In my twenties, I went to work for the State of Florida Health and Rehabilitative Services. During my tenure with the state, I worked in the division of this agency that determines the eligibility for Medicaid for Aged and Disabled Individuals. Two life changing things happened while I was in this unit. First, I learned Florida Medicaid policy and how to apply it and I learned what life is really like for Elders in Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes. In 1999, I left state employment and became an Independent contractor who worked with individuals to obtain Medicaid eligibility and protect assets of those loved ones going into Nursing Homes.
Two other things happened to me in 1999 that would add to my Life Care Planning toolbox. First, I learned about the VA Aid & Attendance program. Secondly, I became a Certified Eden Alternative Associate. Over the next five years, I learned perspective. I was privileged to intimately work with battle scarred Elders and their loved ones, traversing the financial and emotional war zone of long term care. Simultaneously, I was allowed to work with the Elder’s comrades in this war zone; those brave men and women who work in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities. What I would later understand, is that all of these individuals never understood they were fighting the same war together.
In 2004, it was time for me to start my own company, A Guiding Light, Inc. I continued working with elders to help them achieve eligibility for Florida Medicaid, while protecting the assets they worked their entire life to accumulate. I added assisting Veterans and their spouses in qualifying for the VA Aid & Attendance program.
An unintended; but life changing, consequence in my career was that I began to really understand that what I saw happening to the people I cared so much for – on all fronts; the Elders, their loved ones and those who worked in the Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities was that “Failure to plan, is a plan to fail.” was true.
A benefit of owning your own business is that you can do for people whatever you want. A downside to owning your own business is that you can’t spend a lot of time doing what people won’t pay you to do. My meat and potatoes was doing planning for Medicaid and VA Aid & Attendance. My unpaid side business was helping people create order in the cyclone that their lives had become. Enter Life Care Planning and THE LAW. In the USA today, the law is an intricate part of every one of our lives. This is almost never as true as when you are in “the golden years.”
Two of the most costly mistakes are:
- Failing to plan for aging can be are depleting your nest egg on paying for the brick and mortar parts of long-term care.
- Paying to have the legal care you need after you can no longer make those decisions on your own.
Even if you choose not to create a Life Care Plan; PLEASE, go to an attorney who specializes in Elder Care (with documentable knowledge of what’s needed legally to accomplish Asset Protection for government benefit planning) and pay whatever you need to get the most thorough legal documents to protect your future self. Creating a Life Care Plan, obtaining the proper legal documents and purchasing and planning for your final needs are the three best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. It seemed to me that everyone I was working with wanted me to create a plan for life for them now.
Unfortunately, at the stage in life when I met most people in my profession only allowed for crisis planning, not life care planning. But, because of passion and/or stubbornness, I continued preaching the same sermon over and over and over again; which brought me to my present.
Areas of Expertise
- Senior Services
- Senior Services
- Medicaid Applications
- Medicaid Planning
- Adult Living Facilities
- Asset Protection
- Veteran’s (VA) Benefits
- Caregiver Services
- Caregiver Support
- Training Person Directed Care
- Manage a team of trained specialists including Medicaid Application Specialist and Registered Nurse and collaborate with attorneys and their staff to coordinate senior services.
- Create and implement customized caregiver and care receiver plans and estate management services for the spouse and/or family members of individuals in Nursing Homes or Adult Living Facilities.
- Conduct thorough needs evaluation in a professional and considerate manner.
- Supply clients with a detailed care plan with options for decisions makers.
- Review financials to determine budget and provide guidance on additional sources of funding such as Medicaid and VA Benefits.
- As owner, coordinate all marketing, client relations, project management, licensing, compliance, invoicing, payroll, and daily operations.
My heart says…I will do everything I can, for elders and their care partners who see the value in creating a Plan for Their Life.