It’s me, Sofia!

Hi, I’m Sofia Amirpoor and I’m so excited that you found me here in my tiny little part of the web!

Stay at Home Seniors is a space designed to allow my mind to spill all its senior-related contents out into the world and on to family caregivers and peers like you, who might benefit from it. Here, you will find information on everything senior-related to help keep the seniors in your life living at home longer, happier and safer. Such as, which incontinence supplies are best, to how to deal with depression and dementia, to how to deal with family dynamics, to how to vacation with your senior. You will find it here. At Stay at Home Seniors I share personal stories and real caregiver situations from readers. I’ll try not to be too serious, but I usually am! (I’ll try really, really hard!)

Facts about me, you ask?

Well, I’ve been told that I’m way too serious for my age, even though I’m 50 something now, I’ve been told that since I was a teenager. Inside my head, I’m still that teenager just trying to figure life out. I’m a super-organized, list-making type of person who never, ever, seems to be able to get to the end of my to-do list. I’m the youngest of 5 children (and they never let me forget that I’m the youngest) and my 4 siblings are so important in my life. They are spread out all over the place; thank goodness for phones, texting and email! Somehow, when I’m down, stressed, confused, need a laugh or just need a family connection, one of them will call me out of the blue and give me just what I need!

My dad, Victor, is 91 years old and has been an inspiration for my writing as he has been a writer for his whole life.  He was a clarinet player in his “old folks” band well into his eighties, and worked hard to become a real estate agent at age 85 and started his own blog in his eighties too!

Sofia and Sy

I’m married to Sy, a terrific guy who’s super smart, a serious car-dude, camping pharmacist! My daughter is a 20 year old flower-child, Zen Tangle loving, mad dancer who smiles too much. My 15 year old son is a fun-loving, weight-lifting, computer game monger who would never admit that he really loves a good book. We have a little Chihuahua/rat terrier mix dog that adds a little extra joy to our household. Her name is Blaze and she has these huge bat ears! She loves to play Frisbee and she carries her stuffed monkey to bed with her every night. My family is the greatest,

It’s bat-earred Blaze!!

though, not perfect, whose is? We are just a normal family, just like yours. We all could use some help getting through this thing called life, and I hope that with Stay at Home Seniors I can help you just a bit to make your caregiving job a little easier. Or better yet, a lot easier!

Why blog for caregivers?

Given that I was a born peace-keeper and always wanted to help the underdog, it was natural that I was drawn to a career in Social Work. As an undergraduate at UCLA I interned at a county hospital outside of Los Angeles in the child crisis center. My job was to distract the children by playing games or reading while they had their sexual abuse examinations. The waiting room was always packed and the kids so young. I knew right then that I didn’t ever want to work with children! I just didn’t have the stomach! So, while pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work at Cal State Long Beach I focused on working with the senior population and their families. I received my MSW degree with a specialty in geriatrics.

It’s Official ! MSW – 1995

Fast forward 20 years to me today. I have worked in acute hospitals on the ICU and on the trauma team, with home health agencies; I’ve managed a department of over 70 social workers whose job it was to keep 6,000 frail seniors living at home instead of moving to a nursing home. I have worked in long term care, acute rehabilitation and with insurance. (OK, I’m feeling old now!) Along the way, I have learned so much about the elderly population, the barriers to successful aging and how to overcome those barriers. I’ve learned about the system and how to work with it, and how to get around it when needed. I’ve learned that there is no one right answer for how to age well at home. And I know that I have so much information in my head that other people need to know but might not know how to get it. (OK, I think I’m getting too serious again, so I’ll move on!)

This blog was meant to be

Just meant to be!

There are some things in life that were just meant to be. For example, in 1988, my friend and I took our big hair and went out dancing. Across the dance floor I spotted a really cute guy who just had “something” about him. I turned to my friend and said, “You see that guy over there? I’m going to marry him.” Yup, you guessed it. It was Sy. Without ever saying a word to him, I just knew we were meant to be together. Now it wasn’t easy; I had to chase him and chase him until he caught me! But here we are 28 years and 2 kids later, and I still feel that we were meant to be.

Another time, years ago, I was looking through a magazine and saw a house for sale. It was a cute, 2-story house in a nice neighborhood. Where we lived there were no 2 story homes, so this seemed like such an upgrade. The description of the house sounded so perfect for us, with a nice yard and a bonus room. But we were not in a position to buy a house and it was much too expensive for us at the time. So I folded that page in the magazine and placed it into a desk drawer and pretty much forgot about it. More than a year later, I was driving around and saw a house for sale and went home to see if Sy would go look at it with me. It ended up being the perfect house for us and our new baby girl. The house had fallen out of escrow multiple times over the past year for various reasons and by now the price had dropped, so we scooped it up. While packing up for the exciting move to our new home, I came across that magazine that I had forgotten in the drawer long before; the one with the page folded in. When I unfolded it, I was so surprised to see that it was the exact house that we had just purchased and were going to move in to! It was meant to be!

I have always dreamed of helping others on a larger scale.  And when I figured out that  I could combine my love for seniors, knowledge of senior issues, and computer skills…..well it was just meant to be!

Why I blog

Everyone has Questions

Being a so-called expert in Geriatric Social Work, I am a magnet for people always wanting to “pick my brain” about issues regarding their elderly family members. They asked about insurance, community resources, long term care, medical equipment and behavior issues, just to name a few. During one day last week, I had 3 different people call me to “pick my brain” in search of information to help their parents and family members who needed care. I was able to answer their questions and send them off with a game plan and a larger arsenal of information than they had before we talked. I think I have a lot of valuable information to offer to people to need it, and I’d like to leave some wisdom behind in this world before it’s time for me to go. (Midlife crisis?) I’d like to help the many of you who could use some encouragement and information and I hope to do that through Stay at Home Seniors. Being a caregiver is the hardest job in the world. It can be stressful and thankless. But you can be a great caregiver! And you will be!

Quick and crazy facts about me

  1. I was raised on a chicken ranch….think 100,000 chickens at one time! Lots of work, stinky, I don’t recommend it!
  2. My family never called me Sofia until I was 27 years old. They called me Pumpkin until my UCLA graduation party when I respectfully (not) requested that they stop calling me that. They have been pretty good at calling me Sofia, but they still jab me once in a while!
  3. My maiden name is Schimmelfennig….I was the best speller in kindergarten!
  4. My dream vacation would be to see the aurora borealis from a glass igloo in Finland.
  5. My secret pleasure is Vegas, Baby!

Well, that is me, in a large nutshell. Thank you for joining me on my blogging adventure. It’s such a gift to be able to share information and resources with you as you are on your caregiving journey. You make my journey worthwhile!
The best way to connect with me is through the comments on my blog posts; I’ll do my best to respond. Or use my Contact page.
Happy Caring,