Center Launches North Shore Senior Options
In an effort to remain on the cutting edge of older adult care, North Shore Senior Center has taken an unprecedented step in becoming a leader of comprehensive care for seniors in the Chicagoland area. The Center’s life care management program, CareOptions, has added critical services and been rebranded to connect more closely with the well-known and respected North Shore Senior Center name. North Shore Senior Options was carefully designed to focus specifically on the expansive needs of older adults to maintain the maximum quality of life.
Jordan Luhr, executive director of North Shore Senior Center explains: “With North Shore Senior Options we have created, in one place, a unique set of services developed explicitly for older adults. We are providing more options now than ever before with the additions of behavioral health, guardianship and nursing expertise. This suite of services is unparalleled to anything else offered in the communities we serve.”
North Shore Senior Options is its own 501(c)(3), giving it heightened visibility in the community and the ability to fundraise on its own behalf. Still under the North Shore Senior Center umbrella, yet its own entity, Senior Options is critical to the Center’s future and provides a new focus on responding to the ever-increasing needs of seniors and their families.
Overseeing Senior Options is Director Elizabeth “Liz” Gordon, Ph.D., who previously served as director of Senior and Family Services for the Niles office for nine years before becoming director of Senior Options last year. “With her many years of experience at the Center as a director, counselor and care manager, Liz is a perfect fit to spearhead this new, important aspect of the Center,” said Jordan. Before joining North Shore Senior Center, Liz was vice president and chief academic officer at Advocate Health Care, and earlier served as associate professor of pediatrics and director of research at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University.
Liz noted: “The name change to North Shore Senior Options is fundamental as we move forward in establishing new partnerships with hospitals, financial institutions, legal entities and the community at large, who are already familiar with the North Shore Senior Center name.”
Liz and her specialized team work closely with seniors and their families to ensure they are knowledgeable about all of the resources available to them. They start with a no-cost inital consulation, during which they learn about the client’s situation, explain services, and review fees. North Shore Senior Options offers the following services:
- Guardianship: This newest service is court-appointed and protects people with cognitive disabilities, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Guardianship can be appointed to a person who lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make responsible decisions concerning themselves. It can also be designated to an estate if one is unable to manage his or her financial affairs. “This essential service allows North Shore Senior Options to serve as guardian of a person and/or an estate. As guardian, we act as advocate, surrogate decision-maker and coordinator of services. Our main goal is to encourage as much independence as possible while ensuring protection from abuse, exploitation and neglect,” explained Liz. Specifically, as guardian of a person, Senior Options makes healthcare decisions and coordinates living, health and personal care services for the individual. As estate guardian, Senior Options manages income, assets, bills and debt as well as other financial transactions.
- Nursing Expertise: Experienced nursing support is available to provide consultations on clients’ medical needs.
- Behavioral Health Services: Licensed clinical social workers provide in-office and in-home counseling to seniors experiencing depression, anxiety, caregiver distress or loss.
- Senior Care Management: Care managers provide personalized assessments and care plans that meet the client’s current and future needs, and serve as an extra pair of eyes and ears between the client, family and caregiver.
- Home Safety: Trained staff conduct thorough room-to-room inspections designed to identify safety issues, such as accessibility, flooring, stairways, furniture placement and lighting. Recommendations are provided to improve function and safety in the home.
- Money Management: Professional money managers assist with overseeing mail, organizing paperwork and paying bills. They also help with filing taxes, managing financial accounts and identifying potential fraudulent situations.
“We now have a more global network of diverse offerings with the Center, the House of Welcome and, now, North Shore Senior Options. Being able to offer this continuum of care that didn’t exist in our area before now solidifies the Center’s place as a leading expert on complete senior care.” —Jordan Luhr
To find out more about North Shore Senior Options services, visit www.northshoresenioroptions.org or call 847.242.6270.
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