Monday, October 29, 2018
Law Students Attend Annual Meetings for LeadingAge and NaCCRA
Law students from Penn State's Dickinson Law attended sessions hosted by LeadingAge and National Continuing Care Residents Association (NaCCRA) on October 28 in Philadelphia. It was my pleasure to share this experience with students. I see these opportunities as a great way to think about the wider world of business and law opportunities, and to consider how law and aging can intersect.
In the morning, we heard from A.V. Powell about best practices for actuarial evaluations to promote greater understanding of financial issues for continuing care and life plan communities across the country. At lunch we met Parker Life's CEO Roberto Muñiz, shown here on the right with Dickinson Law student Mark Lingousky, and discussed Roberto's ongoing projects such as working to established coordinated care options not just in Parker's center of operations in New Jersey, but also in Roberto's family home in Puerto Rico.
After lunch we attended a LeadingAge educational program on "Legal Perspectives on Provider Operational Issues," presented by four attorneys from around the country. Afterwards the students commented that they were surprised by how many of the topics had come up in one of Dickinson Law's unique 1L courses, on Problem Solving and Lawyering Skills. It is great to see such correspondence between real life and law school life. Of particular interest was hearing how residential communities are coping with issues connected to legalization of marijuana, including medical marijuana and so-called recreational marijuana, both from the context of resident use and potential use by employees.
On the drive home from Philadelphia, I had the chance to debrief with the students about what most interested them at the conferences. They quickly said they appreciated the opportunity to talk with engaged seniors about what matters concerned them. Indeed, after the attorneys leading the afternoon program took a quick poll at the outset to ask how many of the members of the audience were attorneys (outside or inside counsel), operational staff, or board members, one student leaned into me and said, "They forgot to ask how many people in the audience were residents or consumers of their services!"
Music to our ears, right Jack Cumming?
Bob Nicholson, NaCCRA’s Past President, coined the phrase, “If it’s about us, then with us.” Enterprises that don’t put their customers first tend to wither and fade away to be succeeded by new, more vital entitities.
It’s good that the up and coming generation realizes the importance of customers. Of course, that requires know who the customer is. Sometimes it’s the aging person, themselves, and sometimes, it’s an adult child or friend assisting the elderly person. And, increasingly, it’s groups of self-organized people facing age challenges who organize in “Villages” (http://vtvnetwork.org) and similar undertakings.
Who among your readers wants to invest their trust in people who do things for them but not with them? There’s a time and a place for abject dependency. The world is changing rapidly.
Posted by: Jack Cumming | Oct 30, 2018 3:02:48 PM