Elder E-Letter: Winter 2020

Exciting 2020 Announcement!

moving van
New Year SA

Happy New Year! We look forward to serving you from a bigger location. We’ve outgrown our space, so we are moving. More details soon to follow.

Please Join us at the 2020 Alzheimer’s Education Summit

2020 Educational Summit on Alzheimer s Disease Save the Date 8.5 x 11 Flyer

The Alzheimer’s Summit Planning Committee has been working hard on this year’s conference. The speakers, activities and the food are guaranteed to be fantastic! For professionals looking for inexpensive and engaging CEUs–attending this event is a no-brainer.

Elder Law Askit Baskit: Smart Steps for Doing Your Own Medicaid Application


As an elder law paralegal, the most labor-intensive task I perform is preparing a Medicaid application. It’s a lot of work. When I get word that one of our clients has been approved for Medicaid, I do a happy dance around the office. However, not everyone has the money to hire an elder law attorney to file a Medicaid application. If your loved one meets the criteria for Medicaid eligibility, you may be able to prepare and submit the application without the help of an elder law attorney.

Here are some smart steps to take when preparing a Medicaid application:

If your loved one has mental capacity, make sure there is a Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney in place. This document is vital for you to gain access to their financial records when you are filling out the Medicaid application and providing the supporting documentation required.

Make sure your loved one qualifies both medically and financially before you apply. You don’t want to go through all the work of compiling and submitting a Medicaid application if your loved one doesn’t qualify. Here’s a good article that outlines the eligibility requirements for Long-term Care Medicaid in Texas.

Get some guidance. You don’t have to go it alone. Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) has benefit counselors who can help you with your Medicaid application. This service is free of charge. Additionally, Sarah Roberts French Home has a free community outreach program on the fourth Thursday of every month. This workshop assists families with the Medicaid application process. Another free alternative is to ask the long-term care facility business office to help you fill out the Medicaid application.

Get organized—this is my biggest word to the wise. Along with the Medicaid Application, Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) also requires that you submit supporting documentation. One of the most common reasons for Medicaid denial is failure to provide information. Don’t piecemeal the supporting documentation—submit all of the requested documentation with the application. Failure to provide complete supporting documentation most certainly guarantees a denial. If you don’t know where your loved one’s bank statements are, you’ll need to track them down.

Keep copies of everything you submit to Medicaid. I can’t stress this enough. HHSC processes a ton of Medicaid applications. Sometimes they lose stuff. Make a table of contents for your Medicaid application and supporting documentation and keep copies of everything you submit. You will be thankful you kept a copy when Medicaid comes back to you asking for information that you’ve already submitted. Yes, this frequently happens!

If you feel overwhelmed with the application process, or if you have experienced denial after denial to a submitted application, we can help. Give us a call at (210) 892-4555.



October 2nd – Carol presented Legal Issues Facing Elders at the Academy of Learning In Retirement.

2019 Buddy Walk

October 19th – Ellen and Toni had a blast at the 2019 Buddy Walk.

2019 Alzheimer s Walk

October 19th – Nena, and Jody, and Carol enjoyed participating in the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

October 22nd – Carol presented When My Spouse Dies to Oasis.

October 24th – Carol talked about the importance of Medical Powers of Attorney, Directives to Physicians, and DNRs to pharmacy students at The University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy.

Ellen Power of Women 2

October 24th – Ellen attended City Year’s Power of Women Luncheon.

Ellen sock hop

October 26th – The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC attended the San Antonio Clubhouse Sock Hop 15th Anniversary Celebration Honoring Kevin Moriarty.

October 30th – Carol presented Topics Every Caregiver Should Know at an open forum discussion at Arden Courts of San Antonio.

Carol Caregiver Summit2
Carol Caregiver Summit1

November 1st – Carol presented Powers of Attorney and Planning for Medicaid at WellMed’s 2019 Caregiver Summit.

November 6th – Carol presented Legal Issues Facing Elders at the Academy of Learning In Retirement.

November 12th – Carol presented Wills and Trusts at the Southside Lions Senior Center.

Ellen Nov 14

November 14th – Ellen talked about the Medicaid Application process to the MCCI Medical Group.

November 14th – Carol talked about Estate Planning and Probate at the Roseheart Clubhouse.

November 21st – Carol spoke at the Academy of Learning In Retirement about what people need to be aware of in their 70s and 80s.

Pie picture

Thanksgiving – Toni gifted us delicious Thanksgiving pies. She made them from scratch and they were outstanding. We’re still talking about those pies! Thank you, Toni!

Jody and Jennifer AAHCC Christmas Party
group photo AAHCC christmas party

December 6th – Jody was honored to help Alamo Area Home Care Council put on a Christmas Gala for River City Christian School, a school for kiddos with learning differences.

Essentials of Cargiving

December 12th – Carol presented The Essentials of Caregiving: Legal and Financial Planning at UT Health’s Caring for the Caregiver.

christmas ornament

Christmas – Toni did it again and brought us more holiday cheer. She gave us beautiful, handcrafted paper ornaments. Check out the one on Jody’s tree!

Coming Up

January 11th Carol talks presents Estate Planning with Medicaid in Mind to the Alamo Area Parkinson’s Support Group.

Carol s Birthday

January 19th The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC celebrates the most important day of the year—Carol’s birthday, of course!


January 20th The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

January 25th Carol & Ellen attend continuing education in Dallas: Texas NAELA UnProgram 2020.

January 27th Ellen speaks about Special Needs trusts for the elderly to students at St. Mary’s School of Law.

February 11th Carol presents Do Your Paperwork Now at OASIS.

February 13th & 14th Carol attends continuing education: 16th Annual Changes and Trends Affecting Special Needs Trusts.

February 13th & 14th Ellen, Nena, Toni, & Jody attend continuing education: 2020 Docket Call in Probate Court seminar.

February 26th Carol presents Paying for Long Term Care to a Parkinson’s support group.

February 26th Carol attend’s the Rotary Club of San Antonio’s 25th Annual Don Strange Diploma Plus Party at the Mays Family Center at the Witte.

March 14 The Law Offices of Carol Bertsch, PC attends the 2020 Education Summit on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias at the Norris Conference Center. Click here to register.

March 16 Ellen gives a probate presentation for OASIS at the Army Residence Community.

March 21st Carol talks estate planning to the Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) Support Group at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church.

March 27th Carol talks to social workers about helping families with end-of-life care.

Book Carol Bertsch or Ellen Patterson for a Presentation

Ellen and Carol

Please email jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com if you’d like to book Carol Bertsch or Ellen Patterson to come and speak to your organization.

UT Health: Caring for the Caregiver

Caring for the Caregiver is a great educational resource for caregivers. To view upcoming events visit the UT Caregivers Events Page.


UT Health: Glenn Biggs Institute

The Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases is another fantastic resource that hosts lectures about Alzheimer’s. Visit the Events Page for upcoming events.

Early Stage Suport Groups

Alzheimer’s Association

Click here for caregiver resources in Bexar County that are sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association.


What’s Going on in Your World?


We appreciate your feedback. Do you have a book or a topic you’d like to see featured in our newsletter? Please email your suggestions to jhudspeth@assistingseniors.com. All ideas are welcome.