Bridge to Better Living – Your Trusted Guide to Senior Living Communities
Give us a brief synopsis of what your company does. – Bridge to Better Living (bridgetobetterliving.com) provides a free service to clients and their families when they are considering moving to an Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted, or Long-Term Care community. Our support begins with our first contact with the client, family, or support system and continues throughout the entire transition. We provide unbiased, proven, and transparent guidance to enable our clients to choose a community meeting their needs physically, socially, medically, and financially. We strive to ensure our clients have “quality of life” and for the best “fit” possible finding a solid solution.
How long have you been in Lincoln? – Bridge to Better Living was founded over eight years ago.
Who are the owners/important executives? – Mary Ann Stallings, a former educator, founded Bridge to Better Living and is the sole owner. The staff of Transition Consultants are all experts with senior living and services. Robbie Nathan and Jolee Urbanovsky have a combined background of almost sixty years, Margaret Burnham is a registered nurse with a gerontology background and our most recent addition, Kristine Dykeman-Schoening has over thirty years in Senior Health and administration.
What do you think makes you different from other companies similar to yours? – Bridge to Better Living, as a locally owned business, recognizes, and understands the culture of the clients it serves. Our step-by-step approach in assisting clients includes escorting them on each tour and when finished offering a community comparison. We consider ourselves personal assistants and advocates for our clients. We continue relationships with them and families even after a move. Placement with Passion is our mission and practiced daily.
What do you like about doing business in Lincoln? – Lincoln has so much diversity and ever-growing opportunities. There is an openness of resources and it is easy to build relationships with a variety of organizations.
What kind of community organizations/groups are you involved with? – Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Area Retired School Personnel, Coalition for Older Adult Health Promotion, Lincoln Education Association Retired, Nebraska Womens Leadership Network, Nebraska Alumni, Center Sphere, the Alzheimer’s Association, Better Business Bureau, and past president of the Senior Foundation.
Do you have a business philosophy or mission statement? – Our mission is and always will be: Placement with Passion.
What changes have you seen in the industry and your company in the past few years? – More amenities and services are available with many of these geared for Baby Boomers. Men are living longer and there are more couples needing placement. Many communities are including a continuum of care including Independent, Assisted, and Memory Assisted Living.
What do you see happening with the business in the next five years? – Every day there are 10,000 people turning 65. Demographically, a large percentage will be transitioning into a type of Senior Living Retirement community. With this increase in population needing assistance and planning for their future, Transition Consultants will become a natural component to assist seniors in their search for communities.
What is one of the biggest challenges that your company has faced? – It is difficult to place clients with low financial assets or limited funds. We do discuss resources with them and offer information about communities where they may be able to live.
Another challenge is when there is a crisis and a loved one needs to move within hours. Many times, they do not have the choices they would like because of the timing issue. It is extremely important to have a “Plan B” for your senior years.
A daily frustration is the simple fact there are not enough hours in the day!
What has been your most important achievement as a business? – Every client is important to Bridge to Better Living. When I see the weight of the world fall from a client’s shoulders and a smile appears on their face, I know a successful search and placement has been achieved.
What was the biggest turning point in your business? – The retirement communities’ acceptance of Bridge to Better Living as a mutual effort and an extended team member to work collaboratively to assist seniors. Bridge to Better Living began in my loft in 2010. I now have physical offices in both Omaha and Lincoln, plus a fleet of four Bridge to Better Living cars to assist in transportation of Seniors when necessary.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about your business that most people don’t know? – Bridge to Better Living is locally owned and was operated only by me for the first three years. It is the first service of its kind in Lincoln and Omaha, and the only one offering one-on-one service from the beginning of the search to the move-in stage.
What is one goal for your business that you have yet to accomplish? – I would love to see a Bridge to Better Living in every state.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? – We are here to help people of all ages begin to make the decisions for later years. Realize life changes in the “blink of an eye.” Regardless of your age, be proactive with legal and financial issues and know where you would like to live, including different types of retirement communities. Don’t wait for a crisis! Act sooner, make the transition, get settled, and enjoy amenities, services, and quality of life each senior deserves.