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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 9:35 am | Fair 56º


Time of Challenge and Introspection for Senior Planning Services

New employees, enhanced services and teamwork have helped it weather the economic downturn to continue to provide elder care and support

This year has been a time of challenge and introspection for Senior Planning Services. The shared experience of the economic downturn has affected its extended family of co-workers, caregivers, clients and loved ones, but it has provided an opportunity for all to be of greater help to one another.

One of the ways it has sought to strengthen its abilities and relationships in this past year has been to bring on new staff chosen for their abilities to enhance their work helping seniors remain in their homes with dignity and quality of life.

Cindi Thompson came to Senior Planning Services with many years of experience working in Santa Barbara in the field of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In her spare time, she volunteers for organizations serving seniors and their caregivers.

Ginny Reis is an experienced psychotherapist recognized for her ability to address and find resolution for the psychological and emotional conditions of health care.

Cindi Thompson
Cindi Thompson

With years of experience in public health, Cassi Noel joined the staff as the community liaison to provide outreach and to coordinate the community education and speaking bureau.

A well-known promoter of local arts and classical music, Barbara Burger is now its media specialist, helping Senior Planning Services share new information through local media.

The Senior Planning Services Web site has been expanded to offer a broad range of age-related resources. While other organizations are downsizing or underservicing to maintain a profit margin, Senior Planning Services is relying on many years of careful savings to enhance the quality and range of its services at a time it might otherwise be forced to follow suit.

Article Image
Ginny Reis

The recession has caused many seniors to minimize the amount of care they purchase. Through strategically planned service time frames, and using friends and family to supplement professional care, Senior Planning Services has used creativity to ensure that clients’ essential needs are met and to develop partnerships with them and family caregivers.

With as little as two hours a day, the staff has been able to keep at-risk elders in their homes. The geriatric assessments have served as a foundation from which elders, their families and advisers could prioritize the legal, financial and health-care issues and provide recommendations for how and where to find the most appropriate and best services now and in the future.

Barbara Burger
Barbara Burger

Lastly, there has been added two hours of professional care management consultation and support — without charge — for every home-care client to ensure problem resolution and good communication.

Through these difficult times, Senior Planning Services has found ways to adapt to be better and to do better in finding ways to help the elders in the community age in place, safely and independently.

Most importantly, the hard knocks of the past year have reinforced its good fortune in being in it together and sharing values, commitment and fortitude.

— Barbara Burger is a media specialist for Senior Planning Services.


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