How Legal Documentation Helps Prepare for Hard Decisions
Play • 30 min

Dannelle speaks with C. Grace Whiting about some of the reasons to consider working with an elder or special needs attorney and how advanced planning can help alleviate future caregiving stress. You’ll learn some tangible steps to plan for your care effectively and how legal support can prevent unanticipated problems. 

 

“That's where I feel like an elder law attorney or special needs lawyer comes in, because one of the things that makes them unique is unlike other areas of law - divorce, employment law - you don't go to an elder law attorney or a special needs lawyer just for one thing, you go to them and they look at the whole situation and they think about how does everything interrelate?” – C. Grace Whiting


Timestamps

  • 02:15 Grace’s personal and professional background in caregiving 
  • 03:33 Grace’s 3 core values and how they connect to her professional roles 
  • 06:52 The importance of an elder law attorney and Grace’s work with NAELA 
  • 09:32 Educating caregivers on the importance of connecting with an elder law attorney 
  • 13:52 Recent laws that benefit caregivers 
  • 18:48 How some laws truly originate 
  • 22:17 Creating caregiving-friendly workplaces 
  • 25:21 Grace’s passions outside of caregiving 

Actionable Tips  

  1. If you are considering seeking out legal advice to effectively plan for your care or care for a loved one, reach out to The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys or your local bar associate to be connected to a lawyer who suits your needs. 
  2. Start from a position of planning as a family before medical needs and emotions become heightened. The conversation can be difficult, but focusing the conversations on honoring what your loved one wants allows space for an open dialogue. For more resources to have these discussions, check out The Conversation Project
  3. Be active in demonstrating the need for change in caregiving legislation. Much of policy and legislation changes begin at a grassroots level by advocates who are deeply passionate and willing to speak with their local congress people. Know that it may take time for a policy to be created but taking action makes all the difference. 
  4. If you manage or own a business, part of supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in workplaces is recognizing that many caregivers would like to participate fully in their careers. As much as possible, support them by making simple accommodations, like remote work or flexible schedules. 

About C. Grace Whiting

With extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, Grace is a mission-driven leader with a commitment to make the world a more caring place. She is an expert in long-term care and health policy and has served as a resource for Members of the U.S. Congress, national and global advisory boards, and media such as the New York Times and CSPAN. Grace joins NAELA from the National Alliance for Caregiving, most recently serving as President/CEO. Grace also worked at the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease. Grace earned her JD from the University of Memphis School of Law. There, she helped launch an Alternative Spring Break and received the Memphis Bar Association’s Irvin Bogatin Public Service Award. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Grace started her career at the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, which led hurricane recovery efforts. She lives in Maryland with her husband, writer Geoffrey and distinguished pug, Chief Justice.  



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