The Senior Center is the home of many hats. I have worked for the Senior Center for almost nine years and am still amazed at all the programs we have to help our senior and disabled community. While all the services at the Senior Center are truly wonderful, the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart is “Help at Home.”
I am one of many Home Health Aides in the Help at Home department. We are a licensed Home Health Agency and we are bonded and insured. We are First Aid and CPR certified. Our goal is to provide assistance to help keep people independent and in their homes.
To help gather a mental picture of what we do, I would like to share a few stories of past and present clients of mine.
I had a wonderful little lady, with low vision, that had been in a nursing home and was ready to come home but needed assistance with her twice a week showers and needed some assistance with some light housekeeping. I brushed her hair and even brushed her dentures and read her mail to her. After I would vacuum, she would always say her home looked so good and she felt better about herself.
Another client was an elderly gentleman who needed help with showers and shaving. I noted that he was losing weight; he said he was unable to stand to cook, so we called Home Delivered Meals and the next day he was getting a hot fresh meal for lunch, daily. His mood improved and he even gained his weight back.
Another client was a housekeeping client, she had to go to the hospital and when she came home, she needed help with her showers. Our nurse set her up and that day she got a shower and she was so happy to be in her own home.
As home health aides, we also wear many hats. A few things that we do for our clients include showering, dressing, hair care, shaving, shopping for them, taking them shopping, help prepare meals, vacuuming, mopping, taking out trash, laundry and many more tasks. We develop professional relationships with our people and their families. The families feel more at peace knowing that we come into their loved one’s home and care for them. Some families are caregivers to their loved ones and at times need a break; we provide that through the Family Caregiver Program.
Many clients are low income and are not able to afford an expensive service; we do have a sliding fee scale for those that qualify. Help at Home is not just for those with a lot of money.
As home health aides, homemakers, nurses and our access care coordinator, we help in so many ways I don’t have enough space to mention them all. Our clients are cared for with gentle hands and caring hearts, from hospital or nursing home or just a person wanting help for their loved one, we do all we can to keep our senior community in their homes. We give smiles and laughter, a tender ear and companionship to those that need us. From one hour once a week or five days a week, we are there.
All these reasons and more are why my co-workers and I are proud to be a part of the Help at Home program.
Janet Korp is a home health aide for the Sheridan Senior Center. This column was originally published June 13, 2015. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.