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The Complex Modern Family Requires a New Planning Model, Book Argues
- July 26th, 2017
A new book suggests that planning for elder care and a loved one's death are especially important for today's complex modern families. In Homeward Bound: Modern Families, Elder Care, and Loss, the authors contend that the current approach to elder care is based on an outdated caregiving model that presumes a life-long connection between parents and children.
Authors Amy Ziettlow, a Lutheran minister, and Naomi Cahn, a law professor at George Washington University, interviewed caregivers whose mother, father, stepparent, or ex-stepparent had died, in order to gain an understanding how current legal, medical, and religious tools worked to help the caregivers. They found that the current caregiving model is designed for tight-knit families where both parents stayed married and the children and parents have shared beliefs. By contrast, today, more than 40 percent of Americans have step-relatives and the divorce rate for older adults has doubled.
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Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
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In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Ziettlow and Cahn determined that single-parent and remarried households, in particular, need formal planning to help caregivers deal with problems that might arise. Examples of challenges that can benefit from advance planning include how to care for aging parents who don't live together, how to deal with depleted finances that result from divorce, and whether there is an obligation to care for a stepparent or a parent's unmarried partner. In their interviews, the authors found that most advance planning occurred once the patient was enrolled in hospice because hospice providers were well equipped to deal with unique family circumstances. Getting families to plan earlier—i.e., when divorcing or remarrying—could help families deal with the complicated issues that arise.
Modern seniors have different familial structures than past generations. Advance planning for elder care is extremely important to help caregivers navigate the complexities of contemporary families. Talk to your attorney about setting up a plan for long-term care. To find an attorney near you, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.
For more information about Homeward Bound, click here.
Last Modified: 07/26/2017