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Care from the heart

By Staff | May 5, 2017

Chronicle photo by Vanessa McGuigan Michelle Carver from Home Instead addresses the crowd at SAIL's monthly Brown Bag Lunch.

Helping senior citizens stay in their own homes as long as possible is the mission of Shepherdstown Area Independent Living (SAIL). As such, they had a special guest speaker at their monthly brown bag lunch from Home Instead of the Panhandle.

Michelle Carver, LPN, client care consultant and staff trainer discussed the benefits and achievability for seniors to remain in the comfort of their own homes.

“We provide home care. It’s that in-between of needing that little bit of extra help,” said Carver. “Before an illness, after an illness-seniors want to stay in their own homes. Why not be where you’re familiar? Your memories are there, your favorite recliner, those kinds of things. They (seniors) get scared that someone is going to put them someplace else. What Home Instead provides is a caregiver to come into the home and provide either companion care or personal care.”

Home Instead is a world wide franchise that has been in operation since 1994. Dr. Aaron Blight saw the need for the Eastern Panhandle to have a service such as this and opened the Home Instead branch in 2010. The need has continued to grow as more people are wanting to remain at home and as family needs change over time.

The companion home helpers provide light housework, incidental transport, cooking, meal prep, laundry and medicine reminders. They even help with pet care for their clients. The other level of care is personal care for the more advanced activities of daily living assistance that may include grooming, bathing and mobility.

“We go in and provide dignity,” said Carver. “Caregiving comes from the heart. You do it with your hands, but you’re doing it in your heart. It’s not to make your wallet fat. It just takes somebody special.”

All of the employees are highly trained, vetted, have had thorough background checks and are insured and bonded.

Caregivers also provide respite care enabling family members to go on vacations or travel as needed, as well as end of life care.

“We work hand in hand with Hospice,” said Carver. “They’re probably one of our biggest referrals. For us, it’s a special time and a privilege to be with somebody during that journey.”

Carver continued, “I’ve gone to hospitals and the family says, ‘My mom wants to come home, what can you do?’ I offer them options and say ‘this is how we can do this.’ To see that light in her eyes because she knows she gets to come home and is not going to be put someplace else, is so rewarding.”

Client and SAIL member, Wendy Moseley gave her stamp of approval saying, “I’ve had someone coming for almost a year now. She comes every day for 3 hours and she’s well-trained. It’s incredible. My back has a problem and she knows how to lift me properly so that it doesn’t hurt my back. I highly recommend them.”

Services run approximately $19 per hour for a companion worker and $21 per hour for a personal care home health aide. For more information about services visit homeinstead.com/733 or call 304-263-4472.

To learn more about the benefits of SAIL membership, visit sheperdstownsail.org.