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Seminars fill need for senior education

January 18, 2019

Professionals providing services and products can be considered salespeople since it’s their job to get people to choose their product.

Some Houston senior living professionals have shifted their focus to education rather than sales because they say it’s the right thing to do.

“Our collective goal is to demystify aging and all the things that go with it,” said Liz McNeel, founder of the Houston Senior Living Series. HSLS is a free monthly seminar program aimed at educating mature homeowners. “And we do it all without trying to sell anything.”

McNeel and her team have partnered with Park Creek Independent Living and other sponsors to bring a series of free educational programs to Houston-area retirees.

“I believe in education,” said Teresa Wolfe, community relations director at Park Creek Independent Living, “My goal at Park Creek is to educate everyone I talk to and to help them find the option that’s right for them. Sponsors are not allowed to sell at the seminars. This method of education lines up with our values and goals.”

Senior living professionals like McNeel and Wolfe have learned that older adults deal with a lot of uncertainty.

Even those who have planned and saved still have unanswered questions and they have a perception of what aging will look like and it may not be correct.

In recent years, the options available have expanded tremendously and this series educates, equips and empowers them to make their own decisions.

Information found on the internet is often designed to sell and sway opinions. It can be confusing and frustrating.

Jim Walker said he and his wife have recommended HSLS to friends.

“I tell people to keep going to these free seminars to learn current, valuable information,” Walker said, “Most seniors are not aware of the current changes in medical, financial and legal issues and can benefit by attending.”

“As an example, over the last several years, there has been a shift in how people view living in a retirement community. Now people see it as a positive lifestyle and a way to stay active in a more convenient way of life,” said Wolfe. “People point to improved attitude, well-being, a longer life when talking about their experiences living in a senior community.”

“I’m a downsizing coach and Realtor. When someone asks why I started HSLS, I explain that I want to help seniors learn to think differently,” said McNeel. “I specialize in working with seniors and their families. They often have so many questions about aging issues, in addition to real estate subjects. My goal is to help them explore all options, so they can make informed decisions.”

The seminars cover a variety of topics from liquidating real and personal property, to how to pay for future care needs, to how to communicate with adult children.

They also include expert panels, as well as some guest presenters.

Pre-registration is required to attend due to limited seating and can be done online at www.houstonseniorlivingseries.com or by calling 832-430-6123.

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