I am a new Certified Senior Advisor having passed my examination December 28, 2013. My full time work is that of a Clinical Advocate for a very large multinational company. I provide education, referral, research, and support, for many people from many companies across the US that incorporate our services into their benefit package for their employees. Over time in this role, I was getting call after call from people who did not know where to go or what to do with their senior loved one that needed assistance. I knew there had to be a way to find the resources that were available in other parts of our country which eventually led me to the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. After researching this organization, I was convinced that this would be the best fit for me to assist in my work of helping the seniors and their families. I engaged my manager who agreed that this would be beneficial to so many. With her approval, I ventured into the world of becoming a CSA, first through the annual conference in Orlando, FL and then embarking on the course of study.
My role is to engage with other CSA’s in various professions to provide the best services to clients. I like to use the analogy of being a band director because prior to becoming an RN, I was a music teacher having directed high school music. When I use this analogy of directing the band, people can relate to the verbal visual that I create. I tell them they want the sections of the band to be on the same score, playing the same music to the same rhythm. It is important for the music of life to be in tune. Sometimes circumstances happen that make life out of tune and people search for finding the right note of music to make beautiful harmony. I want to be able to direct people to the right professionals to service that client to meet their needs so that their life music can be in tune with everyone involved on the same page making beautiful harmony.
Going back to the beginning of this journey, the conference was a wonderful introduction to the organization and what it is to be a CSA. It was rich with information and the presenters were so knowledgeable in their respective fields. It was inspiring to listen to their stories and journey in this world of helping others. The SCSA staff was so helpful and the conference so well organized. I can’t wait to go again this year!
The course itself was challenging with a lot of new information for me. Even after 33 years of nursing, there was new information to learn about the physical and mental changes with being a senior. The book and course material is well organized and conducive to learning. The video portion was interesting and well thought out.
So, now, how does being a CSA help me in my work? Because I assist people throughout the US, I have been able to find resources through SCSA that a web search would probably not find. Because of our Code of Ethics and Standards, I know that whomever I contact will have the “right thing to do” as part of their personal integrity and business. As an example of this was a recent need for a facility for a client’s father and his wife. The client lives in one state and the father, with his wife, live in another. The wife’s daughter wants to move them to live near them as her mom has severe Alzheimer’s. I was able to find a CSA who suggested facilities to look into and he will be accompanying the family to see them and assist them in their choices. Without SCSA, this would have been overwhelming for the families – those living here and there. I know their best interests are being looked after and the right choice will be made.
The staff at SCSA is so amazingly helpful! Any time you call there, someone will take the call and be of assistance. I know I have made the right choice to become a CSA and be a member of this outstanding organization.
Margaret Dutcher, CSA
RN, Clinical Advocate and business owner
Connect with Margaret on LinkedIn
Margaret was featured as the CSA Spotlight in the May 2014 Senior Spirit Newsletter.
Blog post provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors