The Carr Fire in the Shasta and Trinity counties of Northern California has burned about 230,000 acres, destroyed over 1000 homes, and led to 3 firefighter fatalities. It’s a disaster that started nearly a month ago, and is now 88% contained.

Mary is a 90-year-old woman whose entire mobile home park in Redding was burned to the ground by this fire. Her friend Jim temporarily took her into his home 250 miles away, and reached out to for help finding her a new home back in Redding.

“It was a small mobile home park and she was pretty active with all the neighbors. She’s a lifetime family friend, and the best 90-year-old I’ve ever seen,” Jim said. “Once she gets into a place, and gets acclimated, it’ll be smooth sailing again.”

Eileen, Caring Family Advisor

Eileen, one of Caring’s Family Advisors, sprang into action immediately to help Jim and Mary.

After quickly gathering details about Mary’s daily life, needs, preferences, and budget, Eileen identified Holiday Retirement’s Hilltop Estates as a great match, and scheduled a tour for that weekend. Given the urgency of the situation, and not wanting to waste Jim & Mary’s time during the crisis, Eileen reached out to the community right after she got off the phone with Jim, and spoke to Heather, their sales director, about availability for Mary.

Heather shared that the community had an excellent emergency response plan that was supporting their usual residents as well as taking in evacuees from other senior living communities and local-area seniors (with insurance agents on site to help those who lost their homes and possessions). Heather said they’d be ready for Jim and Mary’s visit to Hilltop Estates, and had a nice apartment available for Mary to consider. Heather also provided her mobile phone number for Eileen to share with Jim should he need to reschedule the tour.

On Monday morning, Eileen reached back out to Jim to check on Mary and see how their tour went. With its highly-praised staff, dining, amenities, and activities, the community was well-matched to Mary, and the move-in paperwork and deposit had already been completed.

Mary moved in within six days of Jim’s initial call to Caring. “Everything will be fine now,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful feeling I received for having a very small hand in helping a senior in crisis,” Eileen noted. “It is truly those rewards which I am very grateful for, since they remind me why I do this job each and every day.”

Caring’s referral leadership agrees. A Caring senior manager, Susann Crawford said, “Eileen and this story epitomize the beautiful capability our Family Advisors have to meld our business directly to our purpose and mission. This is exactly why we do what we do!”

Holiday Retirement’s flyer about its emergency response services advises: “Don’t fight fires alone.” We agree — and whether it’s a fire from a disaster, medical and safety concerns, or the realization that senior living is a better care option, we at (in collaboration with partners like Holiday Retirement) are here for families and seniors across America, so they get their needs met and don’t have to face the challenge alone.

Denise Graab

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