by Char Brooks, JD
Sheila began working with Elder Law of Michigan (ELM) in 2009 as a volunteer for the Consumer Fraud Prevention Project. As part of her volunteer job, she reached out to seniors about potential scams, how to avoid them, how to be aware of them, and sent out information if needed or requested. From there she went on to the Intake Department and started doing Benefit Screenings as well as heading up the scheduling system for the attorneys and all Departments at ELM.
Today, Sheila is also working with ELM’s latest program, the National Council on Aging’s Reverse Mortgage Counseling Scheduling Center. As part of this program, she will be answering calls from seniors throughout the country who are interested in possibly getting a reverse mortgage. The National Council on Aging has a network of reverse mortgage counselors who can help the senior determine if a reverse mortgage is the right choice for them. Sheila and others in the scheduling center coordinate the several hundred calls we receive and connect the senior with one of these counselors.
Sheila really enjoys doing benefit screening. She says, “Benefit screenings are the highlight of what I do at ELM.” She describes the joy and the appreciation the clients have as they realize there is someone who will listen to them and understand their hardships.
Sheila is also incredibly sensitive to the subtle but important needs of seniors. For example, she mentioned that seniors are often very close with their animals. At the same time, it can be hard to provide for their most important companions. Sheila has found pet pantries that help eligible seniors get the supplies they need to take care of their pets. It is this kind of resourcefulness that makes Sheila such a valuable part of our staff.
Sheila prides herself on her dedication to our clients. Her attitude is clear with this statement, “What better joy could I have in my day than to know that I have helped someone today, that I have helped lighten their load, lifted their spirits, or motivated them to carry on.”
Thank you for your great service to our clients, Sheila. We appreciate your hard work.