Americans are living longer than ever before. As we age, the need for various kinds of support increases. But as our reliance on others grows, we still want to maintain our independence. We hope to be respected, protected, and treated with kindness, and to be included as much as possible when decisions have to be made. Quite a challenge — especially for seniors and family members who may not know how to cope with change or access resources that can help.
Senior Life Management, Inc., founded by CEO Kari Buist-Baker, guides clients through the maze, solving problems and reducing the stresses associated with aging. Since 2007, when the doors first opened, they’ve helped nearly 300 families. The Mission Viejo company plans and coordinates care and living arrangements to maximize the independence of seniors, assure well-being, and improve quality of life. Kari is a Licensed Registered Nurse with a Master’s Level Certification in Gerontology. She brings a long list of credentials and over 40 years of experience to the task.
But perhaps Kari’s most important credential is her compassionate heart. That, along with her unshakable values, led her to seek out the same qualities in others, and she has assembled a team at Senior Life Management, Inc. that lives up to her standards on every case they handle.
Ironically, before starting SLM, Kari spent many years as an obstetrics nurse — the other end of the spectrum, you might say. But as often happens, something she experienced in her own family gave her new direction. Through the years, she had broadened her education, at one point writing a paper on the dilemma that Orange County was sure to face as the number of seniors with dementia grew. Then, her own mother developed the disease and Kari went through the painful process of watching her slow demise. At that time, Kari was in her 18th year of working as a Complex Certified Case Manager for Cigna. She quit her job to start SLM, making real her dream of providing clear direction and hope — things that weren’t available when she was taking care of her mom.
In the warm, inviting offices of Senior Life Management, Inc., clients can talk to certified advisors in comfort and in confidence. Conflicts are mediated, goals are agreed upon, and solutions are identified. The work involves comprehensive assessment of each case and the development of an individual ongoing care plan to assure safety and well-being in the home environment or in alternative living arrangements. SLM staff members collaborate with medical and other professionals, and draw on a variety of community resources. They offer recommendations, handle implementation, and follow up to be sure that care plans are successfully carried out. Nurse liaison services help to alleviate the stresses that may overwhelm care givers and tear families apart.
In Kari’s crystal ball, this is what she sees five years down the road: “I see SLM becoming the premier go-to resource for dealing with the needs of the elderly. I also see us as offering vital education through churches, senior centers, and other venues in the community. Our Internet presence will provide a global resource as well, for anyone seeking information on how to navigate the complicated waters of senior care.”
Kari Buist-Baker and her team of qualified, compassionate professionals, are dedicated to respecting and protecting those entrusted to their care. They think of their clients as “our families” and are forever grateful for the opportunity to do what they do best.