‘I do it just to help people’

Long Island woman offers free caregiving consulting

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Sandy Brennan has worked in the caregiving industry for over 20 years. She began her journey in homecare, which she did for about a decade, before becoming a life-enrichment manager that plans activities for residents with memory impairment.

After two years, Brennan, 57, got a job as a sales coordinator for Atria and two years later she was promoted to director. It was at this job that Brennan said she started to see the joy of helping families that were in crisis and had nowhere else to turn. She noted that many people get incorrect information from the internet or even friends and family, and providing answers and help to families was exceptionally meaningful.

After working various other health care jobs, Brennan, who lives in Lindenhurst, decided to create her own marketing business that specializes in strategies for health care companies. In 2019, Senior Living Renaissance, LLC, was born.

After about six months in her new position, a friend connected her with a gentleman whose wife had Alzheimer’s and didn’t quite know what to do. So, Brennan did what she does best and sat with him on the phone for a few hours and went over his various options, gave him advice, and offered connections that would help him. After the conversation, Brennan realized that she missed being able to assist families and decided to offer free caregiving consulting as part of her business.

“People should be able to go to somebody if they have a question,” Brennan said of her free service. “Sometimes the social workers are busy and they just don’t have time. Social workers do their best in the rehabs and hospitals, but they’re short on time and they don’t have hours to devote to each person as much as they want to.”

She takes calls after hours, usually around 7 p.m., when she is done with her marketing job. A lot of the time, she said that she gives out contact information for the many people she has met in the industry over the years. And she noted that she doesn’t take a fee when people call these resources.

“I thought it was important because you pay for a lot as it is with rehabilitation and everything else,” Brennan said of not charging families for her services. “I felt that if I charged them, they wouldn’t be so eager to call, and I want them to be able to reach me if they need help. I do it just to help people.”

Some weeks, Brennan said she may take multiple calls, while sometimes things are quiet for a while. She helps people across Long Island with their questions and directs them to people who can help. In addition, Brennan created a private Facebook group that helps health care professionals connect and network.

“I fell into the industry,” Brennan laughed. “People tend to fall into this industry. No one actually chooses to do it. It’s not in college curriculums, senior living advisor, or anything like that. It’s interesting how you find out what you really want to do later on in your life.”

For more information on Brennan and her services, visit seniorlivingconsultingservices.com.