CARE PATROL AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE FOR LOCAL SENIORS
The family called Nicolet Araujo, a Senior Care Consultant at Care Patrol, in a panic. Just a few months ago their 84-year-old father had been an active senior living independently with their mother, who uses a wheelchair. Then he went in for major surgery. While the surgery itself was a success, the general anesthesia was not: It caused a bout of dementia. Suddenly this gentleman was unable to care for himself or his wife. He could not live at home, and had been in a skilled nursing facility since being released from the hospital.
While at this facility he had developed a condition that required him to be put on a feeding tube. But then he was essentially left to linger, with no effort being made to get him back off of the feeding tube. Now his family had just learned that he was about to hit the 100 day point at this facility. Medicare was therefore going to stop paying for his care there, but other types of facilities wouldn’t take him because of the feeding tube. What could they do?
Care Patrol made the difference
Luckily, the family didn’t try to figure things out themselves. They reached out to Nicolet Araujo, Senior Care Consultant at Care Patrol, a free senior housing placement service that helps families find independent living, assisted living, memory care and in-home care options. Like all of her peers at Care Patrol, Nicolet has a wealth of resources at her fingertips and has undergone hundreds of hours of training. Because of this expertise, Nicolet was able to give the family options that they didn’t even know existed.
After consulting with the family, Nicolet arranged for the gentleman to be moved into a private room at an excellent licensed assisted living facility. She also arranged for a private nurse to come to this facility four times a day to take care of his feedings, and for doctors to get a plan in place to get him back off of the feeding tube.
“I am so grateful that this family called me,” Nicolet shares, “and gave me the opportunity to ease the burden for them.”
You don’t have to go it alone
Care Patrol, a 25-year-old national organization with a branch located here in San Clemente, is an amazing free community resource. While Care Patrol’s mission is to provide the safest care options to seniors across America, when you speak with Nicolet you realize that this is really just a portion of the resources and assistance they provide.
For those families that do need housing assistance, Care Patrol’s process starts with an assessment, after which they provide pre-screened care options that specifically meet the individual’s needs and preferences.
“However,” Nicolet points out, “we never just hand a family a list of facilities. We are very hands on! We tour with them, advocate for them and take notes for them. We walk them through the pros and cons of each option, then help make all of the arrangements, including things like bringing in companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize and move, or finding a private nurse. This personalized support continues even after a facility is chosen and the family member is settled in.”
Giving back to seniors in San Clemente
As the local Care Patrol Senior Care Consultant, Nicolet is an expert in options available to seniors in our community, and is dedicated to using this knowledge to help others. For families trying to manage care for a loved one in another state, Nicolet can also call upon the services of one of her 159 peers nationwide.
“Seniors and their families do not have to navigate their care and living options on their own,” Nicolet says. “Care Patrol is here to provide expert assistance at absolutely no charge to them. When questions or needs arise, I am here to help. If I have to dig a little to figure out how to deal with something, I will. And this service is not just about finding the right living situation. It’s also about transportation, meals, medication reminders, moving assistance, Medicare issues and more. The training I’m currently undergoing to become a Certified Senior Advisor includes quality of life, financial and estate planning, federal and state programs, ethics for working with older adults, and other important issues.”
Here in San Clemente, Nicolet is the one to call when you have any questions related to care for seniors, such as:
- What’s the difference between Medicare and MediCal, and what limitations do I need to be aware of for each?
- What is the difference between Memory Care, Assisted Living, Independent Living and In-Home Care?
- Are there medication reminder programs that will help my parents remember to take their meds?
- Are there meal delivery programs available that are healthy, delicious and diet-specific?
- What transportation options do I have?
- Who can help us navigate the Living Trust, Advance Directive and other legal documents?
- My parents live in another state. How do I find someone I can trust to help them downsize and move?
Nicolet is also available to give presentations at senior centers, churches and other community groups about all of the above topics and more.
“When the need arises,” Nicolet adds, “don’t wait. Act as soon as possible to get a professional involved who has the knowledge and resources to provide choices, before they disappear.”
This story originally appeared in Ocean to Ranch Magazine, October 28, 2018. Article by Lindsay Linegar. Photography courtesy of Nicolet Araujo.