Laurie T.S. Adamshick, Esq.
ELDER LAW ATTORNEY
Laurie T.S. Adamshick, Esq. is an elder law attorney who discovered her passion for elder law as the result of her experience over several years as the primary caregiver and advocate for her late parents, Bob and Fusae Shield. Laurie is a Veterans Administration accredited attorney and a member of ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Hawaii Estate Planning Council and the Elder Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association. She serves on the boards of Kokua Mau and the Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society.
In 1996, I was an attorney and businesswoman living in Los Angeles with my husband and 2-year old daughter. I had just returned home from a business trip to Chicago, my bag not yet unpacked, when I got a call from my mother saying my dad had been taken by ambulance to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. I rushed back to the airport to catch a commuter flight to Arizona. Thus began what I soon referred to as my season of pain.
My dad was diagnosed with leukemia – a type where the cure is worse than the disease. Rather than deny it, he gracefully accepted that the end was coming. With great humor he spent the following two months in hospice care at home, remembering the good times and saying goodbye to dear friends. My brother and I took on the caregiving duties for both of our parents since our mom was so traumatized by Dad’s impending death that she also needed help. I began to manage the finances, deal with the insurance issues, and get estate planning updated. The hospice people guided us all through the unknown. Since my dad had a terminal diagnosis, I had just gotten a taste of the health care maze.
Once Dad died, I brought Mom home to live with us while she adjusted to life without Dad. Then one morning four months later she suffered a massive stroke. For the next 11 months my full-time job was to manage my mother’s life while still trying to manage my own, my company, my child and my marriage. Now I was fully engulfed in the long-term care maze – and quickly overwhelmed with all the choices and decisions I had to manage on a day-to-day basis.
I had a full complement of physical and occupational therapists, home health nurses, and nurses’ aides in and out of my home every day. I had a mountain of medical claims paperwork in my home office from doctors, labs, hospitals, Medicare and an insurance company for both parents’ care. I learned how to use a wheelchair and how to transfer Mom from the wheelchair to the car or a couch or a bed. I quickly learned I had to puree all of her food and help feed her.
Within a few months I knew I had to leave the company I had co-founded in order to devote more time to Mom’s care. I had no life outside of taking care of my mother, except for the occasional long weekends when my dear brother would fly cross-country to give me a break. I lost at least one friend who did not understand why I could not make time for her.
I would have been so grateful to have had a core team of professionals to guide me with all aspects of managing my parents’ care needs during their last illnesses. In 1996, I had never heard of Life Care Planning for elders. Now, as an elder law attorney with a Life Care Planning practice, I am honored to help lessen the burden on others going through their season of pain through the lifeline process of Life Care Planning.
Thomas A. Rulon, Esq.
ELDER LAW ATTORNEY
Thomas A. Rulon, Esq. earned his law degree at Northwestern University. He has practiced estate planning, trust and elder law in Hawaii for several decades and has served as president of both the Tax Section and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Tom is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has co-authored numerous “how-to-manuals” for other professionals in the areas of probate, estate planning and elder law and lectures frequently on those topics.
My commitment to this elder law practice grew out of my desire to do more to help my older clients who were beginning to face health and long term care issues. I was impressed when I learned of the multi-disciplinary approach being taken by a small, innovative group of elder law attorneys on the Mainland some years ago. With assistance from staff nurses and social workers, their number one priority was to help elderly clients with chronic illnesses find, get and pay for good quality care. This was different from traditional elder law attorneys whose focus is on Medicaid planning and protecting assets for the next generation. Life Care Planning, as this new approach came to be called, offered me the opportunity to help clients plan for all the issues that incapacity can bring and provide so much more than legal documents alone.
Because of the continuing nature of the relationships I now have with my older clients, I am also better able to assist when a health crisis occurs. I used to regret having to inform a son or daughter who called me for information due to a parent’s sudden incapacity that I could not help since I had not seen the parent in years, sometimes even decades. Regular meetings every year and sometimes more often have eliminated this concern. The greatest personal benefit I have gained is I now have an opportunity to get better acquainted with my clients and their families, something that brings me great pleasure and has enriched my own life.
Mike Meyer, RN, CECC, CCM
Certified Elder Care Coordinator
marketing & Tech manager
As the marketing & tech manager for The Elder Law Practice of Rulon & Adamshick LLC, Asia Adamshick oversees all marketing efforts (including designing and implementing print & digital solutions) and provides behind-the-scenes tech insight and support. Prior to joining Rulon & Adamshick, she worked in Los Angeles as a multidisciplinary designer & marketing creative for a range of agencies and in-house teams. Asia grew up in Honolulu and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in Orange, California.