Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Seniors need Croy Canyon care facility


Much is being discussed, debated and written about long-term senior care these days, as well it should be. Blaine County faces the monumental problem of how to care for our aging population, and what living arrangements are best for the majority.

The first and preferred option for most seniors is to remain in their own homes, with in-home health care. It sounds ideal, but the reality is that few will be able to afford it. Caregivers' salaries alone, which start at $15 an hour, can run close to $10,000 a month.

Our mother, at age 96, has needed full-time, in-home care for a long time. We are blessed with a dedicated and devoted team, and my sister and I try to offset the expenses by spending three to four days a week each care giving, not an option for many, due to other family or employment obligations. In addition, the home itself presents its own set of expenses: maintenance, insurance, taxes, utilities, food, etc. At this point, monthly output approaches $18,000 to $20,000—an unsustainable figure for most seniors on a fixed income.

Caregiver hours for in-home care are not static. As the patient ages and becomes more dependent and frail, more care is needed, and the costs keep climbing.

There is no easy answer, but we're convinced that the most viable and sustainable solution to the problem of long-term living arrangements is the not-for-profit, three-tiered plan for independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing levels laid out by the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation. The skilled nursing component is vital. The transition from caregivers to RNs cannot be predicted and can be precipitated by a fall or any number of incidents that can occur. RNs are sometimes twice the cost of a caregiver.

The new Croy Canyon Ranch will be an open, beautiful place for residents that will provide them with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor environment of the Wood River Valley. It is what our seniors need and deserve.

Mischa Leendertsen

Ketchum

Mary Mills

Bellevue




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