Photo: Brittany Jennings of Seniors Blue Book addresses the crowd at Parkinson Place as part of an SBB University Panel on Aging in Place

Aging in the Right Place: Take Advantage of Tools like Seniors Blue Book

Posted on August 26, 2019 by Michael Moore Jr., Herald-Tribune Media Group

The decisions that come with aging can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face them alone. Tools like Seniors Blue Book and other resources in the community can help you navigate your options.

Taking advantage of the resources available to you could mean the difference between aging in the right place or finding yourself in a sticky situation.

Doing your homework is one of the keys to landing your ideal retirement scenario. But you’re not alone in this endeavor. Part of the process, according to experts, should be referencing the tools at your disposal, both locally and nationally, that can help you reach the best possible outcome when it comes to meeting your individual needs.

One such resource that could come in handy when addressing those needs is Seniors Blue Book.

“Seniors Blue Book and the publication Samantha puts together just might be the best resource around for those who are aging within our community. It’s very helpful,” said Don Fitts, president of Cornerstone LifeCare and spokesperson for retirement residence Alderman Oaks in Sarasota.

But Seniors Blue Book isn’t just a resource — it’s a comprehensive resource guide for those looking to “age well.” With more than 200,000 copies of the directories delivered monthly to more than 1,700 locations in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee Counties locally (and countless more nationally), the publication lists everything from independent living communities to orthopedists. You can find them at your local CVS pharmacies or Walgreens.

It’s not just a resource guide, either. There’s a lot more that you could be taking advantage of that you might not know about.

Enter SBB University, a relatively new educational series that takes the form of regular forums that gather community members and industry leaders together for informal panel discussions focused on aging well.

Wednesday’s panel, which was held at Parkinson Place, discussed the topic of aging in place. It gathered together nurses, in-home care specialists, transportation companies and care managers to discuss the same thing we’ve been talking about throughout the course of this series: “Is aging in place right for me? If not, what are my options?”

Mike Ward, CEO and president of Pines of Sarasota, said that exploring these options and doing adequate research might be the single biggest key when it comes to finding the right fit for you in retirement.

Brittany Jennings, a resource specialist for Seniors Blue Book, sees SBB University events as a perfect complement to this line of thinking.

“People need to understand what their options are, because there are a lot of them, and it can be overwhelming, and they need to know the differences in the types of care that are available,” said Jennings. “Our biggest thing is educating seniors and making sure they’re getting the care that they need. That’s what we’re passionate about.”

Sarasota, she said, is particularly well-suited when it comes to the amount of resources specifically tailored to those 65 and older. This is a good thing, according to Jennings, but it can also be overwhelming.

“It can be difficult to navigate. We live in such a resourceful area as a whole, but it’s just about learning how to use those resources. But we have so many panelists and experts that can share their wealth of knowledge; it’s just about being able to get the word out there and allow them to shine and help people,” Jennings said.

The next SBB University event in Sarasota will be held on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sarasota Technical College and will focus on living options.

This story comes from Aspirations Journalism, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation and Sarasota Herald-Tribune to inform, inspire, and engage the community to take action on issues related to Age-Friendly Sarasota, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, National Council on Aging and the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition.

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