Garland Law Offices, P.A. is one of a handful of firms across the country to employ a social worker on staff. One of the questions that we get asked frequently is, “Why?” One of the services that we provide is called Life Care Planning. Life Care Planning is a holistic, elder-centered approach to the practice of law that relies on an inter-disciplinary team that works to identify present and potential future care needs, locate appropriate care when the time is right, and ensure that the care is high quality. Who better to offer these services than a social worker?
Dealing with an aging family member can create anxiety, guilt, and fear. These feelings are prevalent no matter if the loved one is a parent, spouse, or sibling regardless if you’re living around the corner, the next town over, or on the opposite coastline. The team at Garland Law Offices, P.A. realizes that most people are caught up in today’s hectic pace of living and don’t have a lot of time at their disposal to research answers to the questions of caring for an aging loved one. Our team works to provide the answers that you need while giving you peace of mind.
With a Life Care Plan, an older adult and his or her family can avoid frantic and costly action should a family crisis arise. The process incorporates legal planning techniques and changing physical, psychological, and financial needs. A qualified elder law attorney works with a client to design a customized legal plan that serves as a road map to meet the inevitable changes that we face as we age. The Elder Care Coordinator, who is a licensed social worker, assesses the older adult’s current situation and then researches possible solutions and answers questions about the type, amount, and quality of care that is necessary while exploring areas of financial assistance. The bottom line of Life Care Planning is to help the elder and their family find, get, and pay for good care. Where possible the elder will remain at home and age in place.
Our Elder Care Coordinator is a Licensed Social Worker. She has many years of working within the long term care industry. She spends hours meeting with health care professionals, touring facilities, and researching long term care options in order to present our clients with the best resources possible. Our clients know that if our social worker recommends a service or facility that it is regarded highly by professionals within the long term care industry. Instead of our clients and their families fumbling through the process and learning as they go, our Elder Care Coordinator serves as their navigator and lets them know what options are available and where to begin their search.
Recently our Elder Care Coordinator was working with a Life Care Planning client, who was residing within a local subacute rehabilitation facility and getting ready for discharge. While our client has family nearby, the family is caught up with working, caring for younger children, and now caring for mom. Our client had some complicated health issues that were making discharge from the subacute rehabilitation facility to a long term skilled nursing facility almost impossible, and the family was left trying to make sense of a confusing system. Our Elder Care Coordinator (ECC) intervened on our client’s behalf and reached out to appropriate care facilities regarding our client’s needs. In addition, our ECC served as a liaison between the current subacute rehabilitation facility, new facility, and the family to make sure that our client’s transfer to the new facility went smoothly. Our ECC knew which questions to ask, who to talk to, and how to go about making this transfer to the new facility happen. If it hadn’t been for her intervening on the client’s behalf, the family would have been lost in the shuffle.
So now our question is, “Why wouldn’t an elder law firm have a social worker on staff?”