My Elder Care Story: Nancy Carman

Many professionals who work in Life Care Planning Law Firms have been blessed with close relationships with elderly loved ones. Nancy Carman is no exception.

She grew up in a family where five generations were alive and well. “I have a picture of my great-great grandmother holding me when I was a baby,” remembers Nancy, who works as an Elder Care Coordinator for Fendrick Morgan, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Voorhees Township, New Jersey. “My dad is now 91. Those experiences played a big role in my decision to make working with older adults a career.”

After taking a gerontology course at the University of Richmond during her undergraduate program, she had an “Ah-Ha” moment. “It was 1975 and gerontology was a new field,” recalls Nancy. “I sat in class and thought, ‘this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.’”

Volunteering in a nursing home memory care unit confirmed her decision. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she earned a master’s in Gerontology from the University of South Florida in Tampa and has worked in the field ever since.

When it comes to helping older adults maximize quality of life, Nancy has truly done it all. Since the late 1970s, she has run private duty home care companies, worked with the visually impaired, and taught senior aerobics. She became a Certified Geriatric Care Manager in 1996 while working for a well-known healthcare system in southern New Jersey. Subsequently she spent seven years in the senior housing industry doing consulting with not-for-profit organizations building continuing care retirement communities.

Though Nancy enjoyed helping large organizations better serve older adults, she missed hands-on work with elders and their families. So, she joined Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice in 2009 and created a program called SeniorWise Care Management, where she built the business and managed a staff of geriatric care managers. The care management program then transitioned to Virtua Health System.  Eventually, however, the call for a role involving more direct contact with elders and their families became too strong to ignore, and Nancy joined Fendrick Morgan as Elder Care Coordinator when the firm introduced Life Care Planning in 2017. “I’ve known the firm’s founders for decades,” Nancy notes. “The Elder Care Coordinator role was a perfect fit for me.”

Nancy views Life Care Planning as the ideal approach to elder care. “It’s wonderful for families because they get solutions for all their problems,” says Nancy, who also earned a certificate in Elder Care Coordination from The Stockton University Center on Successful Aging in conjunction with the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. “I'm with the family from the very start, helping them address everything from day-to-day concerns, caregiving issues, decisions about where the elder will live, and much more. It ends up being a long-term relationship because the elder’s care needs inevitably change.”

Nancy sees tangible benefits for clients working with an Elder Care Coordinator embedded in a Life Care Planning Law Firm. “As a standalone geriatric care manager, I wasn’t able to see the full picture,” she adds. “Every decision about an elder’s personal care has financial and legal implications. As I like to say, dollars drive the bus. I’m just the tour guide. Now that I’m working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm, I can see the whole landscape of what the elder needs. It’s made me love what I do even more.”