SHO-A Helping Hand

Senior Housing Options: A Helping Hand

Posted on July 2, 2013 by deanna at

In 2004 a longtime friend of my family, and an acclaimed artist within our community was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A middle-aged man, Joe was just in his fifties when he received his diagnosis.

We were shocked not just by the diagnosis, but also by the rapid progression of the disease. In the span of just a few months he went from drawing masterful sketches and creating beautiful art to trembling in a wheel chair as he and my mother sorted through his belongings. Joe had no family and was left to depend on his friends not just for emotional support, but also ultimately for his Power of Attorney, his finances and all of his health care decisions.

Joe was faced with terrible decisions as his health failed him, not just how he would get by, but where he would live, and who would care for him. In the end we turned to a senior housing facility, based primarily on Medicaid and HUD funding to ensure that Joe received the care he needed as he faced the end of his life.

In the years that Joe lived in this facility my family and I were touched by the love and care Joe received. He found within the community the family he had never truly had. The volunteers and staff ensured that Joe had socialization, opportunities to have fun and to make friends while providing him with superior health care.

In my experience with the staff at Joe’s facility, I found that those serving this demographic felt called beyond the traditional health care system to fill a need not properly served. Hilarie Olson, Associate Director of Operations/Community Liaison for Senior House Options based out of Denver is a prime example of this phenomenon. After several years within traditional health care, Hilarie felt called to the world of non-profit and has dedicated her life to creating the best housing and care for seniors and disabled adults within the Denver community.

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