You might say that Jeanne Best reached the glass ceiling.

Jeanne Best is a registered nurse with a university degree which concentrates on the very special needs surrounding aging and medical care. As a multi-year employee with Simcoe County Health Unit, Jeanne’s work centred around accessibility to nursing and retirement homes for aging seniors. She’s worked for years with anxious families seeking accommodation for aging or infirm parents in licenced facilities which provide some subsidized care.

As care for aging populations became centralized into the Community Care Access Centres across Ontario, Jeanne had eyed this facility as a logical next career move.

It didn’t turn out that way.

At first Jeanne felt de-railed from her lifelong work in retirement and nursing care for the aged.

When a job ends, often it feels like your life has also come to an abrupt stop.

However, Jeanne did some stock taking herself. She looked at her interest in seniors and in the demographic numbers for Simcoe County which predict enormous growth in seniors population in years to come. This is due in part to the aging of the baby boom generation, and in part to Simcoe County as an attractive, affordable location to which to retire.

She has an expertise in dealing with families of aging people. She has an expertise in knowing the kinds of issues most frequently facing those families. She has strong analytical skills, an ability to source out pertinent information, great comfort in dealing with tough issues with family members.

Jeanne decided to switch careers while using the skills and applying them to her lifelong interest. She took her severence package funds and signed up to become a registered paralegal. Then she focussed her considerable energy on writing a book, which she self published. Called Willing and Able, Jeanne’s book discusses wills and powers of attorney and aging people. It advises the elderly as well as their families on options most wisely considered when drafting a power of attorney or a will. During her years in nursing home placement, Jeanne says she found a tremendous number of people who were not prepared with powers of attorney, rendering families virtually helpless when a senior becomes mentally debilitated due to illness.

She experienced the same shock at the numbers of people who haven’t prepared wills, leaving not only their funeral arrangements, but disposition of their assets to government estate legislation and tax.

Her book published, Jeanne methodically set about promoting herself as a speaker and a drafter of wills and powers of attorney across Simcoe County. The response has been terrific! Jeanne Best & Associates is a busy paralegal firm operating from the lower level offices of Jeanne’s Anne Street home, drafting legal documents of assorted uses, with emphasis on issues affecting the elderly.

This is a perfect example of a person who experienced adversity as her traditional working life hit a dead end. She chose the high road, deciding to use her enthusiasm, backgroun d, and knowledge of an area of need and has built herself a business base which is steadily growing. What a wonderful example to us all!

Thanks, Jeanne!

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