Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Care Center

One thing that all full-time RVers think about, especially if they have sold their sticks-and-bricks home, is, "What happens when we can't do this anymore, or if I have a medical emergency and can't stay in my home on wheels?" Today we visited the solution to that problem, the Escapees Care Center.

Bob and I went to the CC for the Monday tour, discovering that we were the only ones who showed up.  That was OK. We saw the dining room and the activity room, and sat down with the director to find out more about this interesting place.

The CC is not a nursing home or an assisted living facility.  Instead, it is referred to as an independent living center, because in most cases you live in your trailer, 5th wheel, or motorhome (there is also anapartment available if your home on wheels is not available.) With the residential program you sleep in your RV and attend day programs and activities, while receiving help with housecleaning, laundry, dumping of tanks, free transportation to local medical services, three free meals a day, and free weekly shopping trips.  You have your own storage buiding on your site. There is a nurse and staff on duty during business days.

There is also an adult day program that helps with wound care and dressing changes, administration of prescribed medications, bathing and personal care, help with prescribed exercises, and health monitoring. This may be short term (for example, if you have a knee replacement) or long term in the case of dementia or Alzheimers.

The cost for all of this?  $900 a month for the residential program and $40/day for the adult day program. Costs are kept down through donations by Escapees and through the use of volunteers for kitchen and grounds help, being on-call at night for problems that may arise, transporting residents to doctors offices, etc.  The CC offers a free site (volunteers pay for electricity,) free WiFi, and 3 free meals a day in exchange for a couple's volunteering gig for 1 month or more. In exchange the CC requests 32 hours a week for each of the couple.  It is a popular place to volunteer in the winter; in the summer the facility offers a $100 a month stipend to volunteers to offset the higher costs of  electricity.  While winter months are booked for voluteers a year or more ahead of time, the director told us that in the summer we could get a 1 month spot with a month's notice or less.

It is an interesting concept. There is no other facility like it in the U.S. Bob and I would like to volunteer for a month at some point, when we can figure out our schedule ahead of time.

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