A few of our favorite clients
Mrs. A came to the firm looking for a solution to her serious financial problems. Her husband, who suffered from Alzheimers, was in an assisted living facility. Their income was not enough to cover their expenses, so that Mrs. A often had to choose between food and medicine for herself to afford the $5,000 per month assisted living facility fees. Their modest savings were melting away, but because Mrs. A had been told that her husband did not need nursing home level of care, she thought she had no other option but to continue to pay the assisted living facility. After her private evaluation of Mr. A, the law firm Social Worker determined that Mr. A was in fact eligible for nursing home level of care, which also made him eligible to apply for Medical Assistance, the public program that would cover the costs of his nursing home care. With law firm handling the Medical Assistance application, Mr. A was found financially eligible for Medical Assistance benefits, without having to spend down all of their savings, so that money was preserved for the benefit of Mrs. A. More recently, those same funds have been helping to pay for the care of Mrs. A at an area nursing home. Every few months, and at no charge to Mrs. A, our Social Worker delivers chocolates (a Mrs. A favorite) to Mrs. A, to brighten her day, and to remind the nursing home staff that they are caring for a valued client.
Miss B appointed this law firm as her financial and health care agent years before she began to lose capacity. As a lifelong single career woman with no children or other relatives in the area, she knew she would need someone she could trust to look after her, if she became unable to take care of herself. Thankfully for Miss B, she remained independent until the age of 94, when she moved to an assisted living facility. Since her move she has experienced a gradual decline in her short term memory, but retains her fierce sense of independence, humor, and spirit. This makes her a pleasure as a client but also a challenge for full care management. Our Social Worker has worked diligently to provide appropriate help while allowing Miss B to retain the maximum amount of independence and dignity possible. As she approached her 95th birthday, Miss B insisted that she was going to plan something to celebrate the milestone occasion. Knowing she was not capable of organizing an event herself, the law firm took the lead. We contacted her family, many of whom reside in California, along with many old friends with whom Miss B had not been in contact for some years, but whom she would mention frequently, to arrange for their attendance at a surprise party at the assisted living facility. After many hours of law firm planning, including catering, decorating, and helping out of town family with travel arrangements, Miss B was thrilled to be escorted into her party and surprised by thirty of her closest family and friends. It was truly a wonderful day for everyone. Miss B was given a photo album of the day. It is a testament to the impact of the event that she has formed a long term memory of it, about which she reflects frequently and fondly. Now approaching 98, Miss B regularly reminds us, "at this point I think it would be fun to reach 100."
Mr. C became a client of the firm in the midst of a crisis. His wife had been declining slowly from Alzheimer's disease, finally becoming completely dependent upon Mr. C for caregiving and managing their affairs. Because Mrs. C had handled everything for the couple both personally and financially, Mr. C was completely unprepared for these responsibilities. Furthermore, Mr. C had always been a problem drinker, so this family crisis resulted in his heavy use of alcohol to try to cope. The situation became so dire that neighbors of the couple contacted our law firm for help. After Mr. C retained the law firm, we successfully moved Mr. and Mrs. C to an assisted living and nursing home respectively. After her death, the law firm continued to provide financial and care management for Mr. C. As a lifelong opera buff and paid tenor for local churches, the law firm arranged for Mr. C to attend a number of operas at the Kennedy Center. When it was discovered that Mr. C had advanced prostate cancer that had spread to his bones, doctors predicted a life expectancy of less than one year. Luckily for Mr. C, he was not in any pain, and because it was clear that Mr. C would not outlive his financial resources, and there were no known family members of any degree, we asked Mr. C what he wanted to do more than anything else, which was go to "The Met" in New York. So the law firm planned and implemented a "grand finale" for Mr. C to fulfill his lifelong desire. Taking a frail 89 year old to New York comfortably is no easy task, so much careful planning was necessary to be sure that this was indeed the trip of a lifetime for Mr. C. All the planning was rewarded with rave reviews from Mr. C about his room at The Ritz-Carlton and his box seat at the wonderful "La Traviata" opera. When Mr. C was still not experiencing any symptoms six months later, the law firm recreated the experience for him so Mr. C could celebrate his 90th birthday in style, with The Ritz providing a most elegant birthday cake. Mr. C died peacefully not long afterward, surrounded by loving caregivers.
Our law firm had the privilege of serving as attorney, Attorney-in-fact, and health care agent for Ms. D from September 1984 until her death in August 1996, in her 102nd year. Ms. D was born in December 1894 in Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Goucher College, and worked for the YWCA in many different places, including in China. She was at one time married briefly, but lived so long as a founding resident at the retirement community to which she moved in the early 1960s, that no one living or working there when she died knew enough of her history even to know she had ever been married. Ms. D had no known family members and left no instructions as to the disposition of her ashes, so one day our law firm was closed for all of us to take her ashes to the cemetery several hours drive distant, where for reasons completely unknown to us, Ms. D had bought eight graves when she was in her sixties! The law firm dedicated much time and service to ensure good quality of life for Ms. D during her last years, but as no one expected her to live into her 102nd year, any money to pay the law firm vanished many years before she died. The law firm provided over thirty thousand dollars worth of services to Ms. D for which it was known the law firm would never receive payment, not only because it was our ethical obligation to continue to serve our client, but because it is our philosophy to provide the best possible care and service to clients to whom we have made a commitment.
Our law firm helped Mrs. E and her children through several years and stages of her Alzheimer's Disease. During the years she lived with Alzheimer's in her own home, the law firm helped her children manage her affairs and understand her cognitive decline and resulting paranoia. After some time, the family decided it was safer and better for Mrs. Eto move to an assisted living facility, and the law firm helped find a facility that was appropriate for Mrs. E. Though she resisted the move initially, Mrs. E grew to enjoy her time at the ALF. Later on, the law firm helped the family transition Mrs. E to a nursing home. After a few years, the daughter of Mrs. E who had been the local source of family support, decided she wanted to retire to Indiana. Mrs. E had declined a great deal during her time in the nursing home, and there was much concern over whether it would be more traumatic for Mrs. E to be moved, or to no longer have the ongoing visits from her daughter. The law firm consulted with the out of state family members, while our Social Worker made a number of visits to Mrs. E, consulting with doctors and other nursing home staff to determine the best care plan for Mrs. E. Ultimately, based on the information gathered by the Social Worker, the family agreed that although a move would be difficult for Mrs. E, the close and loving relationship between mother and daughter was so strong, that it outweighed the risks of a move. The next challenge was to devise a way to move Mrs. E to Indiana with as little distress to her as possible. The problems associated with transporting an incontinent 93 year old Alzheimer's sufferer across several states cannot be overstated. Flying was, of course, the fastest option, but was quickly ruled out because of her anxiety and agitation, which tended to elicit anxious outbursts from Mrs. E. After extensive research and discussion, the law firm helped the family with a plan to drive Mrs. E across the country in a rented RV. Two of her sons accompanied Mrs. E on her trip, along with a nursing aide. The two day RV trip to move Mrs. E was not without some colorful adventures, but Mrs. E arrived in Indiana safely and apparently under minimal distress. Her two sons were glad to have had that special experience with their mother during the last phase of of her long life. Mrs. E died during her 100th year!
All stories retold with permission. Please note that each client case is unique; therefore, past successes are not a guarantee of favorable results in future cases.