Our 15th Year Assisting Seniors & Those With Disabilities – Thank You for Allowing Us to Be Part of the Journey

By: Jerold E. Rothkoff  

We are celebrating our 15th year assisting seniors and those with disabilities.  In November, we completed our move of our South Jersey office to a larger location.  The move to a significantly larger office will allow us to continue to expand the elder and disability law services we offer our clients and their caregiver loved ones.

As I have previously written, I did not begin my career as an elder law attorney solely because I had a passion for helping seniors.  I originally decided to become an elder law attorney for a very basic reason – to support my growing young family.  However, once I started to explore this fascinating, challenging area of practice, I was hooked.  For the first time in my career I felt that I had a real impact on a family that was confronted with real problems. In an instant, life meant something more to me. I had become a problem-solver, and it felt good.  It still feels good today.

As an elder law attorney, we distinguish ourselves not so much by asking “What happens when I die?”, but more importantly, “What happens if I live?”  Especially as we see our clients living longer while coping with a variety of physical, medical and legal challenges.  Therein the journey lies.  Frequently, we accompany our clients and their families on the “journey” that may last several years with circumstances frequently changing along the way.

Practicing in this evolving area of law provides a high level of satisfaction in knowing we make a positive difference in the lives of our clients and their families.  As I look back on the past fifteen years, I have probably learned more from my clients than they have learned from me. The most important thing I have learned is to listen.  Listen to the clients’ wonderful stories about the wars they have fought, the places they have been, and the people they have met. We have much to learn from the elderly and disabled, and they have much to share.

I recently read a published interview of John Bogle, the founder and former CEO of Vanguard, the mutual fund company.  He was asked what advice he would give his children regarding their careers.  He said he would advise three things: 1) family comes first; 2) never forget the value of luck and where you have come from; and 3) never, never, never say you did it all yourself because no one ever does it all themselves.

I want to thank my parents for instilling in me the value of giving back to others.  I want to thanks my wife, Erica and our five children for always knowing at the end of the day, I can come home to their love and support.  I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by great people over the years, within both my personal and professional life.  Thank you for making me a better person each and everyday.

It has been an honor and privilege accompanying seniors, the dis­abled, and their families on the journey these past fifteen.  It is a debt of gratitude that I can only hope to repay.

About Jerry

Jerold E. Rothkoff, a practicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania attorney, is the Principal of the Rothkoff Law Group, an elder care law firm. Jerry dedicates his practice to serving clients in the areas of life care planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid & VA benefits, and advocacy for the elderly and disabled. He is past President of the NJ Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, former chair of the elder law section of the NJ State Bar Association, and past President of the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association. Jerry continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights of the elderly and disabled. He writes for and gives presentations regularly to attorneys and other professionals about legal issues related to seniors and those with disabilities. Jerry’s community activities include the Twilight Wish Foundation, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as numerous other advocacy groups. When not in the office, Jerry spends time with his wife, Erica, and their five children, eighteen-year old identical twin girls, Liza and Julia, fifteen-year old fraternal twin boys, Evan and Gregory, and six-year old Aitan.

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