Eighty-one-year-old Charlotte Roestel used to hike, hunt and socialize. Two years ago the Mead woman had a stroke.
Now she’s battling cancer and needs a place to live where she can get help with daily meals and transportation to her doctor appointments.
Roestel’s daughter, Charlene Caroll, helped her mother look for a new home at a citywide housing fair last week at the Corbin Senior Center.
“We’re trying to simplify her life and I’m here to see what’s out there because I may need it one day,” said Caroll, 57. “It’s nice that they have this so you can get information and focus on places you like.”
Representatives from nearly 20 housing agencies were on hand to answer questions about available services.
“There are a lot of decisions that go into this,” said Shirley Whitman, program coordinator for the Corbin Senior Center.
“Some seniors are healthy and looking for trails and pools, others are looking for help in their daily lives.”
Lillian Torbenson and her husband, Waldo, both 77, are looking for a home with assisted-care and wheelchair accessibility.
“We’re in that position and those are the things we need,” Lillian Torbenson said. “We’re not thinking about mowing lawns.”
That’s one of the advantages of living in a retirement home.
“They don’t have to mow lawns or shovel snow,” said Richard Dalke, occupancy specialist for Goodale and Barbieri Cos., which manage about a dozen buildings in the Spokane area.
Marie Gill celebrated her 78th birthday last week. She wanted to know what kind of housing is available in case she needs it within a couple of years.
“My garden is getting to be a bit of work” she said.
The real benefit of the housing fair was for seniors such as Gill who were planning ahead, said Terri Luce, a representative from the Spokane Valley Good Samaritan Village.
“It saves them a lot of legwork,” Luce said. “Many of them are making their own decisions at this point and not waiting for family members to make decisions for them.”
Some of the home-hunters had specific needs, others were looking for general information.
Bonnie Clary, 48, was looking for housing for her mother, who doesn’t need specialized care, and her aunt, who is a heart patient and needs wheelchair accessibility.
“I’m surprised there are so many services available,” Clary said.
Billie Westner, who runs Cornerstone Place and Heritage House on the North Side, noted that seniors have social, as well as physical, needs.
“The right groups of people need to be together and have a good social mix,” Westner said. “You have to have a good rapport with the families or it won’t work.”
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HOUSING FAIR The Corbin Senior Center is planning another housing fair in the fall. For more information on senior housing call Mature Matters at 624-0798, or the Corbin Center at 326-5556.