Though Life Care Planning isn’t yet a household name, more and more people are learning about this innovative service that helps families respond with confidence to the challenges created by aging, long-term illness, and disability.
How do people find their way to a Life Care Planning Law Firm? We posed this question to Pati Bedwell, an elder care coordinator at Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Hendersonville Tennessee. Pati has been with the firm for five years and has spent most of her career working with older adults in long-term care facilities.
Pati says that there are many ways that families learn about the firm’s services, but one of the most common is professional referral sources in the legal, financial services, healthcare, and long-term care industries. “General practice attorneys refer a lot of clients to us,” Pati explained. “We also get many referrals from professionals at long-term care facilities like nursing homes and assisted living centers who are working to help prospective residents find ways to pay for care.”
Social workers, case managers, and hospital discharge planners are another reliable source of referrals. These professionals play an important role in transitioning older adults from the hospital to home or a long-term are facility.
Not surprisingly, many of the firm’s referrals today come either directly or indirectly from the firm’s social media channels, with Facebook being a particularly powerful platform. “If you're a caregiver, you are most likely doing a form of Life Care Planning without even realizing it until the burden becomes too much and you go out looking for help,” noted Pati, “There’s lots of support available on social media today, including caregiver groups. People who go to those groups asking for assistance will hear about our firm from others in the group.”
Most Life Care Planning Law Firms offer services for people at different points along the elder care journey, but they all have one thing in common. “The main driving force is that they all have a need,” Pati said. “They're in a situation and they're not quite sure how to manage it.
For some, that situation might be what Pati calls a “trigger event,” like a diagnosis, an accident, an injury, or a sudden illness that marks the beginning of the long-term care journey. The need is clear in those situations, and the spouse may be the one seeking help. But in more cases, the adult children are the driving force. “Some people are very proactive,” Pati explained. “We have children that come in and their parents are a little older and maybe they haven't made their arrangements yet, so the kids are the ones driving the wagon to bring their parents in here.”
For Pati, caregiving is one of those things that most people can’t really understand until they’ve done it themselves. “Until you start being a caregiver, especially a full-time, live-in caregiver for your spouse or your mother or your father, you don't realize how enveloping and overwhelming it becomes,” she added. “The level of effort required isn’t something that can be sustained by one person for years on end. They start reaching out because questions come up that they don’t know how to answer, and they just can’t continue doing it all on their own. Fortunately, Life Care Planning Law Firms are here to help.”