Elder Care Panel
The Panelists:
Kevin Taylor, Vice President, Highland Capital National Life Insurance Brokerage Company
Pete Iorio, Attorney, Shareholder, Estate Lawyer, Fitzpatrick, Lentz & Bubba's Estate Planning & Administration of Trusts Group
Lorie Greco, Administrator, Northampton County Area on Aging
The second part of the Elder Care Panel took place on June 16th, at Lehigh Country Club. The following are the questions asked to the panel and their responses:
When should people start planning for long term care?
As soon as possible and should include simple wills, Power of Attorney(POA), and a Living Will/Health Care Directive.  Ask your elders where they keep their bank accounts, do they have a will and where do they keep it, as for digital assets, passwords for cell phones, and emails, do they have a safety deposit box, do they have any collectibles such as coins, stamps, etc. 
What are the basic estate planning documents?
Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney
How can you preserve your estate from nursing care costs?
Gifting money, financial strategies and planning
If you go into a Nursing Home can you protect your assets from being attached?
There is protection regarding health care however it usually costs anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 per month for quality care. 
Are there "red flags" when dealing with an estate attorney?
Yes, if you get a solution from an attorney before you share your specific information. A good attorney will spend time with you to discuss your specific needs and then will provide specific estate planning.
What is paid by Medicare and what is not paid?
Medicare does not pay for much. Private long term care programs are best for coverage. 
What benefits should we look for in Long Term Care Coverage?
Life insurance that has long term care attached to the policy which is paid via indemnity and reimbursement. Most plans have an inflation adjustment.  Look for well known insurance companies - do your homework. If you do not use your long term care insurance it's "use it or lose it". Long term care insurance is just like life insurance - you pay into it and then once the person dies there is no return unless you have whole life insurance.  Long Term Care coverage is expensive and it is contingent upon a medical exam.  The ideal time to purchase this is when you are 30-40 years old because you most likely will be in better health. 
Are there other options for example for Veterans, etc.?
Lorie provided several booklets that share these services. 
What conversations do you need to have with your loved ones?
Such conversations like what is their medical information, what medicines are they currently taking, what are their assets, do they want to live out their life in their home or do they want to be in a care facility?
What conversations should employees have with their employers regarding time needed to take care of their parents? 
The best is to have a conversation with your supervisor or Human Resource manager to share what you are dealing with and to make a request for flexibility regarding  work hours. 
What if parents do not want to cooperate?
Have a conversation to find out what they are thinking and concerned about.  How are they managing their diet, hygiene, are there mental issues? Then offer them the least restrictive options. Given that there are many home care companies this may allow your parents to stay safely in their homes. 
If there is limited money how do people get care?
Contact Medicare and apply to get resources. 
Lorie Greco had 3 brochures that had resources and other information.