CaringKind’s Education Village
Director of Education & Outreach
At CaringKind we often stress that one person can’t do it alone when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s caregiving. We at CaringKind are no exception. Together, staff with varying expertise and community partners, make up a “dementia village” built to be a caregiver’s haven for support. This haven includes opportunities to learn in seminars such as: Understanding Dementia for Family Caregivers, Monthly Educational Seminars (topics vary), and Placing Your Relative in a Nursing Home. One stop which is often encouraged and sometimes necessary on your road to building knowledge, is attending our Legal and Financial and Medicaid Home Care Seminars.
All of our educational seminars are led or structured by CaringKind staff, depending on their area of expertise. However, being an expert in dementia care is not the same as being an expert in legal affairs. This is why CaringKind’s education village also includes elder law attorneys. Our expertise in dementia and their expertise in elder law build a bridge to connect you with practical legal information meant to facilitate caregiving.
The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) defines “Elder Law” as “the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and persons with special needs.” The NELF also explains how elder law attorneys are responsible for “[counseling] a person’s representatives about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making, legal capacity…” and more. In other words, the world of Elder Law is vast and its own neighborhood in a “dementia village”. CaringKind understands that meeting with a qualified elder law attorney is often required for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease care planning.
CaringKind does not endorse any one attorney but can help you identify a need for an elder law attorney and will provide you with an opportunity to learn from one. When attending any of our free Legal and Financial or Medicaid Home Care Seminars, caregivers have an opportunity to learn how dementia or Alzheimer’s disease impacts legal matters such as: power of attorney, guardianship, Medicaid eligibility, long-term care insurance, health care proxy, and more. Every presenting attorney defines and explains the importance of these legal matters and documents, utilizing their expertise, while following a curriculum of topics developed by CaringKind. The attorney explains these matters understanding the unique challenges related to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Moreover, during these meetings, caregivers are (re)introduced to specific legal documents, how they can be used, and what can be done to protect a person’s rights and choices. Caregivers also have an opportunity to ask questions. Questions sometimes range from, “My parent has a power of attorney from 15 years ago, should it be updated?” to, “Will I lose my money and home when my spouse needs a nursing home?” Of course, the purpose of the seminar is to offer an understanding of how simple or complicated legal issues can be but not to provide legal advice.
Not every question will have a simple answer, but understanding how simple or complex an issue may be is key to understanding what step might come next.
The Legal and Financial and Medicaid Home Care Seminars are offered on a rotating basis. Though each seminar may be presented by a different attorney, the information shared is the same. Each attorney aims to provide legal information, and notably do so on a volunteer basis. In addition to experience working with dementia clients or caregivers, many are motivated to teach these seminars because of a personal connection to the disease, and their primary goal in these seminars is to connect caregivers with valuable information and resources.
CaringKind and our partners are here to help you learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you would like to learn more about any of these seminars, or to be connected to an elder law attorney, please visit our website at www.caringkindnyc.org or call our 24-hour Helpline at 646-744-2900.