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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Call for Proposals

SCSA’s Annual CSA Conference | Denver, Colorado | August 7-9, 2014
SCSA’s Annual CSA Conference is designed to provide current information relevant to professionals working in the senior market on the health, financial, social and legal issues associated with aging and how to apply practical knowledge to improve business practices. The CSA Conference is structured so that attendees gain knowledge relevant to their senior business and have opportunities to grow their professional networks by connecting with others in the senior market. The 2014 Program Committee invites proposals for conference sessions supporting the theme Building Knowledge and Empowering Networks to Benefit Seniors.
The deadline for proposals to reach SCSA’s office is November 30, 2013. 

Proposals will only be accepted if they are submitted using the Session Proposal Form which can be downloaded at Completed forms should be returned to with subject line 2014 Session Proposal.

Help make the 2014 CSA Conference a success by submitting your proposal or by sharing this opportunity with a colleague!


The FINANCE program track features both advanced and intermediate financial sessions. Some sessions will be geared toward professionals already working in financial services and are designed to be more specific and advanced, while others are meant to appeal to non-financial services professionals seeking a broader understanding that financial issues can have on their clients and their business. Trending issues or upcoming changes and their implications are preferred. 

The HEALTHCARE program track features sessions designed to inform participants, provoke discussions and explore new issues related to all aspects of healthcare and caregiving. Healthcare sessions can be a wide variety of topics and should be applicable to all professionals providing care to older adults at various stages of life and multiple levels of care. The healthcare track should include sessions that explore new concepts, address common and emerging issues, or identify best practices. 

The PUBLIC POLICY program track features sessions designed to 1) educate CSAs through a balanced program track 2) examine new and pending policies that involve senior legislation. The Public Policy session should apply to CSAs from across the US, but can include state specific case studies, examples, regulations, existing law and proposals.

The CURRENT RESEARCH & LIFESTYLE program track features sessions designed to enhance professional’s knowledge and skills for better job performance and practices. This track should include sessions that provide information relevant to technology, marketing, social media, company expansion and overcoming business obstacles. Sessions should relate back to senior specific concepts and issues, but can have a wider scope than other conference tracks.


The conference includes 4 program tracks:
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Public Policy
  • Current Research and Lifestyle  
CSA conference sessions fit into the following formats: two 90 minute general sessions, eighteen 60 minute breakout sessions, and one roundtable session with 5-10 subtopics. Breakout sessions can be in roundtable seating for a discussion format or theater-style seating for a presentation format.

Interactive sessions with opportunities for facilitated discussion and Q&A, as well as sessions with a case-based approach, are preferred. Preference will be given to sessions that include proven and well-regarded speakers and sessions that focus on outcomes and learning rather than a narrative approach. Sessions should include national content and multiple perspectives on issues. A balanced view of issues and a diversity of perspectives, spanning across senior industry professions is critical. Joint submissions that span the interests of multiple programing tracks are also encouraged.


All proposals dealing with topics relevant to the four programming tracks are certainly welcome, but the following list includes some of the current trends and themes that are of interest to Certified Senior Advisors:

Health care changes Affordable Care Act  Power of Attorney Long Term Care and LTC Insurance Keeping seniors active and healthy Fostering services for middle income seniors Veterans benefits Aging in Place Identity Theft Repositioning for the new consumer Enhancing customer service Critical issues in aging and the aging industry Dementia and Mental Health Cyber Security Generational Marketing Recovering from Traumatic Events Crisis Communication Reaching Adult Children and Caregivers Exposing Your Organizations Flaws Legal Compliance and Updates Senior Relocations Estate Planning Technology and Healthcare Identifying and adopting best business practices Recent trends in aging business

For any questions regarding the CSA Conference please contact SCSA at 800.653.1785
or visit

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meet CSA Spotlight, Marilyn Clancey

Like many other professionals in their 50’s and 60’s, I have had a number of careers that has kept me excited and passionate about what I do. After the down-turn in the economy in 2008, it was hinted that I was a little ‘over the hill’ and my high paying corporate job was eliminated. It was obvious to me that I wasn’t 'old' so I decided to reinvent myself with a new career helping seniors. The nice thing about working with older people is that I’m considered ‘the kid’.

About four and a half years ago, in Southern California, I started a company helping older adults through the move process. Then, after being gone for many decades, I moved back to my home town of Windsor, Ontario Canada and re-started the senior relocation business, Moving In Harmony in January 2012.

After the layoff, I created a wonderful business that resulted from assisting my Mother with the decision that it was time to move to a retirement community after living in her home for 56 years.

Many of our clients, like my Mother, are older adults who have decided to move because they realize it’s very difficult to deal with grocery shopping, cooking, home repairs, arranging for gardening services and snow removal as well as needing some help in regards to daily care for themselves.

Most people, when faced with a pending move, immediately think “Oh I have to contact a moving company”. But unfortunately the moving company arrives and says ‘When do you want to move and here is an estimate’. They don’t help with the larger aspects of moving such as downsizing, liquidating household contents and sometimes they don’t even offer packing services. They arrive on move day and just move furniture and boxes from point A to point B.

Moving In Harmony makes all the arrangements for the soon-to-move older adult(s). We help with assessing the new residence to determine what furniture will fit, then we help with downsizing, packing, arranging for the move, selecting the moving company, organizing the contents of the house, handling shipping and distributing heirlooms to family members, liquidating personal property and anything that needs to be handled.

We transition many who either do not have children or their adult children cannot help much due to time and geographical restraints. Our clients know that there is a level of caring that sometimes characterizes our role as a ‘surrogate daughter’ or ‘surrogate son’ or ‘surrogate grandchild’.

Moving In Harmony also specializes in estate sales for those who have significant personal property that will be left behind and not moved to the new home. The income from the estate sale helps offset moving costs.

When we are dealing with people who are so anxious about getting themselves through this difficult transition, we keep our motto in mind, ‘We take our clients from overwhelmed to overjoyed’. Our system includes a lot of kindness, empathy and respect during the move process so that our client(s) stay calm and in control.

Let me take this opportunity, though, to tell you about my learning curve during my four and half years. Personally visiting over 50 independent retirement and assisted living communities in Southern California and in Canada, helps me to truly understand the complexity of the move process that many people in their 70’s and 80’ sand 90’s experience.

After working a short while with older adults, we came to realize the danger of assuming all those we call 'senior citizens’ belong to one group. Each move that we do is unique because people are unique. Each circumstance is unique with a variety of motivating factors and sources of anxiety.

I formed an advisory board of various kinds of experts (mostly people in their 80’s) which has given us invaluable insights for understanding how to better serve our aging clients.

And of course, the CSA certification provided me with a ‘bigger picture’ and useful information that I could implement in my business (and life). Learning about different age group’s attitudes, motivators, wants and needs gives me a confidence to work and reach out to older adults with understanding, empathy, kindness and respect. The Society of Certified Senior Advisors has helped me and my team to enhance our services while learning the importance of connecting our clients with a network of industry-wide providers.

Marilyn Clancey
Owner/Relocation Specialist
Moving In Harmony

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Friday, October 18, 2013

Re-Inventing Retirement

As Baby Boomers move into their retirement years, they are re-inventing this time of life. For one thing, most want to keep working into retirement, and more than half plan to volunteer.

Baby boomers making their own rules
by daSantosh.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meet CSA Spotlight, Pati Rader

My journey through the senior care and living industry began with the abrupt need for intervention on my mother's behalf. In her effort to remain independent along with her self-destructive personal choices, she had literally set herself up for being at the mercy of those who had taken advantage of her. It was not until she had lost everything and could no longer live on her own that she allowed me to help her. And sadly it was then too late for her to regain the independence she desired. She had made too many bad choices, refused to recognize her need for help, and was literally wasting away from alcohol abuse, smoking and disease. The journey of intervention and care for her was a very difficult, time consuming, stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming process that took me through nearly every level of care for my mother and with it exposure to numerous agencies, and resources for seniors.

At only 72, my mother had not filed for Social Security or Medicare, had no health care provider, stopped receiving pension and retirement income, had either lost or destroyed legal documentation, and had no money or assets. Although clearly in distress with breathing difficulties, contusions, and many other problems, she refused to go to the doctor. After a few ER visits and a hospital admission, she was provided RX and recommendations for LTC after being diagnosed with COPD, Parkinson's, and significant cognitive impairment, a.k.a., Dementia. Looking at her brain scans revealed a brain much smaller than her skull - no wonder she wasn't thinking clearly and falling all the time. At this time her Durable Power of Attorney was enacted and I was thrust into the role of my mother's care manager. Within a few months her funds were re-instated, on Medicare, and she was moving through various levels of care as her needs increased.

While managing my mother's care I enjoyed volunteering in her community, singing for the residents and helping with activities. I soon found that my experience as a Recreation Supervisor, Instructor, Entertainer, Event Coordinator, and Program Director, along with a lifelong passion for the elderly, culminated in my becoming a Certified Activity Leader "CAL". Becoming a CAL not only provided me with education regarding the care for seniors, the aging process, and the diseases that afflict them, but also the significant importance in providing opportunities and activities that treat the whole person and not just the condition or disease they have.

In the midst of my mother's journey I drew on my experience as a professional singer to develop a musical program that not only entertains, but also provides opportunities for interaction and music therapy. During these visits I go on a journey with listeners where we can enjoy smiles, laughter, memories and moments of peace. Throughout the year I enjoy presenting Broadway Tunes, Romantic Melodies, Patriotic Celebrations, Christmas Memories and Inspirational selections.

When my mother's journey was ending, I was better prepared due in part to the education and exposure I had gained from the "End of Life Spiritual Care" program through the Hospice Foundation of America along with the Hospice team and the SNF staff that cared for her. Being there for my mother, near her end of life, was an honor to be shared and if I were able to be there for others, to sit at their bedside, comfort them, or sing to them, I would. However in my absence, I offer my CD "Hope for the Journey" which was produced in memory of my own father who asked to 'keep on singing' before he passed. My hope is to provide a peace, comfort and encouragement to others through the CD.

After my mother passed, I was ready to start a new journey, one that would no doubt include much of what I had learned and gained from the years of managing my mother's care. In addition, my experience as a Marketing Director in the Healthcare Industry along with being a Certified Activity Leader had provided me with insight that was shaping my thoughts about this new journey. I had seen the value and importance for seniors to not only have something to look forward to in the way of activities, food and entertainment, but to also remain as mentally and physically active as possible. Living in a senior community there is ample opportunity for activity. But at home a senior can become isolated, sedentary, weak, and lonely. All of which can lead to fall risk, failure to thrive, lack of desire and depression. Living at home is where they want to be and in many cases their only choice. So how could one remain home safe and secure while enjoying meaningful moments and enriching activities? My journey had begun!

I set out to develop a plan where seniors could enjoy a professionally run activity program that could be personalized and managed from their own homes. And in January 2013 my plan became reality with the launching of The Life Enrichment Activity Program "LEAP" for The HomeCare Source in Sacramento and Placer Counties of California. Each client has access to a monthly thematic calendar of activities designed for the home setting, as well as a personalized assessment and program. With the purpose of LEAP to encourage, inspire, motivate, energize, soothe, and simply 'help seniors enjoy life in their own home', we are meeting the desires of the senior, as well as the family. As a son recently said, "I wanted more than basic care of my mom" and more is what LEAP is all about.

While building the LEAP program I was also considering where and how to expand my education in the Senior Care Industry. I asked other professionals what they saw as beneficial and discovered that the Society of Certified Senior Advisors was a well-respected and honorable designation. With my experience and exposure in the industry, combined with the abundance of information and training materials provided by SCSA, I determined that I would be better equipped to move forward in my career.

Becoming a CSA has provided me with valuable resources, tools, and opportunities for continuing education. Through the network of fellow CSAs on LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs, Senior Spirit Newsletter and the CSA Journal, I have gained access to valuable insight, information, and connections throughout the country. As a CSA, I confidently guide clients and friends through their own journeys to reliable resources, as well as to other CSAs for help and assistance. \

This recommendation sums up in part how my being a CSA has benefited me: "Pati demonstrates to our clients, prospective clients, and referral sources, the knowledge, professionalism, and ethics that are fundamental to her CSA designation. Her excellent reputation precedes her and the credibility she has earned as a Certified Senior Advisor is very valuable to our organization." Sheila Abbasi; Owner, The HomeCare Source, Granite Bay California.

I am extremely thankful to the SCSA for providing the designation opportunity for professionals to expand their knowledge, continue their education, and provide resources for seniors and their loved ones. It is an honor to be a part of the SCSA.

Pati Rader, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Marketing, Events, & Consumer Experience Consultant

Life Enrichment Coordinator, Community Relations Director

"Golden Years Don't Have to Lose Their Shine" editorial about the Life Enrichment
Activity Program LEAP

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors®

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween Safety Tips for the Elder Population

For most of us Halloween holds childhood memories of dressing up, carving pumpkins and going door to door for candy and treats. And for the elder population this memory expands to giving out candy and treats to the costumed children at their door. However for some with Dementia and/or Physical limitations; Halloween may hold negative feelings and fear that can contribute to negative behaviors leading up to and on Halloween itself. In addition the security and safety factor of having strangers coming to the door in the twilight and evening hours is not conducive to a safe environment for elders living alone. Keeping the elder population as safe as possible on Halloween, while still enjoying the holiday in their own way, can be possible with a few considerations and interventions. To continue enjoying life safely is the goal!

My mother was one of those treat givers that the children loved to visit. She enjoyed watching the little faces and would open her door to anyone, even long into the late hours. Without going further you can imagine what real risks there are for an elder woman alone opening her door up at night to total strangers. For my mother, the joy of giving out candy continued when she live in a secure community where children were invited, safety measures were followed and the doors were locked and staff protected her into the night. She continued to enjoy Halloween without previous risks.

On Halloween there can be an increase of safety and security concerns for elders who live alone, and especially those with Dementia and/or Physical limitations. Contributing factors may include; decorations, falling leaves, wet pavements, decreased daylight hours, change in weather conditions, and more. Some of these risks can be avoided or minimized by carefully considering what adjustments can be made. This is by no means an exhaustive or complete approach to safety or recommendations, but instead just a few considerations as you prepare for Halloween with an elder.

Halloween Safety Tips for Elders

  • Keep all floors, entry ways and porches free of decorations.
  • Add night lights to hallways, walkways and rooms, and keep well lit.
  • Avoid window decorations that block light or view of front entry.
  • Use only safe pumpkin carving tools, light pumpkin with flame-less votive.
  • Place carved pumpkins outside to keep decaying smell and bugs outside.
  • Spend the evening with them, be available to help answer door, keep them safe.
  • When done with candy, or at dusk: Put sign on door, "Sorry No More Candy".
  • There is debate on turning off porch light, which can increase security risk.
Don't leave an elder with Dementia or physical limitations home alone on Halloween...
  • Take them to a community event or family home, and return home after dusk.
  • Send a companion or professional to be with them from 4:00-10:00 or overnight.
  • Help them answer door and hand out candy if they wish.
  • Put out sign when done "Sorry No More Candy".
  • Watch movie or listen to music in another room away from front door if possible.
  • Be prepared; books, albums, crafts, favorite foods, etc. to enjoy and distract.
  • Follow dietary instructions; avoid over indulgence of chocolate or sugar.
  • Remember Halloween may not be a happy time for elderly with Dementia and may be scary, or create added stimulation from doorbell, knocks, noise outside. Be sensitive to what they can tolerate and do your best to keep them safe and enjoy the evening with you.

Blog post courtesy of  Pati Rader, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor®
Life Enrichment Consultant
October 2013