In recent decades, the number of older Americans has steadily increased due in large part to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation and advances in science and medicine that have contributed to a considerably longer average life expectancy in the U.S. The population explosion for seniors is not expected to slow down anytime in the near future according to experts. Seniors have always faced issues and problems that were unique to their age group; however, as the sheer number of seniors continues to increase, those social and legal issues take on a heightened importance both for seniors themselves and for their loved ones. Warren, New Jersey has a population of just over 15,000 residents that make up approximately 5,000 households. In Warren Township, 13.4 percent of the population is aged 65 or older with 6.4 percent of the households being made up of someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older.
If you are a senior, or the caretaker of someone over the age of 65, you will find that Warren Township has numerous resources available to assist you with issues often faced by seniors and their caretakers. To help you locate those resources when you need them, the elder law attorneys at Augulis Law Firm have compiled some commonly used elder law resources for the Warren Township, New Jersey 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. Many of those can be found on the Township of Warren website. The website offers a wealth of helpful information including links to the township’s Health Department, the Township Committee and a Township Directory with 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 Warren Township Police Department and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office service residents who live in and around Warren Township, New Jersey. The Somerset County “Senior Programs and Services” website also has a wealth of information and links to programs and services for seniors.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
Planning for your “Golden Years” should include planning for the very real possibility that you will need long-term care at some point. Before that time comes, however, you may be able to remain in your home for longer by making use of home health care services in your area. Likewise, you may choose to move to an assisted living facility long before the need for around the clock, skilled nursing care arises. Residents of Warren Township, New Jersey are fortunate in that they have a number of different care options that meet the differing needs of seniors in the community. If you need assistance deciding on health care services or facilities, the following resources may be of assistance:
- The State of New Jersey, Department of Health offers a searchable database for both acute care and long-term care facilities. You can search by county, city, name, or even owner.
- 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.
- New Jersey Care Planning Council website which offers a listing of nursing homes in the area as well as a variety of other resources that help you manage the need for long-term care for yourself or for a loved one.
- The Caring.com website lists nursing homes in New Jersey along with detailed information about the listings.
Long-term care (LTC) planning should be an integral part of your overall estate plan given the high cost involved in LTC. The average cost of a year in a LTC facility across the nation was over $80,000 in 2017; however, as a resident of New Jersey you can expect to pay considerably more given the higher cost of living in New England. That same year, a comparable year of LTC in New Jersey cost over $125,000. The estate planning attorneys at Augulis Law Firm encourage you to explore your LTC options long before the need for care actually arises so you have some idea where you would prefer to live and what the cost of that care is likely to be. In addition, unless you can afford to pay out of pocket for LTC, you will need to incorporate Medicaid planning into your estate plan to ensure that your assets are protected if you need to qualify for Medicaid down the road.
At Augulis Law Firm we look forward to helping you with all your senior health care and estate planning needs so you can enjoy your retirement years knowing that you and your assets are protected.
Experts tell us that getting out and spending time with friends and neighbors is vital to both the physical and mental health of seniors. If you are a veteran, the American Legion Post 293 i and the VFW Post 3117 are great places to meet new friends and mingle with old ones. You might also try the listing of Somerset County Senior Centers found on the county’s website for current events involving seniors or for the center nearest you.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. For residents of Warren Township, New Jersey, a good resource is the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services. Another great resource is the State of New Jersey, Department of Human Services, Division of 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 New Jersey FamilyCare Aged, Blind, Disabled, New Jersey’s Medicaid program.
You may find that navigating the rules and procedures relating to the state and federal benefits can be challenging. The elder law attorneys at Augulis Law Firm 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. Whether you are still exploring the benefits to which you may be entitled, are ready to apply, or have received a denial and wish to appeal that decision, the team at Augulis Law Firm look forward to helping you.
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, asset protection and incorporating your retirement plans into your estate plan. If you have additional questions or concerns about any of these elder law issues, contact an experienced New Jersey elder law attorney at Augulis Law Firm today by calling 908-222-8803 to schedule your appointment today.