"Slow to warm up meets dive head first into the deep end of the pool", Vivian McLaurin threw caution to the wind and disrupted her own life at age 50. Vivian is a caregiver, a professional geriatric care manager and a self–described boomer with a cause. As a member of the ever–growing sandwich generation, she has been privileged to care for aging family members most of her adult life while at the same time pursuing a rewarding career first in international public health and now in geriatrics.
Vivian embraced the thrill of a mid–life career and personal life change while caring for her 85–year–old mom and her aunt. A graduate program in geriatric care management was a natural next step for her to supplement her personal cache of caregiving experience with education, professional training, and certification. From term papers to internships, Vivian stretched her 50–something wings to complete a University of Florida graduate program on nights and weekends.
Now she is a certified geriatric care manager, providing client–centered professional care management and patient advocacy services to meet the individual needs of older adults, their caregivers, and loved ones. The field of care management is broad–reaching. Vivian serves adult children that are long–distance caregivers by participating in their loved one's medical appointments on their behalf. For seniors that have no family, a care manager can step in to create a support network. Complicated family dynamics that erupt during times of crisis can be facilitated and calmed by an experienced and objective care manager.
Vivian is committed to providing personalized, respectful care. She feels most successful when she links fellow caregivers to community resources and services. She lights up when she solves a seemingly unsolvable puzzle related to medical care, health insurance, or where a senior will call home.
Offering support to people living with dementia and their care partners is Vivian's greatest passion. She spends time with people living in memory care and family care homes, offering her hands and heart to them through music, reminiscing, pet therapy, and gardening. She facilitates a care–givers support group, encouraging members to practice self–care. She lends a listening ear, especially at night and on weekends, because she knows well how lonely caregiving can be. She also knows that sometimes what a caregiver needs most is to talk, to vent, and to confide.
Vivian uses writing as a platform to share her experiences, highs and lows with other caregivers on her Preferred Living Solutions blog. She blogs about her own life as a sandwich generation caregiver turned boomer on WordPress at Other Side of 50.
To follow Vivian's Preferred Living Solutions blog, click here: preferredlivingsolutions.com