Cynthia Palmieri, CMC, an aging life care specialist at Secure Aging, was told when she started her career that no two days would be alike.
Those have become words to live by. “I never know what to expect. And just when I think I have seen it all, something new comes up. It keeps me on my toes! I have learned so much from my clients,” she says.
Palmieri provides both care management and financial management for Secure Aging clients. On the financial management end, she protects older adults to help prevent financial abuse and exploitation. One common occurrence she sees is phone calls that are obvious or not-so-obvious money solicitations. “One man signed up for a political campaign and ended up with $2,500 worth of political charges on his account,” she says.
On the care management side, Palmieri acts as an advocate for both the client and family. “As the advocate, I act as the coach with the family and client,” she says. This advocacy is especially important with family members who are fighting. “I often explain to families that this is not about them or the baggage they are bringing up, but it’s about their parent or loved one,” she says. “We need to concentrate on providing dignity and respect to the end of life.”
In addition to advocacy, Palmieri has a hands-on role in securing better health care access. On any given day, this could mean getting durable medical equipment that they need at home to prevent falls or assisting in finding home companion workers to spend time with the client if needed. Sometimes, she has to talk to clients about that fine line between living independently versus moving into assisted living.
The job has its challenges, but Palmieri finds it rewarding. After meeting with a client, “when I walk out, I know I’ve made a difference,” she says. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the job “more challenging and very heartbreaking,” Palmieri says. Although she and her work colleagues can speak on the phone with clients, many of them have ached for in-person contact. Senior living facilities are slowly starting to open up to visitors again so they can make those in-person visits, but each facility has different requirements.
Palmieri’s love for seniors started when she was the primary caregiver for her mother and then her in-laws. “I learned personally how to navigate the systems to provide for their dignity, health and needs,” she says. Professionally, she worked for 35 years for the state of Florida, with more than 20 years in Adult Protective Services through the Florida Department of Children & Families. She began with Secure Aging the day after her retirement from the state. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association and the National Academy of Certified Care Managers.
Palmieri has lived in the Bradenton/Sarasota area most of her life, and she has a “wonderful husband” who helps her with client errands, such as getting pants or diabetic socks, purchasing and installing TVs, handing minor repairs, and much more, she says.
In her spare time, Palmieri likes to garden and scrapbook. She also loves to go to Disney World and finds it refreshing to recharge her caregiving batteries there.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.