Bridge to Better Living
Just as Bridge to Better Living has found success advising older adults in their search for the best retirement community suited to them in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding areas, there are times when owner Mary Ann Stallings seeks advice to help grow her business.
When she does, she often turns to the experts at the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) office in Lincoln, situated in the Entrepreneurship Center at Southeast Community College.
“She first came to us in 2010 when she started her business,” says Zack Zimmerman, associate director of the NBDC center in Lincoln. “I began working with her later when she wanted to locate her office to the incubator here. She is a vibrant business person with a great company and she has sought our advice on customer development, financial analysis, growth and how to make her business more sustainable. She’s really done well defining her vision, and we’ve worked with her on that, too.”
When it came time to hire her first employee, “we worked closely with her to identify the skills and traits she was looking for, and how to onboard them and develop those skills,” Zimmerman says.
Bridge to Better Living works with senior adult clients and their families to guide them to a retirement community that fits their particular needs and preferences. The company’s service is at no cost to the senior client. This is enabled by the many contracts Bridge to better Living has with the retirement communities.
Stallings says her service is unique. “We are not a computer program; we are people-to-people,” she says. “It is critical to have one-on-one support and guidance through this difficult process. We do the investigating, the leg work and provide the client with options. Our goal is to connect the client with the community best meeting their needs socially, physically, medically and financially.”
Her concern for older adults began when she was young and her grandparents were residents in a nursing home. It continued, she says, “because my husband’s parents were older when he was born, and consequently our entire married life has involved the care of elderly parents, both his and mine. We were also the guardians for an aunt and uncle who depended on us for most of their care and important decisions.”
Finding the right communities to care for these loved ones “was always confusing and no matter how many times we did it, we found ourselves starting over,” she says.
Bridge to Better Living sprung from Stallings’ desire to help older adults by removing the guesswork, reducing the time, and providing tours and comprehensive information to enable clients to make confident choices.
“We help bridge the gap often occurring between family members making these difficult choices,” she says. “The fun part of my job is the relationship-building with clients, their families and the communities they have chosen.”