With age comes wisdom … and, ironically, more questions.
What are the best strategies for estate planning? How do I begin the downsizing process? What financial steps should I take in my twilight years? What home health care options exist?
These days there is plenty of information on aging to go around, and guidance or help from a skilled professional is often just a phone call, email or click away.
“The bigger problem,” stressed Darla Pompilio, “is finding the resources.”
Pompilio is the founder of Your Tasks – Our Time Inc. She’s a professional organizer who specializes in senior moves, relocation and organizing services, and she’s one of three local women who, in 2018, set out to establish a collaborative, educational forum to assist seniors, their family members and their caregivers.
Together with Beth Fizell-Jenkins, who works in financial services, and the late Barbara Marté, who specialized in senior care, the trio created the Senior Services Network of Southeastern Pennsylvania – a consortium of professionals that, as stated online, “provides information and resources needed to address senior concerns in the SEPA community.”
At seniorservicesnetwork-sepa.com, seniors and their families will find introductions to over 15 professionals, a description of their services and their contact information – with entries listed under the following categories: assisted living/home care, attorneys, financial professionals, hospice, insurance, move management/organizer, real estate agents, technology, care management and senior pet services.
The website provides access to a blog as well as a video library. In addition, Senior Services Network of SEPA offers monthly, live webinars on a variety of topics for seniors, their loved ones and their caregivers.
Upcoming webinars and presenters are:
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19: “Needing Help: Financial and Legal Strategies for Proactively Managing Transitions,” led by Dawn Wright and Mary Slack of Day-To-Day Financial Management LLC and Jessica J. Sauer of The Sauer Law Firm LLC
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16: “Holding a Productive Family Meeting,” led by Dave Emery of Planning Capital Management and Kim Sager of the Bridges at Warwick
• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14: “What to Do With Mom’s Pet,” led by Dianne Magee of Grim, Biehn and Thatcher, and Linda Reider, executive director of the Bucks County SPCA
For more information and to register for webinars, visit the “Events” section of the website.
Though the network began with just Fizell-Jenkins, Marté and Pompilio, it generated interest quickly, members said, and while they represent a wide array of professions all share a common purpose through their participation – to provide information and resources to help better the lives of seniors.
And to be certain, access to information is crucial – even more so when faced with complex decisions, as many seeking guidance on aging-related topics often are. In many cases, answers are being sought on an emergency basis or amid difficult circumstances, for example, network members said, when early signs of dementia appear, when a parent can no longer go up the stairs and must find a new place to live immediately, or when someone needs to downsize and doesn’t have a support system nearby to help with sorting, moving or unpacking.
In situations like these, seniors and their families must navigate major life changes, and it can be challenging to find the information they’re looking for in a vast, digital landscape.
“There’s no place where it’s centralized,” Pompilio pointed out.
But for residents across the Delaware Valley region, Senior Services Network of SEPA hopes to simplify and streamline this process by providing information and resources all in one place.
“I would like to serve as many seniors as possible,” said Pompilio, whose future goals include broadening the network’s presence – and reach – within the community.
“I envision it being something where somebody says, ‘Hey, something is going on. I don’t know where to go.’ And the next person goes, ‘Oh, Senior Services Network, that’s where you need to go.’”
Professionals who are interested in joining the network or attending meetings should email email@example.com.