Aretha Frankin Died without a will last week. Most of us have heard this. According to her lawyer, she was aware she needed to take care of this but ” never got around to it”. This leaves her estate liable for potentially millions of dollars of taxes and attorneys fees and a drawn-out timeline for her 4 sons to inherit the proceeds from her estate.
Could a really good care manager have convinced Ms. Frankilin to ” get around to it” . She was, as many have said, ” a force of nature” and a woman who would be hard to sway. But care managers specialize in working with VIP clients and the rich and famous, who are often highly difficult to work with, so she might have convinced that she needed to work with her attorney to this to protect her family and her estate.
But we will never know.
However, care managers can specialize in End of Life care and one of their jobs is to make sure their client has all their legal documents
Once the terminal diagnosis is known with an elderly client, the care manager who has added “end of life services” to their agency, is often the one who will initiate and guide advance care planning discussions. As difficult as these discussions may be, the burden on the family is significantly lessened if decisions about advance care planning are made before the client’s condition worsens.
Hopefully, this has already been done but many people put it off for fear of death. A recent study found that less than 50% of severely or terminally ill patients had an advance directive in their medical record.
Advance directives are legal documents that allow clients to make decisions about their health care and finances in advance of when they are not mentally or physically able to do so. These documents which must be signed, dated and witnessed naming another person to make decisions for you.
Your job as a care manager is the make sure the dying client has these documents:
- A durable power for attorney for healthcare
- A living will
- A do not resuscitate order DNR (efforts to restart the heart after it has stopped
If the client does not have these legal documents and wishes to create them, the Geriatric Care Manager will suggest that the documents be put in place with the oversight and consultation of an elder law attorney
Care Managers play a big role in end of life issues. They are their navigators through all five stages of dying, many times long before palliative care or hospice are called. Often GCM’s can help the family and client to bring in hospice or palliative care.
The final passage through life can emotionally charged. If the family is following a long labyrinth to the end, the blind alleys may be blocked by cultural, religious, and moral beliefs. Care managers can find an opening through this maze. Money, family dynamics, and fear of dying can all explode a fraught crisis of care in dying. When the important end of life decisions need to be made, like Ms. Franklin’s will, the stress of the responsibility and the seriousness of the situation can break a wave of distress fear and anxiety over the “ whole family system” the dying elder. The geriatric care manager specializes in this whole family system.
Proactive discussions and legal planning can help to reduce some of the potential pitfalls. Good legal guidance can also help clients like Aretha Franklin make better decisions, like making a will or a trust, and saving her family from adding to the burden of her death.
Consider getting this product with my GCM Operations Manual
Why would third parties like trust officers, elderlaw attorneys, conservators or guardians refer a care manager to their aging client and family? If you have an Aging Life or GCM business you need to know. The Journal of Aging Life Care in its latest issue gives care managers some critical clues to solve this question.
Why do you need to know this? First, you need to create a practice that meets the needs of your clients and major referral sources. Many clients- usually adult children, call you to start services on their own. But a good majority of clients will call you because their attorney, bank trust officers, CPA referred them. These third parties need to know what you will do for their clients if they are to make referrals to your agency. On the feeding chain of referrals, they are one of your most important sources to feed income into your business. You have to deliver what they need to make money.
The Florida Chapter of Aging Life has invested in a 7 years research project to get some of these answers, just published in the Aging Life Journal. This is the first research study on Aging Life Care,
geriatric care management of care management that pinpoints what third parties who refer clients want and value in a care manager. It is groundbreaking.
Reading this tells the care manager, not only what to include in their services but in their marketing material, and sales pitch or elevator pitch to the third party when you go to market your care management services. It tells you what they are looking for in a senior advocate for their aging client and their family in a very clear table. Get a copy of this important Journal and receive all the great benefits of the Aging Life Care Association by joining.
Want to make serve the GCM market that will make you a profitable business? Join me for my free webinar, “Start and Run a Profitable Geriatric Care Business” on August 22. Learn how to transform your GCM entrepreneurial dream into a money-making business with 5 profit driven steps Learn more.
Happy Valentines Day!
Give Yourself a Great Valentines Gift.
If you are an aging life care manager or geriatric care manager, nurse care manager or in the eldercare field, give yourself a perfect Valentine gift and learn market care management through benefits, not features. Sign up for my free webinar
Learn to Sell Benefits not Features to Third Parties to Grow Your Care Management Bottom Line
Identifying the key benefits of your services help shape sales of your care management business. Generally, aging life care management businesses benefit the client by assisting in choosing arrangements, including best living choices, in what can be thought of as “frailty to the grave” care
Contracting for professional aging life care management services benefits the older person, his or her family and third parties like elderlaw attorneys, physicians, or conservators who work with the client to solve problems. Frailty is usually unplanned and often occurs when family members do not have the time to learn all they need to know about care and aging issues or are in denial.
It’s important for a third party or the family to understand that there are good options for care in your community, that some choices are better than others, that each person has individual needs, and that there are resources available to meet their needs.
You line up the sale with a family or 3rd party – a care manager is the best professional navigator to find those perfect resources to meet the client’s needs.
You then close with the benefits you bring to the family or third party that are better, more professional and richer than any other care management agency in your area.
You also want to explain to third parties how you benefit them. For an attorney, no more dysfunctional family issues, because you are an expert in the dysfunctional family intervention and will work with the family to help keep them stable while the attorney handles the legal problems they are trained to solve.
In this free webinar gift to yourself you will:
The problems you solve for 3rd parties so they will refer to you.
What is a benefit vs features and how to find benefits for each 3rd party you market to?
What specific problems you solve for wealth managers, elder law attorneys, and concierge physicians
What specific problems to solve for upscale Assisted Living, accountants, financial planners, MD’s
Step by Step how to set up meetings with 3rd parties to make the sale