Friday, October 29, 2010

No Cost- of -Living increase in 2011 for Social Security recipients

That's right !There will be no cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits effective for December 2010.

William Wombacher, your Disability and Elder Law Attorney for Central Illinois

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Older veterans with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for developing dementia

For veterans with PTSD their risk of dementia was double that of veterans who did not have PTSD, including those who had received the Purple Heart, according to Mark E. Kunik, MD, MPH, of the Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, and colleagues.    For the current study, Kunik and colleagues examined records of veterans seen at least twice from 1997 to 1999 in VA centers in the South Central U.S., who had either a diagnosis of PTSD at that time or had received the Purple Heart for combat-related wounds or injuries.
"It could be that cognitive impairment in PTSD is an early marker of dementia, PTSD is an independent risk factor for dementia, or PTSD and dementia share a common risk factor such as low cognitive reserves," Kunik and colleagues wrote.  Similar results were published earlier this year from another VA system-based data analysis. 
Read more about the study at this link,
This has implications for both for those seeking Social Security Disability(SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and  for our Elder law clients who are Veterans.

William Wombacher, Central Illinois Disability and Elder Law Attorney--I'll help you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

New medical device may help stroke victims recover use of legs

Stroke patients striving to walk normally may get a lift from a bionic leg developed by venture-backed Tibion Corp. Tibion’s device, worn around the leg during physical therapy, supplies the power needed to stand or walk, and may enable more intense therapy sessions. As strength and control returns, it assists the leg less. Tibion’s device, worn around the leg during physical therapy, supplies the power needed to stand or walk, and may enable more intense therapy sessions. As strength and control returns, it assists the leg less.
     The company’s product, which wraps around the leg and extends from the thigh to the ankle, amplifies a patient’s effort, adding just enough mechanical lift to enable him to stand or take a step. Sensors in the patient’s shoe detect weight distribution and trigger the robot to deliver the amount of assistance that a therapist has programmed in.  
Read all about in Wall St Journal

WilliamWombacher, Central Illinois Disability and Elder Law specialist--I'll help you!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Elder Law-Medicare Part D- enrollment begins again

Medicare Part D Plans change every year. Premiums and deductibles may change, and, worst of all, beneficiaries may find drugs they need taken off their plans' formularies or made subject to new prior authorization rules and other restrictions. It is a necessity that beneficiaries and their helpers compare different plans before the Part D Annual Election Period from November 15 – December 31.

The Central Management Service projects that for 2011, 1.2 million beneficiaries will have to change plans as a result of plans leaving the market or reducing their service area.  The vast majority of people who will need to change, 925,000 of them, are in Private Fee for Service (PFFS) plans that have decided they no longer want to participate in Medicare as a result of additional requirements passed in the 2008 Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), not the recent health care reform law.  The changes from 2008 go into effect for the 2011 plan year.
Learn what you need to know to make the best decisions. See The Center for  Medicare Advocacy website.  

William Wombacher. Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surgery to reduce risk of Stroke

    Surgery to remove plaque from clogged neck arteries lowered the risk of stroke in the long run, according to a study in the Lancet. Over time, plaques composed of cholesterol and debris accumulate on artery walls, narrowing them and restricting the flow of blood. In carotid arteries, which run up either side of the neck, this narrowing increases the likelihood of having a stroke. The surgery, known as carotid endarterectomy, is sometimes suggested for patients whose carotid arteries have narrowed by 60% to 90%, even in the absence of pre-stroke symptoms.

For patients older than 75, carotid endarterectomy didn't significantly reduce stroke risk. The relative benefits of the procedure may decrease as nonsurgical treatments, such as cholesterol-lowering medications, become more effective. 
Read all about it in the Wall Street Journal.

William Wombacher, Central Illinois only Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Powers of Attorney-Don't wait too long!

    Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Powers of Attorney for Property are very powerful documents that can be used to avoid the need for Guardianship.  They must be signed while the person giving the power is still competent and understands the significance of what they are going in granting the power to an agent. Powers of attorney should only be granted to persons whom you trust and who are able and willing to carry out your wishes. Powers of attorney should almost never be granted to strangers or to people with competing business or personal interests or agendas. So, when should you get a power of attorney? The answer is now! You don't wait until you are having problems. Sometimes that is too late. Only wait if you know when you are going to have a stroke, heart attack or get a brain injury in an accident.

William Wombacher, Central Illinois' only Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)