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Office Hour Change

Effective January 16, 2015, our hours will be as follows:


Monday – Thursday 9 am to 5 pm
Friday – 9 am to noon


We will be unavailable for appointments or phone calls on Friday afternoons, so that we may finalize our work for the week. This also ensures that we have some uninterrupted time to devote to the needs of our clients.

When You Love Someone with Dementia, Then You Know

OrlandoGuardian.com Angus Young

 

When you love someone with dementia, then you know the moments of confusion that occur. But every once in a while, you get a moment of clarity, and it’s usually something deep and personal that’s revealed.

 

Like when a mother remembers a child’s name. Or when a grandfather begins to tell a story about his younger days of dancing as you drive past the familiar dance hall. Or when dad demonstrates his hobby with ease for the first time in a long time after being given painting supplies.

 

In early February, 2015, at the 57th Grammy Awards, in front of a live audience, AC/DC’s own guitar player, who suffers from dementia, was on stage playing some of their classic songs. And guess what? He did it flawlessly.

 

Cherish those moments, and remember that when they happen, everyone wins. Mom, grandpa, artist, rock star – four words, four wins. Cherish those wins, because dementia is one word, and no wins.

US District Court Ruling A Big Win for Home Care Patients and Providers

Gavel

Image Credit: SteakPinball

In late January, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reversed the Companion Services / Overtime rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, which would negatively affect many home health care providers.

 

The original ruling, which went into effect January 1, 2015 made several changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, impacting employee compensation requirements. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “the Department has revised its regulations defining companionship services so that many direct care workers, such as certified nursing assistance, home health aides, personal care aides, and other caregivers are protected by the FLSA. The Department also revised the regulations concerning live-in domestic service workers.”

 

Having the original ruling overturned by the US District Court was welcome news to patients and staff of home health agencies, as this ruling allows for the current worker payment structure to remain in place for the foreseeable future. The ruling also ensures that patients will continue to receive the highest quality of home health care, while easing the burden on state budgets to continue providing Medicaid services.

 

It is important to note that the Department of Labor has the ability to file an appeal on the ruling, but it is unclear if and when that appeal might take place.

 

You can read about the decision, here: https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2014cv0967-32

 

Concerns About the Proposed Changes to Guardianship Laws – March Newsletter

 

Chronicles of a Professional Guardian

 

Serving as Care Managers, Elderly & Disabled Life Care Plan Assessors, and providing Professional Guardian services in Central Florida for over 20 years, we have discovered unique solutions to many difficult problems.

 

We are continuing our tradition of giving back by sharing our knowledge in the hopes that this information can help others to better serve and care for our elderly and disabled population.

 


Concerns About the Proposed Changes to Guardianship Laws

 

Gavel

Image Credit: SteakPinball

In the State of Florida there have been a lot of proposed changes to the current guardianship laws. As of the time of writing this blog post, there is one house bill, and two senate bills going through the Florida Congress on changing guardianship law.

 

The problem is, all of them are very similar, and make guardianship law more confusing than ever before.

 

There are some proposed changes which make sense. For example, if a petition for incapacity falls in good faith, the exam committee is paid out of the expert witness fees. If in bad faith, it could go against the petitioner. It also removes the requirement for expert witness testimony on attorney and guardian fees, although that rarely happens anyway.

 

Some proposed changes are just a waste of space. For example, there is a whole new section that addresses “Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation by a Guardian,” which says that a guardians cannot commit abuse, neglect, or exploitation against a ward.

 

While this isn’t a bad thing, the problem we have with this provision is that it currently is a felony to commit a crime against a senior or disabled person in the State of Florida, which includes abuse, neglect, or exploitation for anyone, not just guardians.

 

It goes on to say that if someone suspects a guardian of abusing, neglecting, or exploiting a ward, they should report the incident to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). However, it does not address what the penalties are for a guardian who commits such a crime, rendering this section basically incomplete in the proposed changes.

 

There are some proposed changes that are confusing and convoluted, such as how a guardian should be appointed. These changes would make it so that a guardian would be selected more like a court appointed attorney, akin to pulling a name out of a hat.

 

Additionally, this section has been modified at least 3 times in the past month, and instead of simplifying the language, each change made the section longer and more convoluted. There is no telling what the final version will look like as the bill makes its way out of committee.

 

Some proposed changes are a bit awkward in practice, like serving notice to an alleged incapacitated person and their attorney before the emergency temporary guardianship hearing to appoint the emergency temporary guardianship.

 

And some changes don’t really apply to guardians, but instead to attorneys and may change how they get paid on guardianship cases. The current proposal is that attorney’s fees, including fees for any attorney who has rendered services to the ward or that is appointed by the court shall be determined by the court and paid from the assets of the guardianship unless the court finds the request to be substantially unreasonable.

 

With all of the proposed changes and revisions happening with the bills, and the changes to guardianship law, this certainly is something to keep an eye on.

 

Here are the current house and senate bills, if you’d like to read them for yourself.

What do you think about the changes? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

 


Did You Know?

 

On Friday, January 23, 2015, the VA issued proposed new Veterans Administration regulations that would penalize wartime veterans up to ten years for making gifts of assets for less than fair market value. More information can be found by reading this article: http://shar.es/1onzib

 

Public comments must be received no later than March 24, 2015 and can be sent through http://www.regulations.gov or by mail or hand-delivery to: Director, Regulation Policy and Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026.

 

Comments must include that they are in response to “RIN 2900-AO73, Net Worth, Asset Transfers, and Income Exclusions for Needs-Based Benefits.”

 


Tip of the Month

 

As of June 1, 2015 Lockheed Martin will no longer be providing health insurance for all retirees. Instead, some retirees will be asked to contact OneExchange, to assist in finding an Exchange Plan that works best for the retiree.

 

The Exchange Plan has nothing to do with the Obama Care Exchange, but instead is a Medicare Exchange that large corporations are moving to instead of providing health care coverage themselves.

 

Lockheed will provide a HRA for each account of $900, annually. As a bonus, if enrolled with ExchangeOne by May 29, 2015, they will deposit an additional $350.00 in HRA funds that the retiree can use. The $900 annual employer contribution to the HRA may increase or decrease annually.

 

The retiree will be responsible for paying the monthly premium for the plan they choose. An Enrollment Guide will be mailed to retirees soon, and will provide information on plans available, and the monthly cost.

 

From what we’ve been told, retirees choosing the ExchangeOne plan, versus a traditional Medicare Supplement, will be guaranteed issue, without any health questions.

 

What we are unsure of is how difficult it will be to manage the HRA reimbursements. For guardianship clients, will the management of this outweigh the benefit the client is receiving?

 


Blog Posts:

 

Here are some of our recent blog posts, in case you missed any.

You can check out or blog at blog.orlandoguardian.com, or follow us online on Facebook or LinkedIn and never miss an article again.

 


Upcoming Guardian Care Events:

 

As active members of the community, we can be found around town speaking, sponsoring, supporting, and educating other professionals and the general public on Guardianship and caring for the elderly and disabled.

 

Want us to speak at your next event? Our topics include Guardianship, Private Care Management, and Elderly & Disabled Life Plan Assessment. Feel free to contact us at 407.786.6033.

 

Upcoming Events:

 

We currently have no upcoming events, but that’s likely to change in 2015, so contact us soon to schedule us at your next event as our calendar fills up quickly.

 

Previous Events:

  • November 20th – Presentation to a Social Work Class at UCF
  • October 9th – Presenting “Wards Gone Wild, Not Just Sex,” at the 2014 Elder Law Conference in Tampa
  • September 24 – Presentation “Help Your Aging Family Members,” at Serenades of Sonata
  • September 13 – Presentation “Wards Gone Wild, Not Just Sex,” at the 2014 Elder Law Conference in Boca Raton

Community Events

 

Click on the event for additional information.

  • March 4 – “One-Day” Hiring Event 100’s of immediate Central Florida jobs- especially for reservists, guardmen, veterans and their spouses.  Sponsored by Florida Hospital and Hero2Hired.  Orlando Fern Creek National Guard Armory, 2809 South Fern Creek Ave., Orlando, 32806.  Starts at 8am, bring your resume’, references, diplomas/certifications.  Info:  Mitchell Kittinger at 407.200.4619  mitchell.kittinger@flhosp.org
  • March 6Caregiving Matters, Orlando
  • March 7Sight & Sole Walkfest, Altamonte Springs
  • March 7 – Orlando Marathon – Sponsored by Help The Vets, Inc. and the City of Orlando.  Harbor Park, 4990 E. New Broad Street, Orlando, 32814 – south side of Lake Baldwin.  Get the word out about your organization with a free table (cannot sell anything) and meet Veterans and runners in the Orlando area – 7am – 11am.  500+ runners and their families expected.  VFW band will play for 2 hours starting at 7:30 am with the flag ceremony.  Contact Neil at 407-376-7000   omarathon.com 
  • Mar 7 to Mar 29 (Every Sunday, Saturday) – Bands, Brew & BBQ – USO Central Florida has partnered with Sea World Orlando for military and veteran appreciation. Event proceeds will support our local USO Central Florida.  Special discounts and offers for all actives, reservists, retirees and veterans from the military.  Live concerts from top classic rock and country bands and artists, the tastiest BBQ from the area’s best local smokehouses.  7007 SeaWorld Dr., Orlando, 32821.
  • March 10“Patients Rights, Advocacy & Ethics in a Hospital Setting” Counsel for Caregivers West Orange, Ocoee
  • March 11“Top 8 Ways to Protect Yourself from Scams” Counsel for Caregivers East Orange, Orlando
  • March 19“Brain Health: A Decade Later” Counsel for Caregivers Seminar, Orlando
  • March 20 – Golfing with Heroes, and a benefit by Roy Michaels – Fundraiser to sponsor golf outings for wounded veterans. $12.50 pp from 6pm-9pm at the Post, 699 W. Lady Lake Blvd, Lady Lake, 32159.  Contact Marie for info and tickets at 516-220-5068.   villagersforveterans.org 
  • March 23 – Charity Golf Tournament PVA of Central Florida Fund raiser for both Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Central Florida and The Disability Wellness Center in Sanford Legacy Club at Alaqua Lakes in Longwood, 32779.  To register or for more information contact: John DeMauro, 407-328-7041  cfpvaed@cfl.rr.com
  • March 24Aging 101 Preventing Crisis Later in Life, One Senior Place, Altamonte Springs
  • March 25Understanding Your Long Term Care, One Senior Place, Altamonte Springs
  • March 28 – Military Retiree Appreciation Day – 9am – 4pm.  University of Central Florida campus at The Venue Auditorium, CFE Arena. 12777 Gemini Boulevard, Orlando, 32816-8041.  Info:  912-767-5013 or 912-767-3326 or email the Ft Stewart RSO at usarmy.stewart.usag.mbx.dhr-retirement-services@mail.mil, or MacDill AFB Army Retirement Services Office at 813-828-0163 or email army.rso@amc.af.mil.