What’s a typical day like for an elder care coordinator in a Life Care Planning Law Firm? Cassandra Ignatowicz, an elder care coordinator at LawyerLisa, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Lexington, South Carolina, laughs at the suggestion that any day is typical. “No two days are alike,” she said, “and that’s one of the things I love about my work.”
Cassandra starts her day by getting organized. “I check my emails and see who might have contacted me throughout the night or sent me updates related to the clients I’m working with,” she said. “Then, I’ll return calls and emails.”
The next stop is the firm’s conference room where she meets Certified Elder Law Attorney Lisa Hostetler Brown for the first client meeting of the day. This meeting, an initial consultation with a prospective Life Care Plan client and his or her family, could take as long as two hours. “We need those two-hour blocks because there's a lot to go over,” said Cassandra. “We can do these initial consultations at any time of day. This is where families come in and tell us what’s going on. It’s also where we outline how we can help.”
If there’s no initial consultation planned for the morning, Cassandra might be out visiting a client to do a home safety assessment or to collect information needed to complete a Medicaid application.
After lunch, Cassandra continues working on client cases. Today, she is working to find long-term care placement for two clients. This means time calling long-term care facilities that might be good options, and then visiting those places. “I'm contacting the facilities to see who has room, what those rooms look like, how much they cost, and how soon my client might be able to move in,” she explained, adding that the placement option the family chooses is almost always dependent on what they can afford.” After Cassandra finishes her research, she reports back to the family with a recommendation. “I’ll tell them about all the options, which one I think is best, and then help them make the final arrangements. I’ll also help them coordinate the moving process.”
On this typical day, Cassandra spends the latter part of the afternoon visiting clients. In addition to seeing clients who are still living at home, she visits several who are living in nearby nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other long-term care facilities. These visits help Cassandra accomplish several things. “I like to check in with my clients to see how they are doing, but that’s not all,” she said. “When I visit clients in long-term care facilities, I’m also checking up on the quality of care they are receiving. I talk to each client, to the hands-on caregiving staff, and to the facility’s administrators. This helps me make sure that my clients are getting the best care, and it’s a great way to always have up-to-date information about those facilities. Families who are looking for placement for a client often ask me which places are best, and I’m able to answer with confidence because I’m in these facilities almost every day.”
Cassandra returns to the office to handle paperwork, return phone calls, and discuss client cases with other staff members before her workday ends at 5:00 p.m. She leaves work knowing that she made a real difference in the lives of her clients and their families. Nothing feels better than that!