Friday, May 10, 2013

Escapees CARE

We are Escapees.  No, that doesn’t mean we’ve run away from the asylum!  It means we belong to the RV Club called Escapees.  Although membership is open to anyone who is interested, a large number of members are like us – those who have adopted the fulltime RV Lifestyle.

Think about this: if your fulltime home is your RV, what do you do when the time comes that you can’t manage the mobile lifestyle?  Either for temporary reasons, like some broken bones, or permanent reasons like the debilitating diseases of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's?

The Escapees club has thought about that and they established the CARE center over 20 years ago! Continued Assistance for Retired Escapees.

The CARE facility is located at the Escapees national headquarters property in Livingston Texas.  Since our route took us right by there, we decided to stay a night at the Escapee’s Rainbow’s End RV park.  As Geeks on Tour was recently endorsed by Escapees, we were especially interested in stopping by and shaking hands!

Escapees Headquarters, Livingston Texas
Escapees Headquarters, Livingston Texas

We also hoped to get a glimpse of the CARE facility we had heard so much about.  Our timing was good.  Both Tom Courville and Russ Johnson, who manage and promote the facility were on site and gave us a nice tour. 

Notice the RVs in the background of this next picture … that’s where the residents live, in their own RVs.  Then they can just walk across the street for 3 meals a day, nursing care, assisted showers, and activities.  The only requirement is that you be able to transfer your own weight – and you be an Escapee!

Tom explains how the CARE center works.  Residents live in their RVs
Tom explains how the CARE center works. Residents live in their RVs

This next picture shows Russ inside the CARE facility.  A very comfortable lounge area with TVs, computers, books etc.  And even a small stage area where they have frequent musical performances.  We were especially interested to hear Russ speak of his plans to promote the facility and possibly open more of them around the country.  He told us that he is using Photo Story 3 – which he is learning from Geeks on Tour videos! – to put together short promotional movies.

Russ is working hard to promote the CARE facility, and maybe open more of them around the country
Russ is working hard to promote the CARE facility, and maybe open more of them around the country

Probably most of the residents here are couples where one needs fulltime care and the other is a caregiver.  With this arrangement, the one needing care can spend the day in the center while the caregiver gets a break. CARE is a licensed Adult Day Care facility.

Besides being unique in allowing you to live in your RV, it’s also unique in the price.  We know how much it costs for assisted living, since we’ve dealt with that for both of our parents, at $849/mo for one person and $424 for an additional person, CARE is a fraction of the norm!

How do they do it?!  First of all, they are a 501C3 charitable organization and accept many types of donations.  Here is their new transportation bus that they purchased with funds raised completely by donations:

Their new transportation bus, purchased with Donations to CARE
Their new transportation bus, purchased with Donations to CARE

Secondly, they operate with the help of many, many volunteers.  We’ve met lots of folks over the years that tell us of their rewarding stay in Livingston while volunteering at the CARE center.  Volunteers are provided an RV site during their stay.

If you’re interested in more information for the possibility of being a future resident, volunteer or donor – you’ll find everything you want to know on their website at http://www.escapeescare.org

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