First Posted: 8/15/2009
LUMBERTON Helping seniors age independently with health, wealth and confidence is the ambitious goal of Diane Surgeon of Lumberton.
A certified elder law attorney and accredited Veterans Administration attorney, Surgeon recently opened the Elder Law Center Surgeon Law Firm, PLLC, to help seniors and their families address the varied issues that affect preparation for retirement, disability, incapacity, long-term health care needs, estate planning and life care plans.
The new business is at 2003 N. Pine St., Suite B, Lumberton.
I feel like Im doing something that I was meant to do, Surgeon said.
She said she draws great satisfaction from serving people approaching their twilight years.
I absolutely love it, she said. They have given so much to their families and their communities. They are a foundation for us theyre who we are.
Its so wonderful to meet with them, to get the chance to visit them in their homes and share their stores about life and history. The wisdom they have is awe-inspiring to me.
Now that theyre older and have needs, it is incumbent upon us to take care of our seniors we just have to do that.
As the CEO of ComForcare Senior Services an in-home assistance provider for seniors and the disabled in six counties, including Robeson Surgeon has worked with hundreds of clients and families facing the devastation of Alzheimers disease, cancer, Parkinsons disease and other chronic conditions.
She said shes witnessed the shock experienced by clients and their families when they learn the harsh penalties they face for inappropriate property transfers and gifting.
Ive run into so many in our community, theyre shattered when they find out what it takes to get the care they need, she said.
The Elder Law Center will offer services that include education, community resource collaboration and coordination and document preparation for life care plans. That will include private and public educational seminars about long-term care insurance, assistance programs for veterans and surviving spouses, and preparation for long-term nursing home care.
Clients are fully advised of the various aspects of life care plans and aided in the preparation of the necessary documents to carry out the wishes of the client, including various powers of attorneys.
Surgeon said she wants to help families preserve assets and obtain government assistance.
Knowledge is power … knowing what to do beforehand is whats critical, she said.
Surgeon is a certified senior advisor, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a member of the North Carolina Bar Association – Elder Law Section.
She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, and her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.
She practiced with Lumbee River Legal Services and the Robeson County Public Defender Office.
To reach the Elder Law Center, call (910) 738-3320.