Fixed incomes and fixed assets make older adults particularly vulnerable to financial fluctuations. A bad investment, an unexpected medical crisis, a financial predator or an unwise financial decision resulting from cognitive decline can quickly turn an older adult’s financial world upside down.
I knew early in law school that I wanted to do something with people with disabilities, including issues of aging in vulnerable adults. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to do some volunteer work at a couple of our local nursing homes, and that was always intriguing. After law school, the first Medicaid application I did was for my 97-year-old great-grandmother, who was admitted to a skilled nursing home for her end-of-life experience. I had never done a Medicaid application – so this was new for me – and hers was a fairly simple, straightforward application. She hadn’t owned a home for several years, and she had very modest savings.