Cona Elder Law


Is Social Senior Living Right for Your Loved One?


By Jennifer Cona, Esq. Originally published in the May 2024 issue of the Long Island Press, Power of Your Attorney.

Loneliness has been declared a public health epidemic by the US Surgeon General because it leads to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and depression. The majority of older adults report feeling lonely. This population is already vulnerable, subject to scams, financial fraud and elder abuse. As such, tackling the loneliness crisis is paramount.

One item to consider is the inherent bias toward aging in place. Everyone says they want to “stay at home as long as possible” but is this really the best option? For some, it may be. But for others, the socialization, activities, sense of community, opportunities for engagement and purpose offered by a social senior living environment, such as independent living, assisted living, and life plan communities, can have far more benefits.

And of course, these conversations lead to: how will we pay for this care? As always, the answer is: Asset Protection Planning. This can be accomplished by transferring money, investments, real estate or other assets into an irrevocable Asset Protection Trust. However, asset protection planning is only effective if you make the transfers 5 years in advance. Accordingly, early planning is key!

The benefits of asset protection planning include: qualifying for Medicaid benefits to pay for the costs of home care, nursing home care, and certain assisted living programs; preserving assets to pass on to loved ones; protecting assets for your spouse, including avoiding spousal refusal litigation; avoiding probate; and transfer and management of assets by the next generation.

Cona Elder Law’s annual Caregiver Conference on May 8 will focus on social senior living options and explore key differences between assisted living, independent living, life plan communities, Medicaid-paid assisted living, the Consumer Directed Personal Care Aide Program, allowing different options for family and financial support. Topics will also include financing senior living, including asset protection planning, Medicaid planning and eligibility, and practical tips for determining the best way to finance needed care and services.

Join Cona Elder Law and a panel of industry experts on May 8, 2024 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Hilton Long Island for: The Loneliness Epidemic: Tackling Isolation, Care Needs & Finances in Senior Living. This is a FREE conference for caregivers. For more information and to register, click here.

Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cona Elder Law, an award-winning law firm concentrating in the areas of elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, estate administration and litigation, and health care law. The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law Firm by Long Island Business News for eight consecutive years.  For additional information, visit

About the Author Cona Elder Law

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