Hanlon Niemann’s Fredrick P. Niemann got a first-hand look at the problems of the elderly many years ago with the aging of his beloved grandparents.
“When my grandmother developed dementia, my parents would try to get answers to questions about things like Medicare, benefits, insurance, Medicaid,” he said. “We would get little snippets of information, a few answers, but no one seemed to be able to put it all together. I thought there was a crying need for someone to do it right.”
This experience moved Niemann years later to become more involved in elder law and life care planning for the elderly. Today, his law firm, Hanlon Niemann in Freehold, New Jersey focuses on issues affecting seniors such as elder law, Medicaid, Medicare, guardianship, asset and income protection planning, estate planning, and how to find a long-term residence including assisted living, nursing home or independent care.
The firm has especially focused in on a growing need – people 80 and older who make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.
“The special needs of these clients are significant and highly complex,” said Niemann. “If you’re going to help service these special and vulnerable people you counsel, you must have a substantive grasp of the law, including rules related to Medicare/Medicaid and other government benefits. It also takes a sensitivity of how to deal with people on an emotional level.” With many of his elderly clients confused by the intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid, their grown children also may feel frustrated.
Niemann said his firm employs a compassionate and inclusive approach. For example, he said his elder clients might be under tremendous stress. To put them at ease, he will spend 30 or 40 minutes discussing family and related topics before getting down to legal issues. “How to find a long-term care residence, especially a nursing home is a huge issue for them and their families,” he said.
“How to get good care at home or elsewhere is another issue – and how to pay for it without going broke.” People are afraid of becoming destitute. They remember the effects of the Great Depression.
Another example of Niemann’s unique approach to help the elderly is having a registered nurse, licensed nursing home administrator and social worker on staff. Their duties can, when appropriate, include participating in care-planning sessions, evaluating existing care plans and assessing how the nursing home resident is progressing under that plan. In addition, elderly clients are apt to listen to the advice of Niemann’s firm because of the presence of a registered nurse and licensed nursing home administrator and social worker.
“Our staff is very knowledgeable and each adds a lot to the discussion about an aging client’s best interests. “We like the idea of having clinical issues, legal issues and financial issues on the table all at the same time,” Niemann said.
If you have any questions about the contents of this article, please call Fredrick P. Niemann personally at 732-863-9900 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org/.