By Kimberly Jensen
Senior Resource Advocate 

Caregiver Support Group & Planning for Senior Living


Last updated 3/2/2023 at 6:56pm | View PDF

I live in Tulare and I am a Caregiver. I don’t have time to travel to Visalia for your Caregiver/Dementia In-Person Support group. When will you be having a Support group in Tulare?

Finding a location in Tulare for an In-Person Caregiver/Dementia support group brought many challenges for us in the past few years. Alas, we have found a location. The First Baptist Church, located at 469 N. Cherry St., Tulare is allowing us to start our monthly support groups on the third Thursday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We will be holding our support groups in Room 115, which is right off the parking lot, on the south side of the building. It is easy to access and there are plenty of parking spaces.

Caregivers do not have to stay for the entire length of the meeting and need not RSVP in order to attend. I look forward to meeting you and hope that others in Tulare will also take advantage of the opportunity to share, discuss and learn.

What is the most important thing to do when planning for senior living?

There are so many things to consider before moving into a senior community. I think the most important thing to understand is that senior communities are all private pay. Many seniors need to sell their homes or liquidate some assets to afford moving there. They take no Medicare or Medi-Cal payments in our area.

Most of the senior communities incorporate your meals, transportation, housekeeping, utilities, cable and activities into the cost of their communities. Some senior communities don’t include those amenities, which is the reason why they are lower in cost. You will be responsible for those separate costs on your own. Make sure you factor those additional expenses in as you choose your location.

Long-term care insurance does not pay for assisted living directly to the senior community. They reimburse you, after you pay the monthly assisted living costs. If you have been proactive and you have long term care insurance, consider yourself very fortunate.

How your policy was written, will determine the amount of the expenses the senior community will pay. They will only begin reimbursing you for your assisted living expenses if you qualify for them. Don’t assume that they will pay for your stay at a senior community if you do not need any help with Activities of Daily Living.

Activities of Daily Living include bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring. You need to look over your specific policy to see how many Activities of Daily Living you need to activate your policy.

Check around in your area to see what the costs, amenities and availabilities are for senior living communities. Then, it is very important to tour those communities, stay for lunch and meet some of their staff and residents. Does it feel like a good fit for you? If this is the community you choose, then stay in contact with them until the time you are ready to move forward.

Always make sure to move into a senior community before you start needing assistance. It is easier to move when you are healthy, and it is much less burdensome for your family. Never wait for a crisis to occur. That scenario results in rushing into something that is going to be a big move for you, when you are not feeling your best.

Kimberly Jensen has been working with Quail Park as a Senior Resource Advocate for over ten years and has helped hundreds of families find solutions to their senior problems. If you have a question, you can send it to her at or call (559) 737-7443.


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