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Aging Wisely May 2012 - Aging Wisely

Choosing a Senior Care Facility


In this article, we address important questions to ask when evaluating whether a senior care community is right for your loved one with specific information on Florida senior services and tips no matter where your loved one resides.

The decision to make a life transition such as moving to a senior care facility is a major one.  It is important, first, to recognize this and the stress and feelings it can bring for the person moving.  Where feasible, a wise approach may be to think about some of the considerations below, start the process of family discussions and get input from your loved one when not under pressure of a crisis.

What are some considerations for families beginning to think about a senior care community?

  • What needs or concerns would a senior care community address (i.e. what is concerning you or troubling your loved in his/her current situation)?
  • How does your loved one feel about moving?  (recognizing that this is a process over time of considering options and processing feelings about a major life change and related losses)
  • How does a senior care community compare to other options?  (home care, community programs, support from family and friends, etc.- what alternatives are available and how well do they address your loved one’s needs?)

At the early stages of discussion, you may want to take the time to research various senior services in your community, which may have previously been unfamiliar.  We find many families are not sure of the various alternatives.  This may be an ideal time for a care consultation or geriatric care management assessment.

If your family has decided to pursue the option of a senior care community, where do you begin in the selection process?

  • Form an outline of needs, wants and priorities (i.e. what care is needed, budget, location, desired activities or space requirements, etc.).
  • Make a couple of visits (if your loved one has friends who live in a local community, a visit to them as well as hearing their story and feelings can be very helpful) to process the list above against your reactions (are your ideal requirements what it turns out you really like?).
  • Grab a copy of our guide to choosing senior housing:

Additional resources about Florida senior care communities:

Assisted Living Options in Florida

Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration’s Assisted Living Unit

Contact Aging Wisely any time at 727-447-5845 with questions about Florida Assisted Living Communities, senior care options and help with transitions.

Don’t have the luxury of time with this decision?  In a crisis?  We’re here to help-get senior care help today!

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Navigating Florida Senior Care Options


As part of our ongoing senior care educational series, we are sharing advice for families caring for a senior in Florida (which can be applied most anywhere).  One of the biggest challenges families face is navigating Florida senior care options and finding quality options that fit their loved one’s needs.navigating senior care maze

Here are some tips when navigating senior care options:

  • Know how services compare (for example, what are the regulations for different types of care facilities or home care providers and what services are provided, limitations).  Here is a great article on how Florida home healthcare is regulated and Florida’s AHCA website about all healthcare providers.
  • As part of knowing how senior services compare, understand the costs and what is included (and more importantly, extra costs).  Get EasyLiving’s Paying for Senior Care fact sheet for an overview.
  • Ask lots of questions.  When interviewing providers or facilities, prepare a list of questions beforehand.  This can protect you from the natural inclination to be attracted to people who are personally appealing (i.e. the likeable marketing representative) when perhaps the provider is really not the best fit for you.
  • Do not let a crisis force you in to an uncomfortable decision.  Explain your concerns to providers and ask for necessary time and assistance (for example, talking to a hospital discharge planner about your loved one’s needs and the necessity of preparing for their return home).  If you are rushed or in a bind, this is an especially good time to consider hiring a professional like a geriatric care manager who can save you time but still allow you to feel comfortable with your choices.

In our next post, we will cover more details about navigating senior care facilities and choosing the best Florida senior care community for your loved one (or even deciding if a senior care community is the best overall option).  You can enter your email address in the box to the right to subscribe to be notified of our new articles so you don’t miss it!

Need expert advice, someone to guide you through the maze?  Our affordable eldercare consultations (available in person, at your home, or via telephone) provide solutions for YOU!

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Hiring Care Management Services


geriatric care manager consultingIf you are a family member caring for an elderly loved one, you may be considering consulting with a professional care manager.  Not sure if you should?  You may want to read more about “When You Might Need a Geriatric Care Management Assessment” to learn about some of the situations in which care management service prove useful.

You may have been referred to care management services by another professional.  This is a great way to find quality care management services, as you have the recommendation of someone you trust and someone who has obviously had previous experience with that company.   Aging Wisely receives the majority of calls from families who have been referred.  We are proud to have the trust of many community professionals.

However, whether referred or not, you’ll want to feel comfortable that you have all your questions answered and clear expectations prior to hiring care management services.  Often, in a crisis it can be difficult to pull your thoughts together and ensure you ask all the questions you have.  To make things easier for families, as part of our educational efforts for National Care Managers Month, we have created a quick checklist you can use when hiring care management services.

Though care management is a relatively new field, there are many highly experienced professionals who can guide you and improve your eldercare experience.  The acknowledged professional body for care managers is the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.  Though members come from fairly diverse backgrounds and educational degrees, the association has developed criteria for members to ensure they are fully qualified in this field.  Certified members carry one of four approved certifications, which include academic, experiential and testing criteria (along with continuing education).

At Aging Wisely, we are proud of our experienced team of geriatric care managers, who all have a high-level core set of skills but have also mastered additional specialty areas and obtained varied certifications.  You can view detailed background of our Aging Wisely care managers on our Geriatric Care Manager Team page.

If you are ready to begin the process of hiring Aging Wisely’s care management services, our Community Liaison is glad to answer your questions and discuss your specific situation.  Call us at 727-447-5845 or fill out the request below to schedule a time that is good for you:

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Exploring Geriatric Care Management and Senior Care Options


National Geriatric Care Manager month
As we celebrate National Geriatric Care Manager month, we help families explore the topic of geriatric care management and various options for senior care.  From understanding what a care manager does to identifying situations where one can help, we want to give you resources to help in your caregiving process.

If you are researching geriatric care management, or options in general for eldercare, here are a few articles that will help you better understand how geriatric care managers help and the approach we take to assisting families:


When You Might Need a Geriatric Assessment

The Geriatric Care Management Assessment Process: what happens when you hire a care manager to do an assessment, the process and what can you expect.

Benefits of a Geriatric Care Management Assessment for Families: expected outcomes and how an assessment can save you time, money and stress.


Care Management Services: What to Expect: what happens when you contact a care manager for services and some of the big questions that might be on your mind.

Bloomberg Business Week did a great feature on why families are turning to geriatric care managers, as well as how to go about selecting a care manager: click to read “The Elderly: Finding a Good Geriatric Care Manager”.

In our next post, we will be covering some tips about the hiring process and starting services, along with a free checklist we offer to help you during the decision-making process.

To talk to our Community Liaison about care management services, call 727-447-5845 or fill out the request below:

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Florida Geriatric Care Managers Celebrate Care Manager Month


Florida geriatric care management teamAging Wisely is celebrating National Care Managers Month with an educational series on care management and helping elder caregivers.

“We are proud that we have been serving seniors and families in the Tampa Bay community and beyond since 1998,” says Linda Chamberlain, Founder and President of Aging Wisely, LLC, “and that our professionals have been leaders in the field.  We pride ourselves on the educational content we provide to families and this is another way we can ensure families have the resources they need when caring for aging or disabled loved ones.”

In addition to direct work with families, Aging Wisely provides educational content via their online channels, offering blog articles, email newsletters, free tip sheets, caregiver guides and more.  The company is also active in social media, providing an additional outlet for caregivers and senior care professionals to share information and resources.  During National Care Managers Month, Aging Wisely will help to further educate the community about the benefits of care management, answer questions and help caregivers locate useful resources. 

Aging Wisely has also been active in local community education and offers educational sessions and materials for groups.  This month, founder Linda Chamberlain, will serve as part of a panel of elder and disability law experts at the Florida Elder Law and Disability Forum, speaking on “Medicare Quandary: Admissions v. Observation”.

Professional Geriatric Care Managers throughout the country will celebrate National Geriatric Care Manager Month by providing seminars, webinars, special events related to geriatric care management, open houses and other educational activities for the public.

If you’d like to learn more about geriatric care management services or our team of Florida Geriatric Care Managers, call us at 727-447-5845 or fill out an online request for a time to talk with our Community Liaison:

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.