Denise and Eric Kaye.

Denise and Eric Kaye.

Denise and Eric Kaye, owners of Connections In Home Care and Connections In Communities, will offer their expertise at “Ask the Senior Care Experts,” at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center on Tuesday, April 5, from 10 a.m. until noon.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 52 million people in the United States who are age 65 or older. This demographic is projected to almost double in size to 95 million people by 2060.

If you have questions or concerns about aging in place, finding the right assisted living environment, long-term care insurance, financial aspects of in-home care or assisted living or need proactive planning ideas for aging in place at home, the Kayes can provide answers during the free, 15-minute consultations.

Denise Kaye said that they wanted to set up this time for people to meet with them in a private and personal atmosphere to handle what can be an uncomfortable conversation.

“We are all going to get old and we are all aging. A lot of times, people in their late 40s and early 50s are dealing with loved ones — an aunt, uncle or parents — and then we have to figure out the plan,” said Kaye. “And it’s usually a lot of reacting instead of being proactive. Then I’ll say, ‘Now that you’ve gone through this experience, what are you going to do differently for yourself?’”

She said it all comes down to planning. Figuring out what the costs are today and what they will be down the road. “I feel like when people are getting ready to retire this should be part of that conversation and I don’t know if it always is,” said Kaye.

Last year, the Kaye’s expanded their business to include Connections In Communities, a free service that helps seniors find the best community to fit their needs.

“We are a placement agency now, so I feel like I can help everyone. I find joy in that,” said Kaye. “In-home care is a luxury — you either have a long-term care policy or you have money.” There’s no cost to the family for the Kayes to take them to look at assisted living communities; the facility pays them upon placement.

Sometimes people need a “hybrid” solution where they can stay at home with some in-home help and as they require more care, they can move to a residential assisted living facility or community.

If you want to age in place in your home, there are plenty of resources to make your home safer as you age such as grab bars in the bathroom or filling in that sunken living room from the 70s to avoid falls. “You have to get your house ready to age in place, if that’s where you want to stay,” said Kaye.

She stresses that having a plan in place is important so that the burden does not fall on your children. When faced with having to find care for their parents, many children have no idea what their parents’ financial situation is or what their wishes are. “It’s a living plan; it’s not set in stone, you can change it as things change but we are all going to need something,” said Kaye.

She continues, “You want to empower people while they have the cognitive ability — something happens in your 70s and 80s, you start losing that self-awareness.”

Kaye said she heard a statistic on the radio that many seniors will die of neglect. “I thought, ‘What can we do?’” she said. “We want to give our time back to the community we love; we believe in tikkun olam and that’s what we do by caring for the older adults in our community.” JN

To schedule your free consultation, contact Andrea Quen at 480-481-1753 or andreaq@vosjcc.org.