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How Planning For the Future Helps Seniors Remain Independent

Alan and Peter met during World War II, and have been together ever since. They have enjoyed many decades in their San Francisco home—but when they reached their 80’s they began to feel worried. With no children or other family members around, who would care for them as they aged?

Both Alan and Peter are self-described “planners,” thoughtful and thorough about all aspects of their lives, so when it came to the prospect of future care their approach was no different.

“We realized that we needed to work out who could care for us if we become ill or need assistance as we age,” Peter explains, “So we started making plans.”

male couple

These plans included what each person wanted, should they live longer than their partner. Their desires differ.

“If Peter passes away, I think I would prefer to move into an assisted living facility—but only if they would take my cat,” Alan says. Peter disagrees. “I built these kitchen cabinets myself, and my handy work is all around—I would want to stay as long as I can.”

Regardless of their different visions, Peter and Alan wanted to ensure they would both be safe and taken care of as they continued to age, and to know that someone would be there for them in a crisis.

Alan had been involved with Jewish Family and Children’s Services in the past and heard about Seniors At Home. When he called, he was thrilled to learn about the Futures Program, which allows healthy seniors to make an advanced plan and get peace of mind about any future care before it is needed.

When they joined the Futures Program, Alan and Peter received a free consultation with the Seniors At Home team in which they discussed what support the couple would want and need in a crisis. The staff assured Alan and Peter that they would check in with them every few months, and that they could call Seniors At Home any time they needed assistance facilitating communication with their doctors or navigating their health plans.

Peter and Alan were also comforted by the fact that Seniors At Home has served the LGBT community for many decades and works with Open House to provide caregivers with LGBT awareness training so that they are educated on the particular needs and experiences of LGBT seniors.

After their consultation with Seniors At Home, the couple was relieved. They did not know how soon care might be needed, but they were happy to have a plan in place.

Just months after joining the Futures Program, Alan suffered a heart attack. His recovery required hospitalization and Peter made daily trips from home to be by his side. On one of these trips, Peter fell and fractured his pelvis.

Alan was discharged first, and Seniors At Home stepped in right away with full time care, reducing the hours of care he received as he got stronger. Peter says, “The flexibility of the Futures Program and being able to call people who already knew Alan was so helpful.”

Today, both Alan and Peter have recovered and continue to live independently without care. However, they know they will call Seniors At Home again when their needs change.

Our Futures Program allows you to plan at a time when you’re not in crisis. To learn more, call 415-449-3777 or contact us online

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