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Civi Stanger,   Elder Law Attorney   in Pittsburgh, PA        show your full name

Elder Law Attorney at Stanger and Stanger LLP edit

Certifications edit
  1. Juris Doctorate
  2. National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Questions Answered: 2
Answer a recent question from a Pittsburgh, PA caregiver.
About edit
I am an attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New York. I am deeply involved in the care for my parents. And let me tell you, they can be quite hard to deal with at times.
Your Website edit
Articles Written
Areas of Expertise edit
Acting power of attorney, Advanced Directives, Bereavement counseling, Estate planning, Family Counseling, Health Care Directives, Health Care Proxies, Living wills,
Education edit
  • Cardozo School of Law - JD
  • Brooklyn College - BSE
Language
I speak both English and Spanish.
Caregiver Questions Answered by Civi Stanger
Answers Provided: 2

Liability for Health Aide My niece recommended a friend of hers as a home health care aide. The aide seems like a very nice person. One thing that this aide requested is being paid 'off the books'. I am concerned about liability that might result from such an arrangement. Should I be concerned?
Civi S.'s Expert Answer:     Yes, from a legal perspective you should definitely be concerned. Paying someone off the books often translates into not paying for health, liability, or workmens comp. insurance.
In a home health care situation, like the one you describe, injuries are not uncommon and the liability you assume by being 'off the books' is probably more than you could afford.
And by the way, this is all leaving aside the illegality of not complying with state and federal regulations.
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Away From Them My parents live in Pittsburgh and I live in New York. I find it exceedingly difficult to monitor their deteriorating conditions from afar. For example, my father had recently been complaining of toothaches. I find out on Sunday that he had three teeth pulled on Friday, after my mother, who is still 'with it' tells me to give him a call. I would have liked to have known, as this process was taking place, more about my father's condition. Was there an abcess? Was this procedure necessary? What other care options might there have been? What does he do now? A prosthetic? An implant. It is very hard being so far away.
Civi S.'s Expert Answer:     As someone who has parent living 7 hours drive away, I can totally relate! But wearing my professional hat for a moment (I am an attorney), let me just say that you have certain rights when it comes to your parents medical conditions. Firstly, and most simply, you can ask your parents to tell their doctors (or dentists, as the case may be) to speak with you. This is not a violation of HIPAA regulations and if your parents are like my own, the doctors may relish the chance to effectively communicate a medical situation with someone of the younger generation. Secondly, you can consider going through the legal process of becoming a Health Proxy for your parents. This will mean that your parents medical decisions are in your hands. This may not be necessary at this point, or may be more responsibility than you want to accept at this time. Nevertheless, it may be something that you want to consider. Good luck. Cynthia Rosenberg, JD
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