As the owner of Attorney Alternatives, I’d like to answer some questions, comments and concerns of our current and prospective clients that I’ve received recently.
Q: Is Attorney Alternatives still in business?
A: Yes. Unfortunately, numerous challenges, both personal and professional that I will address below have prevented me from being able to provide the same high level of customer service as I have done over the past twenty-five years.
Q: I’ve called you multiple times and/or emailed you and I haven’t heard back from you. Are you OK? Why are you not responding?
A: First of all, I’d like to sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for the inconvenience, stress and frustration this has caused all of you that haven’t been able to get a hold of me. Those that have worked with me over the years, have referred friends and family to me and have trusted me to handle the typing and preparation of their very important legal forms know that I am not someone who would ever intentionally ignore a client. Not simply because it’s bad for business, but because it’s not the type of person I am.
Q: OK, but that doesn’t explain why I haven’t heard back from you.
A: First the “professional challenge” I mentioned above. As I became unable to be in my office full-time due to significant family medical issues, I moved my business phone system to my home office, under the (incorrect) assumption that since it is a VOIP (internet) system, I’d just plug it in and everything would work out fine. Unfortunately, it did not and I began experiencing months-long issues retrieving my voicemail messages. After countless hours and frustration, I was able to finally resolve these issues, but I wasn’t able to recover all my messages. Those that I was able to recover exceeded 400 in count. Additionally, as a result of clients being unable to reach me by phone, my inbox swelled to hundreds and hundreds of email messages as well. If an issue like this occurred prior to my becoming a full-time caregiver for a loved one, I would have been able to respond to all voice and email messages within 2-3 weeks. Which brings me to the “personal challenge” I mentioned above.
As the sole caregiver for a family member without any outside help since 2015 dealing with multiple, serious health issues, including Alzheimer’s/Dementia, cardiac issues, chronic and debilitating back/sciatic pain, a history of falls, depression and difficulty with swallowing food and medications, the demands on my time to provide proper care have increased to a degree that almost every waking moment of my day has been taken up by my caregiving responsibilities. In the past 3-4 months, my family member’s health declined much faster than anyone expected and to be honest, it caught me off guard and simply overwhelmed me.
Q: When will you be back up and running full time?
A: I have submitted a claim with my loved one’s long term care insurance carrier and after she is approved for coverage, then I will have a home health aide to stay with her 8 hours a day, 7 days per week so I can finally get back to working in my office full-time (and get a much-needed break). According to the insurance company, the claims process takes approximately 6 weeks, so I am hoping to have a home health aide in place by the middle of May, 2019.
Until that happens, all I can do is sincerely apologize, try my best to get caught up and to work as hard as possible to regain the trust of my clients that I’ve worked very hard to earn over the past quarter century in business.
On a personal note, if you are a caregiver and have become overwhelmed to a degree that your own mental and physical health has become affected, I highly recommend the caregiver resource page of the Alzheimer’s Association located at: https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/caregiver-health
Attorney Alternatives, Inc.