Several years ago, Jon Senn (of Arlington) and his family wanted to keep his aging and widowed grandfather at home even though he was unable to handle many of the daily chores of living alone. “Because not much family lived close, my grandfather had to transition to an assisted living facility in order to receive help with his daily care”, alleged Jon. This scenario has become more and more common place for many families living in the greater Puget Sound area.
These circumstances led Jon, an occupational therapist, and his wife, Linda, to help other families find quality caregivers for their parents. Together, they opened Cascade Companion Care, LLC, to help families throughout Snohomish County who find themselves in the same situation. When an elderly parent needs assistance in basic tasks such as walking, dressing, cooking or hygiene, they don’t have to be placed in a nursing home. Even elderly people with Alzheimer’s or other diseases can remain at home with the proper caregiver services.
“It can be overwhelming trying to bathe and fix meals for a parent who is otherwise fully capable of living alone,” commented Linda who is now a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®. One of the major problems facing families, however, is knowing where to go to get help. In-home medical services are available, but limited to medical assistance. Cascade Companion Care coordinates with other agencies throughout the county as part of a comprehensive service plan. According to Linda and Jon, elderly people live longer and are more comfortable if they remain in their own homes rather than nursing homes.
“Independence and the security of knowing that a loved one is safe and cared for is what we provide families. We evaluate each family’s unique needs and find the proper caregivers,” commented Linda. The team usually only selects about 1 out of every 20 applicants that meet their criteria as care providers. “I will not hire someone that I would not feel comfortable placing with my own parents,” says Jon. Each caregiver has to have the qualities necessary to provide companionship and daily assistance to the elderly and must undergo an extensive background check. The caregivers are employees of Cascade Companion Care and the fees charged are very competitive with other area providers.
According to Jon, the “assessment” takes into account Activities of Daily Living such as bathing, meal preparation, transportation to the doctor and stores, and just companionship. “Quality time for just talking or reading to a parent can occur when the working adult child doesn’t have to cook, bathe, and take the elderly parent to the doctor or other appointments. This is especially true for working couples with children at home,” states Linda.