By Beverly Bernstein Joie.
Beverly is a faculty member and panelist at the
“6th Annual Legal Issues in an Age of Aging” seminar.
“Is the power of attorney I have from 1990 still valid?”
“How do I know if my father is still safe living alone?”
“Will Medicare pay for my husband’s care?”
“How much would it cost me to stay in my home and have aides round the clock?”
When seniors are faced with failing health and dwindling finances, their questions are numerous and complex — and commonly overlaid with fear, denial and family issues. Often, elder law attorneys are the first professionals to field these inquiries. Though many of these questions are not legal in nature, they are vitally important to the client’s well being, and they beg to be addressed.
An elder law attorney’s expertise in asset protection and estate planning is crucial to help clients protect themselves and their heirs. They design and implement a plan guided by their knowledge of Medicaid law and the appropriate timing of how, what and when specific steps must be taken. This is to insure that their client receives the best care possible considering their circumstances. Answers to the “how,” “when” and “where” of care rely on a body of knowledge separate from elder law. Numerous elder law practices have incorporated geriatric care management as an integral component of their practice either informally or by hiring care managers.
Several years ago, we were contacted by an attorney after he had spent time in a drug store buying makeup for his client. That was the point in which the need for a care manager became apparent to him. The elder law attorney must decide the best use of his or her billable time and the manner in which clients are to be served. These decisions define the design of an elder law practice.
What is a geriatric care manager?
Geriatric care managers are human service professionals with degrees in social work, counseling, nursing or geriatrics. As specialists in the area of geriatrics, their work