November is National Family Caregivers Month!

Family Caregivers Come in All Forms

Dan Okrent, Staff Attorney in our Seniors Unit helped an elderly client avoid eviction and transition to stable housing when a longtime friend’s son stepped in to become the client’s agent. Mrs. T, an elderly widow with no children, outlived her savings in an expensive assisted living facility (ALF). As a result of dementia, Mrs. T thought that she was paying the ALF each month, but she was not. She did not even know how much money she had in her bank accounts. The ALF was threatening to bring an eviction proceeding against her if she did not pay off her substantial arrears.

Okrent escorted Mrs. T to her banks and discovered that she had enough money to pay off the arrears. However, the bank where Mrs. T had most of her money would not let her withdraw the funds unless she had a Guardian or an agent appointed in a Power of Attorney (POA). Okrent concluded that Mrs. T was competent to execute a POA, but her only blood relative was a nephew living in Europe. The only person who visited Mrs. T and cared about her was the son of an old neighbor and friend. He agreed to step into this role.

Okrent drafted the POA, and it was executed at the ALF. This allowed Mrs. T to pay off her arrears and avoid an eviction proceeding. With the risk of eviction averted, Okrent had time to help Mrs. T make a seamless transition to more stable, affordable housing. Okrent arranged for the client to sign up for Medicaid and move to an ALF with Medicaid-reimbursed beds available. Mrs. T is doing well in her new home.

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