A local company is helping families navigate the maze that is senior care
IDAHO FALLS — A local company is helping locals find the care they need for their aging loved ones at no cost to the families.
When Chance Powell began working in senior care he noticed a serious problem. Families didn’t know how to find the best care for their loved ones.
“They don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to do, they don’t know what financial programs are out there, they don’t know what community resources are out there. A lot of the time it felt like it was kind of deer in the headlights overwhelmed stressed,” Powell said.
He said in many situations, families don’t have a lot of time to make a decision for their loved one. He gave the example of someone have a massive stroke and can only stay in the hospital for a certain amount of time and likely will not return to normal life. Families have to decide what kind of care that loved one is going to need.
“So they have a bunch of big decisions to make for their loved one while they’re emotional compromised, while they’re stressed and they don’t have experience,” Powell said.
That is what happened when Stan Millard’s mother suddenly suffered a serious health complication. She spent time in the hospital and when it was time for her recovery, she was told she wasn’t ready to go home so she needed to be placed in a care facility.
“They told her ‘you’ve got to go to a nursing care center, which one do you want to go to,'” Barb Millard, Stan Millard’s wife, said. “We had to decide and we could not go looking to check things out — nothing. We didn’t have any way of knowing what was a good place.”
Barb said they placed her in a facility across the street from their home because of convenience, but it became clear to them that facility wasn’t the best.
“Stan had to — a couple times — get on their case about making sure that she was getting her meds and making sure that they were doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Barb said. “As long as he got on their case, they were OK,” Barb said.
Because of seeing numerous situations like these, Powell decided to create Senior Solutions in Idaho Falls in May of 2018.
“I just felt like a lot of families needed a lot more time, a lot more direction, a lot more specifics to give them confidence to make the best decision,” Powell said.
Powell decided he was going to be the guide that could give families direction and help them navigate through the world of senior care.
Senior Solutions provides a variety of services for families but the primary service Powell offers is placement guidance. Senior Solutions helps families find the best senior care facilities for their loved ones.
“We’ve interviewed and vetted all of the assisted living in the area,” Powell said. “If it comes to the point where your loved one is no longer safe to stay in their home, you can come to us and we’re going to tell you the pros and cons of whatever facility you’re considering.”
Powell said he will even go with families when they tour a facility to be an advocate for them.
He explained, he has contracts with assisted living facilities and in-home help agencies. When Powell makes a recommendation and a family chooses to use a facility or agency that facility or agency pays Powell for his time. Through that, he is able to offer his services at no cost to the families.
“My purpose is to work with the assisted livings (centers) but just make sure that the family knows that I’m on their side,” he said.
Barb and Stan found Senior Solutions when Powell gave a presentation on senior living at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. After the experience they had with Stan’s mom, they decided to see how Powell could help them now that Barb’s father needed constant care.
“He helped us find somebody to come in and help with the house and help dad shower and those sorts of things. Then when it got so bad he helped us find this assisted living place,” she said.
Barb said Powell helped them find an assisted living facility that fit her father’s needs and he also helped them figure out funding.
“When I can compare the two stories between Stan’s mom and my dad, it was just a whole lot smoother, we understood what was happening. We felt prepared,” Barb said. “It was very important, I think, for us to be able to use his service. It made a huge difference.”
Powell said Senior Solutions is starting a free six-week series of classes to help caregivers starting Sept. 19, in partnership with Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership. He hopes to be able to continue to offer classes for seniors, families and caregivers to help them better understand the world of senior care.