BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER— Finding the right care for an elderly loved one can be challenging.
Plenty of options exist, but finding the best fit takes time and may be difficult to do, especially with a busy schedule to juggle.
CarePatrol is a senior living placement organization that takes the guesswork out of finding the right independent living, assisted living, memory care or in-home care option. The national company has franchise locations throughout the country, including CarePatrol of Northwest Ohio, which is owned by Catherine Tippenhauer, a certified senior care advisor. For six years, Tippenhauer has helped hundreds of clients in this area maneuver the decision-making process that comes with finding the best care for elderly loved ones.
“The whole premise is to provide individualized support to seniors and their families or caretakers to figure out how to make these decisions,” she said.
Those in the senior care industry – from doctors to financial planners – refer families to CarePatrol. Tippenhauer then provides an assessment to determine family needs, along with a list of facilities to meet those needs. She then serves as the go-between during the decision-making process, handling all correspondence between families and senior facilities.
“We provide the family with information to make a determination based on facts,” she said. “The families don’t have to be contacted by all these places, so it’s less stress on the families in that way.”
The role reversal from being the child of a parent to being the family decision-maker isn’t always a smooth or easy transition, but that is what a woman named Colleen faced when she realized that her parents needed help and she needed to step in and make earnest decisions regarding their care. Colleen, who wanted to be referred to by her first name only, is a 46-year-old wife and mother of two teenagers. She also has a full-time job as a licensed therapist at a family treatment center, so with a busy schedule, she reached out to Tippenhauer for help.
“Cathy provided a match for what would be a good setting for my mom and dad,” Colleen said. “She knew what my parents’ needs were, she arranged the visits and met me there and she knew a lot of questions to prompt, which really helped me.”
Colleen’s parents – ages 79 and 76 – had given up driving and had other daily living needs due to various medical issues. Her parents eventually moved into an independent unit at Swan Creek Ohio Living, where a spectrum of care is available as it is needed.
Tippenauer was able to sit down with Colleen’s parents to discuss their new living situation.
“Cathy helped to normalize it and answer their questions,” she said.
The process took approximately five months, and Tippenhauer’s firsthand knowledge of local facilities along with understanding the level and quality of care being offered made a substantial difference for Colleen.
“I have much more peace of mind knowing that they (my parents) are in a safe place and that they are supported and there are people who care so much about them,” she said.
Tippenhauer said that in the current climate, where COVID-19 has changed the industry substantially with staffing shortages and other challenges, it is especially important to ask the right questions. She is paid through a consortium network of elderly care facilities, so families do not incur any costs related to her services. In addition, she is not limited to placing individuals in facilities that are only in-network.
“Really, it’s all about the families – that they get the care that they need and want,” she said.
Information about Care-Patrol of Northwest Ohio can be found online at http://www.nwohio.carepatrol.com/.
You may also contact Cathy Trippenhauer at (419) 356-0299.