Vermont Bar Journal
Housing for the Elderly and Disabled
THE VERMONT BAR JOURNALVolume 35, No. 3Fall 2009Housing for the Elderly and DisabledA Comprehensive Look at a Difficult ProblemReviewed by Glenn A. Jarrett, Esq.In my years of practicing as an elder law attorney, I have yet to have any client tell me he or she wanted to go to a nursing home. Most have a strong preference for remaining at home. Today, many people find themselves taking care of a spouse or parent, either directly or indirectly. One of the most difficult situations elder law attorneys face is when the strain of caring for a family member is putting the caregiver's own health at risk. Caregiving is a physically and emotionally demanding job. Often, the caregiver has promised the family member he or she would never "put them in the home." Fortunately, today there are many options available to an elder besides staying in an unworkable home situation or entering a skilled nursing facility.
Our population is aging and will continue to age more as medical advances keep many more people alive for many more years than was common a generation ago. The elderly and individuals with disabilities find it more difficult than younger, able-bodied people to find housing because of their different needs and often, their limited income. Physical aging and mental aging may both play a role in where people are best housed.
Professor Lawrence Frolik has written a comprehensive book on housing options for the elderly and disabled. He points out that there is not just one set of the elderly-people's needs change as they age and decisions made at an earlier age may no longer be appropriate as years go by with resulting changes in physical and mental condition and, possibly, changes in the composition of the family.
Frolik's topics cover the panoply of choices available...