Senior Care Consultant
Providing Expert Guidance at No Cost
By Amy Morgan
“My mother’s not able to live on her own anymore.” That’s the phrase Registered Nurse Laura Daniels hears most often, a need that prompted her to create Care Advocates five years ago to help older adults and their families with care transitions and senior living options. The fact remains, as people age, they can lose the ability to care for themselves safely on their own. Many resist help until a tragic event — a fall, a stroke, a broken bone — prompts intervention by an adult child or spouse. But navigating the health care system, care giver and senior living options can be confusing, tedious and emotion-filled.
Laura Daniels brings more than 30 years of experience as a Clinical Case Manager, Board Certified Patient Advocate and Certified Dementia Practitioner. Laura respectfully and compassionately guides families through what can be an overwhelming time. Best of all, her personalized, individual services are at no cost to the clients she serves.
Family members appreciate Laura, who empathizes with and helps support their difficult decision and takes away any feeling of unease.
Many conditions require a team of trained professionals to provide the assistance a loved one needs. A family member, no matter how well intentioned, is just not physically capable of providing round-the-clock supervision and physical care for someone who’s suffered a stroke or declining with dementia. The support is just too emotionally and physically taxing for one to undertake alone.
In addition to her decades of professional experience working with the senior population, Laura personally understands the emotions involved when a loved one’s ability diminishes, and they need to change living arrangements. She advocated for her own dear friend Judith through several hospitalizations and rehabilitations stays until finally settling her happily in an assisted living community where she lived with friends and purpose.
“There is no better way to say, ‘I understand this process’ than to have gone through it myself assisting someone I loved,” Laura said.
When a potential client calls, usually an adult child or spouse whose family member needs more care than they are able to provide, Laura will meet them to assess the current living conditions and health status. She’ll discuss whether the best option is to provide resources and care so their loved one can remain at home or whether senior living would be more advantageous. Trained professionals can assist with everything from medication management, bathing, dressing, toileting, laundry, meals, exercise, physical therapy, as well as full-time skilled nursing for those who are bedridden.
Once she’s determined the family’s preferences based on care needs, budget and desired location, Laura will suggest several communities from more than 100 senior-living options across the San Antonio area. She’ll set up a time for family members to visit these care options to see which might be the best fit. Once a selection has been made, Laura will provide guidance through this transition. Her support and advocacy are for a lifetime. There’s no obligation or timeline to make a commitment. Sometimes families will research options months in advance, but Care Advocates can arrange for placements within hours if necessary.
Others may not be so enthusiastic about the idea of moving or might need to transition after a hospital stay. Laura has found people typically wait too long to move to a place where they can be well-looked after and enjoy personal connection with others. Laura will make sure all the details are handled seamlessly and help families frame the conversation to ease anxiety about the decision.
Even though many senior adults are reluctant to leave their home, typically once they are settled into a senior-living community, with the many opportunities for social interaction and round-the-clock care, they thrive. Previous caregivers are now able to attend to their own health, and family members no longer dread an emergency phone call.