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Leaving a Lasting Legacy

This is not about what you think. It’s not about passing wealth to the next generation.


The alarm bells have been sounding. Indeed, many articles have been written and statistics

published about this age cohort and the impending impact on care. Without waxing philosophic,

an undeniable crisis of care exists throughout the nation. Indeed, there is a dangerous dearth of

workers and allied health professionals qualified to provide the care required by individuals

grappling with comorbidities and neurodegenerative conditions.


I have blogged before about my desire to create and innovate. While it could be more than

enough to work in and on a legal practice, spending upwards of 60 hours per week meeting,

drafting, designing, thinking, analyzing, marketing, and networking, those actions have never

been sufficient. The urge to develop new programs to enhance the lives of older Americans and

those who support and assist them has been growing stronger with the progression of the

practice.


Over the past decade, I have launched several programs under the Concierge Care

Coordination® umbrella, all designed to provide holistic services to older Americans, the largest

growing demographic.


Recognizing the inefficiency of declaring the obvious, I wracked my brain about what we could

do to contribute to a solution. I have more than enough data to support the success of the

collaborative model in my practice, to wit, the integration of geriatric social work with elder law.

Additionally, and even more importantly, the benefits to family members of individuals

receiving care are both astounding and unquantifiable. While providing coordinated services to

individuals and their care partners, the Concierge Care Coordination® model transformed my

practice, reinvigorated my passion for elder law, and provided the impetus for spreading its

gospel.


About six years ago I had that eureka moment, an epiphany of sorts, where I hit my palm against

my forehead. I had spent time speaking to social work and law students – both together and

separately – and educating them about the model. Clearly, we need to push the model into

academia and encourage and incentivize social work students to embrace aging and enter the

field of geriatrics and gerontology. We have had interns from several social work programs over

the years, almost none who previously expressed an interest in the field. Except for our current

intern, each student entered our office with an expressed desire to work with children or

individuals with mental health issues. While not minimizing the ongoing need for counseling

around those issues, maximizing the number of social workers trained to assist the elderly is my

goal. After a year of field work and supervision, and a bit of proselytizing, we successfully

demonstrated the importance of, and need for, well-trained and educated geriatric social workers.


While we are certainly headed in the right direction, the track needs to be elongated and

widened.


So I took the model on the road, introducing it to two New York universities, one downstate and

one upstate. And I am so proud and pleased to announce that we have partnered with Adelphi

University in creating and funding the Goidel Gerontology Fellowship. I applaud Adelphi University for embracing the model and recognizing the need to educate

and train social work students in the field of aging and gerontology. Adelphi is recognized as the

first university in the nation to offer such a unique program. Goidel Law Group looks forward to

many years of collaboration and support.


Please stay tuned for additional announcements and developments, as other programs at an

upstate university are in the development stages. I am personally and professionally excited

about the expansion of our efforts and goals.


If this has piqued your interest in any way, please reach out to me. Let’s work together to leave a

lasting legacy.


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