If you've tried to navigate senior services, you have an appreciation for what I like to call "the maze". Talk about moving the cheese! If you haven't experienced it, let me try to paint a picture for you. Let's say you're working with your Mom, you know she should be moving out of her home because last week when you visited her, you noticed the milk in the refrigerator had curdled, the snow on the front walk hadn't been shoveled, and worse,the gas stove had been left on. You open the yellow pages and see a sea of small ads for senior housing. None of those ads tell you much about the senior communities, so you decide to "google" them. You Google the term "senior housing Twin Cities". You get some Senior Housing Directories, some blogs and some specific communities. At this point you realize what you really need is for someone to say "here are two or three senior communities that fit your financial requirements and what you want in a community." What most people would do is start by contacting a senior community. Which is fine, but you should know the property manager at that senior community has a product to sell. It is her job to make sure she has you come in to see her to sign a lease agreement! So, how do you navigate this maze when you don't even know what the cheese at the end of the maze looks like?
Among the professionals within Minneapolis and St. Paul that have dedicated their professional lives to working with seniors, there is networking that occurs. There are networking groups and conferences and classes that are filled with metro area Social Workers, health care workers, small business owners, and yes, also Realtors who specialize in working with seniors. The purpose of these get togethers is usually to network, sometimes to meet continuing education requirements, but here's the net result. We know each other, we know each other's services, we know who to refer you to.
As a consumer this should make you a little miffed. The senior industry hasn't gotten around to drawing you a map of how to navigate this maze. The problem is these well-meaning people who have dedicated their lives and their businesses to work with seniors are focused on helping their clients once their clients have found them. They haven't quite figured out how to work together to help you find them. Whether you're trying to help your Mom stay safely at home, help her move, help her eat correctly, or help her get a ride to pick up her prescriptions; someone in the Twin Cities Senior network could help you find all of those services.