Why Our Care Component Will Make All The Difference (Transcript)
Paul R. Cavonis, Injury Law and Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney
D. "Rep" DeLoach III, Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney
Paul: You have a really good staff and I know you that you have some really unique aspects of your practice that a lot of other lawyers simply don't offer. Could you explain that a little bit?
Rep: Well you know I am proud of my staff. I mean I've got great, great people that work with me. I'm only as good as the staff that we have. And we've got some great staff members.
One unique aspect to my elder law practice is having a social worker on staff. Gloria Centonze is a wonderful lady and she's been working as a care advocate here for over 35 years so you think about that, you have a care advocate on staff that knows the doctors, knows the hospitals, knows the nursing homes, knows the assisted living facilities. Knows how to advocate on mom and dad's behalf.
And we think about that is that when you're going through this difficult situation what you're really dealing with mom and dad, who are trying to get good care. But you've also got to stressed caregiver, a stressed daughter or a stressed son or a stressed spouse of course and they've never done this before.
But, when you have an activate and empowered caregiver basically our elder care coordinator, which makes our practice unique it's things happen so much easier, faster, your loved one gets better care and the family is a lot less stressed trying to navigate the long-term care maze.
Paul: Rep, you've been talking about this eldercare component of your practice, something that's unique to your practice. Resolving the legal aspects of these types of issues with the practical care issues. What term is used? What do you actually call that?
Rep: Basically we describe it as Life Care Planning. We're not just regular elder law attorney's. We're Life Care Planning attorney's. And that's having the care advocacy component to your elder law practice.
Paul: Could you please explain to the people watching this video what a typical law firm would do when it came to specifically the eldercare issues?
Rep: Well elder law has been around for a long time as a practice. And the original concept of the practice was to help the elderly with the legal aspects of the aging process. But, what it really became about was Medicaid and asset protection planning. And a typical elder law attorney, that's what they do, is Medicaid and asset protection planning but they're not there at all to help mom and dad and the family deal with the care issues of their aging loved one.
Paul: Would they typically do anything in that regard?
Rep: No, that's just not their job. Their job is to lock the money away so Medicaid or the nursing home doesn't get to it. So the elder law attorneys, they don't do this. It's not their job at all. And so they leave the family to their own to find the right nursing home, the right assisted living facility, home healthcare agencies, care planner meetings, doctors, nurses…
Paul: That's daunting!
Rep: It's totally daunting! And the families have no idea what they're doing ... just the levels of difficulty. And you don't know what you don't know. So your average elder law attorney, that's not their job. Their job is not to get care for their client. Their job is to typically protect the assets from the nursing home. That has its time and place but really it's mom and dad's money. So our goal is to help mom and dad get the right care in the right place.
Paul: So the typical eldercare lawyer would really only deal with half of the problem that these people face and that's kind of the asset protection part of it without dealing with the care part.
Rep: That's exactly right. So, again we're dealing with an elderly loved one who is probably fallen, and they're now in the nursing home but the family has all kinds of choices they have to figure out now. Can mom go home? Can they go to an assisted living facility? Do they have dementia and they need to be in a dementia care facility? They can't stay in the nursing home where are they going to go next? Medicare is going to end, so the family really doesn't know anything of what they've been going through and it’s just the levels of difficulty are just amazing.
And I can say this, I'm not a great care advocate, I mean I'm an elder law attorney, what do I know about getting a loved one good care and dealing with all the issues that come with that? And that's why we offer care advocacy in our program. And let's think about that. Is that you wouldn't normally be thinking about going to an attorney to get care advocacy.
Paul: Sure, right.
Rep: That's really what we're offering because it's the holistic approach to elder law and we basically describe it as dealing with the legal issues, the financial issues, and the healthcare issues. But it's our healthcare issues, it's really the care advocacy that drives the ship making sure our clients get the right care... putting care first so I'm helping mom and dad and helping the family first.