ABOUT

Who we are


Aging Optimist's purpose is to foster resilience by sourcing excellence in crisis or calm.

 

Our team is comprised of care managers with degrees in gerontology, nursing, psychology or social work. We work together to provide bespoke solutions for our clients. We provide a plan of action which may include referrals to best practices or practitioners in traditional medicine as well as alternative approaches such as Healing Touch, Educational Therapy, Rock Steady Boxing, Neuromuscular Therapy, Neuro-Optometry and Acupuncture.  We also have relationships with Brain Health and Memory Centers, Universities (for research and second opinions) and Senior Living Communities.

 

We are guided by these philosophies: 

  • Be open to experiences and people. 

  • Uncover everyone’s strengths and how to leverage to help others.

  • Be of service.

  • Listen, ask questions, understand needs, establish goals, and teach back.

  • Create care plans that include self-care for client and caregiver. 

  • Provide the best solution in a timely manner critical to the client’s success. 

AS BETTE DAVIS ONCE SAID, 'OLD AGE AIN'T NO PLACE FOR SISSIES.'

Aging Optimist, LLC is a member of Aging Life Care™, a U.S. association of care management professionals.  Aging Life Care™ is also known as geriatric care management, a holistic, person-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing ongoing health challenges.

 

Working with families and responsible parties (Bank Trustees, Attorneys),  Aging Life Care Professionals provide answers in times of uncertainty. Our guidance leads families and responsible parties to actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for whom they care. The primary benefits are reducing stress and time off of work for caregivers through:

  • Assessment and monitoring

  • Planning and problem-solving

  • Education and advocacy

  • Caregiver coaching

 

Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) and differ from Patient Advocates, Senior Advisors, Senior Navigators, and Elder Advocates. ALCA members must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization.   All members are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

 
Julie Bolt
AGING OPTIMIST FOUNDER
pictured with her beloved grandfather & late muse, B.C. Bolt, who was the ultimate 'Aging Optimist'
 

Julie’s passion for working with seniors began as a child, in her grandmother Helen's kitchen, and in her grandfather B.C.'s greenhouse. She volunteered at a senior center in high school, and her entrepreneurial parents had a large influence on her upbringing. Her mother initiated and executed programs for seniors, replicated by churches city-wide. Her father developed and managed senior living communities in the Southeast.

 

After a career in technology sales, Julie took her skills to the senior care market where she quickly rose to leadership positions in sales, marketing, operations and programming.

 

Realizing her ambition to make an even greater impact, she completed her Master of Science in Gerontology in 2012 with Honors from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her thesis on brain nutrition, presented at the American Society on Aging Conference, was the impetus for the launch of the Brain Health and Wellness Center at the 2013 International Alzheimer’s Conference Boston. She enjoys being partner of a certified therapy team through Dog B.O.N.E.S.sm with her dog named Biskit.

 

Prior to moving to Charlotte, Julie worked at Long Life Matters, serving the financial and care management needs of seniors in Boston. She served on the GeriJoy board of advisors and helped found Mature Caregivers, a homecare company that provides employment opportunities for older adults.

 

She also has experience developing innovative memory preservation and enhancement programs, teaching classes on communication and dementia care, and integrating digital tools to manage individual care plans while improving the caregiver experience.

 

Julie is a Certified Manager of Care (CMC), Certified Dementia Practitioner® (CDP®), Certified Animal and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (AAT) and certified by the Alzheimer’s Association in Habilitation Training. 

 

Julie is an active member of South Park Charlotte Rotary Club, a Board member of Parkinson’s Association of the Carolinas and a volunteer at Trips for Kids.

Accreditations
 
CERTIFICATIONS
& MEMBERSHIPS

MS, Gerontology

University of Massachusetts Boston (with Honors), 2012



Adjunct Faculty, Central Piedmont

Community College, Charlotte, NC


GRO 120: Gerontology
This course covers the psychological, social, and physical aspects of aging. Emphasis is placed on the factors that promote mental and physical well-being. Upon completing, students should be able to recognize the aging process and its psychological, social, and physical aspects.




Aging Life Care Association Member

Advanced Professional Member, Care Manager Certification (CMC), 2015; Member, Southeast Chapter



ICCDP International Council of

Certified Dementia Practitioners


Certified Dementia Practitioner® (CDP®), 2015



Alzheimer's Association of

Massachusetts


Caring for People with Alzheimer's Disease: A 13-Hour Habilitation Training Curriculum Certification, 2015



UNCC Department of Gerontology 

 

Participant: 2021 Caregiver Thrive, Learn and Connect Evidenced Based Study 

Research Assistant: Community Needs Assessment of Older Adults in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County 





Alzheimer's Association Support

Group Facilitator


Training, 2017



Animal Assisted Therapy & Equine 

Assisted Psychotherapist


Assisted Animal Therapy Programs of Colorado Certification, 2013



American Society on Aging

Conference


Dissertation delivery on brain nutrition, 2012



Engineering in Humanity Grant

Investigator & Author


Olin Engineering College, 2014 & 2015



Legacy of Wisdom Driving Longevity

Study Participant


Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women's Hospital, North Hill, October 2014



Sigma Phi Omega National Academic

Honor Society


Scholar, 2012

 

Biskit
 
CERTIFIED THERAPY DOG

Biskit* is an international dog of the world. Her mother is a white Bischon Frise from France; her father is a black Havanese from Cuba.  She was born on St. Patrick’s day (so she’s Irish) in South Carolina and spent most of her life as a Yankee in Boston.  She was the most precocious of her family and first to leave the puppy pen. Her first job, at three months, was in Assisted Living in Chestnut Hill where she thrived and enjoyed filet mignon and belly rubs. She graduated from therapy dog school and quickly moved on to skilled nursing, hospital and hospice visits. Her skills at dance, roll and speak led to children’s day care visits and spreading joy to folks living in memory care communities and adult day centers.

 

In her spare time, she enjoys long walks on the beach, paddle boarding, kayaking, bike rides in her basket and co-facilitating support group meetings.  

 

*Although she spells her name phonetically, Biskit is a tribute to her “biscuit and gravy” southern heritage and credited to her God sister, Rebecca.

Kay Falls, RN​,
Care Manager
Kay.jpg

Kay is a native Charlottean. From a small child, she always wanted to be a nurse.  As soon as she was old enough, she became a Candy Striper, not in the soda shop like so many; but, on the floor “where the real action was!”  Kay graduated from CPCC School of nursing and took a job in ICU-CCU at Presbyterian Hospital.  After a few years of hospital nursing, she secured a position with two general surgeons acting as their private scrub and rounding nurse.  Later she attended UNCC where she earned her BSN.  Here she fell in love with her Home Health rotation and knew that care in the home was where she could make her best impact as a nurse.  She joined the Presbyterian Home Care team and quickly was promoted to the Nursing Supervisor.  Later she transferred to the Presbyterian Hospice Team, supervising nurses and aides and providing end of life care in the home. 

Kay has also led a very active life in her church where she coordinated the nurse ministry for many years, served as elder, coordinates their widow’s group, sings in the choir and is active in their women’s ministry. 

Working with Aging Optimist affords Kay the ability to truly make a difference in the lives of clients and their families by providing them with an opportunity to make life more manageable; and thus, strengthening their quality of life.

 
Jen Conley, MSW
Care Manager
 

Throughout Jen's childhood, her grandmother spent every winter with her family. She developed a very special bond with her that sparked her interest in the geriatric population. In high school and college, Jen volunteered at nursing homes where she provided friendly visits to residents. Post college, she worked in retail, soon realizing that she wanted to pursue a career with the elderly. Jen enrolled in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service and completed her MSW. Post graduation, she served as a social worker for multiple long-term care and rehabilitation facilities including Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, CT, Somers Manor in Somers, NY, and most recently, Clear Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation in Mint Hill, NC. 

      

Jen is a mother of four wonderful children ages 19 to 25. She also has a 14-year-old Shih-Tzu Poodle named Bella and a puppy, Jack. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling to Maine to visit her mother, practicing yoga, and cooking with her husband. The Conley family moved to Charlotte in 2017 from the Northeast; they love the friendliness of the people, the weather, and the Southern BBQ!

      

She is delighted to be a member of the Aging Optimist team where she can advocate for our clients, help them maintain independence, and ultimately enhance their quality of life. 

Christy​ O'Connor, BA, CDP
Care Manager

Much like Julie, Christy’s passion for seniors began as a child. Christy grew up in Baltimore, Maryland with her mother and grandmother. As a single parent, Christy’s mother worked extremely hard to provide for the family. Because of this, Christy spent a lot of time learning about the world from her grandmother.  Christy describes her grandmother as one of the biggest influences in her life.

Christy began working with seniors at the age of 15 as a waitress in the dining room of a senior living facility. It was during this time that Christy realized her gift of connecting with seniors and knew this was where she was meant to be. After graduating from college, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Christy returned to the world of senior living, where she found her niche working with people with dementia. She went on to receive her certification as a dementia practitioner.

In 2019, Christy got married and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. In their spare time, Christy and her husband, John, love adventuring outdoors and watching soccer. Christy also enjoys spoiling her beloved cat, Pepper. If given the chance, Christy will never miss an opportunity to share a picture of Pepper.

 
Who we help

 

The ideal client is the one who is preparing for the future or in the midst of unexpected chaos and is willing to accept help for their own peace of mind, professionally or personally. Family caregivers are not the only people who can’t sleep at night; trust officers, financial planners and attorneys carry the burden too.

 

Although Aging Optimist is located in Charlotte, NC, we are available for phone consultation and face-to-face visits in underserved areas. For example, in one case, we coordinated move management services from N.C. to Cape Cod, MA.

 

The move included downsizing, fair and equal distribution of belongings amongst family, hiring packers and movers, choosing the senior care community, unpacking and decorating, vetting local medical professionals and referring a local Aging Life Care Professional to assume responsibility for the client upon relocation.

 

Our clients reside locally in Charlotte, Wilkesboro, Concord, and Hickory, NC as well as from Greenville and Columbia, SC, and Atlanta, GA. If we are not the best fit for you or your family, we will refer to another member of the Aging Life Care Association.

Seniors

Families

Adult children

Responsible parties

Estate planning attorneys

Elder lawyers

Financial planners

Trust officers

Church, temple & synagogue nurses

Senior living professionals

Senior services professionals

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Why contact us

Health and Disability

Financial

Housing

Families

Local Resources

Advocacy

Legal

Crisis Intervention

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PERSONAL REASONS

  • Family are not close, physically and/or emotionally or no family

  • The client’s care is medically complex.

  • The family/client needs an advocate with healthcare knowledge

  • Client has memory loss, poor physical health or mental health issues.

  • Client needs help choosing the best senior living and negotiating the contract.

  • Client needs guardianship, POA or HC Proxy.

  • Assistance during emergencies/crises

  • Coordinating and monitoring medical care

  • Facilitation of communication among client, family and health care facility

PROFESSIONAL REASONS

  • From a fiduciary responsibility perspective, attorneys and trust officers may hire an Aging Life Care consultant to lessen the financial burden on the family/client

  • Legal and financial professionals do not have the expertise nor the time to care for their clients’ medical needs

  • Provide an objective assessment of a client’s needs and resulting overarching care plan for clients

  • Assess, plan for long-term needs

  • Review Long Term Care Insurance policies and how to implement

  • Preserve client’s independence

  • Get client to “open up” and consider options

  • Arrange outside activities to enhance the client’s social support and quality of life.

  • Communicate client or family status changes

  • Completion of paperwork associated with the client’s insurance, benefits or finances.

DISTINCT TRENDS WE WORK TO MITIGATE

  • Lack of resources and service for seniors and cuts to services

  • Inability to get a single answer from providers

  • Increasingly complex medical issues, provider communication and health coverage questions.

  • Senior exploitation.

  • Lack of understanding of benefits provided by Medicare.

 
 
Testimonials

I can’t thank [Aging Optimist] enough for everything you did for us. Mainly, thank you for being a ray of sunshine when I was in a tunnel of darkness.

N. DOUGLAS

spouse

Charlotte, NC

Julie is a wealth of information regarding elder care. She is very experienced, professional, polished and genuine. She always makes her clients and colleagues feel comfortable and her presence just truly lifts people by the way she lights up a room.

MELISSA PLOURDE, LSW, CDP
Hospice Community Liaison

Hospice Services of Massachusettes
 

I have had the pleasure of working with Julie for almost 2 years. She is extraordinarily adept at managing the geriatric needs of clients and has a superb understanding of what next steps to take which is incredibly handy for future planning. As the Director of Client Support, her regular contact with doctors, guardians, social workers and eldercare attorneys on behalf of clients gave clients comfort in knowing her support and advocacy was unwavering. She was privy to concerns and ultimately a lifesaver. She worked tirelessly to ensure important doctor appointments were not missed, and caregivers received the right training thus helping clients fulfil their goals of living a safe and healthy environment at home. She makes a remarkable resource of information and engages clients at levels that instill a sense of safety, ultimately simplifying their transitions of life. Her strengths in advocacy, pulling resources and ensuring a continuum of care makes Julie great at managing the overall care of clients.

FLORENCE MWAMBURI

Executive Director
Simply Elder Care
Questions? We're listening.

Get in touch with us by phone, email, or our social media channels for more info or to schedule a free initial phone consultation.

 

Also learn more by visiting our FAQs, and check out our curated care resources