By Susan Bloom
Special to the Asbury Park Press USA TODAY NETWORK
The Shore area has long been home to a large senior population, a fact that’s not lost on Seymour Semaya, geriatric care manager and founder of Elder Connections in Freehold.
Having spent a career in the nursing home/senior care arena and producing a local public information radio channel that offered medical, legal and financial advice for seniors, Semaya found that he began fielding a deluge of questions as the assisted living model emerged more than 20 years ago. “I saw that families were struggling with decisions about their parents’ care and didn’t know who to speak to or where to turn,” says Semaya, 75, Freehold. “Around 2000, I saw the need for one person who could help families objectively, and doctors, elder attorneys, and other professionals that I had relationships with agreed that there was an opportunity to be a resource for families when it came to care for their senior loved ones.”
Since launching Elder Connections 20 years ago, “many specialists refer their patients to me for private geriatric care management,” says Semaya, a professional geriatric care manager certified by the Geriatric Care Management Group.
“As a facilitator for senior resources, I specialize in everything from helping with the transition to an assisted living or memory care residence to securing home healthcare or home modifications, personal chef services, elder legal services, personalized hospice care and more,” he says. “I can also help arrange for a doctor or dentist to come to a senior’s home to provide care, which many people didn’t know was possible.”
Extending His Reach
In 2009, Semaya expanded his services by founding the Geriatric Advisory Council, a professional organization comprised of dedicated local businesses, providers and non-profit organizations focused on elder care and senior-related issues. Comprised of members who are category-exclusive to avoid internal competition, “we began with a large collection of professionals in Monmouth County and then launched chapters in Middlesex, Ocean, and Mercer counties in order to cover all of Central Jersey,” says Semaya of the council, which now boasts 150 members across four chapters. “Our members offer everything from financial, legal and medical services to hospice care, wheelchair ramps, pharmaceutical products and more. It’s a professional network within which patients/clients can be referred for different services.”
Geriatric Advisory Council member Dr. Dan Savarino, founder and owner of The Apex Center for Regenerative Medicine in Tinton Falls, couldn’t be happier about his decision to become a member three years ago.
“I have many senior patients and the group helps me recommend services in many different areas,” Savarino says.
“During our monthly meetings, we discuss many of the services that our senior population needs, including medical, real estate, financial, home care, nursing homes and others.”
To learn more about Elder Connections, call 732239-2110 or e-mail Semaya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Geriatric Advisory Council, visit www.geriatricadvisorycouncil.com.