In the last 15 years, the number of companies offering services and support to families caring for elderly loved ones has skyrocketed. What sets Life Care Planning apart from the rest?
We posed this question to Bryan Adler, a Certified Elder Law Attorney at Rothkoff Law Group, a Life Care Planning Firm with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As Bryan sees it, Life Care Planning isn't about offering a better service, it's about offering a different service. Take, for instance, traditional elder law firms that focus on qualifying clients for Medicaid, and Life Care Planning Law Firms. A family that works with a traditional elder law firm can hire other companies to provide the services that the elder law firm doesn’t, such as care coordination, care advocacy, or support with health insurance matters. “The service that you get from these different companies may be just as good as what you would get from a Life Care Planning Law Firm,” Bryan explains. “The goal of a Life Care Plan isn't to provide necessarily better services than you can find elsewhere. The goal is to give families access to more of the services they need from a single provider.”
The issues that arise when families are caring for older people can be compared to a three-legged stool. For the best results, all three legs of the stool—legal, financial, and social—must be addressed at the same time. “The best care in the world is worthless if you have no way to pay for it,” Bryan notes. “All the money in the bank is useless if you have bad care. Having a firm who can address all the concerns at once leads to better outcomes and better odds that the elder will be able to age at home.”
To explain how Life Care Planning Law Firms support families, Bryan often uses the analogy of a travel agent. “If you’re going on a vacation, one option is to plan everything yourself,” he explains. You can book your own flight, hotel, and transportation, and figure out on your own what to pack, what immunizations you need, and what you’ll do when you’re there. Or, you can have someone plan it all for you and serve as your guide throughout the trip, someone who is able to look around the corners that you didn’t know you needed to look around.”
The travel agency analogy is ideal because the elder care journey is much like a trip to an unfamiliar country. You don’t know what to anticipate, because you’ve never been there before. When you hire a professional who has experience, someone who can see the big picture, things get much easier. “Everybody in our firm is a master of one or two things rather than a jack of all trades,” Bryan adds. “If you’re navigating your loved one’s long-term care journey on your own, most likely, you’re not a master of anything. You're not even a jack of all trades. You may be a doctor, an engineer, an astronaut, a teacher, or something else, but you’re not a professional caregiver, you're not an attorney, and you're not a care advocate. If you take the do-it-yourself approach, the financial, legal, and personal costs of not knowing what you’re doing can add up quickly.”
If you’re interested learning more about the benefits of working with a firm who can guide you through the elder care journey, use this link to find a Life Care Planning Law Firm in your area.