Where is the care? Nursing home, assisted living facility staffing shortage hits Clark County

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities aren’t the only option for people in need of long-term care. For people who can’t age in place but want to live somewhere smaller and more affordable than an assisted living facility, there are adult family homes, a house run by a licensed mom-or-pop that provides low-medical, long-term care for up to six residents.

One Clark County resident, Selihom Gobeze, learned about adult family homes after a friend of his lost her grandmother while she was living in an assisted living facility that was understaffed, Gobeze said. He thinks that his friend’s grandmother would have received better care in an adult family home, and that it ultimately could have extended her life.

“She wasn’t getting the care she needed, and because of that, she passed away,” he said.

Gobeze, a Washington and Lee University student, started doing research. He learned that the average caregiver-to-patient ratio was higher at adult family homes and that the cost was lower. He also learned that they are more COVID safe; in Washington, only 16 percent of adult family homes have had a case of COVID-19, compared with 100 percent of nursing homes and 88 percent of assisted living facilities, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Gobeze was surprised that more people didn’t know about adult family homes, especially because they are recommended by the AARP and many senior care liaisons. He wanted more seniors seeking long-term care to know about adult family homes and their benefits, so he decided to take a gap year from school to design a website that could help people locate quality adult family homes in their area.

He interviewed adult family home owners, social workers and senior care liaisons in Southwest Washington as he crafted the website, findadultfamilyhomes.com, which launched in November. So far, it covers only Clark County, but he hopes to expand it in the future.

“I think Vancouver is a good place to start,” Gobeze said. “I didn’t want to just make it available everywhere. I want it to be a really good website. I wanted to start small. I don’t want to list every home there is. I want this website to direct people to great homes. I want people to find important information about homes, see reviews, the owner’s profile, important information, and also things like whether the owners are vaccinated, whether there’s smoking, whether there’s pets, fresh-cooked meals, stuff like that. I want it to be as consumer friendly as possible.”

— Dylan Jefferies


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