Question: Dear Luise: We’ve been traveling, full-time in our Monaco motorhome for years and are now getting ready to hang up our keys. For that reason, we have been following your articles about camping clubs with interest. Our question involves services for the elderly. Does the Port Susan Camping Club provide any? Is it practical to join a camping club when the need for support is imminent? Thanks, Fritz
Answer: Dear Fritz: Camping clubs vary a great deal. The one we belong to has put a lot of focus on seniors. It is not, however, a senior park. There is a senior center that is a physical structure with a complete kitchen, library, meeting/dining area and indoor heated pool and hot tub. Many events are held there and the senior community is close-knit and supportive.
When you check camping clubs out, check out the “Escapees Club”, too. Be as thorough as you can. Ask to speak with senior members. Don’t just look at the facilities. Find out how often are they used? What for? How many people participate? Is park staff involved or is it completely volunteer-run? Get lots and lots of data.
Ask how the park handles emergency measures…by that I mean 911 calls. In Port Susan the rangers are alerted when a 911 call is made. A ranger is parked at the gate with his motor running and his lights flashing when the aid car enters the park, so he can lead them directly to the site. When you have 2,500 sites, the time saved could mean someone’s life.
How about non-park, caregivers? If and when the need arises…whether it involves medical aid or housekeeping, would they be allowed entrance? The seniors at Port Susan who use public assistance caregivers or caregivers through self-pay, private insurance and Medicare are treated with respect by staff and given whatever support is needed. Maps are provided and directions are given to caregivers. This feature could be important.
You and your Monaco motorhome have been great friends. Now a larger, more comfortable, park model RV in a camping club geared to your future needs could be a comfortable way to hang up your keys. It’s worth checking out. Blessings, Luise