written by Joan Hopley
Having helped individuals facing transitions in care needs for many years, my position here at Strohschein Law Group, though new to me, fits well with my passion to support the legal team and families when navigating through access to care and available resources. I understand that these situations are often difficult, whether experiencing a new diagnosis, or progressing through a chronic illness. I find that spouses, especially when dealing with their own health issues, depend on families for support and direction. And, most often they are not sure where to turn for help.
I find that many are concerned with finances and whether they will have enough to pay for their care if they have to go to a nursing home. Spouses fear running out of money before they run out of life, and often limit what they want to spend for needed care. Respite services to give the caregiver spouse a break are often put on hold due to financial concerns. Many are not aware of planning strategies to access public and private benefits, or what they can do to plan for future care needs and protect the assets they have saved for all their lives.
Because we often don’t know what we don’t know, educating individuals about how to fit the pieces of the long term care puzzle together is key to protecting what matters most! We all want to feel we are still in control and are able to make choices, even though we feel very “out of control” at times. Having a plan can make all the difference to give families peace of mind. Knowing what direction to go and what steps to take to ensure optimal care and quality of life in a changing world can make a significant difference. Some of my time I spend presenting to groups about various topics related to long term care, or coordinating educational events with Stephanie, our internal Marketing Director.
Keeping my knowledge of available resources and changes in health care law and policy is vital to best serve our clients. Building trusted partner relationships is also important to support and assist families we serve. By attending various networking groups, I keep abreast of some of these changes and services offered throughout the communities we serve.
So on a given day, I may be asked to speak with a family member and schedule a time to visit a client in their home to help determine needs and more effectively offer resource information. I then communicate with the legal team to coordinate next steps, ensuring that the best plan for that particular individual is executed, with essential legal documents in place.
On another day, I may serve as a client advocate by attending a “Patient Conference” in a nursing home to support best care and quality of life initiatives, working together with the facility’s team. When the client wishes to engage in a one-year “life care plan,” my role is to support the client and family members with transitions, crisis intervention, advocacy, education and connecting with resources to ensure their loved one is getting the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. Regular communication and timely response to problems help to develop a strong relationship of trust with our clients. They know they can contact me at any time by cell phone about concerns or questions.
Dealing with these often complex situations requires sensitivity and compassion, along with the experience of a team of professionals. My goal, like my colleagues, is to help you protect what matters most to you and your loved ones! As I get ready to enter my retirement, I confidently pass my reigns to Colleen Ceh. This is an exciting time of transition for me and for Strohschein Law Group.