Hurley Elder Care Law Newsletter - April 2018
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April 2018   

Everyone Needs an Advocate—Why I Practice Elder Law

By: Miles P. Hurley
Nearly everyone has a story of caring for an aging relative, friend or neighbor; and we are certainly no exception. Each of us at Hurley Elder Care Law has been involved in the care of an older or disabled loved one, and many of you know my story of my aging loved ones.  My work with older adults is my professional passion and mission, but it’s also very personal. There have been several of my family members who have gone through the decline in functional capacity, who needed help with ADLs and who required assistance till the end of their lives. Caring for “Da,” my mother’s father, was my first experience with elder care.  “Da,” or Colonel James O. Andes, was born in 1899 in east Tennessee.  He was a well-educated man and a scientist.  He traveled the world teaching people in different countries how to grow various plants and how to keep those plants alive through harvest.  Though he was older than most, he served in the chemical warfare service during WWII.
One of the most amazing stories that I remember from my childhood is the one about Da having died.  While serving in the Philippines during the war, his ship was struck by enemy fire.  He was presumed dead and my mother’s family was notified of his death.  In actuality, he had been able to jump off of the ship and into the sea.  He did have burns on a good part of his body, but he did survive.  One can only imagine the relief that my mother, grandmother and aunt felt when they found out more than two weeks later that he had survived.
I was fortunate as a child to have grown up living right next door to this wonderful man.  He spent many days teaching me woodworking in his basement, how to split logs, how to repair small engines and how to create a wonderful garden.  If I had done a good job of helping him, my reward was a Coke and a quarter.  Any time that I was feeling poorly, especially during the winter, I would go to his house and spend hours just lying on the floor in front of the fireplace.  There was always a nice warm fire going and that was what I found comforting.  Da would always make sure to keep plenty of wood at the ready to keep the fire going on a twenty-four hour basis.
During my early adult years, I had moved away from my hometown and did not see Da very frequently, though I did talk with him from time to time.  In a way, I just took it for granted that he would always be there.  After finishing law school, I headed back to Tennessee to practice.  While I was working to get on my feet, I actually lived in my grandparents’ house with them.  This is when I first noticed that Da was not quite the same as he had always been.  In retrospect, that should not have been unexpected as he was now in his 90s.  The day that I first realized that things had really changed was when I came home one day and found that he had burned many of the letters that I had exchanged with family and friends over the previous ten years.
You see, Da had given me one of his prized possessions, a Japanese flame thrower box that he had brought back from the Philippines.  I had used the box to house many of my mementos and communiqués.  In a seeming stupor one day while I was working, he rifled through the box and burned many of its contents.  I was very upset, but soon realized that he had no idea about what he had done.  After some testing, it was determined that Da had suffered some mini strokes (TIAs).
With that being the case, the rest of my mother’s family decided that my grandparents could not be left in the house by themselves during the day.  My true introduction to paid home care followed.  Even with a paid caregiver in the house during daytime hours, Da was still bound and determined to keep doing the things that he always did: from working in the garden, to tinkering in the laboratory, to doing projects in the workshop.  The laboratory and workshop were in the basement of the house.  Getting to the basement required either going outside and walking around or going down a set of dubious wooden stairs (a set of stairs that I had fallen down as a child due to the fact that at the time there was no railing).
One day when I was out working in a remote courthouse and well before cell phone coverage was what it is today, Da decided that he needed to do some things in the basement.  He turned on the light at the top of the stairs and started to walk down.  At some point along the way, he slipped and fell.  The fall was a bad one.  He cut his head open and was bleeding profusely.  Doing what she had to do, the daytime caregiver called 911 and the EMTs came.  Even though the primary care physician had a Living Will and DNR order in his file, when the EMTs arrived, they had to revive Da.  I found out what had happened later in the day and went to see him in the CCU at the hospital.  Da was not conscious, he was hooked up to many tubes and monitors and he was just lying there in a fetal position.  It was one of the saddest sights that I have ever seen.  He spent the next two weeks there, during which time he regained consciousness before being discharged to a skilled nursing facility four blocks down the street.
As you can imagine, he was never the same again.  Every time that I went to visit him, he had no idea who I was.  He thought that I was one of the members of his unit and that we were in the Philippines fighting the Japanese.  I was much more fortunate than most of the other residents in the facility, who he thought were the Japanese.  With that being the case, most days Da was left sitting in a wheelchair in restraints.  This was a horrible sight to me, seeing this proud man in such an undignified setting.  Not only was he restrained, but much of the time he was wearing only a white undershirt and underwear or a diaper.  This does not even get into the setting of the facility, which always reeked of urine and there never seemed to be anyone around to tend to Da’s needs.
My grandparents were fortunate in that they had saved enough money to be able to pay for Da’s care and my grandmother’s care later.  But just being able to afford care does not mean that the care is good or that there is any true quality of life remaining.  The last year of Da’s life was not good and I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live that way, restrained, not knowing where you are and in an impersonal institutional facility.  I knew that there had to be a better way.  This was just one of the life experiences that led me to want to advocate for people as they reach the last stages of their lives.  I miss Da and treasure all of the influence that he has had on me.  

The work that we do is a privilege, and we are committed to helping families find, get, and pay for good care.  If you are interested in learning more about how we help families, please join us at one of our speaking events ( or call our office at (404) 843-0121 for your complimentary consultation.

Family Business
With the arrival of Spring (and the pollen) in Georgia, there is no better time to travel! Last week we had several Hurley employees enjoy spring break with their families visiting other parts of the county. Paul and his family took a trip to Colonial Williamsburg where they explored our rich history. Amanda and her family drove to Chattanooga, TN and Lookout Mountain for beautiful sites. Keesha and her boyfriend went to Naples and Coral Gables, FL for fun in the sun. We are glad that everyone had a great time and made it back safely!

Upcoming Speaking Events and CEs
Continuing Education (CE)
*All CE topics are certified for case managers, nurses and social workers
Healthcare professionals are being challenged with meeting the needs of an older population that is living longer with more complex issues and fewer family supports than ever before. Do you ever feel overwhelmed/lost when dealing with this population? This seminar will offer guidance for professionals dealing with the new aging family. We will explore elder orphans, elderly immigrants, and blended families.
5:30 PM-6:00 PM Registration and Dinner, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CE Education, Brookdale Canton, 125 Riverstone Terrace, Canton, GA 30114, RSVP:
Every 67 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, and one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.  The purpose of this activity is to review the basics of Alzheimer’s disease and then analyze the financial impact of the disease to families and employers as well as those affected by it.  Knowing the options available and planning for the unexpected loss in functional and cognitive capacity is the best way for healthcare professionals to advise their patients and families. The earlier you plan, the more options are available. Dementia is hard enough when there is a plan in place; dementia with no plan will leave families exhausted, stressed and financially distressed. 
5:30 PM-6:00 PM Registration and Dinner, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CE Education, The Memory Center-Atlanta, 12050 Findley Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097, RSVP:
Healthcare professionals are being challenged with meeting the needs of an older population that is living longer with more complex issues and fewer family supports than ever before. Do you ever feel overwhelmed/lost when dealing with this population? This seminar will offer guidance for professionals dealing with the new aging family. We will explore elder orphans, elderly immigrants, and blended families.
11:30 AM-12:00 PM Registration and Lunch, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM CE Education, Ridgeview Institute, 3995 S Cobb Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080, RSVP:
The laws and regulations impacting healthcare providers and consumers are constantly changing, both at the federal level and within our state of Georgia. Our 2018 update will feature an in-depth review of the new Georgia Uniform Power of Attorney Act which provides greater protections for individuals executing a financial POA, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (NOTICE Act), an analysis of Medicaid funding, as well as a look at the increase in “wrongful life” cases. We will review the 2017 Georgia legislative session accomplishments in the healthcare arena and provide a timely update on proposed federal legislation.
11:30 AM- 12:00 PM Registration and Lunch, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM CE Education, Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill, 120 Chambers Street, Woodstock, GA 30188, RSVP:
“Do you have your documents in place?”  Healthcare providers ask this question of patients and families daily and more often than we would like, the answer is “no.” What healthcare documents does everyone really need and how do they work? What are the repercussions of needing care and having no documents in place?  What options do healthcare providers have when families need to take action? We will review the essential documents every adult needs including the General Durable Power of Attorney, the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare and various other documents that may be recommended.
5:30 PM-6:00 PM Registration and Dinner, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CE Education, Northlake Gardens, 1300 Montreal Road, Tucker, GA 30084, RSVP:

Community Presentations - Open to the Public
Tuesday, April 17- Join Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA of Hurley Elder Care Law as she presents "VA Aid and Attendance: Making the Most of Your Past Service" at The Cohen Home. The Aid and Attendance benefit is one of the VA’s best-kept secrets from our retired service men and women. Wartime veterans over age 65 who require the aid and attendance of another person to meet their needs may receive as much as $2,127 per month to help defer the cost of long-term care expenses such as home care, assisted living community fees and nursing home costs. Surviving spouses can qualify for up to $1,153 per month. Learn more about this hidden benefit and other non-service related benefits.

5:30 PM- 6:00 PM- Refreshments, 6:00 PM- 7:00 PM- Presentation
10485 Jones Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022
RSVP: Dyan Burnstein, 770-475-8787

Friday, May 11- Join Danielle Humphrey, JD, CELA, of Hurley Elder Care Law as she presents "You Don't Know What You Don't Know" at Roswell Recreation Center. The options for paying for long-term care are limited.  Did you know that Medicare will not pay for home care or assisted living care?  Do you know what Medicaid provides?  Most families do not realize their limited options until they are in a crisis—usually when their loved one is about to be discharged from a hospital.  Making decisions while in a crisis can be stressful and result in bad choices.  This seminar is intended to provide information prior to a crisis.  Learn how to best find, get and pay for good long-term care.
1:00 PM- 2:00 PM- Presentation
Roswell Adult Recreation Center
830 Grimes Bridge Road
Roswell, GA 30075
RSVP: 770-641-3950
For more details and a complete list of upcoming events, please visit Hurley Elder Care Law Community Education.
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Miles P. Hurley, JD, CELA  Miles P. Hurley founded Hurley Elder Care Law in 2006 to provide legal assistance to the elderly population on issues relating to aging including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of eleven attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Elder Law Attorney Certification, and one of approximately 400 nationwide. 
Hurley Elder Care Law is dedicated to the process of long-term care and estate planning. 
Call us today for a free phone consultation with a client coordinator at (404) 843-0121.
Do you have good things to say about your experience with Hurley Elder Care Law? If so, we would appreciate a review on Avvo!

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Hurley Elder Care Law
100 Galleria Pkwy, Suite 650
Atlanta, GA 30339

Satellite Offices
2011 Commerce Dr. Suite 100, Peachtree City, GA 30269   
225 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188       
6340 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Suite 200, Duluth, GA 30097

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