Sifting through information about living options for older adults can be overwhelming.
What kind of housing is there? Is my mom ready for assisted living? How much will it cost? What services will I need as I age? Will Medicare pay for anything? Do I have enough financial resources to live in a senior community? How long can I live comfortably in my current home?
Mary O’Brien wants to take the fear and confusion out of those questions.
Mary is a senior living advisor at Eventide Senior Living Communities, which offers a continuum of care from home services to hospice. Her role, new to the organization, is to serve as a first-stop resource for families and individuals who have questions about senior living options, payment and more.
“Lots of times people don’t even know where to start,” she says. “I’m here to give validity to every question somebody has. Even if you have no idea what to ask, you can call me.”
As a faith-based nonprofit, Eventide strives to meet the needs of the Minnesota and North Dakota communities it serves. Helping families navigate options for aging adults is just one more way it lives out its mission to empower older adults and families to thrive.
Mary sees her role as twofold: being an advocate for families and serving as a resource for the public. She believes strongly in the value of senior living arrangements that nurture relationships and security. That conviction comes from her own experience.
She has a deep relationship with her own grandparents, often Skyping with them three times a week. Her mother passed away when she was young, and her grandparents stepped in to help raise her. Some of her fondest memories include going to church on Sunday and then having a big family dinner at her grandparents’ home.
“I want every person who is aging to have connections like that, whether they are residents at Eventide or somewhere else,” she says. “Everyone deserves to be valued throughout their entire lives.”
Accompanying families as they gather information and sort through options is a privilege, she says.
Mary has talked with Eventide residents, asking what it was like to move into a senior living community. Those conversations help her to guide others as they seek the right care and amenities for themselves or their loved ones.
“It’s really about helping everybody find their community, that warm, home-like setting where they feel safe, encouraged and engaged,” Mary says. “If I can help take away some of the stress as families make those decisions, I’ll have done my job.”
If you have any questions about senior living or services, contact Mary at 218-291-2200 or mary.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.