Why I Practice Elder Law

My life changed in the early to late 1990’s, although I didn’t recognize it at this time.  That is, when my wife’s grandfather was living independently in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

One night I received a call from my mother-in-law.  It was late at night.  It was unusual for the phone to ring that late, so I answered the phone, with a feeling of foreboding, only to hear my mother-in-law’s voice say that her father, my wife’s grandfather, had fallen.  Shortly after that, he was taken to the hospital.  After medical treatment at the hospital, he was taken to a nursing home.

I was the attorney in the family, so everything was left to me.  During this time, I had lots of questions:  what options were available; what if granddad had to stay in the nursing home, would we be able to find a good one and would he get good care there; and if so, how were we going to pay for it?  I tried to find answers to these questions, that I now answer for others.  But I could only catch glimpses of the big picture.  That research was my first act into the practice of elder law.

After granddad was in the nursing home, I read about a meeting of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  I attended the conference and at the end of the first day, I knew I had found my new passion – the practice of elder law.  When I returned home, I threw myself into learning about elder law.  I researched the area using law books and materials from the conference and I started putting together what later turned out to be the beginning phases of my new elder law practice and my calling.