Elder law attorneys are known for their ability to help families find ways to cope with the high cost of long-term care. Drafting legal documents like Powers of Attorney, creating strategies to protect assets, or securing public benefits like Medicaid or VA Pension Aid & Attendance are just some of the things an elder law attorney can help you do.
What if your family has more problems than just paying for care? What if you need help knowing what care and services your loved one needs, where to find those services, and how to make sure your loved one gets quality care?
According to Bailey Schiermeyer, a Certified Elder Law Attorney at Elder Law of East Tennessee, a Life Care Planning Law Firm with offices in Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee, elder law services that focus solely on legal documents, benefits qualification, and asset protection are important—but they miss the mark. “Elder law without care is an incomplete solution that creates gaps that families end up having to address themselves,” she said. “Life Care Planning bridges those gaps with a holistic and comprehensive service offering that gives families a single point of contact for expert guidance throughout the elder care journey.”
Like all Life Care Planning Law Firms, the firm that Bailey works for brings attorneys and professionals from other disciplines together on a single team that guides families through the process. This guidance preserves the older adult’s financial, legal, and personal wellbeing while providing peace of mind—and respite—to family caregivers. Bailey says that working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm helps caregivers be more proactive about their loved ones’ care. “Families are often lurching from one crisis situation to another,” said Bailey. “When you’re constantly reacting, you’re just trying to get through the day. Having to coordinate the services of different professionals on top of that makes it virtually impossible to get out in front of the situation, especially when the older adult’s condition is changing. Because we have attorneys, care coordinators, public benefits professionals, and other specialists together in one place, families get a more complete solution for a lot less effort. We can be proactive in ways that single-service providers can’t be.”
Bailey loves how a Life Care Planning Law Firm surrounds a family with support. “It’s a team of professionals dedicated to guiding you through the process and make good decisions,” she noted. “An older adult’s situation is never static. It’s always changing. Having access to a dedicated team that helps you manage each new transition is extremely valuable.”
Taking a proactive approach to elder care isn't just about having a plan before it's needed. Being proactive means having the right people in place to help you when it's time to implement that plan. In a Life Care Planning Law Firm, you have an attorney looking after legal matters such as estate planning and asset protection. You also have a care coordinator who has decades of experience in geriatric care management. Many elder care coordinators are certified geriatric care managers, which means they bring a skill to the team that attorneys just don't have. “It's very common in my firm for there to be five people - an attorney, a care coordinator, and three other people who are actively engaged with the family addressing a whole range of issues related to the implementation of the client’s plan,” Bailey added. “The outcome is better for everyone. Working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm can mean the difference between and older adult merely surviving—or thriving.”