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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Service to Seniors Awards Program

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of committed, compassionate Certified Senior Advisors make a difference in the lives of seniors every day - but their stories often go untold!

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors®  believes it is important to recognize the outstanding achievements of our members who are helping to improve the lives of seniors through their volunteering efforts.

We are currently searching for our 2013 Service to Seniors award nominees. Chances are good that you are either one of these highly-motivated volunteers or that you may know a CSA who is. We invite CSAs to share their experiences and successes by entering the 2013 Service to Seniors awards program in one of the following categories:

  • CSA Trailblazer: recognizes a CSA who has created a successful new program that helps seniors.
  • CSA Community: honors a CSA who has gone above and beyond to share their know-how with a senior-related organization or community cause that improves the life of seniors.
  • CSA Samaritan: recognizes a CSA who has done an exemplary job of meeting the needs of a senior on a one-to-one basis.

Winners will be honored at the 2013 CSA Conference being held August 8-9, 2013 in Orlando, FL. The winner of each category will receive a $500 donation to the senior organization of their choice, plus free registration to the 2013 CSA Conference (hotel and travel not included).

To submit a nomination, please visit

Deadline for entries is April 15, 2013.

The Service to Seniors Awards program is open to Certified Senior Advisors only.

If you volunteer your time with seniors, we'd love to hear from you! Share your stories with us below!

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Serving an Aging Population: Experts Convene for Two Days of Learning and Networking

For professionals whose work centers on serving seniors, the growing aging population offers many new business opportunities. At the CSA Conference taking place in Orlando, FL from August 7th-9th, 2013 financial professionals, home caregivers, nurses, gerontologists and others who work to address the specific needs of older people will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and boost their business.

The conference will cover multidisciplinary topics organized into four main tracks: Finance, Research and Lifestyle, Healthcare and Public Policy, and a program that addresses issues of interest to all senior specialists, including a condensed version of the top aging industry reports of 2013, how to position your business for growth using the home care industry as an example, and the effects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act in 2013.

Speakers include Harry R. Moody (Rick), Director of Academic Affairs, AARP, Ryan Wilson, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP, Clint Niemeyer from the Alabama Securities Commission and Glenn (Mitch) Mitchell from the Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University.

The opening keynote address will be from Dorcas Hardy of D.R. Hardy and Associates, who served under President Ronald Reagan as Assistant Secretary of Human Development Services, and later chaired the Policy Committee of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.

The CSA Conference will also feature sessions on:

• Regulatory approaches to senior safety
• Financial planning
• Ethical dilemmas in aging
• Common business challenges

“We know that an integrated approach to senior care is the most effective way of assisting people as they grow older” says Harry R. Moody (Rick), AARP’s Director of Academic Affairs.

“The CSA conference is a unique opportunity to meet experts from sectors as diverse as financial planning and home care giving. This will be the place to learn and share insights on how changes in our society as a result of a growing aging population will affect you and your business. The conference will help professionals understand how to remain up-to-date on aging issues and trends, build a stronger client base and work towards business success” he continues.

For existing CSAs, the conference offers the opportunity to gain Continuing Education (CE) credits that count towards the requirements for recertification, with a session tracker being provided to help document attendance.

CSA Conference attendees can expect to expand their resources and networks, while enhancing their service to seniors.

For more information, including the full conference program, please go to

Original content provided via Society of Certified Senior Advisors, February 12, 2013, Press Release

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Boomers, Seniors and the Long Term Care Challenge

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors announces February's Educational Webinar, Baby Boomers, Seniors and the Long Term Care Challenge, presented by Bob Semro, Health Policy Analyst for the Bell Policy Center in Denver, CO. This event is being held on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM (PST); 2:00 PM (EST).

This webinar will focus on the institutional challenges facing baby boomers and seniors over the next two decades with regard to long term care. As many as 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need some form of long term care at some point in their lives. The growth in this population between now and the year 2030 will also place unprecedented fiscal and institutional strain on programs like Medicare and Medicaid and the long term care services infrastructure.

Most baby boomers and many seniors do not realize that only Medicaid serves as the federal and state safety net program for long term care recipients when they no longer have the resources to pay for high cost long term care supports and services. Even fewer baby boomers and seniors are aware of the options they have open to them, how costly some of those services are and the demands that they can place on personal savings. And many baby-boomers are not financially prepared.

Long term care insurance has only penetrated as little as 10 percent of their target population and as of 2011, 10 of the top 20 carriers no longer offer that coverage. Unfortunately, the major long term care provision in the Affordable Care Act, the “CLASS” provision, was found to be financially unsustainable over time and has since been repealed from the law.

This webinar will identify and highlight some of the long term care issues that America’s baby boomers and seniors may face in the future. Topics will include:

• The demographic challenge facing the United States

• The fiscal impact of baby-boomers leaving the workforce on state and feral budgets

• The financial insecurity of American Seniors and baby boomers and the reasons behind that insecurity

• Long term care and the 65+ population

• National long term care financing

     - The cost of informal long term care

     - What Medicare pays for

     - Medicaid eligibility and what Medicaid pays for

• Long term care options, their costs, and how those costs are growing

• The impact on of the baby boomers and seniors on state and federal budgets

• Possible policy options for state governments

Bob Semro is a Denver native and worked in the private sector for more than 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of Denver, with a degree in political science. Bob was a project manager for a home-centered pilot health care program for persons with disabilities and served as a Policy Analyst for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI). He is currently the Health Policy Analyst for the Bell Policy Center, a non-profit think tank in Denver, Colorado.

Bob has served on the policy and advocacy committee for the Colorado Alzheimer's Association, the Chronic Care Collaborative and the Colorado Gerontological Society. He was selected as a member of the Vulnerable Populations Task Force for the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform (208 Commission) and the Home Health Care Advisory Committee for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. He currently serves on the Health Plan Advisory Workgroup for the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange and the All Payer Claims Database Advisory Committee and Data Release and Review Committee.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time: 11:00AM (PST); 12:00Noon (MST); 1:00PM (CST); 2:00PM (EST)

Cost: Free for Members; $49.00 Public

Register Now!

SCSA provides educational webinars for our members on a monthly basis. To see a full list of past presentations, please visit If you are non-member interested in viewing any of these presentations, please contact us at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Seven Dimensions of Wellness

Do you lead a balanced life? To become truly refined by age,™ living a balanced life is absolutely essential.

The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) has identified seven dimensions of wellness to take into consideration when evaluating whether or not your life is balanced. These dimensions are:

1.  Physical Wellness: Stay active! As little as 10 minutes of exercise three times a day, five days a week can meet the guidelines.

2.  Intellectual Wellness: Keep your brain active! Learn a new activity, solve puzzles online or in books, play brain games available online, or games like chess.

3.  Social Wellness: Stay connected! Volunteer in the community, take classes, visit with friends, join online social networks.

4.  Vocational Wellness: If you’re not working, volunteer to help others, get involved in an avocation.

5.  Spiritual Wellness: Connect to your spirit in ways that are meaningful to you; whether that’s through your place of worship, prayer or meditation.

6.  Environmental Wellness: Go green! Include nature in your life, plant a garden, visit local parks and walking trails. And make sure the indoor environment you live and work in is healthy.

7.  Emotional Wellness: Engage in mindfulness activities such as yoga and t’ai chi; talk with your doctor or a counselor if you’re feeling low.

I have served as a champion for the ICAA’s “Changing the Way We Age”® Campaign since 2011, and have been spreading the word about the seven dimensions of wellness and more. It’s great to have a list to use when I take stock of the balance (or lack of) in my life. It makes it easier for me to see where my strengths and weaknesses are, and to develop a plan to re-balance my life.

We will all go through periods where the balance of our lives gets out of whack. An illness, a surgery, a death are some things that can create imbalance in our lives. Remember, these are just periods of time that we will heal from in most instances. When they do pass, recognize that fact, then get back on track and use this handy list to see what area(s) of wellness you need to beef up in order to regain a healthy balance in your life.

We must stay intentional about how we age to be refined by age™ instead of overwhelmed by it. There is little about life that is a cake walk; including aging. Being prepared and having a plan to age well gives our lives purpose at all stages and reminds us to live intentionally, instead of mindlessly. We can be much more in control of our lives than we imagine.

Genetics only plays a small part (10%) in how we age, according to Dan Buettner. Buettner studied the Blue Zones, a term he coined for areas on earth where people live the longest. The rest (90%) is up to the intentional actions we take – our lifestyle choices – to attain wellness in mind, body and spirit.

Blog posting courtesy of Kathy Sporre, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor

View original blog post and follow Kathy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Meet our CSA Spotlight, John "Skip" D. Frenzel

The question I get asked the most now is, "So how did you get into the senior business?" Good question, especially if you know where I came from. Ten years ago, I was living the glamorous life of an international airline pilot flying the heavy iron to all parts of the globe for a ton of money. That was my passion, my dream. I worked hard for it, sacrificing everything to live the dream. And I did it; I "went to the show," as they say in baseball. But it ended when my body started changing. I medically retired early.

Along with the change in my health and my job status, many other transitions were changing my established life. One such change got me into the senior market. A sudden long-term health event happened to someone I loved. My widowed mother, living in the house in Pennsylvania that I grew up in since I was 1 year old, got up to go to the bathroom one night, fell, and spent the night on the floor until my aunt found her the next morning. That started the procedure of selling the house and contents and moving her to an assisted living facility where she lived until she died from complications of a stroke three years later.

I was supposed to be knowledgeable about these things since I had all this "training." But I was a deer in the headlights. I didn't know what I didn't know. Thank God I did have help from family and friends. The smartest thing I did was help her fill out an estate planning form that listed her assets, belongings, legal instruments, etc., so that it wasn't an Easter egg hunt for me to find everything. Yet, it was a learning experience. I realized I didn't know it all and that I wanted to help others like me that had this unexpected, sudden change thrust on them. I would learn what I could and pass it on to others who didn't know what they didn't know.

There is an overwhelming amount of "stuff" to know in the senior market. There was too much. With reckless abandon, I took all my disciplines of real estate, financial planning, long-term care and life, and knitted them into a fabric of useful information. I looked at my mistakes, my experiences and my history and realized that I needed a plan. How could I help others? The first place I looked was at Realtors®. Without any formal training or guidance, they work with seniors on a daily basis, helping them downsize, move and go through life changes. Nobody was helping them either; I know, I was one of them. They didn't know what they didn't know either. They usually don't have the resources or knowledge to help seniors beyond the normal real estate activities. However, the senior market is much more than just real estate. It encompasses retirement, estate planning, long-term care, insurance, portfolio management, the psychology of aging, life changes, physical challenges and so much more. Where do Realtors get the training for this?

I decided this is where I could do the most good. I already had the only Realtor designation for working with and having advanced knowledge of seniors: the Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®), but I wanted to do more with the designation. I wanted to teach the course to other Realtors. With my background in financial planning and long-term care, I could bring more resources to the designation than the basic course offered. But I had trouble breaking into the inner circle; it took two years to qualify and become an SRES® instructor, and many of the other instructors did not share information with me. Even though I was one of them, I was still an outsider and many regarded me as their competition.

Teaching the class just showed me how much material there is to share. It can't be done in the two days using the curriculum the SRES course provides. While this is a real estate course, it contains very little real estate; rather, it highlights the senior business. So while the other instructors are experts and experienced in real estate, many teaching a bunch of other real estate courses, the SRES class is the only one I teach and am qualified for. The others know real estate, while I know the senior market, so we approach the class from different angles. This allows me to do more than the normal content of the course; I "super size" it. This course is the start for agents to learn how to work with seniors and gives each agent a bit more knowledge on how to help their clients. But if that weren't enough, I have developed a class called "What SRES® Didn't Teach You: How Far Down the Rabbit Hole Do You Want to Go?" The name says it all.

Beside teaching the SRES® class and "Down the Rabbit Hole," I also have a beginners class for Realtors to introduce them to the senior market, called "The Alchemy of the Senior Market: Turning Lead into Gold."

Finally, my local real estate board has sought me out to assist them with the formation of a Senior Resource Center. I am helping to develop a program and resource center so that seniors can find the answers to things that they need. Since they don't know what they don't know, it will be useful to the public and will be staffed with SRES® Realtors from the board.

I would also like to do more work on affordable housing for seniors. This is a very complex and challenging subject in our area. And I want to work with planning cities of the future. This involves bringing people from the suburbs back into the cities and relying less on automobiles. This means returning to multiuse residential/retail buildings like from the 1940s and 1950s, using many new ideas to help us live better, including walkable neighborhoods with local shopping, local villages within the city, green technologies and more.

But my bread and butter is helping the Realtors to assist their senior clients and the children of these clients in areas other than real estate. I do this with a team of professionals who are experts in their various fields. Through them, the Realtor can provide services in areas that he or she can’t do, don’t want to do or aren’t licensed to do. Together, we form an integrated team that can solve most any senior-related problem. The main things that I provide are planning and education to the Realtors and their clients.

I use a variety of options to educate my Realtor clients, including seminars and workshops, a cache of materials, articles, books, PowerPoint presentations, a library of TV shows and industry handouts on topics of interest in the senior market. I provide each new Realtor client with an Agent Resource Kit. I regularly update the blog on my website and routinely send out eblasts that keep Realtors informed of the latest news that affects them. I alert them to seminars, fairs, open houses, meetings or other senior events in our area. I teach how to correctly deal with seniors and their issues, how to assist caregivers and how to gain access to the senior market. Since relationship building is the cornerstone to working with seniors, I help the Realtors provide information and resources to their clients to earn their trust and confidence. The Realtors can provide these services without being an expert on these areas themselves. I provide as much or as little service as the Realtor wants.

Besides the real estate work, I have interests in other areas of the senior business. Here are a few:

I am on the Advisory Council to the Council on Aging representing the City of Campbell, Calif. We review, implement and monitor programs that affect seniors in our county.

I am on the Senior Ministries Committee at the Los Altos United Methodist Church. We plan senior activities, events and services for seniors in the church. I am in charge of the Professional Services section, creating educational programs, seminars, lectures, workshops and presentations dealing with senior topics. Actually, I have started a program called "We don't know what we don't know." Does that sound familiar?

Also, I host twice a month Senior Chat meetings dealing with a variety of senior issues. I select topics, find speakers and host the meetings.

I have been a volunteer for the Silicon Valley Village since its inception, trying to establish a Village in the Santa Clara County area to help people age in place in their own homes by offering services and programs. I help seek other volunteers, committee members and leaders to launch this project.

I serve as a volunteer with the Silicon Valley Financial Planning Association (SVFPA), serving on the Program Committee planning, organizing and hosting regular monthly meetings of SVFPA. I also volunteer as a team member for Brown Bag Meetings, which are smaller, monthly lunchtime meetings dealing with non-mainstream financial planning topics. Team members find topics and presenters for these meetings, organize and host the meetings.

I also serve on several advocacy groups including AGEnts for Change, Aging Services Collaborative and the Senior Agenda to the county Area Plan, working with areas that are new or changing our senior programs.

But one of my greatest achievements and useful designations is the Certified Senior Advisor®. This course brought all of the above together into one comprehensive package which gave me the missing pieces to link all of my disciplines and knowledge together. It is not an easy course to pass, but the value of having it not only benefits the designee but all of his or her clients. This brings the polish to the rough topics that I sort of knew but needed a little more depth of knowledge. And just having it gives me the unspoken recognition of master of my trade. I am proud to have gotten the CSA and share it with my fellow cohorts. The combination of being a CSA, CFP®, Realtor and long-term care expert puts me in a position of authority and expertise when it comes to senior work.

Lastly, I am an enthusiastic member of our local Senior Roundtable and of LinkedIn. I will gladly link with others working in the field if invited.

John "Skip" D. Frenzel, CSA, CFP®, CLTC, CMFC
Long Term Care Specialist
Agape Long Term Care
CA License #0B33867

John D. Frenzel-REALTOR®
Agape Real Estate
CA License #590513

Check out the full issue of January's Senior Spirit, click here!