We have had to change the way we do practically everything from attending care conferences, to client meetings, to marketing, and as 2020 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year working in long-term care planning with both sadness and happiness.
The sadness, of course comes from the all of the chaos that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused. Never in my life would I have imagined such a crisis could occur. In March, I remember thinking “This cannot be that bad, right?”, but with each day that passed it became increasingly clear that nothing could be further from the truth. Traditionally when working with seniors and their families, in-person meetings were the norm. However, due to the shut-downs occurred we soon had to begin figuring out how to do our work remotely. At that time, our office implemented company-wide daily Zoom meetings. Each day at 8:30 am, 30 of us participated in a Zoom meeting from our homes. The purpose of these meetings was to discuss daily appointments and to get status updates from our team of social workers on our clients that were residing in nursing homes and assisted living. With each Zoom call, our team was overwhelmed with grief and frustration when hearing daily that Covid-19 was claiming the lives of far too many of our clients. To be quite honest, it was terribly excruciating and although we never discussed it, I am sure I was not the only one that broke down in tears the minute our meeting ended. Our hearts were breaking for all involved, the health care workers, the residents and their families.
While we are an elder law firm, practicing law is only one of one of the many things that we do. Our goal, as a team is to assist the seniors and families that we serve in every aspect of their long-term planning needs and we are successful in doing so because of our experienced team of professionals. That being said, Covid-19 was not something anyone could have anticipated and it left us all feeling helpless because we had no control of it, nor could we stop it from affecting our clients and their families. All of a sudden everything was different. The ability to see our clients and provide the advocacy we were so used to delivering was now being regulated by local government. Nursing Home visitation was not allowed and our clients were left with very little access to their families and to us. This necessitated a swiftly executed pivot on our part. With each passing day, our team has been able to unlearn they way we worked pre-pandemic and overwrite that information with new processes that have allowed us to continue to do our work.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
This quote from Socrates describes exactly what our team has been doing the past nine months. We have had to change the way we do practically everything from attending care conferences, to client meetings, to marketing. At first, the change was difficult, as trying to navigate the ever-changing course of the pandemic was like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, but we have adapted and we are better for it.
Earlier, I mentioned, that I was both sad and happy about the year 2020. I have addressed the sad, so now I will speak about the happy. I have found satisfaction during this time in knowing that our doors are still open while so many businesses, unfortunately, have closed. There is happiness in the fact that we have been able to continue to serve those in need and that we are still able to make a difference for others. There is happiness in listening to Jerry Rothkoff read a recent online review left by a client telling us that “She could not have gotten through the last year and the passing of her husband without the support of our firm”. This feedback is our life-blood, it fuels our strength and influences our desire to be the best we can be. Don’t get me wrong, I will not be sad to see the end of 2020, but I am grateful for the lessons learned, our ability to accept this change and for the opportunity to continue to make a difference.