Burckhardt speaks with KMA-AM listeners about finding the right elder care option
Click here to listen to the interview. It was aired in
Shenandoah, Iowa on KMA(am) on June 27, 2008.
Below please find the transcript of the radio interview
Announcer: You know a lot of folks are interested in elder care
not because it's their favorite topic but because as we age so do
our parents and we're delighted to have on the line Katie
Burckhart, she's the Senior Vice President of Referral for an
organization known as A Place For Mom. Good morning to you
Katie Burckhart: Good morning.
Announcer: Thanks a lot for joining us here this morning. Give
us some background, your title there with A Place For Mom, and a
little background on yourself.
Burckhart: Well I have actually been working in senior services
and senior housing for seventeen years, and I am with a company
called A Place For Mom, and a Place For Mom has been in business
for eight years now going into July. And what A Place For Mom does
is we provide free elder care service, helping families, or seniors
find elder care services, housing, home health, whatever it is that
they may want or need throughout the nation. And our service is
free to them because we work with several thousands of partners who
pay for our service to help the families find a good match.
Announcer: Okay and I think one of the questions is, is finding
that right place. How do you find the right elder care facility for
a parents needs?
Burckhart: Well, typically we work with the family, that can
often times be an adult child. It's easier, in my opinion, to help
them find elder care services when they're not in a crisis
situation, but what we do is we work with the families and we ask,
you know, what it is that they want? What are they looking for? And
it can be quite a maze to figure out what do I want? What can meet
my needs? Financially how can I afford it? Sometimes people have
just a hard time understanding what their needs are and who can
serve them. So we want to filter through that and so really asking
questions of the senior themselves and working with the family, and
then guiding them in the right direction based on what's available.
One of the things that can, you know we try and keep people in a
preferred location and direct them in the right area, so what's
available in a particular location within their health care wants
and needs and within their financial wants and needs.
Announcer: Well it's such an emotional time, you know nobody,
and I think I can make this statement pretty fairly, I don't think
anybody as they look at their retirement years wants to have any
one care for them. I mean everybody wants to take care of
themselves until, until its time for them to pass on. But obviously
that doesn't happen, and in the aging population people living
longer, some of these diseases and disorders that we knew very
little about, unfortunately we're getting to know a lot about,
particularly Alzheimer's and elderly depression, it's a blessing to
have facilities to take care of our seniors.
Burckhart: It is a blessing and we have great communities,
facilities, retirement homes, assisted living that can help folks.
And what you just said is a very common thought, and a very common
feeling among a lot of seniors, and what we want to help folks
understand is we've often seen cases where if people plan ahead, or
do not wait for a crisis situation and can choose an option for
themselves they can see their quality of life improve which a lot
of people probably don't think about. They probably look at, if I
have to make a move I'm going to lose my independence, it's the end
of the road, and it doesn't have to be. And so however we can
educate people ahead of time. What we find often is typically they
have a loss of, seniors can have a loss of a spouse or loss of
family that are there to help them and living in their own home can
be more dangerous and more isolating, so getting them into an
environment where quality of life can still come to them and they
can enjoy and it doesn't have to be a horrible experience and a
Announcer: And a lot of information that we try to gather when
we're doing something like this also comes up when it comes to
cost. Can you give us some tips on financing elder care?
Burckhart: Yeah, you know one of the big things that has really
helped seniors now is long term care insurance. You know
ten-fifteen years ago not a lot of people had it because they
hadn't purchased or thought about it, but long term care insurance
can be very helpful. Another wonderful thing is if someone is a
veteran, or a spouse of a veteran when they need care and move into
a community that offers care they may qualify for veteran's
benefits that can help pay and offset that cost. You know working
with a financial planner and starting to talk about what I'm going
to need. Assisted living can cost about $2500 to $3000 a month and
then it can go up or it can be down from there just depending on
the care needs and the wants.
Announcer: Yeah and the area of the country that you live in
makes a big difference here too.
Burckhart: It sure does, it sure does, and so you know starting
to talk to either, you know, a family member or a financial
planner. The good news is also many seniors own their homes and so
the home and the sale of the home can help them pay for some nice
options as well.
Announcer: Sure. We're visiting with Katie Burckhart, Senior
Vice President of Referral for a company known A Place For Mom, and
I guess it's important here to point out your company is really
more of a, really takes more of an advocate's role rather than a
funding source but you know what a, what a great referral one
source, we've lived through this in our family with my father and
in going through that with siblings and learning so much more, and
you mentioned the, you know the variety of ways to fund this and
being a veteran like my dad is there are a lot of hoops to run
through and your company can sure help.
Burckhart: Absolutely, we actually provide a service where we
can help a family through a veteran's application which can be very
complicated, somewhat hard to find, and people just need help.
Anytime you're in a situation where you need to make a move or you
need to make a change due to whatever reason, as a senior how do
you know where to go? And we want to provide those services and we
want to help folks say, you know we're going to help you. Let us be
the expert. Let's find out what your interests are because there is
a lot to know and you know it's important of us at A Place For Mom
to hook up with as many resources as the family may ever need and
anticipate those needs and just work with them and help them in the
right direction because it's overwhelming, not a lot of people have
researched senior care just as you said when you started and we
just want to help them sort through that. So once we understand
what an individual's wants are, what an individual's needs are, we
can really, it's important to be a resource for them and that's
exactly what we're committed to doing. And there's a lot of other
sources out there such as the Alzheimer's Association and a lot of
people can work with faith organizations to just help them navigate
and understand gee what are my options, what could I do?
Announcer: And Katie give them the web address where they can
find a lot of information.
Burckhart: Yes we are at aplaceformom.com, www.aplaceformom.com
and anyone, we have a community site that people can click into.
There are people talking about aging issues, options, live all-day
Announcer: Yeah it's a fantastic site and I hate to cut you off
there but we're out of time Katie, thank you so much, have a great
day and keep up the super work would you please?
Burckhart: Thank you.
Announcer: You bet. KMA time 8:57.
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