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Meet Lori Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Williams.

Lori, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. She had limited income and I saw first hand the struggle my mother and her sister went through trying to find resources to assist her. When my grandmother passed away at the age of 101, I was there holding her hand. I was so inspired by all of the kind people working with home care and hospice that we had met through my grandmother’s journey. I felt very drawn to senior living and sought out an opportunity working as a Sales Counselor at a local Independent/Assisted Living. From the first day, I knew that working with seniors was what I was meant to do. I could really connect with the seniors and their families. I made many close friendships with these families that continue through today.

I loved working in the community, but my children were still in elementary school and there wasn’t much flexibility in my job. I was offered a position to work from home for a national senior referral service. This position provided me lots of experience working with all types of senior living – Independent, Assisted, Memory Care, Residential Care Home. Plus, I learned about VA Benefits, Home Care, Hospice, Medicare, Medicaid. I helped seniors in every scenario imaginable and was able to guide them to the resources they needed. It was a great experience and provided an incredible education. After five years, I decided it was time to take a break. I continued volunteering and assisting friends and neighbors with questions about their senior family members. Finally, in March of 2018, I decided it was time to launch my own senior referral service! It took off with a bang, and the business has grown beyond my expectations. I also had the opportunity in November 2018 to partner with a friend on a Podcast/YouTube show, “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Senior Living”. Thought this venue we are able to provide education about all things senior-related, in a casual format.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a relatively smooth road. Having worked in senior living as long as I have, most people in the senior living industry already knew me, and my reputation. My business is based on word of mouth referrals, which come from many different sources, including the senior communities and families I’ve helped in the past. The biggest struggles have been on the technical side…getting my website set up and figuring out which CRM works best for what I do.

Please tell us about Lori Williams – Senior Services.
I educate seniors and their family members on senior housing and resources available in their area. I start off with an assessment, usually done via phone, and typically it is with an adult child. During this assessment call, I find out what is going on physically – i.e., are they in the hospital or rehab; are their signs of dementia; are they still independent, but need to be around other seniors. Then we break it down further and find out about finances, what their hobbies/likes and dislikes are. I try to get a good picture of what housing or resources will be the best fit. Once this is done, I educate the family on which options are a fit and why. I also help them identify other sources of income that they may not be aware of, such as Long Term Care Insurance policies or the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. The next step, if we’ve identified a senior living community as the best fit, is to schedule tours of a 2-3 communities. I stay in touch with the family as they tour each community, getting their feedback and fine-tuning their search if necessary. I can also put them in touch with resources, such as realtors, estate sale companies, movers, Medicare specialist, etc. I stay with them all the way through the transition into their community answering questions they may have, or just being a friend and listening to any frustrations they may have. It can be a very emotional and stressful process for a senior as well as for their adult children…and families aren’t always in agreement.

I am most proud that I have built such a good reputation in the senior industry. I’ve been told many times by marketers at senior communities that they are excited when they see a lead come in from me because they know that I have educated the family on senior living and resources. The senior I’m referring is a good fit, both physically and financially.

What sets my service apart from others…I’ve worked over 12 years in senior living, both on the community side, and on the referral side. I am local and know each community and what sets them apart. I also volunteer as much as I can with seniors in the community. I serve on the board for the Flower Mound Senior Center and on the board of SPAN/Meals on Wheels Denton County. I am constantly looking for resources to provide to my seniors, for example, I just met someone the other day who installs grab bars in homes. I want to make sure if a senior is staying in their home, that they are safe. Installing grab bars in the bathrooms, and helping them get set up for Meals on Wheels are just a couple of ways to make sure a senior thrive in their home.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I’m from south Louisiana (Baton Rouge) so I pretty much grew up on the water. When I was around eight, my dad bought a lot in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi right on the water. He purchased a prefab house to put on the lot for our camp (weekend home). We made the two-hour drive every weekend, and “helped” him to finish building the house. We dug for the plumbing, “helped” him build the deck, etc. We then enjoyed going out on the boat, fishing, having crab and crawfish boils with family. Lots of fun memories, which I’m very thankful for. My dad, unfortunately, died young at age 50, but he is always in my thoughts.

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