Finding the needle in the haystack of senior support services
As our needs change due to age, illness or injury, it can be difficult to sort through the myriad support services available. Choosing one that best meets our needs is a daunting and sometimes confusing task. Fortunately, there are local resources to help us to make a well-informed decision.
The estate and life-care-planning firm of Bartimole-Greene, located in Beachwood, is one such resource. The firm helps clients with legal and financial services. Kelsey Loushin, the on-staff care coordinator, assists clients with all aging-related needs. A well-respected veteran in the senior care field, she has an extensive inventory of local services, programs and products at her fingertips. “Our clients tell us what their goals are and then we do everything in our power to help them meet their goals," said Loushin.
An elderly Cleveland Heights couple came to Bartimole-Greene for help when the husband’s health started to decline. Loushin connected them with a local company that helped them modify their home so they could continue to live there safely. Eventually, the husband needed nursing care and Loushin helped them apply for Medicaid benefits to preserve the couple’s assets and enable the wife to continue living at home. “We pride ourselves on being a holistic care firm,” said Loushin. “We address all of the aging needs someone might have.”
The Senior Comfort Guide is another useful resource for finding care options. Published by University Heights resident Max Compton, the guide is a comprehensive listing of resources for every stage of the aging process. It covers services such as insurance, home care, transportation, medical supplies and long-term care. The guide is user-friendly with easy-to-read type. There are more than 9,000 copies available at local senior centers, hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Compton personally visits all of the businesses listed in his guide and reviews their services. “People can call me at no charge,” he said, “and I will match them to the services that best fit their needs.” When a Cleveland Heights family needed a medical alert system, they called Compton for advice. He referred them to a reputable company that provided them with a system, which enabled them to remain living safely at home. The guide is available online—a convenience for out-of-town family members.
A Place for Mom is a national company that provides free telephone and Internet referrals to helpful resources for seniors in the Heights and surrounding areas. “Our job is to make sure mom and dad are safe and comfortable first,” said Angelique Kaczmarek, community relations advisor for the Heights, “and then we find them the best resources for their particular situation.”
The service lists senior housing options and helps families compare the features of each, then arranges tours of the facilities for the family. To ensure it refers clients only to high quality companies, the company reviews the licenses and inspection reports of each facility on its list. A Place for Mom also offers helpful tools, guides and articles on subjects such as dementia, Medicare and Medicaid, and caregiver concerns.
Judith Eugene is a native of Cleveland Heights who provides life-enrichment classes and activities for senior adults and those with physical and mental challenges through www.lovinghandsgroup.com. She may be reached at 216-408-5578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.