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Thanks to Susan Blum for 15 Superb Years!

She started her journey with DLEA in October 2004. This is her DLEA story…

After many years as a psychotherapist in different settings, I took a job in a psychotherapy practice that provided therapy to residents in nursing homes and provided office practice where I worked with older individuals, their families, and adult children who were dealing with many aspects of caring for aging parents. I enjoyed the work, but I was interested in working more directly with individuals and families. After almost 15 years in the practice, I saw an advertisement for a position with Debra Levy Eldercare Associates, and met with Debra. I did not know much about care management at that time, but I was really struck by her passion for the field, and by the reputation of the company. I was also intrigued by the opportunity to work with a range of clients; some who were younger with early-onset illnesses, or were living with mental illness or developmental disabilities. Joining the company was the best decision I could have made.

When I started with DLEA, I was impressed with the skills, warmth and depth of the team. They are supportive and generous with sharing information about the work. Having social workers, nurses and gerontologists working together, with different backgrounds, made the experience so rich and rewarding.

I enjoy helping families figure out how to negotiate the complexities of their situation. There are often very complex medical, psychiatric or social issues to navigate. I have enjoyed seeing how small changes can help improve the quality of someone’s life. Over the past 15 years, I have also been involved with GROWS, The Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors, first as a member of their program committee, and for the last 3 years as a member of the board. This has allowed me the opportunity to learn more about advocacy for seniors, and to network with the growing community of resources in our area. I have enjoyed getting to know many of the companies, communities and colleagues in the growing field of aging services, and feel that it has allowed me to provide better service to our clients, and has allowed me to share resources with our team. About 5 years ago, I increased my work to full time, and began my role as the Director of Care Management. I have loved working more closely with our team members as a supervisor and mentor, and as part of the company’s leadership team.

I am a member of a Masters Swim team, and practice two to three times a week. I also am a member of Orange Theory Fitness, an interval training group workout, which I attend 2 times a week. I find that strenuous exercise helps to manage stress and helps to recharge me! I particularly love traveling. My husband and I have been on many wonderful vacations in the past years, which have expanded my view of the world. We’ve been to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Guatemala, New Zealand, and most recently Greece and Crete. It is wonderful to learn about the history and culture of other countries. I love spending time with our three adult children, and most recently, with our first grandchild. I have even reduced my work a bit to allow us to babysit for him. All of these activities help balance my life and recharge my spirit.