+1-602-845-1320 support@optionsfsl.com

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Fischer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Scott. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.

After graduating from Arizona State University in 1986 with my bachelor’s in nursing, I spent close to 20 years serving our local health care system in a variety of capacities.

Mental health and education were my primary fields of practice during that time frame. I was a nursing and clinical director for a variety of acute and residential care psychiatric facilities and I was on the faculty of Mesa Community and Gateway Colleges in the schools of Nursing for five years as well. In 2000, I began what became the transition into my current field of senior referral and placement, when I worked as a home health nurse that served clients in their homes under their Medicare benefits, primarily for the management of their symptoms related to a diagnosis of dementia.

That has now become my area of expertise in working with seniors who suffer from some form of dementia and in 2003 I opened my business, Options for Senior Living, to provide guidance and consultation to seniors and their families when they were researching and selecting a senior living environment. I work today with hundreds of families each year, with their loved ones, as they are entering this very large and often very confusing senior living arena.

Maricopa County has well over 2000 senior living options and we at our company, take these families through a process of working with each individual the develop a plan tailored to their individual needs to help them solve the problem of where their loved one should reside once long-term care is needed. While dementia is more often than not a part of most of the families’ story that we serve, we help all families with this process regardless of their medical conditions or needs. Our services are free to families and in most cases is paid for by the receiving facility whom we have prearranged contracts with all over the Valley. We have served well over 2000 families successfully in the last 15 years.

I have been a driving force of ethics and development of Best Practices for our local professional trade organization as this industry of Placement and Referral is a largely unregulated and new Industry. The Professional Association of Senior Referral Specialists (PASRS) was founded in 2012 to educate and advocate for the industry, the senior living providers and consumers. I am a co-founder and served as President of the organization for the formation and the following 6 years through 2017. In 2017, I was named to the Board of Directors of the National Placement and Referral Alliance (NPRA), the first national trade organization to educate and advocate for the industry and senior living providers on a national basis.

The NPRA is using the model of what was established and developed at PASRS the last 6 years as a model to establish and develop chapters in other locations around the country. PASRS has become the first local chapter now of the NPRA and new chapters will soon open in San Diego with efforts currently underway in Washington and Oregon.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

Starting a business and sustaining it for 15 years has had its challenges and setbacks. In an industry that is unregulated, it’s easy to enter the marketplace and because of the unregulated nature of our work, there are no barriers to entry that many other industries have. But that is part of the problem. Anyone can and does choose to enter this marketplace and it’s these individuals who are unprepared, unqualified and at times, unethical that give our work a bad name or unfavorable reputation. The work with our trade association. PASRS, has been critical to me in combating these stigmas. We have to work hard at knowing our market, the providers and becoming outstanding providers of service for the families we work with.

Additionally, one of the greatest challenges has been understanding and working with the senior living providers. This pool of providers is very large in our community (over 2000 providers in Maricopa County and growing) and in our work, we can take every precaution and evaluate the choices we offer to families in this complex system of care and yet we have no control over the outcomes that seniors and their families experience. There are still times after all these years, that things don’t go perfectly when you work with imperfect, compromised people. We stay with families all the way through the process to ensure that success and satisfaction are achieved. This consistency and dedication has been key to our success in these 15 years.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Options for Senior Living story. Tell us more about the business.

Options for Senior Living is a team of referral and placement specialists, led by myself and my wife, Stacey. She joined the Options team in 2015 after our marriage at that time. She had worked close to 6 years in various roles and capacities in the senior health care system. Our team covers all of Maricopa County and we extend into some areas of Pinal, Yavapai and Gila County as well. As I shared earlier, our commitment to the professional development of our industry is probably our largest priority. We have to consistently strive for and maintain the standards, ethics and Best Practices we commit to at PASRS.

We have experienced and dedicated professional besides Stacey and myself on the team, so our other calling card so to speak is we are truly experts in the resources of our community and know our individual markets exceptionally well. We often hear from other companies when they are having a challenge finding the right home or environment for a difficult to place individual, particularly those with accompanying mental illness or behavioral component and we offer assistance to those companies in those times of need by sharing our resources with them. We stress as a team it’s our priority to know our product of care providers exceptionally well.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?

I believe people can be fortunate and I have had my share of good fortune for sure. But I believe that those who persevere and show up every day make a great deal of their own good fortune. I have said over and over, that if we do the right things consistently over time, then good things and good outcomes will follow. I believe in planting a lot of seeds in this life and part of my role as a business owner that owns a company who serves people, is that we must plant a lot of seeds in order to harvest enough business to make a good living over time.

In 2003, I committed personally that 20% of the work I would do would have no income potential related to it directly. I thought it was important from the beginning to have an attitude of generosity and that I would operate on faith that way. I have also believed in education and advocacy as my way to reach the community and because of that commitment over the years, I believe Options reaps a great deal of fortune in provider and consumer confidence.

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