Who Ya Gonna Call?

As seniors, you are probably the greatest beneficiaries of the Great Society, that incredible combination of programs created by President Lyndon Johnson and passed during the 1960s. The anchors of those programs, of course, were Medicare and Medicaid.  Before the creation of these programs, over 30% of all seniors in this country were listed as poor.  Now, less than 10% are listed that way.  In the old days, uninsured seniors got sick and went broke.  Today, there is a safety net that protects us from the medical risks that inevitably come with old age.

At least as important as these medical programs was the Older Americans Act (OAA), designed to help all seniors live better lives. Meals on Wheels, one of the original OAA programs, continues to provide nutritious meals to those who want them.  These and other OAA programs are administered by regional non-profits whose sole purpose is to improve your life as a senior.  Yours is BayPath Elder Services.  I spend a lot of time in these columns helping you figure out the various government programs for which you might be eligible.  The best advice I can give you regarding all of these programs, however, is to call BayPath Elder Services.  Their phone number is 508-573-7200.  Their email address is info@baypath.org.  They provide nutrition and wellness classes, support groups, home care, a number of other programs, and of course, Meals on Wheels.  All of these programs are designed to make your life as a senior better and are more fulfilling and always offered at minimal or no cost to you.  This fall I will be doing a series of articles and seminars highlighting these programs and the way they could improve your life, both by keeping you independent when you need a little more help, and by helping you make the most of the last years of your life.  Stay tuned.

I know it is still summertime and you are still relaxing, but write BayPath Elder Services’ phone number down and resolve to give them a call. Talk to their outreach people about your own situation and find out about the programs that may benefit you right now or that could benefit you in an emergency so you will know whom to call if trouble comes. If you need more information on this, you can contact me at (508) 860-1470 or abergeron@mirickoconnell.com.  You can also view my 10-minute Q&A Fireside Chats on Frank and Mary’s YouTube Channel, http://www.youtube.com/elderlawfrankmary and find more in-depth commentary on legal issues on Mirick O’Connell’s Trusts and Estates blog, “Getting All Your ‘Docs’ in a Row.

About Arthur Bergeron

Art has been practicing law in Massachusetts for over 30 years. He focuses his practice on elder law, estate planning, probate and trust administration, and land use matters. Art counsels senior citizens and their loved ones regarding elder law and special needs planning, asset protection and Medicaid planning. He works with individuals in all areas of estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies and living wills.
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