Practice
Elder law consists of the several areas of practice including the Florida Probate Administration (Formal, Summary, and Ancillary) of an estate; Guardianship of an incapacitated person or minor; Trust and Estate Planning (Wills and Trusts; and Advance Directives such as Powers of Attorney, Health Care Surrogates, Living Wills, and Pre-need Guardianship Declarations), and Medicaid Planning.
You don’t need an “estate” to have an estate plan. The attorneys at Slonim & Lemieux, we prefer to think of it as LIFE planning, as it’s more important to have a plan in place if you or a a loved one is incapacitated. This time in a person’s life is not the time to start figuring out who can pay the bills, file or defend a lawsuit, or a variety of other daily legal, financial, and medical factors. Have the estate planning lawyers create a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, and Pre-Need Guardianship Declaration when you don’t need them, so your loved won’t stress when you need them most.
Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets, paying taxes, claims and expenses and distributing assets to beneficiaries. The probate attorneys at Slonim & Lemieux turn probate administration into a process you can understand. Probate is simply the process of following the instructions set forth in the Florida Statutes, if there’s no Last Will and Testament, or if there is a Will, then the instructions set forth in the Will. The three typical types of administration are Formal, Summary, and Ancillary.
Through Medicaid planning, the attorneys at Slonim & Lemieux can assist families in addressing the needs of long term care.Unfortunately, many nursing home residents end up exhausting their assets on long-term care. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether it’s crisis planning or creating an exhaustive “what if” plan and executing it, you can rest easy knowing the assets you or your loved ones have worked their whole lives for, can be properly safeguarded.
A guardian is someone appointed by the court to oversee and manage a person legal, financial, and/or medical affairs.
A guardian is usually appointed because the Ward is incapable of managing themselves, either through incapacity or age (minors).
Remember, this removes a person’s Constitutional Rights. It is the MOST restrictive means possible of caring for someone. Contact the guardianship attorneys at Slonim & Lemieux to learn more.
Digital Estate Management
Dealing with as loved one’s physical assets after death is hard enough, but then having to manage the closure or change of that person’s Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, and other accounts can only add to the stress of the process. We can help our clients close such accounts and ensure that the deceased’s data is safely removed from the online world, thereby preventing unwanted identity theft or other malicious actions.
Coast to Coast
We are able to attend to the areas of Estate Planning, Probate law, Guardianship law, and Medicaid Planning needs of clients coast to coast, from Florida to California. David Slonim is available to help clients throughout Florida, including Melbourne, Tampa, Orlando, Ocala, Jacksonville, Daytona, Miami, and Palm Beach. We are also proud to work with Adam Slonim, a family estate planning attorney in San Diego, California.
We all know who Amazon’s Alexa is. She’s the voice assistant who can tell you the weather, remind you of doctor’s appointments, and even order groceries for you online. Alexa now can do one even better. Amazon has said for years their customers have been asking for Alexa to assist in monitoring their loved ones. Customers have asked and now they have received. Amazon has introduced a new feature doing just that, on Wednesday, November 18th. The new feature is called Care Hub, it is designed to make people caring for their aging loved ones easier. The Care Hub feature allows customers to link their Alexa devices to their loved ones. This isn’t a means of spying on them, it allows them to get alerts and review their relative’s activity feed such as lights being used in their home to make sure they are doing well. The best part is the emergency contact feature, the loved one could simply say, “Alexa, call for help.” and it will send an immediate push notification to the caregiver. During these times of Covid-19, most seniors are wanting to stay in their own homes, so Amazon’s goal is to give the caregiver peace of mind and make it easier to check in on their loved one.
Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.
That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.
“In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,” said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. “We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.”
Older adults are uniquely vulnerable because their immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, making it so much harder for them to battle not just COVID-19 but all infectious diseases. They are also more likely to suffer other health conditions, like heart and respiratory diseases, that make it tougher to fight or recover from illness. So it’s no surprise that even in the future, when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and widely used — most seniors will be taking additional precautions.
“Before COVID-19, baby boomers” — those born after 1945 but before 1965 — “felt reassured that with all the benefits of modern medicine, they could live for years and years,” said Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, who teaches geriatric medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and advises the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. “What we never calculated was that a pandemic could totally change the dialogue.”
It has. Here’s a preview of post-vaccine life for older Americans:
- Time to learn telemed. Only 62% of people over 75 use the internet — and fewer than 28% are comfortable with social media, according to data from the Pew Research Center. “That’s lethal in the modern age of health care,” Dychtwald said, so there will be a drumbeat to make them fluent users of online health care.
- 1 in 3 visits will be telemed. Dr. Ronan Factora, a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic, said he saw no patients age 60 and up via telemedicine before the pandemic. He predicted that by the time a COVID-19 vaccine is available, at least a third of those visits will be virtual. “It will become a significant part of my practice,” he said. Older patients likely will see their doctors more often than once a year for a checkup and benefit from improved overall health care, he said.
- Many doctors instead of just one. More regular remote care will be bolstered by a team of doctors, said Greg Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic. The team model “allows me to see more patients more efficiently,” he said. “If everyone has to come to the office and wait for the nurse to bring them in from the waiting room, well, that’s an inherent drag on my productivity.”
- Drugstores will do more vaccinations. To avoid the germs in doctors’ offices, older patients will prefer to go to drugstores for regular vaccinations such as flu shots, Factora said.
- Your plumbing will be your doctor. In the not-too-distant future — perhaps just a few years from now — older Americans will have special devices at home to regularly analyze urine and fecal samples, Dychtwald said, letting them avoid the doctor’s office.
- Punch up the Google Maps. Many trips of 800 miles or less will likely become road trips instead of flights, said Ed Perkins, a syndicated travel columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Perkins, who is 90, said that’s certainly what he plans to do — even after there’s a vaccine.
- Regional and local travel will replace foreign travel. Dychtwald, who is 70, said he will be much less inclined to travel abroad. For example, he said, onetime plans with his wife to visit India are now unlikely, even if a good vaccine is available, because they want to avoid large concentrations of people. That said, each year only 25% of people 65 and up travel outside the U.S. annually, vs. 45% of the general population, according to a survey by Visa. The most popular trip for seniors: visiting grandchildren.
- Demand for business class will grow. When older travelers (who are financially able) choose to fly, they will more frequently book roomy business-class seats because they won’t want to sit too close to other passengers, Factora said.
- Buying three seats for two. Older couples who fly together — and have the money — will pay for all three seats so no one is between them, Perkins said.
- Hotels will market medical care. Medical capability will be built into more travel options, Dychtwald said. For example, some hotels will advertise a doctor on-site — or one close by. “The era is over of being removed from health care and feeling comfortable,” he said.
- Disinfecting will be a sales pitch. Expect a rich combination of health and safety “theater” — particularly on cruises that host many older travelers, Perkins said: “Employees will be wandering around with disinfecting fogs and wiping everything 10 times.”
- Cruises will require proof of vaccination. Passengers — as well as cruise employees — will likely have to prove they’ve been vaccinated before traveling, Factora said.
- Local eateries will gain trust. Neighborhood and small-market restaurants will draw loyal customers — mainly because they know and trust the owners, said Christopher Muller, a hospitality professor at Boston University.
- Safety will be a bragging point. To appeal to older diners in particular, restaurants will prominently display safety-inspection signage and visibly signal their cleanliness standards, Muller said. They will even hire employees exclusively to wipe down tables, chairs and all high-touch points — and these employees will be easy to identify and very visible.
- The homecoming. Because of so many COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, more seniors will leave assisted living facilities and nursing homes to move in with their families, Factora said. “Families will generally move closer together,” he said.
- The fortress. Home delivery of almost everything will become the norm for older Americans, and in-person shopping will become much less common, Factora said.
- Older workers will stay home. The 60-and-up workforce increasingly will be reluctant to work anywhere but from home and will be very slow to re-embrace grocery shopping. “Instacart delivery will become the new normal for them,” Dychtwald said.
- Forced social distancing. Whenever or wherever large families gather, people exhibiting COVID-like symptoms may not be welcomed under any circumstances, Ayati said.
- Older folks will disengage, at a cost. Depression will skyrocket among older people who isolate from family get-togethers and large gatherings, Ayati said. “As the older population pulls back from engaging in society, this is a very bad thing.”
- Public restrooms will be revamped. For germ avoidance, they’ll increasingly get no-touch toilets, urinals, sinks and entrances/exits. “One of the most disastrous places you can go into is a public restroom,” Poland said. “That’s about the riskiest place.”
Bruce Horovitz – 08/03/2020
In the study of people aged over 55, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, researchers found ‘repetitive negative thinking’ (RNT) is linked to subsequent cognitive decline as well as the deposition of harmful brain proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.
The researchers say RNT should now be further investigated as a potential risk factor for dementia, and psychological tools, such as mindfulness or meditation, should be studied to see if these could reduce dementia risk.
Lead author Dr Natalie Marchant (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Depression and anxiety in mid-life and old age are already known to be risk factors for dementia. Here, we found that certain thinking patterns implicated in depression and anxiety could be an underlying reason why people with those disorders are more likely to develop dementia.
“Taken alongside other studies, which link depression and anxiety with dementia risk, we expect that chronic negative thinking patterns over a long period of time could increase the risk of dementia. We do not think the evidence suggests that short-term setbacks would increase one’s risk of dementia.
“We hope that our findings could be used to develop strategies to lower people’s risk of dementia by helping them to reduce their negative thinking patterns.”
For the Alzheimer’s Society-supported study, the research team from UCL, INSERM and McGill University studied 292 people over the age of 55 who were part of the PREVENT-AD cohort study, and a further 68 people from the IMAP+ cohort.
Over a period of two years, the study participants responded to questions about how they typically think about negative experiences, focusing on RNT patterns like rumination about the past and worry about the future. The participants also completed measures of depression and anxiety symptoms.
Their cognitive function was assessed, measuring memory, attention, spatial cognition, and language. Some (113) of the participants also underwent PET brain scans, measuring deposits of tau and amyloid, two proteins which cause the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, when they build up in the brain.
The researchers found that people who exhibited higher RNT patterns experienced more cognitive decline over a four-year period, and declines in memory (which is among the earlier signs of Alzheimer’s disease), and they were more likely to have amyloid and tau deposits in their brain.
Depression and anxiety were associated with subsequent cognitive decline but not with either amyloid or tau deposition, suggesting that RNT could be the main reason why depression and anxiety contribute to Alzheimer’s disease risk.
“We propose that repetitive negative thinking may be a new risk factor for dementia as it could contribute to dementia in a unique way,” said Dr Marchant.
The researchers suggest that RNT may contribute to Alzheimer’s risk via its impact on indicators of stress such as high blood pressure, as other studies have found that physiological stress can contribute to amyloid and tau deposition.
Co-author Dr Gael Chételat (INSERM and Université de Caen-Normandie) commented: “Our thoughts can have a biological impact on our physical health, which might be positive or negative. Mental training practices such as meditation might help promoting positive- while down-regulating negative-associated mental schemes.
“Looking after your mental health is important, and it should be a major public health priority, as it’s not only important for people’s health and well-being in the short term, but it could also impact your eventual risk of dementia.”
The researchers hope to find out if reducing RNT, possibly through mindfulness training or targeted talk therapy, could in turn reduce the risk of dementia. Dr Marchant and Dr Chételat and other European researchers are currently working on a large project to see if interventions such as meditation may help reduce dementia risk by supporting mental health in old age.
Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Understanding the factors that can increase the risk of dementia is vital in helping us improve our knowledge of this devastating condition and, where possible, developing prevention strategies. The link shown between repeated negative thinking patterns and both cognitive decline and harmful deposits is interesting although we need further investigation to understand this better. Most of the people in the study were already identified as being at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, so we would need to see if these results are echoed within the general population and if repeated negative thinking increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease itself.
“During these unstable times, we are hearing from people every day on our Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect line who are feeling scared, confused, or struggling with their mental health. So it’s important to point out that this isn’t saying a short-term period of negative thinking will cause Alzheimer’s disease. Mental health could be a vital cog in the prevention and treatment of dementia; more research will tell us to what extent.”
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON