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Sensory-Friendly Films

Monday, 20 February 2012 10:58

theater_chairsLet's go to the movies! Participating AMC Theatres offer movie screenings especially for individuals with autism.  The theatres have their lights up, sound turned down, and audience members are not required to watch the movie silently or stay in their seats.  The sensory-friendly films are offered at participating theatres once a month, usually at 10:00 AM on a Saturday.  AMC also offers amenities for hearing and vision-impaired theatregoers.  Please visit www.amctheatres.com or call 1-800-AMC-4FUN for more information and for specific theatres and show times near you.

- Posted by Amanda Buzo

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But...Hey! I Wash My Face First!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 08:46

person-centered_careClick here to view the vlog version

Years ago, I read a rather thought provoking book by Robert Fulghum titled From Beginning to End:  The Rituals of Our Lives.  I was working in the world of long term care at the time.  While reading, I realized that I’d never thought much about my own rituals.  Actually, I hadn’t thought much about anyone’s rituals, including those of the nursing home and assisted living residents whom I had the privilege of serving each day.

The book addresses the importance of rituals in our daily lives – which side of the bed we sleep on, if we brush our teeth before we eat breakfast or after, if we use a two fluffy bed pillows or one flat one…   We all have our own daily habits which, when disrupted, such as when we are away on vacation, can make us irritable or a bit disoriented.  These rituals are a part of who we are and help us feel in control of our day, our schedules, ourselves.

I wondered how different my life would be if I were admitted to a long term care facility.  Would I still be able to stay in my PJs on a cold winter morning reading a good book until noon if I wished?   Would I still be able to shower each morning to help start my day with a fresh outlook and, even more important, with clean hair?   Would I still be able to have a cup of herbal tea before going to bed to help me relax and dream sweet dreams?  And how would anyone know who I am and what my daily rituals are if I couldn’t tell them?  And would anyone really care …?

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The Family Home: Is it in Jeopardy if I Turn to Medicaid for Help?

Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:44

cottage_houseMedicaid rules define the home is as “... any property in which an individual has an ownership interest in and which serves as the individual's principal place of residence. Home includes the structures and land appertaining to the home property.  Appertaining land must be contiguous to adjoin the land on which the home property is located and must not be separated by intervening land property owned by others.”  Thus, my home includes any property that is adjacent or even across the street.

The word “individual” in the definition includes my spouse if I’m married.  It does not include my trust so, strangely, if my home is titled to my trust it is not my home for Medicaid purposes.

If I am unmarried and living there, then the first $525,000 in my home’s equity is exempt for Medicaid eligibility purposes.  The exemption amount is unlimited if my child who is under age 21 or blind or disabled lives there or, if I’m married, my spouse lives at the home.

If I move to a nursing home and then qualify for Medicaid benefits, the home loses its exemption 13 months later unless any of the following still live there:

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Exercise Caution with Joint Accounts

Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:43

writing_checkEstablishing joint bank accounts can be a useful tool in many situations.  It allows husbands and wives to share an account and bank with ease.  It allows an adult child to help an aging parent manage the parent’s finances and pay bills, even if the adult child is not local.  A sibling can assist another sibling oversee his or her finances.  A joint account can avoid probate at the first owner’s death, and may even avoid the need for guardianship over finances, known in Ohio as a guardianship of estate, if the joint account is established before one of the owners is deemed incompetent.

But a joint bank account is not perfect.  While the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner at the death of the first spouse, what happens when the second spouse dies?  Unless a beneficiary is named, usually as a payable-on-death or transfer-on-death beneficiary, the joint account will be a probate asset at the second spouse’s death.

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