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By Blog Master
Posted: 10/03/2022



Navigating the potential needs for future housing and healthcare can be a daunting task, not only for individuals, but for their family members and friends. We all hope to be able to stay in our homes and provide for our needs as we age; but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen due to illness, injury, finances, or the realizations that we just can’t maintain a home and its daily upkeep.

There are multiple solutions and resources available to assist in finding the best choice for everyone. Pasadena Village is proud to present this conversation with two professionals in the field of assisting seniors when it is time for this transition. Each of these professions works in the field of “referral/placement services”, and there is no cost to the family when working with this type service. They have established relationships with properly vetted senior living options and are paid a portion of the first month’s rent when someone moves into their new home.

Lisa Bricker is the owner of “Gently Guided.” Lisa’s expertise goes back more than 10 years of working with the community of people affected by dementia. She has both personal and professional experience and is an invaluable source of information. Having lost several family members to this disease, including her husband Gary, she is able to assess a family’s situation to provide guidance and support. She stays up to date and is a passionate and empathetic advocate for the clients, families and any interested party associated with the primary client. In addition, Lisa facilitates with grace and knowledge a peer-to-peer support group for family and/or primary caregivers who have a loved one with dementia.

Diane Kirbis is affiliated with “Concepts for Living” as a Senior Advisor. Diane is a retired Family Nurse Practitioner with more than 40 years of experience. In addition, she holds a secondary certification in Palliative Care and Hospice care. Her experience allows her to “look down the path” of the client and helps her to find the appropriate level of assistance an individual may need in the future. Diane also recently joined the board of the Village and is an invaluable resource.

Lisa and Diane gave an excellent presentation, with Village member Sally Asmundson acting as moderator. The presentation took place on September 14th via Zoom. A group of about 20, including both Village members and non-members, joined in. Lisa and Diane encouraged the group to ask questions and engage in conversation.

The presentation covered the following options.  



Home Care is a service provided by private agencies. Home Care includes any services that are not medically driven; it does not require a physician order for service. It can be requested by any individual that may need help with personal care, including bathing, dressing, grooming and bathroom assistance. Home Care can also include companionship, transportation for errands and recreation, shopping, light cooking and housekeeping.

Home Care agencies also provide a case manager who serves as a contact point for the client.  Caregivers that come into the home are not allowed to perform any medical care. If an individual needs to be reminded to take medication, the aide may do that, but the aide cannot dispense the medication to the client.

Medicare DOES NOT pay for Home Care. Home Care can become very costly, because it is driven by the current labor laws and hourly wages. Many agencies have requirements for at least 4 hours per shift. Some agencies may allow splitting up hours to meet the client’s needs.

Diane and Lisa recommend that the client speak with multiple agencies and compare pricing. Lisa, Diane, and AARP do not recommend hiring private caregivers for a variety of reasons. The agencies' employees are bonded, insured, have had background checks; if the assigned aide cannot agree to the requested shift, the agency is obligated to replace them.

Both Lisa and Diane are available to make recommendations for home care agencies that they have worked with in the past.


Independent Living can provide for the needs of those seniors who no longer want to manage a home. IL communities offer meals, transportation, and activities that take place either within the community or on outside day trips. They provide access to medical assistance 24/7 with emergency call buttons in each apartment. Residents may have their own car so they can come and go as they please; parking is available.

Most IL communities work with an Assisted Living community so that assistance can be added as needed.


Assisted living is a combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet the individual needs of the resident.  AL communities are licensed by the state. A resident in an AL is typically in good health but may need assistance with bathing, toileting, and medication management. The AL makes sure that help is always available in an emergency. Along with medical assistance, each AL provides for housekeeping, meal preparation and a variety of activities.

AL communities value the benefits of socialization, so they encourage residents to participate in the many activities and outings provided. The ALs also encourage residents to dine with families and visitors, and to continue with their hobbies. Most ALs provide both studio apartments and 1- or 2-bedroom apartments.  



Memory Care communities offer secured environments specifically designed to care and support residents with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia that require 24-hour supervision. MC staff are specifically trained to care for residents in all stages of cognitive decline. MCs also provide activities, entertainment and other opportunities for engagement in order to uphold the resident’s dignity and purpose as their disease progresses. MCs encourage visitation by family and friends. Note that in some situations a resident may be in Assisted Living while their spouse is in Memory Care.


Board and Care Homes are private homes that have been remodeled typically to accommodate up to 6 residents. These homes are licensed by the state just as Assisted Living communities. B&C homes are privately owned by individuals and a full time staff is available. They are generally best suited for someone who enjoys a quiet environment or requires more “hands on” care and supervision. Most all B&C homes also have a “hospice waiver” to allow a resident to pass in a familiar environment.

Please note that all senior communities allow for seniors to “age in place”. For example, a senior can start in Independent Living and transition to Assisted Living or to Memory Care as needs change without having to move.  Please also note that most communities, including both Independent Living and Assisted Living, involve a process of choosing a community, figuring out all the finances, and making sure it will fit your needs. This process requires planning and can benefit greatly from the help of professionals that are familiar with the communities.


There is a tremendous amount of information to absorb and process during the transition from one’s own home to another living situation. Fortunately, many professionals are equipped to assist and support the senior and family during the transition. There are companies that specialize in helping a senior to move, including downsizing, packing, and moving belongings to the new home. There are also realtors that specialize in the needs of the senior and can assist with the best way to sell a home to maximize return.

If there is no family member available, a senior can research the services of a care manager or fiduciary to provide long term care management, oversight, and advocacy.

Note that a move into any type of senior living community in the state of California requires a Physician’s Report form 602A. A doctor or nurse practitioner can complete this report for the applicant.

Lisa and Diane are always more than happy to help further explain the many aspects of the move to senior care facilities. They both strongly suggest that you contact a “placement advisor” prior to looking at communities to get the best information and assistance. Another excellent way to get information about senior living is to go on tours of some communities.  

The decision on where to spend one's last years is one of life's most important choices.  The ultimate goal is to be able to find a community that provides safety, quality of life, and enjoyment. Ultimately, the search for a community is a search for peace of mind and human dignity.

We at Pasadena Village owe a debt of gratitude to Lisa and Diane for their helpful and informative presentation. They have made themselves available to us to answer questions anytime.

Lisa Bricker - Gently Guided (310) 308-9967 

Diane Kirbis - ConceptsForLiving (818) 481-8327

Pasadena Village has made a recording available of Diane and Lisa's presentation.  If you would like to view the presentation, go to Presentation Recordings on the Pasadena Village website.

Or see the Village YouTube Channel, accessible from any page of the website using the icon on the top right corner.

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