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What You Need to Know: Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act

elder law attorneyEvery year, America’s senior citizens lose close to $3 billion due to financial exploitation, either from scam artists or unscrupulous caregivers.

It’s this type of abuse that led lawmakers this year to pass the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act, put forward by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and signed into law by President Trump in mid-October.

The law creates tougher penalties for frauds, expands information sharing rules to prevent financial fraud targeting seniors, and expands the federal criminal code to include email marketing schemes.

“Exploiting and defrauding seniors is cowardly, and these crimes should be addressed as the reprehensible acts they are,” Grassley, himself a senior citizen, said earlier this year.

When you work as an elder law attorney, you see people who have fallen victim to these sorts of crimes all too often. And while stronger penalties are no doubt a good thing, there are things you can do to prevent your loved ones from falling victim to financial elder abuse:

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Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

Nursing Home Costs in 2017

Want to live in a private nursing home room? Expect to pay more.

That’s according to Genworth’s 2017 Cost of Care survey of U.S. nursing homes, conducted by the insurer each year, which found that the median cost for a private room rose 5.5 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Genworth says the median cost of a private room is $97,455, while a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775, up 4.44 percent from 2016. This price increase is substantially larger than the 1.24 percent and 2.27 percent gains, respectively, in 2016.

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Long-Term Care Benefits for Veterans and Surviving Spouses

Veteran's Benefits in Bucks County

The cost of long-term care can add up quickly.

But if you’re a veteran — or the surviving spouse of a veteran — who needs nursing care, help is available in the form of an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance.

This program provides money to those who need help carrying out everyday tasks. It’s even open to veterans whose income is higher than the threshold for a VA pension, provided they have large medical expenses for which they do not receive reimbursement.

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