When navigating the healthcare system, you don’t have to go it alone.
While working on my taxes recently, I talked with my son, who is a CPA. I soon realized that I need to stick to what I know. I’m a better elder care attorney than a tax accountant. I turned my taxes over to my son, when he offered to help me with them.
In life, we often attempt to do things on our own, when we might be better off asking for a little help. In my law practice, when clients ask me if they need an attorney to draft their will or file a Medicaid application, I tell them what I believe to be true—that they can do it on their own; however, it may be more frustrating and time consuming and the outcome will probably not be as good. This same principle holds true for older adults, who are trying to navigate the healthcare system.
Consider the following case example:
Betty is an older woman with multiple chronic health problems. In the past 6 months she has been admitted into different hospitals and transferred between rehabilitation facilities several times. Her health and physical condition are starting to decline. A review of her medical records indicates a lack of continuity of care, which is contributing to her decline. Betty needs an advocate in the healthcare system: someone who knows the right questions to ask and will ensure there are not gaps in her care.
As an Elder Law Attorney, I regularly visit with clients who are vulnerable in the healthcare system. When I shifted my practice to Elder Law, I realized that my clients not only needed help with legal and financial matters, but they also needed an advocate in the healthcare system. As a law office, we can address Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement questions, monitor compliance with federal regulations for providing quality care, and address patient safety concerns. I worry about my older clients, like Betty, who are all alone and need help navigating doctor appointments, hospital stays, and transitions to and from facilities.
To better advocate for my clients in the healthcare system, I hired social workers, over three years ago, who share my desire to help individuals meet their goals, while maintaining their independence and quality of life.
Having an experienced law firm on their side, will ensure that Seniors get the care they deserve and allow their loved ones to rest easy.
Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.