Prime Living: Senior Care Consultants guide clients through lifestyle changes
Last updated 12/19/2018 at Noon
The adult children who lived nearby and saw Mom and Dad regularly didn’t notice their parent’s gradual decline had reached a dangerous stage. But when another sibling from out-of-state came for a visit over the holidays, he was alarmed at how far things had deteriorated since his visit the previous year.
Dad told him the same story several times over a couple of days. Mom left a stove burner on overnight. The house was messy; dust was building up. It was clearly time to make some decisions about their parents’ living situation.
But with so many choices in senior living options today, coupled with the challenges of finding an answer that is both affordable and makes sense for the parents’ lifestyle, adult children can find the task daunting.
Enter Frank and Juli Simons, owners of Senior Care Consultants, which specializes in guiding clients through the decision-making process to find a solution that can give seniors the quality of life they deserve and their children the peace of mind they need all at no cost to the client.
With more than 25 years’ experience in education, placement and senior care consulting, the Simons know how to navigate the complex choices for senior care, and are experts at providing individualized service.
“In a lot of ways, everyone’s going to go through this,” Frank Simons said. “Yet most people don’t know resources are available. They don’t know we exist.
“We hear it all the time. People say, ‘Where were you six months ago?’”
As the husband/wife team that owns Senior Care Consultants, the Simons don’t have to worry about meeting quotas or filling beds. Instead, they have the luxury of taking the time to get to know their clients, evaluating their current situation, analyzing their financial picture, and guiding them toward living options that will best serve their needs.
The Simons understand that many seniors hope to live out their final years in their home. But in many cases that’s neither wise nor possible. That can be particularly true for widows or widowers.
“We have a lot of clients in their 80’s who are vibrant and full of life, but are living in a house or condo by themselves,” Simons said. “And they’re suffering from the disease of loneliness.
“Wherever you are is home. Why not be in a place that’s best community-wise, care-wise and engagement-wise?”
With some 10,000 boomers retiring every day, the senior living industry is exploding. Depending upon a client’s wishes and needs, options include independent living, assisted living, in-home care, memory care, adult family homes, and skilled nursing facilities.
Working with their clients and adult children, Senior Care Consultants can recommend the best available options in Snohomish and King counties. Because they are reimbursed by care facilities through standardized payment arrangements, they are free to focus solely on their clients’ needs a perfect fit for a couple who thrive on helping others.
Juli Simons has been in the placement business for more than 25 years, originally specializing in employee recruiting for area businesses. But looking for a career that would provide more meaningful work, in 2008 she went to work at an assisted living community and fell in love with seniors and their families.
“It was a natural fit,” she said. “I was able to utilize the wonderful training and experience I gained in the placement industry to help families find solutions that would keep their loved ones safe without compromising their quality of life.”
Frank Simons, who began his career serving in the U.S. Navy, then entered the corporate world as a technical trainer as well as serving in both lay and pastoral positions at several churches, loved hearing his wife’s stories about working with seniors.
Since both thrived on helping others, it was an easy move, as well as a win-win, when they teamed up and launched Senior Care Consultants in 2013. They each bring skills and life experiences to their approach when they work with seniors and their families. And since they answer only to their clients and not to a company focused on quotas, they can work together to guide clients toward their best options.
“We can take as much time as we need to, walk at a pace we need to, to make sure we’re meeting our clients’ needs,” Frank Simons said. “We’re very personable and local. When you call, you’re getting either Juli or me.”
On the other hand, because discussions can sometimes be difficult, including about personal issues like incontinence or the need for bathing assistance, one or the other partner can step out to give clients the comfort and privacy they need for those discussions.
Especially important, they can help clients understand the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, examine the client’s financial situation, and help find available living options that won’t leave a surviving spouse destitute.
Too often, Frank Simons said, adult children put off decisions until mom or dad run out of money. “That’s absolutely the wrong thing to do,” he said.
If a senior is totally dependent on Medicaid, choices are limited and often unpleasant. On the other hand, when a senior still has some savings to go with social security income, a family can place him or her into a Medicaid “spend down” home that is loving, engaging, clean, provides great care and ensures a quality of life that will please the resident and give the family peace of mind.
When needed, the Simons also guide clients to other excellent resources who can help them navigate the other logistical concerns that come with making major life changes such as eldercare attorneys, real estate agents, movers and people who can help with downsizing and estate sales.
Ultimately, Senior Care Consultants is dedicated to providing answers for families that want their senior parents to live their final years happily and safely.
“Our goal is to find the best spot for your mom and dad,” Frank Simons said.
And if you want to know more about Frank and Juli and the services they provide, visit their website at www.SeniorCareConsultants.net or call them at 206-228-1678 or 425-876-2053.