Firm Takes Time off from Work for Team-Building and Community Service
On Thursday, August 13th, the residents at Carillon Nursing & Rehab Center in Huntington, LI eagerly awaited the visit of the partners, lawyers and staff of the elder law and estate planning firm Cona Elder Law, Melville, who came armed crafts and board games.
While helping 25-30 residents create “sun catchers”, mobiles made of colored beads for hanging in their windows, this unique activity served as Cona Elder Law’s third annual team-building project. Every summer, the firm brings the staff together by having them step out of their usual roles to do something in a non-work environment. In addition to their participation, the staff is also involved in developing ideas, organizing the event as well as coordinating supplies that might be needed.
“This year, the Cona Elder Law partners wanted to give our staff a ‘grassroots’ opportunity to engage with the elderly population in a more personal way than we generally do everyday on a professional level,” explains Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner, Cona Elder Law. “By getting back to basics and connecting with seniors similar to our typical clients in a more hands-on way, our staff was given the opportunity to understand and appreciate our special seniors. It was a reminder for all of us of why we practice Elder Law and who we serve.”
According to Joe Carillo, owner and administrator of the 350 bed nursing facility, when busy professionals volunteer their time and especially when they join with the residents in a craft or game, it really makes the seniors feel special.
One resident, Ray, an 82 year old man suffering from neuropathy, said playing poker with Cona Elder Law made him feel like he was playing with his old buddies, just like the good old days. Another commented it was just nice being with different people from the outside world. Margaret, 102 and the oldest resident in the facility, said she wanted to make the craft as she likes to take advantage of and get involved in everything.
For last year’s team building project, Cona Elder Law staff volunteered to help each other prepare Wills and advance directives for their fellow staff members and spouses who did not have health care proxies, powers of attorney, living wills or last will and testaments. Other unique programs have focused on team work, communication skills and trust games, such as a blindfolded walk through the woods, a timed puzzle competition, and other games with a purpose.
“Reinforcing the value of being a team player improves communication among the staff so attorneys and support staff work together more effectively,” notes Ms. Cona. This leads to increased productivity and greater respect for each other which translates into improved client relations.
Cona Elder Law is a law firm in practice for over 30 years and headquartered in Melville, L.I.. The firm provides a full range of elder law and estate planning services under the direction of Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. Cona Elder Law has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Reader's Digest and many others. A spokesperson on elder law issues, Ms. Cona has appeared as a guest on WNBC-TV, CNNfn, News 12, Channel 21 "Act II With Newsday" and many radio programs, including WFAN.