195 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland, NJ 07436 (by apointment)
Michael C. Rudolph, Esq. P.A.
THE INFORMATION NETWORK ON AGING
May will mark six years since I joined a group known as the INFORMATION NETWORK ON AGING (INOA). I want to tell you a little bit about it and what it does. Later in this message I will tell you about an exciting new program.
After I began concentrating on elder law in my practice, I found that clients would come to me for advice on matters other than the need for wills and trusts, avoidance of death taxes, asset protection planning, powers of attorney, living wills, medical powers of attorney and real estate matters. Here are some of the questions I was routinely asked:
“Can you help us convince our parent the he/she needs to be in assisted living in order to be in a safe environment where there are activities and the possibility of interaction with others?”
“Can you recommend an assisted living facility.”
“Can you help us convince our parent that it is no longer safe to remain at home, and he/she needs to be in a skilled nursing home?”
“Can you recommend a nursing home?”
“Do you know where we can find a reliable aide to stay with our parent part time/full time?” Do you know where we can find a reliable aide/nurse?”
“Can you recommend an agency?”
“Should I take out a reverse mortgage? Can you recommend a trustworthy mortgage broker?”
“Can you give me advice on my investments? Can you recommend an investment advisor?”
“My parent(s) want to live out their years at home, but it needs modifications to accommodate their disabilities. Can you recommend someone who can retrofit their house?
“What is hospice all about?”
And on and on.
Realizing that I was not trained to give the type of non-legal advice being requested, I felt an inadequacy to provide my clients with what they needed. Then, I learned of an organization, now called Information Network on Aging (INOA), and I was asked to join. Instantly, I had at my fingertips, individuals and companies, each of whom had a product or service targeted toward senior citizens. Now, when a question is asked, I can make referrals to accommodate many of the needs of my clients.
In the six years since I joined INOA, the group has morphed into an educational organization. We present free programs at churches, synagogues, public libraries, senior centers, care facilities, active adult communities and corporate offices in Passaic and Morris Counties. Our members, aside from being knowledgeable in their respective businesses and professions, are warm, friendly and articulate. We have almost 100 topics from which sponsoring organizations can choose. Some of our programs involve a presentation by a single member; others consist of a panel discussion or a resource fair. Members attend functions to answer questions even if they are not part of the official program. INOA has Resource Centers at the Wayne Y and in Succasunna.
In about two weeks, INOA will be sponsoring a breakfast reception at the Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne in May for local clergy. The subject will be Alzheimer’s Disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the role that houses of worship can play in dealing with this insidious condition. The statistics about the percentage of our senior population that will suffer from dementia and require long term skilled nursing home care by 2040 is frightening. In the future, I expect to write about what needs to be done on a broad level. For now, we are hoping that our clergy will embrace a role for houses of worship to provide comfort to individuals and families affected by the many forms of dementia, or which Alzheimer’s is the largest and most well known.
INOA has its own website, which lists contact information for members. You can find it at inoaNJ.org. If you have a product or service that benefits seniors, feel free to contact INOA through its website to see if there is a slot for you.
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