By Alissa Schramm, MS, CMC
Aging Life Care Manager – Advanced Professional
I’m often asked why I specialize in working with Denver-area seniors with only out-of-state families. Long-distance family members need a dependable, seasoned elder care professional – and I’ve proven over the past 13 years of operating Compass Elder Care Specialists that I can fill that niche.
I have developed a reputation of being available to my clients to expertly handle crises in person not only during the day but overnights, weekends and holidays. I closely tend to my clients, ensuring their needs are addressed and they are receiving the best care possible. Far-away families expect that service and I always deliver. I derive great satisfaction from helping seniors who are alone and giving peace of mind to their families.
Another frequent inquiry is “Why doesn’t the senior move to be with family?” There are many reasons:
- Seniors often do not want to leave the area where they have lived for decades or perhaps their entire lives. Especially for people in their later years, being uprooted and transported to an unfamiliar city can be unsettling, alienating and traumatic. Seniors whose wishes are not sought or honored can experience serious adjustment difficulties.
- Some older adults are too ill or cognitively disabled to be candidates for a move.
- Some family members recognize finishing rearing children, career demands or a retirement “bucket list,” including international travel, could derail intentions to see the relocated senior. They acknowledge that they are stretched to their limit and foresee the senior’s disappointment and family member’s guilt if visits did not occur.
- Some family member’s work requires regular traveling, taking them away from their loved one.
- A family member may live in an area, such as the country or mountains, that offers little or nothing in the way of retirement housing or services.
- Adult children living in different parts of the country may not be able to agree where parents should move. Being sent to another offspring’s house every quarter does not provide stability.
- Adult children, particularly those approaching retirement, may anticipate moving themselves. Transplanting parents only to need to move them again would be disruptive.
- Not all families are close knit. Sometimes from the beginning, other times as the years pass, family members may not share a tight bond.
Finally, people ask if I ever work with local families. Depending on the circumstances and my current client roster, I may be able to help.