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My Journey in Starting a Senior Placement Agency

From Speech Pathologist to Senior Living Advisor

Article by Angie Gomez

Photography by Angie Gomez

Transitioning from a career in rehabilitation speech pathology to launching a senior living placement agency may seem like a significant leap. However, my background provided a unique foundation for understanding the needs of seniors, which became crucial in guiding families through the complex process of finding the right senior living arrangements. Here’s how my experience as a rehab speech pathologist informed and enriched my journey into the senior placement business.


1.     Understanding Complex Medical Needs - In my role as a rehab speech pathologist, I worked closely with seniors facing a range of medical and cognitive challenges, such as stroke recovery, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. This experience provided me with a deep understanding of the specific needs that different conditions entail, including therapy, medication management, and specialized care.                                                                                        

Application: When assisting families, I can accurately assess the level of care required, ensuring that the facilities I recommend can provide appropriate medical and therapeutic services.

2.      Building Strong Relationships with Seniors - My career involved daily interactions with seniors, fostering trust and rapport. Understanding their concerns, preferences, and fears allowed me to provide compassionate care tailored to their individual needs.                                                                                                           

Application: This ability to connect with seniors helps me understand their personal preferences and values when recommending living options, leading to placements where they feel comfortable and respected.

3.      Experience with Care Teams and Families - Working in rehab settings, I collaborated with multidisciplinary care teams and communicated extensively with families to develop and implement treatment plans. This experience taught me the importance of holistic care coordination and effective communication.  

Application: In my placement agency, I use these skills to liaise between families and care facilities, ensuring that all parties are well-informed and aligned on the senior’s care plan and preferences.

4.      Advocacy and Problem-Solving Skills - As a speech pathologist, advocating for patients’ needs and navigating healthcare challenges were central to my role. I frequently addressed issues like access to services, treatment adjustments, and care quality.  

Application: This background makes me a strong advocate for families navigating the senior care system. I help them overcome barriers, resolve conflicts, and ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care.

5.     Knowledge of Rehabilitation and Recovery Processes - Understanding rehabilitation protocols and recovery timelines was essential in my previous role. This knowledge is vital when assessing whether a facility can support a senior’s ongoing rehabilitation needs or provide a conducive environment for their recovery.

Application: I leverage this expertise to match seniors with facilities that offer the necessary rehabilitative support, ensuring continuity of care and optimal recovery outcomes.

6.     A Focus on Quality of Life - My work as a speech pathologist often extended beyond clinical care to enhancing the overall quality of life for my patients, addressing aspects like communication, cognitive function, and social engagement.

Application: This focus informs my placement recommendations, emphasizing environments that promote not only physical health but also emotional well-being and social interaction for a holistic approach to senior living.

7.     Navigating Healthcare Systems - My role required an in-depth understanding of healthcare systems, insurance processes, and regulatory standards. Navigating these systems effectively was crucial to securing appropriate services for my patients.  

Application: This experience is invaluable when helping families understand the financial and regulatory aspects of senior care options, including insurance, funding sources, and compliance with care standards.

8.     Founding My Business - With a solid understanding of seniors' diverse needs, I recognized a significant gap in the market for personalized, empathetic senior placement services. My background provided a unique perspective, allowing me to approach senior placement with a focus on detailed assessments and personalized matches. I established my agency to offer a high-touch, informed service where every recommendation is backed by a thorough understanding of medical, emotional, and social needs. This client-centered approach differentiates my agency from others that might rely more heavily on generic placement criteria.  


My journey from a rehab speech pathologist to a Senior Living Placement Agent and Senior Advocate has been driven by a deep and passionate commitment to improving the lives of seniors. By leveraging my background in healthcare, I can provide families with informed, compassionate guidance, ensuring that their loved ones find the right living arrangements that support their health, well-being, and happiness. This transition has allowed me to continue advocating for and supporting seniors, applying my skills in a new and impactful way.

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