One of the biggest stories this
year is the fact that the "Baby Boomers" are turning 60. What does this mean
for Houstonians? Houston is a young region, with a median age of 32.4, but many
of these young workers have parents who are retiring and moving close to their
As these parents move closer to
their children and grow older, the younger generation begins to bear the
responsibility for their parents. While some may see this as a daunting
experience, it doesn't need to be. The Houston region is home to cutting-edge
agencies, facilities and advisors who have practical solutions to today's
issues. These dynamic agencies and people can turn a potential problem into a
Society of Certified Senior
According to the Society of
Certified Senior Advisors, "A Certified Senior Advisor(R) (CSA) is a professional
who has received a comprehensive education in the health, financial and social
issues facing seniors. CSA candidates must pass a challenging national exam to
prove their knowledge of the issues affecting seniors. While most CSAs already
have expertise in a professional discipline, it is only after they pass the
exam and agree to live up to high ethical and professional standards that they
may use the CSA designation.
"The Society of Certified Senior
Advisors is the world's largest membership organization that educates and
certifies professionals who serve seniors." Founded in 1997, doctors,
attorneys, gerontologists, accountants, financial planners and other experts
came together because they believed there was a need for standardized education
for professionals who work with seniors.
Families in need of a CSA may
find them throughout the nation by calling 1-800-653-1785 or on the Internet at
Senior Care Advisors of Texas
Talk about cutting edge. When
Liebe Ostrow needed to move her mother-in-law to Houston she faced issues such
as finding her the best independent living home, making sure she was
intellectually engaged and locating the best doctors. Ostrow saw first hand
what many people relocating to Houston see every day.
"It's overwhelming enough when
you're young and you move away from your friends. Imagine being in your 80s and
trying to make new friends," said Ostrow. "With Mom, we made sure someone
stopped by every day. We kept her engaged and helped her to make friends."
Her experience with her own
parents and husband's family motivated her to launch a not-for-profit company,
Senior Care Advisors of Texas. The agency is dedicated to enhancing the quality
of life for senior citizens and their families by providing high quality,
compassionate and ethical services through its comprehensive circle of social,
financial and health-related services.
In her role, she serves as a
referral service and counselor for seniors and their children. Need a bridge
group? Senior Care can find one. Looking for an attorney to review a parent's
will or trust? Or what about long-term care or ideas on housing options? Senior
Care can assist you with those needs.
Senior Care Advisors' areas of
• travel services;
• care giving;
• health, nutritional and
• Alzheimer's and dementia;
• chronic illness;
• Medicare and supplements;
• assisted living;
• long-term care;
• grief and loss;
• funeral planning;
• social aspects of aging;
• trends in aging;
• Social Security and taxes; and
• financial and estate planning.
For more information about
Senior Care Advisors log on to www.seniorcareadvisorstexas.com or contact them
via phone at 713-961-LIFE (5433).
Sheltering Arms Senior Services
is a nonprofit, multi-service organization with a long tradition of caring for
Houston's seniors. Originally founded by Christ Church Cathedral in 1893 as a
residence for elderly women, in the mid-1950s the organization dedicated itself
to providing services that enable the elderly to live fuller, more independent
lives in their own homes.
Sheltering Arms Senior Services
now serves nearly 80,000 seniors and their family caregivers each year with an
array of long-term care programs designed to enable seniors to live with
dignity and independence. Programs include In-Home Care, which provides light
housekeeping, meal preparation and assistance with bathing, eating and other
activities of daily living. Home Health Care provides skilled nursing and other
health care services. The Sheltering Arms Day Center provides recreation and
socialization for those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory
Counseling and Care Management
provides family caregivers with advice on care options and care planning, and
Case Management connects frail, vulnerable seniors to community resources.
Lifeline Medical Alert provides 24-hour monitoring for safety or medical
emergencies through a waterproof, wearable personal help button. Housing and
Energy Management assists low income seniors with utility bills and energy
efficiency measures, and Telephone Reassurance provides a daily safety-check
phone call for seniors who are alone much of the day.
Sheltering Arms also serves as
the lead organization and fiscal agent for Care for Elders, a partnership of
more than 85 organizations and individuals whose mission is to improve the care
and services provided to vulnerable older adults and family caregivers in
Harris County. For more information about Sheltering Arms Senior Services,
visit www.shelteringarms.org or call 713-956-1888.
The housing options for seniors
in Houston run the gamut from assisted living facilities to Alzheimer care
facilities to resort-style neighborhoods. These communities offer seniors
amenities such as golf courses, community centers, fitness facilities, cyber
cafes and performing arts theatres. The Buckingham, a senior living community
in Houston, even offers its residents a Wall Street Business Center.
Each year Executive Director Pam
Cooney, produces the Senior Guidance Directory. This directory is quite
extensive and can assist seniors with information about all aspects of senior
living. The directory's detailed description of senior housing options is
Retirement Communities or
Independent Living Facilities
These facilities allow seniors
to continue to live independently. They may be apartments, townhomes or rooms
requiring little or no maintenance. Services vary depending on the type and
cost of the facility. The seniors are responsible for their own finances,
transportation, meals and health care. Recreational activities are usually
offered, maid service may be provided, some meals may be provided in a common
room, and the facility may offer transportation to physicians or shopping.
Continuing Care Retirement
CCRCs are communities that
provide different levels of care depending on the resident's needs. They range
from independent living to nursing home care. They also have been dubbed
"lifecare" because residents may move from one level of service to the next
without leaving the facility.
Assisted Living Facilities
These housing options combine a
level of independent living with some assistance for personal care. They
provide care to residents who cannot live alone, but do not need 24-hour
nursing care. Assisted living communities offer residents the privacy of their
own bedroom, often with a small kitchen. Most offer meals in a community dining
room, snacks, laundry services, housekeeping and assistance with personal needs
such as bathing, dressing or medication supervision.
These facilities are not
designed for people who need serious medical care, but there are some
facilities for people with Alzheimer's, dementia and memory loss.
Residential Care Homes
(Personal Care Homes)
These group living facilities,
usually single-family homes, are designed to meet the needs of people who
cannot live independently, but do not need nursing homes. These homes provide
some type of assistance with daily living activities including eating, walking
and bathing. Some homes provide skilled nursing, rehabilitative services or
specialized care for illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
These facilities are designed
for people who need nursing care due to illness, or physical or mental
disabilities. These facilities accept seniors for both short-term and long-term
stays and have registered nurses on duty 24-hours each day.
For more detailed information on
Houston's senior community, log on to the Senior Guidance Directory at
www.srguidance.org or call 713-529-9991. The online version has a specific
listing of different housing facilities by location and offers information in
all major categories that effect senior living. Also the Senior Guidance
Directory is available at all Walgreens in the pharmacy department.
Leisure Activities and Travel
With such a sunny climate,
numerous airports, excellent theaters and a diverse mix of activities, seniors
can be as active as they'd like. Seniors can join tours to travel to exotic
places or volunteer at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. They can enjoy
ballroom dancing, bird watching in Galveston or take in a Texans game. Houston
truly has something for every senior.
The Houston region also has
numerous neighborhood recreation centers. From the YMCA to the Fort Bend Senior
Centers, these recreation centers offer engaging activities and in many cases
senior fitness programs.
At the state level, Texas
Department of Aging and Disability Services (Texas DADS) offers residents help
and information on services ranging from nursing home licensing to VA funding
for seniors and widows. For more information contact the DADS office in Houston
Locally, Harris County offers
services through the Housing Resource Center (HRC). HRC helps residents work
through housing issues to find the best possible solution. For more information
on HRC visit its Web site at www.hrc.hctx.net or call 713-578-2055.
The Houston region is a
wonderful place to retire, full of exciting activities and events. And
Houstonians want their seniors' "golden years" to be golden. With the different
services and organizations throughout the region, they can be—platinum.