Monday, May 12, 2014

Free Webinar May 21: Risks of Hearing Loss in Our Aging Population.”

Risks of Hearing Loss in Our Aging Population
MGS and MAGEC Free Webinar
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Noon to 1 PM CDT

Research out of Johns Hopkins Medical Center is showing a correlation between hearing loss, falls, and dementia in people over the age of 50.  People in this age group who have a hearing loss, are at higher risk for falls and for dementia.  And not only is the risk higher for the onset of dementia, but also for a faster decline in functioning.

This information has implications for quality of life, demand for assisted living and/or skilled nursing care, and for healthcare costs.  Given these implications, are there actions that can be taken to counteract these risks?

The Minnesota Gerontological Association and the Minnesot Association for Guardiansip and Conservatorship are offering a free Webinar on” Risks of Hearing Loss in Our Aging Population.”  This session will explore the research in this area and discuss some potential solutions.

Marty Barnum CSC, MA, currently works as a consultant and an interpreter.  She recently spent a year with the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care under a special contract to look at the needs of nursing home residents with hearing loss.

Ms. Barnum previously coordinated interpreter services for the state of Minnesota, taught at St. Catherine University, and provided advocacy services for Deaf, hard-of-hearing and deafblind people in medical and legal situations.
Note: MGS has upgraded to the "Go to Webinar" platform for this webinar. You can now listen and watch through your computer, IPad, tablet or smart phone.
Register for this free webinar
Download the flyer

MGS and MAGEC Free Webinar
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Noon to 1 PM CDT

May 12, 2014 in Cognitive Impairment, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2014

NSCLC Director Challenges U.S. House Budget's Harsh Impact on Poor Seniors

National Senior Citizens Law Center's Executive Director Kevin Prindiville analyzes Paul Ryan's Congressional budget numbers for the Huffington Post, highlighting the effect of proposed deep cuts on federal aid programs, cuts that would dramatically impact the nation's poorest seniors.  Kevin writes:

"The U.S. House of Representatives' recent approval of the Ryan budget resolution threatens programs that help poor seniors. In a disappointing vote, 219 House members gave their blessing to a budget that leaves country's older adults to struggle with less food, income, housing and care. The Ryan budget's path to poverty must not be allowed to happen. . . . By cutting essential programs that often make life manageable for those with limited means or resources, the Ryan budget will lead to poverty numbers among seniors the nation hasn't seen since the Depression." 

Kevin then outlines specific terms of the House plan to cut $5 billion from SSI, $732 billion from Medicaid, as well as additional cuts to Meals on Wheels and food benefit programs.    

The NSCLC, a nonprofit law firm with offices on both sides of the country, is a watchdog for the nation's low income elderly, succeeding with tough-to-win cases where the nation's most at-risk seniors are adversely affected by often-hidden changes or procedural traps in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Additional information on NCSLC's advocacy is available on their website, along with a calendar of events including the April 29 free webinar on "Understanding and Impacting Implementation of New Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Rules."

April 28, 2014 in Federal Statutes/Regulations, Medicaid, Medicare, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NCLC offers free on-site elder advocacy training

Free on-site or webinar trainings are available for elder advocates this spring.  The National Elder Rights Training Project provides training on a wide range of law and aging topics to legal services providers and elder advocates nationwide.  Priority for on-site training is offered to states involved in the Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems demonstration grants.  However other organizations may also apply.  Preference will be given to organizations that can commit to marketing and outreach for the training event to attract the targeted audience.  The training is free and the National Consumer Law Center or another partner from the National Legal Resource Center will conduct the training.  While the trainings are offered on a wide range of topics, selection of the organization is in part based on availability of trainers.  Currently expert trainers are available on a wide range of consumer law topics. 

The training application is available at  You may also contact Odette Williamson at with questions.

April 1, 2014 in Consumer Information, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hamline Health Law Institute Fall 2014 Symposium: Call for Papers

2014 Symposium 

Health Care Reform: Implementation in Minnesota

Friday, October 24, 2014
Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Hamline University Health Law Institute and Hamline Law Review, with the major support of Medica Health Plans, are working together to produce a day-long CLE/CEU Symposium on Friday, October 24, 2014 titled Health Care Reform: Implementation in Minnesota. 

The topic of the Symposium is law and policy issues relating to the implementation of health care reform in Minnesota. A key goal of the conference is to address real, live, outstanding, and upcoming challenges.

Call for Papers & Presenters
We are currently seeking proposals for presentations and papers for our Symposium that will examine the outstanding challenges confronting the implementation of healthcare reform. Those interested should submit a CV and a 500-word abstract to by April 15, 2014. While the primary focus of your paper need not be Minnesota-specific, please explain the regional relevance of your topic and thesis. Additional information can be found here. 

Anticipated Attendees
Health Care Providers: ethics consultants and ethics committee members; physicians; nurse practitioners; physician assistants, medical, nursing, and physician assistant students; patient advocates; social workers; chaplains; nurses; case managers; clinical educators; other allied health professionals; quality assurance personnel; and administrators
Lawyers: law review students, law students, law faculty, health law practitioners, nursing home and hospital attorneys, elder law practitioners, trusts and estates practitioners, and health care facility risk managers
Government: Minnesota and federal regulators and policymakers
Academics: professors of bioethics, medicine, public health, geriatrics, nursing

March 21, 2014 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nursing Home Admissions Agreements: A Discussion of the Unfair Terms in the Agreements Presented to Elders on Entering a Nursing Hom

Join the National Consumer Law Center for a Webinar on April 2
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now here.

Elders often enter nursing homes during some of the most trying times of their lives (emotionally and financially).  Unfortunately, many nursing homes take advantage of these vulnerabilities by inserting unfair terms in their admissions agreements or convincing family members or others to assent to such agreements even though they often lack the authority to do so.  Our webinar will focus on nursing home admissions agreements, identifying the terms that elders and their advocates should be most wary of and explaining the protections that some states afford against enforcement of some of these terms.  Though the webinar will cover a range of issues, we will focus on arbitration clauses, attempts to hold family members liable for a resident’s bills, purported waivers of a facility’s liability, and improper grounds for eviction.

Presenters:  Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center and David H. Seligman, Irving Kaufman Fellow, National Consumer Law Center.

Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living .  This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.

There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email
Title:     Nursing Home Admissions Agreements: A Discussion of the Unfair Terms in the Agreements Presented to Elders
Date:     Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Time:     2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

March 20, 2014 in Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hamline Law's summer Health Care Compliance Institute

 Health Care Compliance Institute

May 27, 28, 29, 30, June 2, 3, 4 (9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
3 academic credits, 35 CLE credits
Faculty: Barbara Colombo, Senior Fellow, Health Care Compliance Certificate Director, Health Law Institute, Hamline University School of Law
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the most important legal and practical concepts in the field of health care compliance. Specifically, students will develop an understanding of the laws and regulations encountered by compliance professionals in daily practice with specific attention paid to the federal regulatory infrastructure. Students will also explore key operational concepts including investigations, enforcement and reporting requirements, billing and coding basics, along with employee and vendor issues. Students will test legal and operational concepts through simulation-based projects and small group exercises, including drafting assignments and mock interviews.


March 17, 2014 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reminder: Third World Congress on Adult Guardianship--registration is underway

The Third World Congress on Adult Guardianship will be in Washington DC May 28-30.  Registration is now underway.  Anyone interested in national and international developments in the realm of guardianship should attend this conference, which features speakers from 21 countries/six continents. 

Information about the Congress, and registration materials, are available via the main website.  My advice:  this is one event you don't want to miss!

March 14, 2014 in Cognitive Impairment, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Growth in Senior Living Projects: A Leading Indicator of Improving Economy?

Levin Associates is hosting one of their periodic Senior Living webinars, with the intriguing title, "Senior Living: New Construction Heats Up."  The explanation for the program:

"New construction is picking up in some markets after the near standstill caused by the recession, although developers seem more favorable to building needs-driven models of seniors housing—assisted living and memory care facilities—rather than independent living communities. Yet, there's also an interest in niche development—university partnerships, for example."

On a seemingly related note, Erickison Living announced earlier this month the start of  construction of "Lantern Hill," a new CCRC community in Union County, New Jersey.  The plan is to open in the second half of 2015, which would appear to be one of Erickson's  first new starts since it emerged from bankruptcy court in 2010 with new owners. 

The Levin Associates webinar is set for March 13 at 1 p.m. ET, with developers and architects, brokers and financers scheduled to speak, including individuals from Greystone, Perkins Eastman, and CBRE, Inc.  

February 24, 2014 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

March 14 Deadline for Speaker Proposals: Aging & Law Conference in Washington D.C. in October 2014

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging has opened the door for speakers to submit presentation proposals for the "new" Aging and Law Conference to be held in Washington D.C. at the Brickfield Center in the AARP Headquarters.  The conference is set for October 16 and 17, 2014. 

The submission deadline is March 15, 2014, with details available on the Conference "Facebook" account. 

February 19, 2014 in Grant Deadlines/Awards, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Call for Papers: Conference on Social Insurance & Life Cycle Events

Via University of Michigan Retirement Research Center, a call for papers connected to an upcoming conference:

With support from AARP, a conference on Social Insurance and Lifecycle Events Among Older Americans will be held on December 5th of 2014 in Washington, DC.

The conference will focus specifically on lifecycle events commonly encountered by older Americans, the responsiveness of current policies to those events, and new thinking about policies consistent with a changing political environment.

The conference will be organized into three sections dealing with the importance of:

  1. changing career/job patterns,
  2. changes in family structure, and
  3. health limitations.

Papers should focus on experiences and policies aimed at addressing Americans age 50 and older and highlight the experiences of different socio-economic groups, with a particular emphasis on the disadvantaged.

Funding is available for domestic travel to the conference for one author of each paper to be presented. It is anticipated that either a special issue of a scholarly journal or an edited volume will be produced based on papers delivered at the conference.

Paper proposals for the conference should be sent to Professor Kenneth Couch by March 15, 2014. Authors will be notified of acceptances by April 15, 2014. Drafts of papers to be presented at the conference will be due by the end of October. Additional details here. 

February 14, 2014 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs, Retirement, Social Security | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Call for applications: NIH's Butler-William Scholars Program 2014

Butler-Williams Scholars Program 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014 to Friday, August 8, 2014

NIH Campus Bethesda, MD

Meeting Description

The 2014 Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly the Summer Institute on Aging Research) includes lectures, seminars, and small group discussions in research design relative to aging, including issues relevant to aging of ethnic and racial minorities. Lectures will cover topics in research on aging, including: the biology of aging; genetics and Alzheimer’s disease; and health, behavior, and aging. Discussion sessions will focus on methodological approaches and interventions. The program also will include consultation on the development of research interests and advice on preparing and submitting research grant applications to NIA.

The B-W Scholars Program is sponsored by NIA with support from the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Who Should Apply?

Applications will be accepted from emerging researchers, including those who may have had limited involvement in research on aging. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence. As an offering of the NIA Office of Special Populations, researchers with an interest in health disparities research are encouraged to apply. Applicants from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. 25 to 30 participants will be selected.

For more information, and to apply, go here.

Butler-Williams Scholars Program 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014 to Friday, August 8, 2014
NIH Campus Bethesda, MD

Meeting Description

The 2014 Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly the Summer Institute on Aging Research) includes lectures, seminars, and small group discussions in research design relative to aging, including issues relevant to aging of ethnic and racial minorities. Lectures will cover topics in research on aging, including: the biology of aging; genetics and Alzheimer’s disease; and health, behavior, and aging. Discussion sessions will focus on methodological approaches and interventions. The program also will include consultation on the development of research interests and advice on preparing and submitting research grant applications to NIA.

The B-W Scholars Program is sponsored by NIA with support from the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Who Should Apply?

Applications will be accepted from emerging researchers, including those who may have had limited involvement in research on aging. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence. As an offering of the NIA Office of Special Populations, researchers with an interest in health disparities research are encouraged to apply. Applicants from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. 25 to 30 participants will be selected based on:

- See more at:

January 31, 2014 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Other, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Webcast: Dealing with Financial Institutions on POAs (or with other Fiduciary Authority)

Recently I received a communication from a professional agent, the head of a nonproft guardianship organization, and someone I have watched in action for eight years.  He and his team of carefully supervised agents work on behalf of elderly clients, disabled persons, and family members to handle financial matters. They are paid modestly, on a sliding scale, based on the client's income or estate. Sometimes they are operating as the court-appointed guardians, while other times their authority was granted by the principal through a POA, often with the cooperation (and sometimes the gratitude) of the family. 

This professional reported to me that they "are having increasingly difficult times using our authority for legitimate purposes, to the point where we have to subpoena information from banks as the guardian, because they will not accept our appointment."  Further, he reports "some banks are not honoring our POA or are adding unreasonable burdens, not required by law, leaving us unable to assist an older person."

Here is an experienced agent, who is trying do the job as a fiduciary in a highly professional manner. On the other side of the aisle are banks and other financial institutions, who have become understandably "gun shy" because of increasingly high profile cases of "bad" agents -- often family or "friends" -- who have misused their authority.

Well, as you might guess, this very topic has generated a timely CLE program!  "Dealing With Financial Institutions in Estates, Trusts and with POAs" is the title of a half-day program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute that will take place at the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2014, from 9 to 1:15, in Philadelphia, PA
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014, from 9 to 1:15 in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Monday, March 3, 2014, from 9 to 1:15, in Mechanicsburg PA
  • Live Webcast on Monday, March 3, 2014 via

The program will focus on "bridging the divide" between financial institutions and agents, to help both sides better understand the powers and limitations conferred by law.  In additional to "family" fact patterns, the program will offer insights into fiduciaries acting on behalf of business owners. The faculty include experienced lawyers representing financial institutions and individuals -- plus one of those pesky law professor types. 

Pennsylvania, as is true in other states, has a number of potential changes in law pending at the state legislature, influenced in part by the Uniform Power of Attorney Act changes, first recommended for adoption by the states in 2006.  The program will provide the lates updates and trends.

For more, including remote access to the live webcast, go to the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's webpage, here.

January 30, 2014 in Estates and Trusts, Ethical Issues, Programs/CLEs, Property Management, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference Features Session "New Options for Elders and Their Families: Dispute Resolution for High Conflict Cases,"

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution will hold its Spring Conference April 2-5 in Miami. Details here.

One of the many conference events will be a session on "New Options for Elders and Their Families: Dispute Resolution for High Conflict Cases," on Thursday April 3 at 4:30 pm. The speakers and session description are below:

  • Sue Bronson, New Prospects, Milwaukee, WI
  • Linda Fieldstone, Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, Miami, FL
  • Siri Gottlieb, The Cooperative Parenting Center, Ann Arbor, MI

As the baby boomers age, the number of families that develop conflict over the care of an elder also increases. Using parenting coordination as a model, the Florida Chapter of AFCC has joined the Association of Conflict Resolution in the development of a dispute resolution option to address the high conflict in these cases. In an unprecedented effort involving over 20 Florida Statewide organizations and 25 national/Canadian organizations, this project fills a gap in ADR processes. It will help address the incoming influx of guardianship cases where conflict becomes the driving force of the family and mediation is unsuccessful.

January 29, 2014 in Ethical Issues, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Upcoming Training/Conference: Fair Debt Collection Introductory Training--scholarships available

Fair Debt Collection Introductory Training

Sponsored by NCLC and NACA

Grand Hyatt, San Antonio, Texas

March 7-8, 2014 (Friday & Saturday)  


            National Consumer Law Center's Fair Debt Collection Introductory Training will get you up to speed on your first debt collection abuse cases. There you can learn about the laws protecting consumers from abusive debt collection practices and proceed to more in-depth sessions on developing these cases and a fair debt collection law practice. Faculty includes top consumer litigators from across the country. CLE credit is available in most states (up to 15 hours).

            This 2 day training is only for NACA members, long-time NACBA members with practices limited to consumer debtors, assistant attorneys general, employees of state, federal financial enforcement agencies, and legal aid lawyers. Private attorneys should join the National Association of Consumer Advocates well in advance of the training.


Scholarship Application due this Monday, January 27th.  

            Get more information including the agenda, hotel reservations, scholarship application, and online registration.


            Set in a blend of the historic and the modern, the Grand Hyatt San Antonio Hotel has a premier location adjacent to the HemisFair Park and the Riverwalk with its enticing variety of restaurants and shopping along the San Antonio River. The hotel is within walking distance of the Alamo and the Tower of the Americas. Special hotel room rate of $169 per night.


            Please pass this on to any legal aid, assistant attorney generals, NACA or NACBA members that  you think might be interested.

January 23, 2014 in Consumer Information, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 6, 2014

AALS Program Report: The Financial Challenges of Aging

Skating in NYC Photo (c) 2014 Katherine C. PearsonCatching up after a busy weekend at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting 2014 in New York City, I'm happy to report the presentations at the Section on Aging and the Law seemed to go smoothly and were well received, with a very engaged audience.  While the weather made travel to and from NYC a bit tricky, it also seemed to "encourage" strong attendance at sessions.  (I found myself skating even when not visiting the rink at Rockefeller Plaza!)

Section Chair Susan Cancelosi (Wayne State) was snowed out -- but I suspect Susan would be pleased by the reaction to the program she planned.  Thank you, Susan, for putting together the theme, securing speakers, making sure we were all on track, and creating a back-up weather plan.  We've decided you should be the moderator next year, if you don't mind!

Dick Kaplan (Illinois) led off the panelists, using his best "Dr. Phil" style to walk us through (both literally and metaphorically) the latest changes to Medicare triggered by the Affordable Care Act and other recent legislation.  Recognizing that many in our audience do not teach elder law or health care law, Dick offered information useful to all academics who "expect" to retire.  For example, recent information from the Employee Benefit Research Institute supported his forecast that a 65-year old person retiring in 2012 would need substantial saving just to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses, in the range of  $122,000 -$172,000 for men and between $139,000 - $195,000 for women (with projections also affected by prescription drug usage).  Dick reminded us that this figure does NOT include any costs for long-term care.  

Next on the panel was Laura Hermer (Hamline), who is new to our Section -- and a very welcome addition.  Using her health law background, Laura outlined the maze of programs, including state plan innovations and waiver programs under Medicaid, that may provide "long-term services and supports" (or LTSS -- the latest acronym that seems to be an intentional step away from a "care" model) for older persons.  Her presentation emphasized the shift to home or community based care, but Laura made clear that this shift depends heavily on unpaid care by family members. 

Incoming Section Chair Mark Bauer (Stetson) made effective use of visual images of 55+ communities in Florida to demonstrate his concern that exemptions from civil rights protections that permit age-restricted communities may not be matched by actual benefits for the older adults targeted as residents.  Mark stressed the percentage of housing that is not designed to match predictable needs for an aging population.  Examples included multi-story designs without elevators, steps into even ground-level units, and bathrooms without wheel-chair accessibility.  Mark's presentation expanded on his recent article in the University of Illinois' Elder Law Journal.

Speaking last, my topic was the latest state law developments tied to federal laws that authorize nursing homes to compel a "responsible party" to sign a prospective resident's nursing home contract.  States are creating potential personal liability for costs of care for family members, agents or guardians, or transferors or transferees of resources, if the resident is deemed ineligible for Medicaid.  Here are links to a copy of the slides I used for my  presentation on "Revisiting Nursing Home Contracts," as well as to a related short article I was invited to write for the Illinois State Bar Association's Trusts & Estates Section in December 2013.

The panel presentations were followed by great questions and observations from the audience, further highlighting the financial challenges of aging.  Plus, it was wonderful to see several new members volunteering to join the planning committee for future programs for the Aging and Law Section of AALS.  And welcome back to the board to Alison Barnes (Marquette Law).

January 6, 2014 in Consumer Information, Ethical Issues, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Medicaid, Medicare, Programs/CLEs, Retirement, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A student's perspective on NALI--Part 4 of a series

In November, 3 of my students attended the NALI/NAELA meeting in DC.  I asked them to write short blog entries about their experiences.  This post is by Desiree Toldt, a 3L:

“Ethical Issues of Communicating with Non-Clients: Red Flags and Best Practices”

I was fortunate to attend the breakout session entitled “Ethical Issues of Communicating with Non-Clients” presented by Professor Mary McNeal and Professor Kimberly O’Leary, both professors and Directors of Elder Law Clinics. The facilitators began with a general overview of case law and issues surrounding the maintenance of confidentiality of elderly clients. The remaining time centered on the professors own development of a 15-step protocol system intended to assist elder law attorneys in maintaining confidentiality of their clients. The four main areas of focus for the protocol were “who is the client,” identification of third parties necessary to representation, evaluating possible abuse, and effective communication regarding third party interactions. The professors, in true academic form, distributed five varying scenarios as the larger group broke into five smaller groups. Each group was then assigned a particular scenario to address using the protocol. Each group evaluated the scenario, identified issues, and shared personal experiences in their own practices within the small groups of four to six members. The groups had the opportunity to provide a sample “role-play” to demonstrate how the individual group addressed the issue.

The open forum style of the session created an open discussion of difficult situations such as how to handle suspected abuse, undue influence, confidentiality exposure and protection of the elderly client. While this high level of interaction created some disagreement amongst attendees, it also facilitated a productive, open and honest discussion about the issues that might not otherwise be discussed at the conference. Each group offered a unique perspective from across varying jurisdictions and showed how the 15-step protocol could be adapted to each individual practitioner. The value in the session was not only learning the 15-step protocol system but also most importantly learning from the experiences of every attendee in the room. I felt this was the most unique and beneficial portion of the 2013 NAELA Conference breakout sessions.

    ---Desiree Toldt, 3L, William Mitchell College of Law

December 14, 2013 in Ethical Issues, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Edinburgh Symposium: Ethics & Care for Older People Approaching End of Life

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinbrugh is hosting a symposium on "Ethics and Care for Older People Approaching End of Life: Symptoms, Choices and Dilemmas" on April 3 in Scotland.  While many of the sessions focus on medical treatment, as one might expect given the setting, the program takes an interdisciplinary approach,  with sessions on:

  • Pain mangement in older people
  • Palliation of symptoms in advanced dementia
  • Nutrition in advanced frailty
  • Escalating care vs. ceiling of intervention: two sides of the same coin?
  • Advanced care planning in the community: choice or chimera?

The  keynote address is "Meeting the Challenge of Delivering Quality Care for Older People in the Last Days of Life."

The website explains how to identify or establish connections for live streaming of the program to venues overseas.

December 11, 2013 in Cognitive Impairment, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A student's perspective on NALI/NAELA--Part 3 of a series

In November, I was able to send three of my students to the NALI conference in DC.  The students wrote short articles on their experiences (see previous posts).  This post, by Desiree Toldt, is part 3 of a 5-part series.

“Taken Under the Wings of the Wonderful Elder Law Attorneys of NAELA”

As a first time-attendee, attending conferences on a national scale can be a bit daunting and a sometimes nerve racking experience. I’ve attended large conferences in my “life before law school” and have often found myself as an “outsider” as a first-time attendee.  Many attendees have attended these types of conferences year after year and have developed strong bonds with one another.  For them, the conference acts as an opportunity to reconnect, socialize, and share their experiences from the past year.  Upon my arrival at the conference I was unsure what type of environment to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the warm welcome I received. As a first-time attendee, the committee members, volunteers and other attendees turned out their warmest welcome to help facilitate the development of useful relationships and to allow me to gain a great deal of knowledge over the three day conference.  I am also thankful to have had Professor Kim Dayton as a “talking point,” as she was both well known and well missed amongst attendees.  While the content of the conference itself exceeded my expectations; I believe the social nature of the conference is what will encourage me to continue to attend NAELA events in the coming years.  I had the opportunity to meet with attorneys, law professors and other professionals in the field of elder law who willingly shared their insight, passion for the law, and experiences without any hesitation. I was never lacking an opportunity to attend dinner with a new group of people or to meet others at the social hours. The individuals I’ve meet and the things I’ve learned created an experience I will not soon forget. The graciousness of Professor Kim Dayton in providing her students this opportunity is something that will leave a lasting impression upon each of us that attended. I hope to provide the same wonderful opportunity to first-year attendees at next year’s conference.

         --Desiree Toldt, 3L, William Mitchell College of Law


December 10, 2013 in Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 2, 2013

A student's perspective on NALI--Part 2

3L Nerissa Irizarry reports on her experiences at this year's NALI conference in Washington, DC (Part 2 of a series)....

The 2013 National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys conference held a session entitled “Making Your Office and Beyond Accessible to Your Clients With Intentional ‘Elder Friendly’ Design.” The session’s presenters were Professor Rebecca Morgan, Professor Roberta Flowers, both currently at Stetson University College of Law, and John E. Wittman from Geier Brown Renfrow Architects, LLC. The discussion that ensued was tremendously practical. The presenters sought to demonstrate, with assistance from the audience, the unique needs presented when creating an office that is welcoming to older clients. In addition to the distinctive interactive nature of this session, the presenters highlighted the intersectionality that is inherent in an elder law practice by including an architect in the discussion. Throughout the conversation, presenters and audience members commented on the ways in which design wishes and legal concerns coalesced, not always harmoniously, in the office planning process. For example, municipal regulations can pose a problem for the considerate elder law attorney who wants to install signage that is not consistent with local requirements. Mr. Wittman, NAELA’s featured architect, paid special attention to aesthetically appeasing as well as functional features of a welcoming elder law office. For instance, there was much attention paid to colors that contrasted, but did not clash, as well as light that was illuminative and diffused. The idea was to have an appealing office that was not harsh to the eyes of an older or (dis)abled client. The presenters enhanced the quality of their presentation by including pictures of elder law offices from around the country. These visuals invoked lots of conversation and comments from the audience. Overall, the interactive, practical aspects of this session blended fun into an educational, professional conference.

The overall atmosphere of the 2013 NAELA conference can be summed up in two words: inviting fun! As a first time attendee, who ventured to the conference knowing absolutely no one, I expected my social interactions to be at least slightly awkward. I was pleasantly surprised to have had exactly the opposite experience. Nearly everyone I interacted with was not only welcoming, but inviting. I was asked about my interests, passion, and future goals in the field of elder law. I spoke with attorneys who encouraged my induction into the field, as well as offered their moral support for any stumbles along the way. The interactions with elder law attorneys stood out as the outstanding aspect of the conference. In fact, one attendee (Ruth Ratzlaff) handed me her card and told me to call her if I ever needed a cheerleader. I will be sure to remember her when I am spending my summer tediously studying for admission to the California Bar.

The sessions were digestible, and that characteristic is particularly important for new and soon-to- be attorneys like myself. I especially enjoyed the interactive atmosphere within the sessions. As attendees, we did not sit still for too long before we were asked to participate in the conversation. The presentations truly felt like conversations. From the venue to the environment, the 2013 NAELA conference created an ambiance that was engaging and convivial to attendees.

                    --Nerissa Irizarray, J.D. expected, William Mitchell College of Law, May 2014.

December 2, 2013 in Other, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A student's view of NALI...

Earlier this month I sent three of my students to NALI.  NAELA members and others were welcoming, and the students learned so much there!  I've asked the students to write some blog posts about their experiences, and will be posting these over the next few days.  This one is by my RA Regan Bovee, who will graduate in December with a JD from William Mitchell and a Health Compliance certificate from Hamline.


My Experience at the NAELA National Aging and Law Institute

On November 7th-9th I had the incredible opportunity to attend the NAELA National Aging and Law Institute as a third-year law student. The conference began with a discussion on the budget and policy landscape and what can be expected in the next year. From there, I attended a whirlwind of sessions about everything from designing an elder friendly office to a funny and informative panel featuring staff from the Center for Medicare Advocacy playing “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

Jonathon Blum, the Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Director of the CMS Center for Medicare spoke about Medicare’s ‘observation status.’ Among other topics, he discussed accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are groups of health care providers accountable for quality and cost of healthcare for beneficiaries in traditional fee-for-service care. Service quality is tied to an ACO’s rating.

Mr. Blum said that prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), fifteen percent of Medicare beneficiaries were in four or five star plans. It is now more difficult to meet the requirements of being labeled a four or five star plan, but CMS projects that by 2015 more than half of beneficiaries in private plans will be in a high ranking plan.

My highlight from the conference was the large amount of content that involved the ACA. Almost every session I attended mentioned the ACA in one way or another, whether it be transitioning from a healthcare exchange to Medicare or the impact the ACA is having on long term care services. The final session, given by David Lillesand, focused solely on the ACA and addressed many common complaints such as, “my insurance plan is skyrocketing” and “why do men have to have maternity coverage?”

Mr. Lillesand also discussed the impact the ACA will have on personal injury law, since a large percentage of personal injury claims often goes toward future medical costs associated with having preexisting conditions and no longer being able to find coverage. With preexisting conditions no longer affecting coverage, the amount awarded in personal injury suits may decrease drastically.

It was such a wonderful experience being surrounded by elder law experts and having the opportunity to listen to them speak about topics that are so relevant. I left the conference feeling very inspired and excited to enter the field of elder law.

    --by Regan Bovee (JD expected December 2013, William MItchell College of Law)



November 27, 2013 in Legal Practice/Practice Management, Other, Programs/CLEs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)