Seminar on end-of-life issues packs Hoag Library

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Sandy Church, an Albion attorney, discusses advanced directives during an end-of-life seminar Tuesday evening at Hoag Library’s main meeting room.

The Albion Rotary Club organized the seminar, which attracted about 75 people to the library. Several speakers discussed issues to help senior citizens and caregivers better prepare for the end of life. In addition to the speakers, there was a vendor fair with about 15 different businesses and agencies.

Susie Miller, assistant director for the Office for the Aging in Orleans County, discusses some of the services at the agency, including assistance for younger people.

Miller said many members of the Baby Boomer generation are now taking care of their elderly parents.

Earl Schmidt, director of the Veterans Service Agency, is pictured with the agency’s new display for public outreach events. Schmidt was among the vendors at Tuesday’s seminar.

John Zonitch, an attorney with Oak Orchard Legal Services, discusses how Medicare and Medicaid can pay for nursing home care. Zonitch said a single person can still have $14,850 in savings and be eligible for Medicaid, and married people can have at least $74,820 and still be eligible for Medicaid. Those funds allow for “rainy day” expenses, such as roof repairs, new furnaces, and other costs.

However, Zonitch said people can’t give their money away to family and charities soon before seeking Medicaid assistance if they are near the Medicaid eligibility thresholds.

“It does get complex,” he said about the rules.

Scott Schmidt, the county’s chief coroner, said families with an unattended death can always call 911, a funeral director or a coroner for help.