Whether you know it or not, there is a large community of trusted advisors who are familiar with senior care and senior living. They include elder law attorneys, medical doctors, religious and community leaders, financial planners, and health care professionals.Tom Grape of Benchmark
Yet deciding who to listen to when it comes time to making decisions can be a challenge. Senior care and senior living is a rapidly changing landscape of options, and the choices available to the average person looking for a new home can seem overwhelming.
Most people consider the opinions of family and friends first, which is natural. There is built-in trust and commitment to your well-being with those you have known for years, or all your life. Still, the trusted advisor can be an invaluable voice in sorting out the issues and bringing perspective.
At Benchmark Senior Living, we work with families and their advisors all the time, with the goal of making the transition to one of our communities as comfortable as possible. Let me provide a snapshot of senior care advisors who can bring special insight into issues commonly faced by seniors.
Elder Law Attorneys can help navigate legal matters such as estate planning, power of attorney, wills, trusts, and advance directives. Visit the website for The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys where you can find general information about elder law and a list of state chapters.
Medical Doctors who are trained in aging issues might also belong on your senior care advisors list. One kind of doctor is the gerontologist, who specialize in the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging. Another kind is the geriatrician, who is focused on the medical health and well-being of older adults. Visit Wellness.com and HealthInAging.org to search a database of medical professionals.
Religious and Community Leaders can offer helpful suggestions about senior care guided by shared religious affiliations, local community knowledge, and their relationships with local health care providers. They might also have insights on faith-based senior care.
Financial Planners provide advice to their clients related to one or more areas of personal finance. They can offer ideas on cash flow, debt management, retirement planning, insurance planning, tax planning, real estate, education planning, and investment advice. Consider visiting the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Certified Financial Planners (CFP) as part of your research.
Finally, advisors should make a point of networking with other senior care professionals in different fields in order to keep abreast of the demographic trends and developments in their locales. A well-connected advisor can provide an invaluable perspective to families who are making choices about senior care and senior living.
Until next time,
Chairman and CEO, Benchmark Senior Living