The EASE Plan

Emergency Advocacy Support & Education

 We all know what an awful experience it is to be sick or injured and need to go to a hospital emergency room, especially when we have no one there with us to make sure we get the attention and care we need.   Our own experiences and the stories of others warn us that NO ONE should ever go to a hospital emergency room alone.

The stats show that 1 in 5 of us in the Boomer generation (and almost 1 in 3 of us over the age of 75) will go to a hospital emergency room at least one time this year!  Unfortunately, many of us HAVE NO ONE we can count on to go with us and stay for the long hours it may take there, or do not want to feel helpless and in need of such assistance from our friends and family, or sincerely do not want to burden our friends and family members with having to go through the ordeal at the emergency room with us.  Further, few of us know what questions we should be asking about our condition or the treatment options available to us; and even less of us know our rights regarding the care the hospital is supposed to be providing to us.

Now, we at Carney Elder Law can help you.  We can be THAT PERSON for you in the emergency room.  We will be your advocate to help insure that you get the emergency medical care you need.  Due to our firm’s unique combination of elder law attorneys and professional care coordinators, we can offer you the opportunity to become a member of a new and totally revolutionary retainer program, the Emergency Advocacy Support & Education (EASE) Plan.

As an EASE Plan member, you will have the security of knowing that one of our trained and professional Care Coordinators will go to the hospital to be with you to provide the advocacy support you desperately need in the emergency room, day or night, 7 days a week.  We will be there to make sure you are not one of the “forgotten ones” in the ER waiting room, you are not left alone and helpless while the ER staff tend to others and change shifts, and you are not abused by the ER’s desire to send you home prematurely or without adequate medication and support, with no plans to follow up on your condition.

If you are admitted into the hospital, we will continue to advocate for and educate you to help you get the care you need and to make sure that the hospital does not discharge you before it is safe for you to go home or to a care facility.  If you are unable to make your own health care decisions, we can help your chosen agent for health care to evaluate your situation and your care options in light of your stated wishes and then support your agent in making whatever decisions are needed.  As a Plan member, we will obtain, and keep up to date on, your medical history and feelings about health care and life support so that we will know what you want and can advocate for your wishes when you are not able to do so yourself in an emergency situation.

When you become an EASE Plan member, we will also review your estate planning legal documents to determine if they need any changes.  You could then retain us to do that work (it is not included as a service of the EASE Plan) or you could have your current estate planning attorney do it.  We will get a list of your doctors and get a medical history from you, including any medications you take, to ensure we have the information about your medical condition needed by the emergency room doctors and staff.  And, we will get a list of persons who you want to have contacted in case of an emergency.

EASE Plan members also will be invited to exclusive educational programs throughout the year to learn to be an effective advocate for your own good health care.  We will teach you the questions to ask your doctor, when to ask for and how to get a second opinion, how to switch doctors or insurance carriers, how to select a nursing home or assisted living facility and the differences between them, what public benefits are available to help pay for your care, what resources are available to help you safely recuperate at home or age in place, and much more.

The EASE Plan is a true retainer type program, meaning that our clients retain us to be able and willing to assist them in the event that they have a medical emergency.  The services provided by this program will ease many of your worries about aging in place and living independently.  It can also ease some of your children’s worry about you living so far from them.  For those of you living in an assisted living or other senior community or nursing home, it can help ease your children of the problems caused by missing to much work in attending to your frequent visits to the emergency room while making sure that they are alerted in the event that you really need them there.

For more information about the EASE Plan or to let us know you want to become a member, call us at (408) 354-0200 or email us at  Note, this service is not yet on our website, but we hope to have information there in the near future.