How to Prepare for your End-of-Life Care

Of all the difficult conversations one should have in their life, the one about your end-of-life wishes can be one of the most important. Though the topic is equal parts sensitive and challenging, those closest to you should know how they should proceed after you’ve passed.

When going to discuss this with your healthcare provider, there are a few steps to make the process a little less intimidating:

  • Initiate the conversation yourself—despite encouragement from the community for healthcare providers to bring up the conversation, only about 15% actually do.
  • Schedule a separate appointment—a doctor might not be able to give you their full attention about this delicate subject if they’re trying to have the conversation in the middle of your yearly check-up.
  • Do research—it’s good to be prepared for this conversation. Spend some of your own time considering options and thinking about questions you’d like to ask.
  • Choose a representative before your meeting—in the event you cannot speak on your own behalf, it’s a good idea that you have a healthcare proxy who knows what you want. Speak with the person before you go into your appointment and be prepared to have two people as a backup.
  • Bring paperwork with you—if there are forms that you know you’ll need for the conversation, print them at home and look over them before you speak with your doctor.
  • Think about your questions in advance—when you’re doing research of your own and you run across something you don’t understand or you’re just not finding options that seem right for you, write down those questions to bring in.
  • It’s okay to need two appointments—when it comes to your end-of-life wishes, you shouldn’t be coerced or rushed into anything. It’s completely acceptable to request a second appointment so you can consider everything you spoke about with your doctor. Furthermore, it’s recommended that your records are updated every few years.

When it comes to legal documents to consider for your end-of-life wishes, none are better to help you find and navigate those papers than the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC. Contact our competent Chicago Elder Law Litigation Lawyers at (855) 328-5787 today.

Grandson defaulted elderly couple’s home

A late-80s couple has been forced from the home they’ve lived in for nearly 60 years. After their harrowing battle against an eviction claim, they’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to cut their losses and move into a community for seniors.

Just a few months prior to their eviction, they had given the deed of their home to their grandson, who had offered to take care of them financially in exchange. He, instead, promptly mortgaged the home for as much as he could and defaulted on all three loans before selling the home without their consent. Neither of them thought their grandson would treat them that way.

Neighbors of the couple were alerted to their troubles when a real estate agent preemptively introduced them to the home’s new resident. Shocked because the couple had plans to stay there for the rest of their lives, the neighbors set up a fundraiser to help them hire a lawyer and, when they would eventually give up the cause, find them a good place to live. Unfortunately, there was no legal remedy as the foreclosure process had been completed.

Their grandson has yet to face charges as the incident is still being investigated.

If you find that someone you entrusted with your care has actually been exploiting your good faith for their personal financial gain, you may have legal recourse to compensate for your emotional or financial anguish. Contact an attorney with Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787.

Kerry Peck Quoted in Washington Post

Kerry Peck was quoted in the Washington Post on the topic of selecting a “trust protector” to avoid power of attorney abuse in care situations involving dementia and Alzheimers disease.

Click here to read the article.

Illinois Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services Act Ratified

Senate Bill 2301, The Illinois Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services Act, recently passed both chambers of the legislature in Springfield. This landmark legislation will establish minimum training standards for employees of long-term care facilities, residential, or community-based programs that advertise dementia specific services. Families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease should have some confidence that their loved ones are cared for by providers who have received training in dementia care.

state capitolA diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease also requires timely and careful legal planning. Families should have the same confidence with their lawyer for Alzheimer’s disease planning. Call elder law firm Peck Ritchey, LLC, at (312) 201-0900 for a free consultation.

We are the only law firm that has been actively involved in supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter. Our attorneys have served on the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors and its Junior Board. We have also supported the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Rita Hayworth Gala, and Reason to Hope. In addition, Peck Ritchey, LLC, has supported Alzheimer’s Day sponsored by the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Kerry Peck, Managing Partner, co-authored a book entitled “Alzheimer’s and the Law.” Peck Ritchey, LLC, is a law firm committed to helping families and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Kerry R. Peck named Top 10 Elder Lawyer by Leading Lawyers

Kerry R. Peck of Peck Ritchey, LLC has been named to Leading Lawyers’s list of top 10 elder lawyers.

Attorneys who make the list are highly regarded among other attorneys for their ethical standards and legal prowess. Lawyers who receive this honor go through a lengthy selection process that involves being voted on by their peers. The Leading Lawyers peer survey asks all attorneys in an area “If a family member or friend needs legal help and you can’t take the case, which lawyers would you recommend within your area of law or geographic region?”

Attorneys with Peck Ritchey, LLC, have been Leading Lawyers since 2008 and hope to continue to serve as leaders for years to come.

Kerry Peck to speak at Alzheimer’s Conference

Kerry Peck, managing partner of Peck Ritchey, LLC, will be speaking at a conference on Alzheimer’s disease on Saturday, September 10th. The conference, titled Alzheimer’s and Dementia: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Care, will take place at McDonald’s Hamburger University, in Oakbrook, IL.

Kerry’s presentation is titled “Financial and Legal Aspects of Dementia.” He is slated to address the conference at 9:40 that morning.

To register to attend Alzheimer’s and Dementia: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Care, click here.

How can I be sure a charity is worthy of my generosity?

My mom has been a charitable person all her life. But since dad died 18 months ago, she seems to be donating to every cause. It’s always some new charity she chats about whenever we get together. Is she being ripped off? Are these places really charities? How do I get her to be more thoughtful about the organizations to which she donates?

Unfortunately, charity scams are an increasing problem in today’s society. Many fictitious charities are able to view who you have donated to in the past and tailor their requests based on your past giving. Further, once a scam artist has found a potential victim, they may try to go back to the same person on more than one occasion pretending to be different charities.

If you or your mother have concerns regarding the validity of a charity who has contacted you, tell them you will call them back and take some time to research the charity.

Here are some precautions and steps to take when thinking about donating to a particular cause:

Contributor: Kerry Peck

Elder abuse cited at one in three nursing homes

Reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse are “numerous” among the nation’s nursing homes, according to a congressional report.

The study, prepared by the minority (Democratic and Independent) staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, finds that 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States — 5,283 facilities — were cited for almost 9,000 instances of abuse over a recent two-year period, from January 1999 to January 2001.

Common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, the report said.  The report documents instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked, or kicked by staff members or other residents, causing injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.

There are a few speculations as to why this happens. One is that many of these facilities exist to profit off of government programs. Also, a lack of people entering the field puts increased stress on those who already work in nursing homes are a couple. Many argue that not-for-profit nursing homes are significantly better.

If you or your loved ones have faced abuse at the hands of a nursing home attendant or fellow patient, contact the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC today by calling (855) 328-5787.

What should I do if I feel I am being scammed on the phone?

A young woman called me by phone the other day, asking if I had enjoyed using the ADT security system connected to my house over the past three years. I told her I didn’t use ADT. She asked if I was sure. I said, “Of course, I’m sure. I don’t use a security system.” She thanked me and hung up. When I told my son later about my conversation, he said that I should have said nothing. Is he right?

Your son might be correct. The caller might have been fishing for information regarding the security features of your home. From a short exchange, the caller now knows that you did not have a security system at the time they called you. (more…)

What should I do if I feel as though a contractor is ripping me off?

A roofing contractor came to my house, told me that my roof was more than 15 years old and that I needed a new one. So, I paid him $8,000 to start the project, and $8,000 on completion. He and his guys started way back in June, and now it’s almost November. Half my roof is done, but the other half has no shingles or covering whatsoever. How do I get him to finish the job?

Consumers are often disappointed in the services a contractor provides or are ripped off by the individual or company they trusted to improve their home. It appears from your question that the roofing contractor came to you and solicited you for this project. We would stress that you should be weary of service providers who show up to your home uninvited and attempt to solicit your business. This is a tactic that is often used to make the homeowner feel pressured, via a face to face encounter, which causes them to agree to the services they are being offering. (more…)

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