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Senior Living Facility Considered For Brownsville

The Times of Brownsville, Oregon

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Man Vandersteldt, owner of Yankee Dutch Quilts, says there are two reasons she is strongly in favor of a local senior living facility. "First is to have a place where our people can live out their days without leaving or being cut off from their community," she says emphatically, and then adds, "Jobs. I can't think of one job that would be available at a senior living facility that we don't have local people already skilled in performing those tasks, all the way from cooks to caregivers of various levels of skill."

Mari says that she and Jeana Graham have been praying for such a facility here for over a year now. Mari has worked as an in-home aide at the Mennonite facility in Albany, but is happy running her own store now, so she let her Certified Nursing Assistant license elapse. She had specialized in memory care patients. Jeana also has had care giving responsibilities.

Mari is one of a group that is planning a public forum to discuss the possibility of a local senior living facility. The meeting is being convened for Friday, January 31 at the Senior Center on Main Street at 2 pm. The meeting is preliminary at best and it is hoped it will generate public comments and ideas as well as the establishment of a small committee to work on the issue.

"A variety of care levels are needed," says Mari, with independent living and assisted living care would be the first two to be established, she believes. Independent living would be defined as needing help in keeping up a home, but self-care is not an issue for the person. Assisted living could be a variety of needed services including medications, home nursing care, being ambulatory, etc. She would also like to see a day-care type of situation, where working family members could leave their dependent parent or senior while at work.

Marilee Frazier and her sister, Connie Moore, are also interested. Marilee and Connie experienced their father, Bob House, needing services. They were required to move him several times to find just the right fit, and it was in an adult foster home in Albany owned by Jerry Mcintosh, who has two such facilities there. "It is difficult when the family member must be 20 miles away" Marilee says, "And we learned that Dad would take direction from a non-family member, but not from one of us. He would not get out of bed and get the exercise he needed, among other issues."

Marilee is also thinking about Delman Pearl, her neighbor on Gap Road, who is almost 101 years old and is in a foster home in Albany.

The foster home where Bob House stayed provides 24 hour care from certified nursing assistants, one of whom lives on site. The 5 residents are encouraged to eat together, and spend time together in the living room. The staff manages the food, medication needs, and personal care needs, such as bathing.

Marilee lists her concerns as considering available locations, either lots or buildings, remodeling, zoning challenges, levels of care provided, regulations, and federal programs and grants that might be available.

All of these issues and more will be discussed at the meeting on January 31. All interested persons are encouraged to attend and participate to learn what the community might need, want or be able to support.

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Original Publication Date: January 15, 2014

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