Seniors face a variety of challenges as they grow older.
Planning for Senior Life (PSL) Founder Lori Krause and White Glove Solution Operations Manager Alonso Zamora discussed some of them in our most recent Community Conversations.
PSL is a group that helps older adults and their families make decisions.
White Glove Solution, a family-run business, offers moving and relocation services.
Here is the interview:
Below, is the full transcription:
ST Billingsley: Hi, I’m ST Billingsley with What’s Up Prince William, WUPW.news here in Woodbridge, Virginia, and our Studio 1A. Today we have Alonso Zamora and Lori Krause with Planning For Senior Life. They’re going to talk to us a little bit about transitioning, especially with a lot of seniors in the area, some of those things that we actually have to do. Thank you for being on the first Community Conversations for 2021.
Lori Krause: Well, thank you, Steve, for inviting us. We greatly appreciate it.
ST Billingsley: Tell us really just a bit about what the company does. Lori Krause: Planning For Senior Life was designed after a situation that happened with my own family, that we went through crisis on. I realized that we really needed a team of resources, needed to be in housing, in legal, financial …
Alonso Zamora: Lifestyle.
Lori Krause: Lifestyle. Legal, financial, health, housing, and lifestyle. You need trusted, vetted resources. I decided that putting together a plan and then an actionable plan for the actual client, because many times they don’t know what they need to do because they’re in the middle of their health crisis.
ST Billingsley: Gotcha. What type of issues have you run into that are, say, some of the most difficult to deal with? Is it somebody maybe they try to stay in their home, do they need to leave their home?
Lori Krause: There’s two different areas. The first is they are wanting to stay in their home and they may or may not have the physical or the medical ability to stay there because they need the different resources, whether it be providing physical therapy or administering prescription drugs or meals, bathing, some of those type of things. Another aspect of living in their home might be that they have their bedrooms on the upstairs level and their living areas on the main level, and they can no longer go up and down the stairs. How do we assist that client to be able to remain in their home, if they’ve got a caregiver or someone who’s coming in to take care of them?
Lori Krause: The other situation that ends up happening is they know that they can no longer remain in their home and so their next option is going to be living in whether it be in assisted living, a skilled care, or a memory care community. Our most difficult, challenging clients are the client that needs everything done for them because they no longer have the physical or potentially the mental capacity to do it.
ST Billingsley: Gotcha. If they are trying to stay in their home, with some modifications, that’s where you come in. How do you help with that, say if you’re trying to keep somebody in their home?
Alonso Zamora: We partner up with the resources that we have inside of PSL. It’s the overwhelm, they’re usually very overwhelmed because they’ve been collecting things for about 40, 50, 60 years of life belongings and have a hard time letting it go. What we try to do is come with different tactics to either provide climate storage for them for a short term, longterm, or whatever they think they need to save their family heirlooms, save what can be sold, but usually it’s just helping them downsize with all these things that they’ve been collecting, because usually sometimes they only take things for about maybe five or 10% of their things. 90% of the things, what do you do with them? You try to figure out how to recycle it, how to donate it, how to take it to a thrift store, how to sell some of it and provide that. Our logistic, regarding the moving, we help them with that aspect of it, of the moving aspect of it, and helping them with downsizes and bringing some partners on board.
Alonso Zamora: On the other end, if they are going to stay home, with our other division that we have, the construction company, is that we help them with maybe taking the bath tub out so they can be handicap accessible, or moving them from the second floor to the main floor, so create another bedroom downstairs and figure out what the logistics, if they’re going to stay.
ST Billingsley: Oh, gotcha. Obviously, you guys are in Northern Virginia.
Lori Krause: We are.
ST Billingsley: Prince William County is included with that, so you guys are servicing this area. With COVID-19, are there any challenges there that you have, and what do you guys do to overcome that?
Alonso Zamora: One of the biggest challenges that we have right now is being tested on a weekly basis. We’re trying to figure out also how to … We don’t want to take anybody’s shot, for the vaccine, but we’re looking very much into hopefully getting the vaccine sooner than later, because we go into a lot of different communities. If we take that on, we’re being very cautious. We have a plan, which is COVID-19 plan, it’s our policies and procedure plan on what we do and how we stay safe out there and how do we keep safe the community, because we’re invested into the community just like the community is invested in us.
ST Billingsley: Sure.
Alonso Zamora: They’re not just taking our temperature, we’re taking our temperature too, to be proactive, to make sure that everybody’s safe. We’re trying to make sure, because since we move from community to community, we could spread COVID-19 like wildfire, so we want to make sure we’re proactive.
ST Billingsley: Great.
Lori Krause: That means we’re taking our temperatures in the morning before we start work, we are wearing our masks, we’re wearing gloves, we are using hand sanitizers, washing frequently, when we’re going into the home. Again, we’re on the front lines and so it’s extremely important that we take all the precautionary measures to make sure that the client feels very comfortable and safe, whether they be in their home or if they’re moving into one of the communities. We have to make sure that everyone is taken care of. We don’t go out and have any social life too much, but –
ST Billingsley: Right. When you’re getting contact with the different clients, like in my example, I have parents that are in their 70s, they still live at home on their own, but these are type of things that now I’m actually having to start to think about dealing with, who is actually contacting you? Are these actually like my parents, or is it my age group that’s actually contacting you, or government agencies contact you? How does this work?
Lori Krause: It’s a combination of all of the above. You’ve got your adult children that are realizing that Mom and Dad may not have planned and so they’re trying to figure out how do I take care of them. They may have just been to see their family over the holidays and realize that Mom and Dad aren’t doing as well as they had been doing before. Then you also have the older client that one of them is doing really well but the other one is not, and they know that they need to start planning to take care of that person because if something happens to them, then it’s going to affect both of them immediately.
ST Billingsley: With your program, not only can you talk to them about either staying in the house or selling the house, if that’s what they need –
Lori Krause: Correct.
ST Billingsley: … modifying the house, financial planning for that, obviously, those are all big challenges. What’s one of the other challenges, whether it’s the financial, the paperwork? I mean, how do you guys help with that?
Lori Krause: We do bring in the financial planners. We want them to be working and make sure that they’ve got all of their boxes checked. Do they have a will, do they have a power of attorney, do they have a directive in case something happened to them, for both physical and mental incapacitation? We bring in the financial planner and make sure that is this the smart decision, because sometimes they think that it is the safest and the best thing for them to stay in their home, but here are some of the challenges by staying in their home versus moving into a community, even if it’s the independent living side. Number one is the risk of falls in their home, by staying in their home, is significantly higher. Number two, their nutritional needs may not be getting met the way they should be. Then because you’ve got COVID situations happening, and under normal circumstances, they may benefit from physical therapy and they’re not getting that right now.
ST Billingsley: Oh, gotcha.
Lori Krause: Then you also have somebody that can monitor them and just be there in case they do fall, then it’s not the fire department that has to come and pick them up off the floor. It’s somebody that can be there just down the hall and help them and make sure that their medications are being taken on a regular basis. That’s another major reason why people don’t continue to be able to stay at home safely, is because they’re not getting the right medications at the right time.
ST Billingsley: Gotcha. Well, this was great. I mean, just from us working with the community, we can see this as a great need. Thank you very much for being on our Community Conversations show today. I actually hope to have you back talking about a little bit more in depth on some different parts of it. We will make sure that we’ll have links to the business and the phone number for you to contact if you or your family actually needs anything like this. Thank you for joining us all at What’s Up Prince William.
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