Senior Health and Housing Options
How do you choose if you don't know your options?
On Thursday, January 25th, the Port Angeles Senior Center hosted a panel discussion on home health and housing options for elders in our community.
Brian Jackson of Home Instead, Ryan French of Jim's Pharmacy, Beth Pratt of Park View Villas, Bryanne Stewart and Kristine Clawson of Highland Court Memory Care, Amy McDonald and Katie Bowers of Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation, and Charla Wright of Assured Hospice made up the discussion panel. The Port Angeles Senior Center provided the venue, and Laurel Place's Carlie Robertson acted as moderator.
The panel discussion was first suggested by Beth Pratt of Park View Villas. "There is so much confusion about what each of our different businesses do for seniors in our community. The idea was to create an event that was informative for our neighbors, explaining and answering questions about what the differences are between our services, when in-home care is preferable, what criteria need to be met before memory care is an option - there are so many variables and options."
While planning the event, the panel members found that they had one significant thing in common: the most common inquiry they receive is from a family in crisis mode, trying to find solutions in a hurry for an elder in their family or community. The person, who is making the calls, doing the research, is often trying to make decisions without all the information they might need.
The group agreed that trying to get the word out in advance of the problem, educating the public, was the primary purpose of the event.
Pratt joked, "We are too small a community to be jerks; we do not compete with each other, but rather all think of each other as partners. It is rare that any of our businesses has a resident or client who has not taken advantage of services provided by other members of our panel. We all work together, we think of our role as community resources. Providing safe, healthy atmospheres for the elders in our area is our primary goal."
About forty people attended the event, and they came equipped with a myriad of questions. In addition to questions about services performed, there was a lot of discussion about affordability and the various types of insurance and payment methods accepted by each panel member. While the focus of the panel was on services and not finances, many panel members were able to provide information that was helpful to attendees.
All of the panel members are willing to take calls or visit with people any time who are looking for resources and information. The group also hopes to continue panel discussions in the community. There were requests from the audience to have insurance and finance specialists on hand for the next conversation. Many other services for seniors are available on the Peninsula, and this group only scratched the surface of housing and in-home care. From Guardians, to legal counsel and advance directives, to financial services, each piece is important for families making critical decisions.
For more information, or to invite the panel to come and meet with your group (church, organization, etc.), contact Beth Pratt at Park View Villas at 360.452.7222 or at email@example.com.
** The majority of the panel, are members of our Compass & Clock program and our goal as a team for the WestSound, Gig Harbor to Port Angeles, is to provide educational resources, tools & tips in advance, to help you strengthen your quality of life as you age, safely. We are happy to setup other panels in the WestSound Region just like the one in Port Angeles. For more info contact Mary Coupland at 206-321-8061, or firstname.lastname@example.org **
Article Submitted by: Beth Pratt, Community Relations Director
Park View Villas
1430 Park View Lane, Port Angeles