Be Your Own Hero:
Senior Living Decisions Simplified
Interview with the Author
Whether you are a senior starting to consider senior living services, or the adult child of an aging parent who is recognizing growing needs and concerns, “Be Your Own Hero” is full of helpful information and insight to help individuals and their families simplify the decision process of looking into senior living services and lifestyles.
Customer Book Reviews
"Having recently gone through the process of seeking a decision about moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, we can vouch for the fact that the questions that she poses are exactly those to which we sought answers, and that her responses are "spot on"! When we heard that someone had finally authored a book on this most important topic, we wanted to read it to review for our many friends who are right now in the throes of making these decisions. We plan on gifting them all with copies of Be Your Own Hero."
Gwen Colfer, Vice President, National Board of Directors, Edu Link, Inc.
5.0 out of 5 stars
"There is so much to like about this book. Great quick format. Nice quote at each concept. Loved the "Thought vs Reality" ideas laid out at the beginning of each Concept. Areas for notes were helpful. And great questions to ask oneself. These questions could be applied to many areas of life by replacing "Senior housing" with "moving" or "career change." I read it in two-quick sittings. My siblings and parents did as well. It's already making our process easier. "
Molly E. Bradford
5.0 out of 5 stars – Quick Guide, Very Helpful
"This book identifies the realities that individuals face and need answers to when addressing care issues for themselves and or a loved one. Choosing care facilities & other health care professionals can be a daunting and confusing journey to navigate without a guide or experience in the healthcare world. Individuals often find themselves immersed in situations suddenly without a clue where to turn. This book is an easy read, much like a guidebook, concise, effective, definitive and honest. More than that, it has heart, it is effective and enjoyable. "Be Your Own Hero" should be read by most everyone, in healthcare or not, everyone has a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, or for themselves. The educational value in this book will help take the sting out of an often confusing and arduous journey."
5.0 out of 5 stars – “Be Your Own Hero” is an excellent book
“The author addresses all the concepts involved in when and how to make decisions about senior living options. She addresses the many reasons people end up having to make reactionary decisions, waiting for a crisis to make their decisions, rather than proactive decisions made with good guidance. She gave me the information and encouragement I needed to feel more justified in helping my parents make difficult decisions about moving to a senior community. She speaks from experience, and I loved the stories she used to illustrate her points. I like that she leaves room to jot notes about the concepts presented, but, as a visual learner and very detailed person, I would have enjoyed having more room to write, and that the room is placed after each question she poses, not at the end of a concept (which can be quite complex with many questions). However, that would have made the book much larger and more expensive, and I can do the same thing in a notebook.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Can’t wait to share with my parents!
“I have just finished reading Ms. Owen's book. While it is an easy read, it is chock-full of the most critical questions that seniors ought to consider when making decisions about "how to live the rest of their lives". The format is awesome! She has identified all of the questions on seniors' minds and has provided an expert's complete and honest answers to those questions. Having recently gone through the process of seeking a decision about moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, we can vouch for the fact that the questions that she poses are exactly those to which we sought answers, and that her responses are "spot on"! When we heard that someone had finally authored a book on this most important topic, we wanted to read it to review for our many friends who are right now in the throes of making these decisions. We plan on gifting them all with copies of "Be Your Own Hero". Magnificent job, Catherine Owens!”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Be Your Own Hero
“Whether you are a Senior, adult child of senior parents or caregiver this book is for you! Very well written, simplifies the process of a time in your life that we typically don't think about until we are there. Working in this field, I can truly appreciate the way the Author lays it out step by step. With the baby boomers aging and people living longer this is a road that most of us will go down ourselves or with a parent(s). If you are wise enough to start the process before it's actually needed & can take advantage of all the amenities of being in a Retirement Community - you are able to enjoy life to the fullest. Waiting until it is not an option can create unnecessary anxiety & stress for the entire family.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – This simple, easy-to-read book is loaded with very valuable information. A must read!
“This book reads like a very thorough buyer's guide to the critical process of considering options for senior living. We all will eventually face the all important decision of preparing for the final phase(s) of our or our loved one's life. The author provides excellent insight to this entire process and underscores the importance of planning ahead instead of after an emergency takes place. It is a well thought-out process of planning all aspects of one's life, from the handling of one's estate to the evaluation of the many options available in senior living. Being proactive and taking responsibility for your life will ultimately make your own life more fulfilling but also ease the burden of family members as well. Moving can be disruptive but a well planned process can be rewarding. Catherine takes you through it all, one step at a time. An excellent guide and super reference material.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – A Shopper’s Guide
“What a beautifully written book that captures the importance of making decisions before you are in a crisis. Catherine's ability to capture the difference between a person's "thought processes" and "reality" is incredible. A must read for anyone that has aging loved ones. Thank you for writing a book that is about advocating for our aging population and for their families.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Don’t wait until there is a crisis to read this book!
“Finally, a book that simplifies a very complicated process for anyone making Senior Living Decisions. Catherine has done a fabulous job simplifying this entire process for families helping a family member get to the right place. Critical information is provided for families to be informed before they start looking in the Senior Living Industry. Knowledge is power and Catherine has provided all the tools for success!”
5.0 out of 5 stars – A must read for anyone making Senior Living Decisions!
“‘Be Your Own Hero’, is a wonderful resource for any family that is considering not only senior living options but the timing of those options as well. It provides important information and breaks down the process in an easy way to understand with the sincerity of only someone with Catherine's knowledge and experience has. A must read and a perfect gift for a loved one that you may want to start the conversation with.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Information with insight
“This book should be required reading for anyone with parents over 55 and others who may be in the role of decision maker or caretaker for someone. With compassion and depth of insight, the author beautifully lays out simple steps we can take to help make living decisions that respectfully consider all involved parties. I highly recommend this excellent book.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Simple Yet Powerful Help
“This is a clear and concise guidebook for handling one of life's toughest decisions. The basic checklist of questions is thoughtful on levels that extend well beyond senior care decisions and I found myself pondering other areas they could apply to when a major life decision is required.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Great Guide Book
“‘Be Your Own Hero" not only helps seniors navigate the daunting task of senior living decisions, it allows the reader to embrace the stage of life. The book is heart felt and real. Ms. Owens simplifies the process while empowering seniors and giving comfort to those caring for them.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Empowering and Comforting
“After finishing "Be Your Own Hero", I just had to tell you that it should be read by everyone that has turned 60 or above. You have covered all aspects of our lives, weight them in the proper perspective, as most people truly feel leaving their home is losing their independence. The book definitely needs more exposure so lets get you on TV and tell the world. The book is sheer excellence and you should be proud as the author is a HERO.”
Janice N. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars
“Planning for the inevitable. Senior living plans are needed by just about everybody, whether they are for yourself or a loved one, and this book provides a great resource to assist you in doing this essential planning. Wish we had this resource to plan for a parent's senior living needs and very glad to have to plan for our own.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – Planning for the inevitable
“I am in the senior industry and I work in an independent living community. Ms. Owens gets to the heart of the matter in a simple, direct and kind way. I have loaned this book to many of my friends that are now navigating the daunting steps of what to do with their aging parents future? Thank you for having such a kind, thought-provoking and simplistic and yet, thought-filled approach to the writing of this book. There is a lot of good information in here for ANYONE thinking about taking an active role in their future.”
5.0 out of 5 stars – This book is simple, straightforward and a MUST READ for all Baby Boomers and beyond!
What is keeping me from making this decision [to move into a senior living community]? What will I gain by making a change? How do I define independence? What are you currently doing to stay engaged with friends, family, or peers? What assets or additional resources do I have that will contribute to my ability to cover my monthly costs of living? These are just a few of the several questions addressed in Be Your Own Hero. Owens debut guidebook is a powerful and preparatory tool for seniors and adult child caretakers in making well-thought-out decisions about senior living options before a crisis or emergency strikes.
Senior living expert Catherine L. Owens approaches this highly sensitive topic about transitioning to senior living options through a set of eight proactive concepts. Owen opens each concept with a thought-provoking quote that gently segues into a commonly accepted paradigm and then weighs that perception against the reality of the situation. For instance, in her first concept that deals with “making a decision,” Owen presents the accepted thought process by most seniors: “I will know when the time is right.” The reality is that “uncertainty and emotions may keep you from making a wise decision.” Now that she has just cut to the chase on stumbling-block issues, Owen adds a personal touch to her narrative by using second person point of view to back up her reality statement, and then closes the section with a set of first-person questions for further reflection and discussion.
Aside of “uncertainty and emotions,” Owen ties that first concept to the second as she covers the motivating factors essential for making the move to senior environs. Of course, another concept to contemplate is defining independence. From there, Owens moves into understanding who the key influencers in this stage of the aging game are, and, in many cases, that position falls onto the adult child. Another aspect very few seniors consider is the concept of engaged living and the need for social interaction. Of course, high on the charts is cost. Owens includes worksheets to create a real picture of what the present cost of living looks like before doing a side-by-side comparison with various senior living options and services. In describing these options/services, Owens breaks it down even further by listing their benefits, disadvantages, average costs, and additional expenses. Owens also includes tips when checking out places/services and a slew of pertinent questions to raise — all a part of the process in making that final informed senior living decision.
Having witnessed first-hand the step-by-step procedure that my recently deceased mother-in-law had to go through when she went into assisted living, I wholeheartedly concur with the valuable information Owens relays in her resourceful book. Kudos to Owens for accomplishing her goal: “My sincere desire is that this book will offer some guidance, direction, and peace of mind as you contemplate and navigate the difficult decision of senior living services for yourself or a loved one.”