A Prime Location – CareOptions

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Location, Location, Location. Everyone knows that location is everything. For many seniors, the location they long to be in is exactly where they have been for the last 10, 20 or 30 years: at home.

John and Anne Eakin are no exception. “We have lived here, in this residence, since 1978, and we just love the community and are happy to be here,” John said.

aging in place in mclean, va

The Eakin's are still able to enjoy their summer retreat in Camden, Maine thanks to a supportive team led by a Geriatric Care Manager

Of course, as the years have passed the Eakins have needed a little more help to remain at home. After Anne got sick while traveling, John turned to Care Options, a geriatric care management firm offering many services for aging adults and disabled individuals. Those services include a senior care visitor program, a private duty home care agency, a nurse practitioner house call program, relocation services and a specialized activity program for individuals with dementia. From an initial assessment to ongoing care monitoring, Care Options has managed both John and Anne’s changing healthcare needs for almost four years.

John, a native Washingtonian, always knew he wanted to remain in the area. After he married Anne, they moved to their family home in McLean, Va., where they raised their three daughters.

As a young man, John attended Strayer Junior College but longed to get started in his career. He joined the family business early in his life and took over the company when his father became ill. The company, called Eakin Properties, is a commercial real estate and management firm that was founded by John’s grandfather.

John is immensely proud of his family’s business legacy and has only recently passed the torch on to the next generation. “I’m still involved in the business a bit,” he said. “It would run without me, but if they need me, I just want them to know that I am there.”

It is the security of knowing that someone is always there for them that has allowed the Eakins to continue living in their family home and enjoying an active lifestyle. Not too long ago, that lifestyle appeared to be in jeopardy following Anne’s health crisis.

Anne was making her way back home from the couple’s summer retreat in Camden, Maine, when she suddenly became very ill. She needed acute medical care and had to remain in the hospital in Boston, Mass., for several months.

After visiting his wife in Boston, John, who has chronic health issues of his own, knew he would need help managing her condition once she returned home. He called Care Options, and they arranged a home visit to assess the family’s needs. The assessment included an evaluation of legal, financial, medical, spiritual and social needs. This holistic approach led to the creation of a road map to guide care to meet the couple’s needs that can be updated as necessary.

Diana Gilbert, a geriatric care manager with Care Options, explained how the company helped Anne and her family make the transition from the hospital to home. “Anne had so many doctors in Boston, but now she needed duplications of all of them down here,” she said. “I began pulling in resources, coordinating the care that she required and setting up appointments.”

Diana also started going to all of Anne’s appointments. “It was important for me to discuss her care with the doctors, so I could understand what was needed to continue with her care and recovery,” she said. John recalled feeling an immense sense of relief when Diana was present. “She’s always there when we need her,” he said. “Things have worked out very well since my wife and Diana got together.”

After working with Care Options and her new medical team for several months, Anne’s health status stabilized and she was able to return to Maine for her annual visit the following spring. While Anne was enjoying the summer in Maine, her care management services were placed on hold until she returned. During that time, John had a health scare of his own. “He called me from a hospital bed in Fairfax,” Diana recalled. “He had a severe diabetic wound on his foot.”

Care Options and Diana stepped in and helped John navigate his recovery, which included several hospitalizations and a stay in a skilled nursing facility. After about five months, the wound healed. Care Options and Diana have continued to work with John to make sure that he keeps his health conditions under control by managing his medications, attending medical appointments and coordinating all home services.

As the couple’s needs increased, Care Options arranged to have a caregiver in the home and a senior care visitor to help with transportation to appointments and other activities. Josephine Aikens has been helping the couple with daily tasks since 2009. Josephine now provides assistance with everything from grocery shopping to medication reminders. “She just oversees everything; she’s a wonderful help,” John said.

With the help of Care Options and the professionals they have enlisted, the Eakins remain both happy and safe in their long-time home. They have also been able to continue working, participating in activities, and traveling back and forth to their summer home in Maine.

As a seasoned real estate expert, John knows a good location when he sees it, and he spotted his perfect place in McLean more than 30 years ago. Today, both John and Anne are proud to still be able to call that prime location home.

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