Outstanding Senior Care Professional Award
Years ago, Elaine Watrous was asked by her father to be the family Trustee. Not knowing what that would entail, Elaine inquired with a local
law firm so she could be well educated and prepared. The law firm got to know Elaine and realized she had an accounting degree and connected with the seniors so well that they hired her to manage their Trust Administration Department.
Elaine remembers her first client, an elderly widower who was alone … She went out of her way for him and helped him with nutritious meals, got him on track with medications and made sure his home was safe from hazards. She also secured VA benefits for him to help pay for his care. Elaine realized he hadn’t had contact with his six beneficiaries in many years. She found a way to connect with each of them and gave her client a surprise party! At least 30 people attended from out of town and he was overjoyed! They continued to stay in contact with him so his days were filled with joy instead of loneliness.
Elaine’s client also had a Model T Ford sitting in the garage that he had not driven in years. He said the last time he drove it was with his beloved wife whom he missed so much. Elaine asked if he would like to take it out one last time, and he said yes! Elaine, her husband and grandson drove in the Model T from North Orange County to Newport Beach (chuga chuga chuga 🙂 where they enjoyed a nice brunch.
The next story is about Larry … Elaine explains “a young, Vietnam Veteran who was estranged from his family. Larry was living in a hotel in Fullerton and working full time when he experienced a debilitating stroke in February of 2016 that affected his entire left side. Larry spent the next two years bedridden in
a rehab facility. Even though Larry had family and friends, his family had deserted him, and his friends were not visiting him. Larry had no cell phone or laptop and no way to help himself.
Larry was growing increasingly upset at the rehab facility but everyone knew that Larry could not return to his hotel to care for himself due to his massive stroke. Larry could not walk nor attend to most of his AOL’s.
A Senior Living Consultant had a kind heart and found a Board and Care that would accept his monthly Social Security payment in full. Larry needed full bed care and didn’t have much money to pay for it. The Senior Living consultant also noticed that Larry’s meagre assets were subject to predators and
contacted me to help safeguard his assets. When I met Larry, his immediate concerns were that I contact his family and asked if I could locate the
suitcase of belongings he left behind in his hotel room TWO years prior. After much persistence (and skepticism), I was able to obtain Larry’s suitcase of treasured possessions from the hotel manager! The suitcase contained an American flag flown over Larry’s warship from Vietnam, family photos of his
beloved daughter, watches, knick-knacks and over $1,700.00 worth of coins. Each treasure I shared with Larry brought tears to his eyes. I hung his huge flag on a wall he could see from his bed and it brings him so much pride and joy- rightfully so!
I conducted a background search on his family and found his daughter and his ex-wife and tried to contact them both on several occasions. I finally received a phone call back from Larry’s ex-wife. Larry’s ex-wife visited over Memorial Day weekend. I was so very excited for Larry to see her again and kept
it a surprise. She brought pictures of his grandkids that are proudly posted right next to his bed. We are all waiting for his daughter to reach out to him and will rejoice in the day that she does.
Knowing that Larry was a Veteran, I knew he was entitled to Aid & Attendance benefits and found paperwork that the rehab facility had started, but they failed to attain his DD-214 and the required doctor’s signatures before he was released. Even though he was no longer in rehab, I endeavoured to get the signatures needed to complete the application and prayed for his DD-214 to come quickly. Last week I finally received a letter that Larry was approved by the VA for his Aid & Attendance Benefits and I can now assure Larry that he has many options for improved health for the rest of his life. Also, in Larry’s suitcase was a timecard dated right before his stroke that showed almost 200 hours of earned vacation pay. Again,
I set out on a quest to get Larry the money he deserved. After several calls to his ex-employer, their CPA recently presented Larry with his overdue vacation payment. Hallelujah!!
I am honoured to help make a difference in Larry’s life. Seniors like Larry are the reason I do what I do.
Professional Fiduciaries are caring and tenacious advocates who leave no stone unturned to assist the people that cross their paths.
Elaine Watrous is playfully known as the “Make A Wish Senior Fiduciary” as she has been making dreams come true for seniors for over 14 years.