Five Resources for Your Older Family Members & Clients
In October we curated some of the best retirement planning resources for reverse mortgage professionals, many of whom may have an entire life phase ahead once they relinquish their current role (what encore careers expert Marc Freedman and others refer to as, “The Third Act”).
As a companion guide, we’ve curated a resource list for families. Following are some top sources to share with the families of your reverse mortgage clients, prospects, and others in your life who may need assistance, now or in the future.
- Points of Life offers a comprehensive database of elder care services, providing accredited “senior advocates” in over 50 categories — including reverse mortgage — who help families plan and manage life’s challenges. Founder Richard Wexler, JD, created Points of Life after he and his wife Anna faced three of their elder parents becoming seriously ill at the same time. After experiencing firsthand the emotional and financial impact, along with the turmoil of not knowing where to turn, he was motivated to educate families about the complexities of aging — and to help them locate the right senior support resources. POL is one of the nation’s largest aging education platforms, offering more than 100 events annually.
Bonus: As a reverse mortgage professional, you can become an Accredited Senior Advocate in the Points of Life database. Because their Resources for Life family referral service was just launched in 2015, you may be the first, or one of the first, reverse mortgage resources to be listed in your geographic area. Contact founder Richard Wexler to learn more. Please be sure to mention this blog post, and code 124, to help him identify the referral source.
- HelpGuide.org, a non-profit digital guide to mental health and well-being, offers an extensive section on Aging Well, with deeply researched articles covering everything from healthy aging basics (diet, exercise, sleep, sex) to common challenges (memory loss, depression, driving, mobility), senior housing options (including home care and adult day care services), planning (advance directives, end-of-life care), and related topics, such as the benefits of volunteering and having pets. Each piece contains an extensive resource list, and the information is regularly updated.
- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Physician Atul Gawande’s book, profiled here, is a riveting read for people of any age. It explores how life was meant to be versus how we’re living now, with numerous stories that showcase the difference an informed patient (and family) can make not only in how someone chooses to die, but in how they choose to live. Worth taking to heart at any age.
- Village to Village Network is a national, peer-to-peer network that helps communities establish and effectively manage Villages. “Villages” are virtual, membership-driven, grassroots organizations run by volunteers and paid staff that coordinate access to affordable services for seniors, including transportation, home repairs, social and educational programs, and wellness programs — all with vetted and discounted service providers.
- Senior Centers. One of the most obvious, available, yet often overlooked resources is the local senior center. With over 12,000 senior centers operating nationwde, it’s likely that a community will have one. If a town is very small, there may be a central senior center in the nearest larger town that serves several communities.
While senior centers provide a wide range of activities and functions, many also publish a resource guide to senior services in the area, from medical to social, housing to finance, and more. In addition, the staff will be knowledgeable about local senior services. Find a center by searching online for your town and the words “senior center”.
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