TakingCareofGrandma.com Turns 2 Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: the pretty lady with blonde hair

Photo: Julie, blonde wearing glasses and smiling (left) and Rachel, smiling (at right)

The next Thankful Thursday shout out I want to give is to Julie Wiley at Simple Living Solutions. Julie is a person who is beautiful inside and out.
When she was coming to meet me at the senior center to pick up some paperwork recently, I told the ladies at the front desk to be on the look out for a pretty lady with blonde hair 😘

I’ve known Julie a long time through my past life in disability world. Julie has extensive experience and knowledge in disability services and supports and major cred in our community. A lot of people know Julie Wiley and when you say her name, a smile spreads across their faces.I met Julie when she attended a stakeholders group we hosted quarterly at my old job. It’s obvious that it’s important to Julie to keep up with the best practices and stay rooted in the values of the disability field, because she regularly attended these meetings over many years. That was my first clue she was pretty smart.

When I began my quest to find a partner to help me self direct Grandma’s long term care insurance policy, i immediately sought her out. I heard through the grapevine that Julie had left her previous job to launch her own business, just like me. It just so happens that her business is to support individuals and family members/authorized reps to self direct their HCBS Medicaid waivers. She acts as a fiscal intermediary and audits documentation and helps with person-centered planning. That was my second clue this was meant to be.

I knew that her infrastructure would support our vision, so I tracked her down. I said, Julie, if we can make this work, you have a whole new target market for your business- people who can private pay and/or use their LTC insurance policies. I was sick of running to the bank and desperate for a system that made my life easier, so even if our claim wasn’t accepted I would’ve used her to manage the payroll no matter what.

Julie was willing to be bold and take a chance and work hard to make this happen for us. She was clear and supportive throughout the entire process as we moved along and interpreted responses from the LTC insurance company when I didn’t understand. And our claim was accepted!! (Learn more about the logistics of Grandma’s Sidekicks)

After years of working with families, she is a pro at listening and validating. She is never judgmental and always offering me props for surviving this crazy ride. Whether it’s responding to burning questions at 10:00 at nite or offering to meet for breakfast, she understands the importance of meeting us where we’re at. Julie is so cool, she wanted to meet my grandma right away and so we connived a plan to invade bingo so whenever grandma sees her, she associates her with something she loves (Read: I’m Only Rachel, Sometimes.)

More than anything, Julie is my beacon of hope. I gotta be honest, I am not sure how much longer I would’ve had the motivation to keep going if she hadn’t said, “yes.” It seemed like we were on a sinking ship headed toward drained assets and a tired Rachel trying to save money on (wo)man hours.

Now that we have this in place, I know that we have a secure system for ensuring the quality of my grandma’s supports for a long time to come, and allowing me time for myself to work on my dreams and prepare for the next stage of our journey.

Thank you, Julie, for being such an incredible person! I’m so blessed to know you and have you my life!