In the first Answers for Elders radio show of 2021, managing director DeAnne Clune talks about Seniors Better Together, which teams up with senior living providers across the country to share positive stories of what is happening in their communities. This segment focuses on the mission of the organization.
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The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show, and welcome everyone to answer for elders radio and happy new years eats and every one of you, as we have been through a covid filled, sadly, holiday season and lots of bad news, but also good news, because we have a lot of good things happening. I eat vaccine and we are seeing a lot of positive things happen in making sure that we can all come together again. And we have a very special guest on our show today. And one of the reasons why I think this is a real relevant topic for us all is that a lot of you, I know, during this time of Covid I probably get at least one to two either emails or phone calls asking about senior living. There’s a lot of concerns with families. There’s a lot of questions and we have recently discovered an organization that I think all of our listeners will be very excited to hear about, and it’s an organization called seniors better together, and they’re managing director, Dane Clune, is with us today. Dane, welcome to the show. Hi Do they and thank you so much for having me today and, as you know, we’re not in the studio again. We’re doing the so virtually to make sure that we’re all safe, and especially those of us that work with seniors. We want to make sure that we do our part in making sure that we socially distance and keep that that bubble safe and secure in so dam you’ve got you have a I’m going to back up. Seniors better together. It kind of started out of your own vision of understanding to help and consumers understand the senior living industry. Is that correct? That is correct. Yes. So tell us a little bit about how this came to be. Sure. Well, I think it was probably a long time coming actually, but the pandemic has kind of presented an opportunity to make this the right time to pursue enough like this, and so it’s really a grassroots effort of talking with communities, many around Washington state, but actually all over the country, about being in a very common situation and meeting to collaborate, to to present the benefits of community living environments for older and Elt even during a pandemic, or in some cases especially during a pandemic, and we feel that there’s been a lot of negative attention towards this option and we, you know, we want to be balanced in our presentation of information, but we just want people to understand the right side of it as well. Well. And I I know, but not only just generally, do people, you know, consumers, have questions about senior living, like what is it like? And and you know, even how do you even begin to figure out if you know, your loved one is a good fit for community where? You know, I remember my days back when I was first trying to find resources for my mother. I went on this tour of trying to find her a place to live and they all look the same to me. I was like so overwhelmed with going to so many communities and I didn’t know the right questions to ask, I didn’t know what I was looking for, I didn’t understand the whole process. So one of the things that I see that you guys are really doing is you’re kind of being that neutral voice to educate the consumer on what it is that they should be looking for and how to determine the right type of community. Is that correct? Yeah, US, we we are working with community partners all over to yeah, present this again, not as the only solution or the best solution for everybody, but really good often for many, many people. And when this se you know, when this be something, if people actually desired to get to this states in their life and pursue a great living arrangement for themselves. We find ourselves in the position of this being a dreaded situation for many people. So we kind of want to flip that right, like, take control of it for yourself and make a good choice for what it is you are wanting and needing. Right, right, and and the thing that I look at is that consumers today, they may have a different perception per se of what senior living is then what specifically it really is, because again, there hasn’t been, like you said, it’s kind of overdue, the industry, art industry hasn’t done a really good job and educating the consumer up what really is senior living. And so why don’t we start off? What is senior living special physically? Yeah, so that’s a really great question. And to your point, yeah, but there are trade associations of such that they view themselves more as as advocates and lobbying and things like that, or things about regulations, but there hasn’t really been a unified voice to just represent what it’s all about. So we are endeavoring to be that voice. And when it comes to what is senior living and such a broad term and there’s interchangeable terms that people use when they’re talking about this. So our definition, and is this really all any type of congregate housing environment that is aide qualified, so you have to be a certain age to be able to live there. Most of these places have either like a fifty five plus requirement or a sixty two plus requirement. Those are the two month common aide qualifications. You can use retirement community really interchangeably with the term senior living, and so I’d like to kind of go through a few definitions that people here and may be familiar with. So one being independent living, and that’s really kind of an internal classification for congregate community that does not provide any sort of care services, things that you would need to be licensed to do for people. And so when I assisted living and memory care, those do require licenses by whatever state you’re in to provide specific support services for people. And assisted loving, you know, involve activities of daily living like medication management and things like bathing, dressing, grooming and mobility support. So they’re really not medically oriented. It’s just, you know, it’s like a helping hand. And with memory care, it is a very specialized version of assisted living. Then accommodates those with the mental Alzheimer’s disease, that that type of thing. And it’s just really about providing a safe and enriching environment for people in that situation and giving them the best life possible during these years. And so obviously there’s different types and we people waiting to go. Well, how how do they get you know, how what do you pay for? To explain to was what senior living costs. Well, according to type that we just discussed and specific to I’m going to you know, pretty much focused on western Washington, right where the most of your listeners are, is you can expect that on a monthly basis at an independent living community. Most of them are monthly rental programs and so just like any other rental place, that’s typically find a month to month agreement and when you want to move out you get thirty days notice. So the independent living average in our state is twenty two hundred a month. In the pus it sound area we see this really being more around three thousand to thirty five hundred a month. So it is all over the board, depending on your set location and, I think moving. You say yeah, when you say independent living, doesn’t that include like utilities and different types of amenities that you normally would get into regular apartment? Isn’t that correct? Yes, so generally speaking it’s a bundled approach. so you write one check for all of your living expenses. Each community may have a little bit, you know, different variation on extras. That includes that by and larns. They include all utilities and then extras like, you know, activities and dining and transportation and things like that. MMM MMMM. So obviously, when you’re saying roughly, let’s just say thirty five hundred dollars a month, it you’re going to have somebody that made you lighthousekeeping for you still to come in it. Depending on the community, you may have somebody that might even do a meal one, you know, one or two meals a day, and sometimes you could choose what those are based on what price point you want to pay. Is that correct? That is correct. There’s a lot of flexibility. Yeah, so obviously that’s we’re going back to seniors better together. I know again you’re going to be with us for the hour, but I want to really go back to the fact that you are. You know, you guys are all about educating the consumer. So if our listeners have any questions or anything like that, how do we reach you? Yes, well, you could go to our website, which is seniors better togethercom. I’ll spelled out like that. You could email it at Info at seniors better togethercom, and we really encourage consumers to also go to our facebook page, the seniors better together facebook page, and engage in a public conversation. So we want to hear about your experiences of either living in a community or searching for a community, and we have lots of experts on hand to respond to those questions if need be. So we also have links on our site that will help you get to additional information. Well, that’s perfect. So everyone again go to seniors better togethercom or just email, and so its seniors better togethercom and Pan will be right back with us right after this answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders, radiocom. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders.
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.