FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Age restricted? 55-plus? Old age home? Skilled nursing facility? Nursing home? Rehabilitation center? Do you know the difference?
Most people don't, according to Paul Doyle, owner of Oasis Senior Advisors of Fairfield County, along with his wife, Susan.
The couple bought into the national franchise in May, and since then have helped clients and families find their way through the quagmire of options for older people who can no longer live entirely alone, throughout Fairfield County.
"Some of these are people with major health problems and others are ones who are still working, drive and just need someone to come in mornings to help button clothes because they can no longer do it because of arthritis," Paul Doyle told Daily Voice.
The Doyles' company is an entirely free service to the clients, many of whom they connect with by making a point become known in the communities they serve.
Recently, for example, the company joined the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, where Paul and Susan serve on the Health and Wellness committee. Through that association, they were asked to speak recently at a senior housing complex in Ridgefield.
But the company's base is a blue Volkswagen, Paul Doyle said.
"If I'm sitting in an office I am not doing my job. Our clients are all over the county. There are 60 assisted living facilities in Fairfield County."
The service is free to families because the company has a referral agreement with the various communities.
"We don't work with any one directly. We work for all of them and for our clients," Paul said.
He illustrated some of the difficulties people face when moving a loved one to housing for older people.
"Moving from a family home is a bid decision. It's hard. It would be hard to move to Tennessee, for example, for a new job," Paul Doyle began.
"It would have a big impact. It would close your roots. But you would get integrated in the community. Put on top of that, you're a family in crisis. You just realized mom dented the car for the third time. She's still wonderful and has a lot to do. But you're a little worried you can't be around if she gets hurt. So you step up. But for them, they're moving. The house that's become a part of who they are they're going to leave."
Finding "the next step" in housing is like picking a college, he said.
"You have your image of a college and you don't like them all But there was something that worked. A geography factors, or a lifestyle. You can picture yourself there. We work to help them find that."
Tim Evankovich, Oasis Senior Advisers chief executive officer said, “Our seniors are our country’s greatest asset, yet this segment of society is in dire need of assistance. We are thrilled to have Paul and Susan expand that vision to Fairfield County.”