Deciding to get help with an older family member is a big decision for you as a caregiver and your family. You may have been able to manage the day-to-day needs without much assistance until something happened to change that—a fall that requires bed rest, a severe illness, or memory lapses that are happening more and more often.
Being a good caregiver doesn’t only mean taking care of your loved one yourself; it also means recognizing when you need help. Connecting with a senior living advisor is an excellent place to start if you need assistance in determining and finding the correct type of additional care or living situation for your loved one’s needs.
What is a senior living advisor?
Senior living advisors are people who work with families to determine the next steps for the older loved one based on their health status, financial situation (including Medicare and Social Security) and personal preferences. Senior living advisors don’t get paid by their clients; they make money from the companies they work with and recommend to the families who connect with them.
In addition to being certified through a certification test, a background check and an ethics exam, certified senior living advisors also have continuing education classes. While some may not be certified, it’s better to work with one who is because they’re held accountable for their actions by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.
What does a senior living advisor do?
Before your senior living advisor begins searching for what your loved one needs, they will do a detailed interview with them and the rest of the family members involved to get a clear picture of everyone’s concerns and questions.
The most important job of a senior living advisor is to act as a calm mediator for a family that may be in crisis or disagreement about how to care for a loved one. Their number one priority in any situation is the senior and paying attention to what they say. Because they have no personal connection to the older family member, they can keep a level head and listen for the senior’s essential details and wants and needs while considering what the family members think matters.
Most senior living advisors find their way to their careers because they want to help people. For example, Adrianna Holderman left her job running a television station to become a senior care advisor at Senior Living Selections in Sarasota, Florida, after her experience with finding help for her mother when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“The reason I got into journalism was because I had a passion for informing people and helping people, and I get to do that in this role,” she said. “I get to help families and inform families about what resources are out there and what fits better—home health care, assisted living, or memory care.”
What can a senior living advisor do for my loved one and my family?
Senior living advisors gather information from the family and the senior and search for the best solutions within their network of resources. A good senior living advisor will have many connections in their community who can either provide the information or care they need or direct them toward someone who can. These resources include:
- Home health aide companies
- Senior living communities
- Memory care options
- Family attorneys
- Physical therapists
- Mental health specialists
- Medical equipment suppliers
The best senior living advisors keep on top of industry news to have the most current information available for their clients, including updates on any health or safety violations by local companies they work with or any staff turnover or changes that could affect how a community is managed.
How will a senior living advisor make things easier for us?
Managing an older loved one’s needs can be complicated, especially if they’re reluctant to accept they’ve reached a point where help is needed to keep them safe and healthy. A senior living advisor will take on the burden of looking for the resources you need and present what will work best for your family. That way, you won’t have to make dozens of phone calls, visit several communities, or meet with many different people, all of whom will tell you they know what’s best for your senior.
If you put your trust in a qualified senior living advisor to find answers, you can focus on making your loved one feel comfortable about the changes ahead.