Each month, we pause and look back at news and developments in elder law. For the May review, there’s news in the Arizona legislature and more:
May Review of Arizona News
The Arizona legislature is aiming to make changes in probate, which we wrote about earlier this month. Already law is the creation of a “probate advisory panel,” a group that will be tasked with making suggestions to “improve the adult guardianship and conservatorship laws through statutory changes.” Still being considered is SB1291. It makes changes to guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, which almost certainly will make proceedings more difficult and more expensive. It also picks up HB2174, which creates a new concept called “supported decision making” for disabled adults. Lawmakers or on recess until June 12, so there is still time to weigh in.
Arizona also made news for an investigation into Medicaid fraud. Gov. Katie Hobbs announced that payments to over 100 providers have been suspended following the discovery of scams targeting Native Americans. Behavioral health companies allegedly billed for mental health treatment and addiction rehabilitation, then never provided services. Operation Rainbow Bridge has been launched to help those affected.
Breathe in to a count of four – one, two, three, four. And breathe out — one, two, three, four. Do that for twenty minutes twice a day, and you may reduce your Alzheimer’s risk. According to a new study, deep breathing helps decrease peptides in the blood associated with the disease. It reduces stress, too. An insomnia drug may have a similar effect.
In other dementia news from our May review:
- Physicians are dabbling with using artificial intelligence to create care plans for dementia patients; one is called RestoreU. But you don’t need sophisticated technology to treat dementia. This article points out that prevention efforts can start in childhood and continue for a lifetime. Here are strategies for different age groups.
- What else might help? Nutritional interventions like the MIND or Mediterranean diets (but not a Western diet), and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Stroke survivors often develop dementia, and some suggest aggressive screening so treatment can begin as soon as possible.
- As many families discover, financial problems can go undetected in the early years of dementia, sometimes with devastating results.
A person doesn’t need to have dementia to become a victim of financial fraud; here are ways to to help prevent that.
Living With Aging
In a recent U.S. News & World Report survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents (93%) agreed that “aging in place” was an important goal. Technology appears to be helping them achieve that: 88% said assistive or health-related technologies have improved their quality of life. Useful technologies include medical or health-related mobile apps (45%), service-related apps like grocery delivery (43%), wearable medical or health-related trackers (33%), and assistive smart home technologies (30%). But there are still challenges: only 19% felt that their home setup was completely prepared for the years ahead, and 41% felt their current setup was minimally ready to not ready at all.
Estate Planning Bits
For friends and family, you can get back to basics with this “What is Estate Planning?” introduction. We absolutely endorse this: “Don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional . . . Hiring an attorney will come with added costs, but it will also give you the peace of mind . . . “ But not this: “Take advantage of free resources online.”
One “holistic” approach enlists not just an estate planning attorney but four additional professionals to create a planning team to ensure everything is under control.
Celebrity Estate Updates
The supposed feud over who will administer Lisa Marie Presley’s estate was quietly “resolved.” It seems that Priscilla Presley will be serving. She issued a statement to USA Today that said, in part: “My family has resolved all confusion as it relates to our plea to the court and request for document interpretation after my daughter Lisa Marie’s untimely passing. Although the media identified such a plea as a lawsuit, I want to make clear that there was never any lawsuit filed against my beloved granddaughter. As a family, we are pleased that we resolved this together.”
The estate auction of author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment) begins on Memorial Day, and you can place bids online. Items include typewriters, a writing desk, copies of his books, firearms, boots, memorabilia from Hollywood productions, artwork and furnishings from his home, and vintage Dr. Pepper bottles (pictured above). The auction also includes cowboy and ranching pieces from other Texas estates. The McMurtry pieces are Lots 1 thru 300. McMurtry died in March of 2021 at the age of 84.