Elder Law Attorney Jim Koewler talks about the dynamics of the legal side of elder care. Your elder care attorney can be your greatest asset. Jim talks about some of the changes that have happened during the pandemic. For instance, It’s easier to stay on Medicaid and easier to get on Medicaid, but the general lack of ability to pay for long-term care hasn’t changed.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is by Mr Jim Taylor, elder law and special needs attorney, helping and protecting those who need long term care. And welcome everyone to answers for elder’s radio. And we are here, obviously, with a very special guest, and one of the things that I am so excited about this guest is is because so many of our families are trying to figure out, especially at the end of a pandemic, of seeing our parents maybe decline, not really knowing how to enter seede or how to help. And we talk a lot about the healthcare side, but one of the things that we know is it elder care is interconnected. There’s financial concerns, there’s healthcare concerns, there’s all different types of decisions that have to be made and one of the biggest decisions when you’re taking care of a loved one is the legal side. There’s all kinds of dynamics and preparing for that, and so that’s why I’m really, really excited to have this guest with us, Mr Jim Taylor, who is an elder law attorney, and Jim is from just right outside of Cleveland Ohio, and Jim, welcome to the show. Thanks you, Uzanne. Glad to be here. Well, I’m glad you’re here too, and before we’re going to get into a lot of topics together and understanding you know what you do and how you do it. I’m before we get into all these topics, tell us are a really little bit about who. Who is Tim Taylor? Okay, Jim Taylor is a reformed environmental attorney. I used to help companies, many of them small, deal with clean air, clean water, things like that. I really liked that. They were better world, better citizens of the community when I was done. And then after a time I kind of lost interested in that because the government lost interested in enforcing those laws. Right about that same time, my my law from and I had a big falling out over a development that was going to come into my area and they wanted to represent the developer. It was going to be right on my street and now we got a problem. So my law firm and I broke apart. And also at about that time, kind of a perfect storm thing. My wife’s grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s, forgot that that Walker next to his chair was for him. He had this hip thing going on. Addition the Alzheimers we never did figure out the hip thing, but he was not stable on his feet, so he tried to get up without the walk or crumpled to the floor and his wife couldn’t keep him home anymore. We called him pap as he was Nana. So when Nana had to put pap into a nursing home because she could not carry him into the shower, etc. An elder law attorney helped them. This is over and Boardent Ohio, outside Youngstown. We’re Bernie costars from for you foot ball fans and the elder lag tourney. He he’s not even practicing anymore. But the relief that I saw them feel, knowing that Nana wasn’t going to be broke, knowing that they had some help, I wanted to bring that to people. You know, Jim, it’s so important because I sometimes think families think I can figure it out on my own and they kind of they they kind of think that legal help is just like too expensive. There’s this idea in people’s head that I don’t need a lawyer, I don’t need an attorney. And yet I will tell you your elder law turney can be your greatest asset in helping to navigate senior care and and to the point where, you know, I’ve seen right now so many seniors right now coming out of the pandemic. They’re going, you know, the money that they should have had to private pay for themselves during the time of the pandemic, they’ve ended up spending still being at home in their homes and their home day you know, repairs have gone, you know, sideways and all these things and proper money management may not be very effective at this point. And so I look at you know, basically thinking to myself, you know, how is somebody gonna be helped at this point? And it’s a huge, overwhelming situation. Is I mean, are you seeing that a lot right now? I’m not really seeing it much different right now than it was before. Okay, so it’s still the same. And Yeah, it’s pretty much the same. It is easier to stay on Medicaid now that it was before, and it’s a little easier to get on Medicaid because they’ve had to take people’s word for things, that I’m a citizen, etc. Dea’s going to come to an end, but financial all’s ability. That hasn’t changed. Okay, okay, and the the lack of ability to pay for long term care. Private pay is has not changed. In fact, I think that’s going to get has gotten a little worse and it’s going to get a lot worse because pandemic. No one to Mund to move into a nursing home where system living, because they were afraid they were moving right into the teeth of pandemic. Yeah, yeah, so a lot of people stayed home when the otherwise might not have stayed home. Sure, the nursing homes and assistant livings were had more vacancies than they are used to. So they’re hurting. So they’re going to be looking to recoup that money back to stay. Thanks. Right. So you got into elder law basically off of a personal story. Clearly, how long have you been practicing? Since two thousand and seven? Wow, practicing elder law since two thousand. Elder likenessing aney since one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven. Okay, okay, so you were, you were really in the whole other field for a long time before. You would think that it was very different. But they’re both run by burecrats. They both have a set of rules that is mostly made by government agencies rather than by legislators and very little of it is made by court. So there is some similarities. I’ve got an undergraduate degree in chemistry. So I said that helped me to speak Geek and that helped me with the environmental law. And then environmental law taught me to speak your crat and that night an elder law. Right, right, and so you know to define elder law. We’re going to do a whole segment on that coming up in this in this sec time period. But I really want to talk about specifically what you know. What was the driving force that got you into it, besides your own personal story? Well, I was looking for something to do because of the breaking with my law firm and and my I guess pseudo break up you’d call it. With environmental law I just wasn’t interesting. My clients ask me to just just give me more time, just get me more time. That wasn’t really rewarding. Yes, I got paid, but it wasn’t emotionally rewarding. And oddly enough it was my motherin law who says, Hey, you ought to do with this attorney did for for Nan and Papa. This is Nan and Papa’s daughter, my mother in law. So in about that same time the federal laws had a big change. So there were lots of seminars out there, and so I attended one and as luck would have it, the National Conference for the National Academy Buddal Law Attorneys, its national organization lawyers like me, happened to be in Cleveland, just up the road for me, that same year. So I guess I had opportunities to learn the new laws. I understand from the people are still around that about a third of my would be competitors left at that time because he said no, I’m not doing this too hard, I’m out of here. It is not never really do it any other other way than the way it is now. So that’s fine. I guess wanted to offer something that would help people, that really impacted them in a way that was important. Money. Money, yeah, money’s important until your health is at stake, and now money’s not nearly so important. Now I want to help people the way I would want my grandmother treated. Yes, and that really did sadly, sadly that in many cases that’s not the case. You know, you hear stories, but I also know that there’s so many statistics out there right now. One just blew my mind of not too long ago talking to unworth financial and I’m they have did a study saying right now that there’s there’s you know where there. Before it was like sixty million people were a family caregiver, quote unquote, taking care of a senior loved one. Well, now family caregivers are taking care of people that have contacted covid and you know, they may be no longer no longer. What’s the word anyway? What’s the word I want? Anyway, basing the word you want is no longer able, yeah, or just they’re still recovering, but that you’re not going to get the disease right. And so right now that’s new. Statistics are one hundred million Americans today are caring for a loved one. As far as I’m concerned, the unpaid family caregiver is the single hardest job in the world. Yes, it is, and they need support like an elder law tourney and like someone like you, because there’s so many things that they get thrust with like, for example, documentation, having to sign documents on behalf of their loved one, going to the bank and making sure that you’re signing properly on documents. You have the proper documentation to protect your own self. And there’s a whole other side of the estate planning piece. But there’s also a liability. Could be a liability if you don’t do it in the right way. And so this is these are the things that I’m really excited about to talk and you mentioned something about National Elder Law, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, which is Nayla. Yeah, tell us a little bit. Is That’s like the governing association, is it not? It’s not so much governing as a trade association. Okay, it’s it’s guidance. The right of us is governed by our own state attorney, our state Supreme Court. Okay, but my license comes from them. This isn’t like Finref for financial advisors. Got It. But Nayla is guidance, education, input and just, frankly, Camaraderie. I can reach out to elder law attorneys anywhere on the country and put a question up on a listser or something like that and just say hey, what’s going on with such and so? Now law, the laws are different in each state, unlike Medicare. Medicaid is very state specific, so I don’t have to reach across state lines very often. But naylas sure US helped me meet people in Ohio that I can turn to. Well, and I just called you not too long ago. Do you know anybody in Texas? So there you go, it happens. We go for that. So so obviously somebody in North Carolina. Yeah, so you’re in Ohio. Obviously, for any of our listeners that are in Ohio, how do we reach you? You can reach me through my email, which is James at Protecting Seniorscom or or there will be one on my page in answers for elders, which is very answers for elders a specific that allows me to track we’re traffics coming home. Perfect. And then how do if you’re outside of the state of Ohio, how do you get hold of a good elder law attorney? Okay, my suggestion is go to Nayla and AELA DOT org. There’s a find a lawyer button there. Click on that, put in the ZIP code. Zip Go seems to work best. If you put in a city, you’ll get two or three right in that city zip code to give you a people around it. So put in the ZIP code that to give you a list of members. Now the members may not do what you’re looking for, so go look at their individual websites to see that they do what it is you want. Perfect, perfect, well, and we’re going to have several segments coming up. So thank you, Jim. We’re so excited you’re part of our team and part of answers for elders. Thank you, Suzanne. Glad to be here. State of Ohio residents, you have a friend to help you navigate long term care while protecting your assets. You can reach Jim at www dot protecting seniorscom or just email him at j Koewler afe. That’s j Taylor AFE at protecting Seniorscom.
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Originally published June 18, 2021