Eldercare 101
Eldercare 101
A Practical Guide to Later Life Planning, Care, and Wellbeing

Mary Jo Saavedra, MAIS, CMC, CAPS, CSA is a practicing gerontologist and aging life care manager in Portland, Oregon. With a passion for empowering individuals of all ages to live their best lives, Mary Jo is dedicated to the holistic wellbeing of her clients. Using her 6 Pillars of Aging Wellbeing™ process, she helps elders choose how they will live with the challenges of aging; at the heart of every care or life plan she designs is respect for the needs and wants of the elder. 

An out-of-the-box thinker, Mary Jo is credited with defining the conceptual model for an innovative real estate-focused rating system for classifying age-friendly homes. She is also an adjunct professor of gerontology at Marylhurst University, Pacific University, and Portland Community College; and she teaches aging and spirituality at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Milwaukie, Oregon. In addition, Mary Jo has 30 years of professional experience across multiple industries including high tech, nonprofit, and health and wellbeing.




Susan Cain McCarty, MAIS, CSA Susan has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on gerontology and an undergraduate degree in communications. She also is a registered certified senior advisor and a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, the American Society on Aging, and the Aging Life Care Association. Currently, Susan serves as an aging life care manager, advising older adults and/or their families about issues involving options for where to live, how to live safely, bringing help into one’s home, creating new community, transportation, and many other topics. She also refers clients to healthcare, financial, and spiritual advisors who can help them as they age. In addition, Susan has been a professional marketer for over thirty years and has owned her own marketing consulting firm for over twenty years, providing services to high-tech companies. She also has been president of and managed a training company, providing training and consulting services to telcos.

Theresa Giddings, CPA, CFPR Theresa is a senior move manager and a member of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. As a senior move manager, she has extensive, practical knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of various local community resources for elders. Theresa also is the founder of Soft Landings: Solutions for Seniors, an organization that offers specialized, compassionate move services for seniors and their families. Soft Landings also assists individuals who choose to stay in their homes. Well respected in her field, Theresa is a frequent speaker to senior groups, living communities, and real estate firms on “The Joy of Downsizing” and “Being Scamwise.”

Theresa’s senior move management business grew out of her over twenty-five years of being on the Portland Estate Planning Council and working in the fields of accounting and financial planning as a certified public accountant and a certified financial planner. She notes that, “With that background comes a profound commitment to connect with older adults and a desire to perform meaningful, trustworthy work. So, after helping many people achieve their retirement goals, I decided to assist them with their next transition in life.”

Rev. Lawrence Hansen, MA, BCC/CFHPC, CT Father Larry has worked in health care since 1987. He holds a bachelor’s in English education from Oregon State University and a master’s in Theology from the University of Portland. In 2000, Fr. Larry was ordained to the priesthood in the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. He is board certified as a chaplain and fellow in hospice and palliative care with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy and holds the Certificate in Thanatology (CT) from the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

Currently, Fr. Larry serves as the associate chaplain at Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, Oregon. In addition, he teaches classes in the gerontology program at Portland Community College. He has given many lectures and presentations to students, healthcare professionals, and community groups. As a care provider, he has presided at hundreds of funerals for individuals from across a wide range of spiritual and religious traditions. In his spare time, Fr. Larry enjoys family activities and reading in theology, social science, and the humanities.

Dr. Benjamin B. Hellickson, DDS Dr. Ben received his bachelor’s degreein microbiology from Oregon State University and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California. He enjoys treating patients of all ages but finds treating the elder population especially rewarding. Currently, he practices dentistry at Mattson Hellickson Dental in Beaverton, Oregon.

Outside the office, Dr. Ben enjoys spending time with his wife, two dogs, and family. He has an active lifestyle and enjoys running, hiking, biking, surfing, skiing, and golfing. He often participates in running races and triathlons throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. An avid sports fan, Dr. Ben could very well be seen at many local football, baseball, and basketball games as well as cheering on the Portland Timbers!

Joyce Sjoberg, MA, RN, CMC Joyce has a master’s degree in organizational development and applied behavioral sciences from Bastyr University in Seattle as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University. She has over thirty years of experience caring for older adults and people with disabilities and is the owner of Aging Advisor, a care management group. To provide holistic care for her clients and their entire family, Joyce draws from her nursing experience in acute hospital care, home health, hospice, and assisted living. She also draws from her experience teaching and training caregivers and consulting for various organizations. Her care focuses on the needs and desires of her clients and their families, and she is passionate about advocating on their behalf to support and create the living environment they want.

Joyce was a founding member of the Portland Professional Aging Life Care Association (ALCA). She is a certified member and has served as a co-chair of the Western Regional ALCA Conference. Joyce lives with her family and many pets in Portland, Oregon, where she is very involved in her community. She enjoys cooking, hiking, scrapbooking, bird watching, and singing.

Sara K. Yen, JD, LLM Attorney Sara Yen focuses her practice on estate planning, elder law and Medicaid planning, special needs planning, and probate and estate administration. Her clients range from elders and boomers who need to do their own planning, to members of the Sandwich Generation who are dealing with the dual issues of caring for aging parents while still supporting their children. She also helps families plan to facilitate a higher quality of life for their children and family members with special needs. Licensed to practice law in Oregon and Washington, Sara is a member of the Oregon State Bar Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Taxation Sections; Academy of Special Needs Planners; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; WealthCounsel; ElderCounsel; and Women in Insurance and Financial Services Portland Metro Chapter. Well respected in her field, she is a frequent speaker for attorneys, CPAs, and tax and financial professionals on estate planning, estate administration, elder law, and special needs planning. In her spare time, Sara enjoys family time with her husband and daughter, golfing, music, and cheering on the Portland Winterhawks.