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When the time comes that mom, dad, or your beloved loved one can no longer fully care for themselves, a discussion should to be had between all parties involved. Which option is best as of now? Hiring a caregiver to come in daily to help with activities of daily living (ADL), prepare meals and tidy up? Consider an assisted living to help with socialization and staying active? While there are many factors to consider, the best thing you can do is find out your loved one’s preference while keeping in mind the most safe and affordable option.
Hiring a private duty caregiver to come in and help daily is a great option to help with ADL’s and other needs such as meals, cleaning and laundry services.
Senior Helpers of Orlando is a phenomenal private duty home care company who provided care for its first client in 2008, following years of unsatisfactory service from three home-care companies Dale and Marian Gardner had hired to care for Marian’s mother. Experiences with those companies shaped their priorities as they set about creating a company committed to providing a level of service they’d never received. Some key commitments include:
- Senior Helpers never sends a stranger. In our experience, one of the most difficult aspects of being the client of a home care agency was having caregivers show up at their door without being properly introduced or prepared. Or in the case of having a substitute, not getting any advance notification of a change — then dealing with substitutes who were poorly prepared to provide appropriate care for Marian’s mother’s needs. With Senior Helpers, this will not happen. A proper introduction will be made and the caregiver will be properly informed in advance about your needs and expectations.
- Caregivers are supervised employees, not independent contractors. Senior Helpers is not a referral service or “nurse registry,” where independent workers are assigned to cases, leaving families to sort through the fine points themselves — whether taxes get paid, whether background checks have been performed, whether they’re bonded and insured. We do all these things in advance, along with testing skills, verifying credentials, speaking with families they’ve worked with before. With all these considerations having been addressed, Senior Helpers also makes sure caregivers view their work as a calling and not just a job.
- Nurse support is available 24/7. Few things are as traumatic as being rushed to a hospital on a stretcher, but when a caregiver cannot call a nurse for advice about how to deal with medical situations, the only option may be calling 911. Barring a life-threatening emergency, this should not be the first phone call a caregiver makes. Most private-duty home care companies offer little or no nurse support. In addition, the two nurses on staff supervise the quality of care being provided.
Because hiring an in-home care company is such a personal decision, Senior Helpers seeks to provide every assurance that the quality of care provided is superior. One measure of the quality of care involves a distinction that only 8 percent of home care companies in the nation hold: accreditation by The Joint Commission. The standards to which Senior Helpers is held exceed those of the state Agency for Health Care Administration by verifying that we focus more effort on quality improvement rather than simply meeting minimum standards. Surveyors from The Joint Commission show up unannounced, review caregiver training and credentials, review care plans and caregiver notes, visit clients and interview them and their caregivers as part of an ongoing quality assurance program.
Some of their key staff members include:
- Aubrie Depkin, MHA, Executive Director: Aubrie started with Senior Helpers in the summer of 2012 as a certified nursing assistant before joining our team as our lead scheduler in 2013. She has moved up within the company, most recently serving as Director of Operations, before taking on responsibility for overall management and direction of the company. Aubrie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and soon went on to earn her Master’s degree in Health Care Administration along with two minors, which focus in marketing and gerontology. She oversees the daily operations of our office, including the wonderful internal staff and our caregivers.
- Robin Rountree, Client Relations Coordinator: Robin was introduced to the company in 2012 when she needed help to take care of her own mother. Senior Helpers was a big part of Robin’s six-year journey of being a family caregiver. Robin’s background is in broadcast radio, so she teamed up with Senior Helpers to host the show “Aging Well with Robin & Mel.” The pull of helping others became stronger after interviewing local experts in the senior industry; so she decided to make a career change to join Senior Helpers as the Client Relations Coordinator. Having been a client, she knows how important it is to ensure a positive experience and provide excellent care to our wonderful clients.
- Leslie Murphy, RN, Care Team Nurse: Leslie oversees the care being provided to our clients by supervising our caregivers and ensuring that care plans are appropriate for their needs. She brings to us her vast experience in the nursing industry. She earned her degree from Valencia State College. She has worked in ICU, oncology, reconstructive surgery roles, but her favorite part of it all has been serving in Mexico on medical mission trips. She volunteers with Shepherd’s Hope Clinic. Leslie lives in Oviedo with her husband and three dogs. She is native to Winter Park and thoroughly enjoyed growing up in this area.
- Tori Clay, M.S., Community Outreach Director: Tori has spent the last 10 years in a variety of social service positions. She began her journey with Senior Helpers in 2015 as our Client Care Coordinator and has since moved across several roles within our organization and is presently serving as our Community Outreach Director. She plans and hosts community outreach projects and educational initiatives, including virtual dementia tours. Tori has a passion for serving our elderly clientele, guides our families with respect to long-term insurance and offers other applicable resources and long-term care planning as needed. Tori has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Florida State University and a master’s degree in nutrition and exercise science from the University of Central Florida. She is currently pursuing her master’s in social work through Florida State University.
In the event your loved one needs 24/7 oversight and private duty home care may no longer be an option, an assisted living community could be a wonderful alternative that provides similar care plus lively activities, three chef inspired meals a day and more! If you are interested in learning more about communities near you, contact a trusted Senior Advisor at North Star Senior Advisors by calling 407-796-1582 or visit www.northstarsa.com.