Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet Our CSA Spotlight, Charlotte Rosenberg

I am co-founder of Monarcares, LLC, a software-as-a-service company that has developed monarcares.com, an easy-to-use, secure and comprehensive web application for caregivers with comprehensive on-line tools and resources to make caregiving easier and less stressful.

My husband and I are among the over 45 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States. Our journey into caregiving began in 1999 with my widowed mother’s diagnoses of dementia. So we know first-hand the many challenges that families face when caring for a loved one. When our journey into caregiving began, we were living 50 miles away from my mother. It was overwhelming. We had no idea what we needed to know as caregivers. It was a slow and haphazard process for us . We scrambled to learn about such things as Medicare, the location of my mother’s will, whether she had a healthcare proxy or living will, the names and contact information of her doctors, and so forth. Then five years ago, my husband, Robert, and I moved with our children and my mother to North Carolina, while Robert’s aging parents remained in New York.

Since then my mother-in-law, Ilse, suffered a series of mini strokes, which resulted in vascular dementia and became non-ambulatory. My father-in-law, Alan, was diagnosed with late onset Alzheimer’s. While attempting to manage their care long distance, we scoured the Internet for a comprehensive website that we could use to help us manage his parents’ care, while providing helpful insights and resources. We found not one site that met our needs.

We decided to take matters into our own hands and monarcares.com was born. This comprehensive website provides easy-to-use features that are critical for the caregiver, all at the click of a button. The site securely stores proprietary information, including a copy of a home healthcare proxy, an up-to-date medical file, a family history, a list of known allergies and a current list of all medications. In addition, the website creates a network of caregivers such as doctors, lawyers, financial experts, home health workers, friends, neighbors and family members. Using email, text and internal messaging, the system tracks appointments and tasks, sends medication refill reminders and notifies users about impending insurance lapses. The site manages the finances of the care recipient, which not only enables the family caregiver to have a grasp of the monthly income and expenses, but is also extremely helpful in preparing taxes. Additionally, monarcares.com contains practical resources such as a home safety checklist, fall prevention tips, a Medicare guide, a sample healthcare power of attorney, a living will and more. I am passionate about what we have developed and welcome all my fellow Certified Senior Advisors® (CSAs) and caregivers to visit the website at www.monarcares.com.

In the course of developing the Monarcares system, I was advised by Judy Shaw, a CSA and owner of LTCA Legacy Planning, to consider enrolling in the CSA course. I am so grateful that I heeded her advice. I am so impressed with how broad-based the course curriculum is in its coverage of the health, social and financial issues that seniors face every day. The knowledge I have gained has been immeasurable. There are so many disciplines involved in serving the needs of our rapidly aging population, and the Society of Certified Senior Advisors holds its members to the utmost level of integrity and ethics in their service of senior clients’ needs. I am honored to be a CSA and would advise anyone considering an entrance into the senior market, whether as a home healthcare provider, financial planner, long-term care insurance salesperson and so forth, to take the CSA course.

Charlotte Rosenberg, Esq., JD is a Certified Senior Advisor® (CSA) and co-founder of Monarcares, LLC.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors
www.csa.us