Pete and Maureen Cobb celebrate retirement after 31 years. Truly one of the best providers!
As one of the very first Adult Foster Homes in Southern Oregon, Maureen has many stories to tell and reflects back on her time as rewarding.
After 10 years in skilled nursing and a short stint working in a small hospital, Maureen came home and asked her lovely husband Pete Cobb to knock out some walls and build an addition on to their house so that she could take care of her patients at home. This was long before the intense type of regulation that we see in Adult Foster Homes today. There were no medical administration records, detailed documentation or strict licensing requirements, but she implemented a lot of that on her own, leaning on what she learned in years prior from working in medical settings. She was without a doubt one of the best foster home providers in Southern Oregon! But when she first started managing the home, there were days when she wanted to cry while facing some duties. We all know that caregiving can be hard and caregivers are often guilty of not taking care of themselves.
Pete Cobb, Maureen’s husband, ran a successful dental lab that he purchased in 1978, and later decided to join forces with Maureen when he saw the need to be more helpful in the foster home. Maureen had her hands full when Pete voluntarily decided to sell his business to help her. When they made the decision for Pete to also work in the foster home, Maureen was very careful to explain to him that he must be able to do everything that she does, or it will never work and he never looked back! They became a dynamic duo and learned to love all aspects of caring for others.
While specializing in end of life and hospice, they received many referrals from hospitals and other medical professionals for providing excellent, friendly, dependable care.
Maureen reminisces about her many trips with residents to see their doctor, and quickly remarks that, "doctors don't know everything", "they used to intimidate me, but not anymore", and this was especially true when doctors would immediately send patients to skilled nursing. The Cobbs are a perfect example of an adult foster home being able to provide great care outside of a nursing home, where you're surrounded by family, in a smaller setting, with people that genuinely get to know you and love you.
When I asked Maureen what her best advice to a new foster home is, she quickly said, “don’t wait too long to get help”. They did it all by themselves for years, vacationing separately, going out to eat separately, attending school functions separately, etc. Because foster homes require that a caregiver is present 24/7, they were unable to leave the house together.
Despite all of the challenges they faced in beginning, they always found a way to make the best of everything. The Cobb’s tended to make it the best for everyone else too. Maureen shares a story about a woman named Lexi, now deceased, that used to insist on leaving their house to go for a walk. Instead of evicting her, the Cobbs just built a fence around their property and Lexi began to walk the perimeter, sit outside in the on the deck in the sun, and lived out the rest of her life the way she preferred; with a sense of freedom and fresh air.
Family was very important to the Cobbs and the treated all of their residents if as they were a part of theirs; hugs, patience, understanding and genuine love.
She encouraged family to visit their aging loved ones as much as possible, even when they’re confused about who you are.
It has been more than 30 years since having their home to themselves, but as Maureen says, “it was time”. They plan to stay in the Grants Pass area while they enjoy their retirement with kids and grandkids, and that got kicked off with Christmas of 2018.
Just after the Cobbs celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2018, they were able to have all their family stay over for Christmas. Maureen really appreciated how special this was to her whole family and went on to share how her daughter asked her to decorate the entire house, with two trees and lots of holiday spark, just like she remembered Christmas as a kid.
Our community was blessed to have the Cobbs providing care for more than 30 years. Thank you both for your many years of selfless service. You will be missed in our industry!
The Team Senior Family