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Legal help for seniors and their families

Elder-law attorneys specialize in issues from estate planning to health care to abuse.
By Jennifer Haupt http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0112/p14s01-lifp.html?s=hns

….
Understanding older people as well as the law

That’s where elder-law attorneys can be particularly effective, because they have a knowledge of older people that allows them to ignore the myths about aging and competence while empathizing with the challenges seniors face. They also tend to have networks of other professionals – such as social workers – that they can call on.
….
“The most appropriate time to find an elder-care attorney is really before a crisis,” says Ginny Rice, an elder-law attorney in Webster Groves, Mo. “We see lots of children of elderly parents who have had a health or financial crisis and don’t know where to turn. By completing a durable power of attorney, naming someone else to take care of your health and financial issues when you’re unable to do it, you can avoid a lot of headaches. Otherwise, you may need to go to court to have a guardian appointed – which is expensive.”
….
If networking doesn’t produce results, experts suggest asking a family physician, an organization such as one of the local volunteer groups that deal extensively with the elderly, or the local or state bar association for a list of elder-law attorneys.

Online resources are also available. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ website (www.naela.org) provides a list of members who have passed the stringent Elder Law Association Certification test (CELA), accepted by the American Bar Association as the gold standard of expertise, as well as links to other organizations that focus on senior issues.
FindLaw.com (www.findlaw.com) offers a state-by-state locator of elder-law attorneys.

Once a potential lawyer has been identified, ask plenty of questions, experts advise. People need to see if they think they will be comfortable working with that person.
….

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Anti-tremor mouse stops PC shakes


BBC NEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/4340561.stm

A special adaptor that helps people with hand tremors control a computer mouse more easily has been developed.

The device uses similar “steady cam” technology found in camcorders to filter out shaking hand movements.

People with hand tremors find it hard to use conventional mice for simple computer tasks because of the erratic movements of the cursor on the screen.
….
The Assistive Mouse Adapter (AMA) is the brainchild of IBM researcher Jim Levine who developed the prototype after seeing his uncle, who has Parkinson’s disease, struggle with mouse control.

“I knew that there must be way to improve the situation for him and the millions of other tremor sufferers around the world, including the elderly.

Internet Resources to Teach about Aging

Updated June 2002 by Martha W. Bonney.
http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/gero_ed/sitelist.htm

Research/Information Sources on Aging

http://www.mnsu.edu/gero/GeroLinks.html

What Should I Look For in Assisted Living?

checklist

http://www.thirdage.com/healthgate/files/73790.html

The Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL) offers the following general steps for selecting an assisted living facility on their website:

* Make an accurate and honest assessment of your needs, including physical, financial, and lifestyle. If you are not sure how to begin, contact a private geriatric care manager. Visit the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers’ Web site for a referral (http://www.caremanager.org).
* Visit as many facilities as you can. This will help you to get a sense of what is available in your area.
* Consider the proximity of the facility to those who will visit you.
* Narrow down your selection to the top two or three choices, return to those facilities and speak with residents and staff. Ask lots of questions. Try some of the services offered, like eating a meal or taking an exercise class.
* Ask for a copy of the resident agreement or contract.
* Ask to review the licensing or certification inspection reports.
* Call the local long-term care ombudsman’s office (the person who investigates complaints) and ask if there are complaints about the facilities you are interested in.
* Make an unannounced visit to the facility. Visit at different times of the day and weekend.
* Choose the facility that comes closest to your needs.

Geriatric care managers

Geriatric care managers work privately with older adults and their families to create a plan of care that meets the needs of the older adult. They will meet with you to help you understand your loved one’s needs and to learn what resources and options are available to meet those needs.
http://www.caremanager.org/index.cfm

AGS Foundation for Health in Aging

The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) is a national non-profit organization established in 1999 by The American Geriatrics Society. We aim to build a bridge between the research and practice of Geriatrics and the Public, and to advocate on behalf of older adults and their special health care needs. http://www.healthinaging.org/

http://www.americangeriatrics.org/


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