Recently released statistics from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) shed light on a key challenge that’s developing as we prepare for the long-anticipated growth in our senior population – the burgeoning demand for home care services that will be required to meet the needs of individuals as they age. Current statistics indicate that 10,000 individuals turn 65 each day in America, and, as they do, the demand for home care and home care providers is expected to skyrocket. While individuals have a variety of options when it comes to selecting home care services, St. Louis-based Age at Home Care is a leading home care registry working to assist area seniors and their families through a service model that attracts high-quality independent caregivers to offer around-the-clock, comprehensive companionship-care services that enhance the quality of life for the individuals they care for.
Based on the Consumer-Directed model of care, Age at Home Care gives consumers the ability to individually select caregivers from its existing caregiver registry based on their needs. The Consumer-Directed Care philosophy utilized by Age at Home Care reflects an overall culture change in long-term care delivery designed to give patients and their family members greater choice and control over personal care and other in-home services and providers.
Caregivers registered with Age at Home Care are insured, certified and thoroughly screened to ensure that they are able to provide the highest level of quality care and companionship. The caregivers selected through Age at Home Care are employed by the individual/family they are working for, which helps keep the family’s costs down. In addition, caregivers earn a higher hourly wage than they would if they were engaged by a traditional home care agency, resulting in greater continuity in caregiver relationships.
The company was founded in 2011 by Davis Allen, a certified nurse assistant with an MA in Human Resources Development, who developed a passion for senior care after helping to care for his own aging parents in their home. Having also served as the director of an adult day center, Allen possesses a wealth of experience in every area of senior care, from independent living to hospice, and has a first-hand understanding of what an important role quality home care and companionship services can play in helping seniors maintain a high quality of life as they age. While maintaining his role as the owner of Age at Home Care, Allen also continues to personally provide care services to clients.
“As people live longer than ever before, more and more family members are taking on duties as caregivers for their loved ones, and realizing just how hard it is to handle those duties along with their jobs, children and other responsibilities,” said Allen. “We exist to serve as a resource for family caregivers by connecting them with high quality, experienced, senior care professionals who possess the skills needed to help seniors age at home with independence, dignity and companionship.”
Companion-caregivers with Age at Home Care provide services that are personalized based on the needs/interests of the seniors they are caring for. These include reading aloud, gardening, playing games, going on outings, exercising, cooking, providing transportation, and handling household chores and various hygiene-related tasks. The organization’s caregivers are especially well-versed in working with seniors experiencing memory loss or early symptoms of dementia, and are also available to provide fill-in and respite care for family caregivers.
South St. Louis County resident Judy Stilinovic is among the local family caregivers that have taken advantage of home care services through Age at Home Care. In 2011, Judy and her brother, Russ, were sharing caregiving duties for their mom and dad when Russ decided they should reach out for caregiving assistance. As a mother of four with a full-time job, Judy was becoming increasingly overwhelmed with her care duties for her dad, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and her mom, who was showing signs of dementia and had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Eventually, both Judy’s mom and dad were admitted to a retirement community and Russ and Judy were interested in providing her parents with an enhanced level of personal care at the facility. Caregivers from Age at Home Care provided all-day care within the independent and skilled care apartments, working to ensure that medications were being properly administered, feedings were happening on-schedule and personal care duties were taking place as needed. Caregivers also provided critical companionship services designed to keep Judy’s parents active, including engaging them in one-on-one activities and taking them to church.
“I truly believe my parents were able to live longer because of the services they received,” said Judy. “My parents loved their caregivers, and their caregivers loved them. Because of Age at Home Care, I didn’t have to worry during the day because I knew my parents were in good hands. Our caregivers were there anytime they were needed and always available to address any problems or concerns. The services provided to our family by Age at Home Care were a godsend,” said Judy.
West St. Louis County resident Jane Reeves also utilizes the services available through Age at Home Care in order to help her 93-year-old mother Arlene continue to live independently in her own home. A year ago, Arlene suffered three strokes in 45 days, the third of which rendered her wheelchair bound. At the time, Arlene was living independently with her 85-year-old husband Bill. Knowing that Bill wouldn’t be able to transfer Arlene to and from her wheelchair, Jane decided to reach out for caregiving assistance. She spoke with a few agencies before contacting Age at Home Care. Jane was immediately impressed with the responsiveness of Age at Home Care Director, Sandy Buchanan, who offered to go the hospital where Arlene was recovering from her stroke to assess her needs and meet with her and her husband in person.
Seeing how much Arlene and Bill liked Sandy, Jane officially began her relationship with Age at Home Care. Shortly after, Arlene’s husband passed away. Age at Home Care’s caregivers played a critical role during this time, providing Arlene with comfort and company while she grieved, while also assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs), so that Arlene could continue living in her own home. Today, six caregivers from Age at Home Care are providing Arlene with 24-hour care. In addition to assistance with ADLs, Arlene receives regular physical therapy services. She also gets help with household chores and enjoys the companionship of the caregivers, who Jane says have become a part of their family.
“My mom has been able to remain in an independent care facility because of Age at Home Care,” said Jane. “Our caregivers will literally do whatever it takes to help my mom, and I can’t say enough about what a blessing they have been to our family. Our caregivers love my family and we love them.”
“When it comes to home care, the quality of the care received is key,” said Allen. “Our caregivers go above and beyond to serve their clients. They truly become trusted companions that provide meaningful connections, personal interactions and experiences. It’s this type of care that is essential now, and will be increasingly important as our aging population continues to grow along with their needs.”
To learn more about the caregiver registry services offered by Age at Home Care, or for more information on Consumer-Directed Care, visit www.ageathomecare.com or call 314-968-8500.
Age at HomeCare, a registry home health company, is owned and managed by Davis Allen, former Exec. Dir. of Sarah Care Adult Day Center. He has an MA in Human Resource Development and is a Certified Nurse Assistant. He continues to work as a companion caregiver with his own clients. All of his associates have previous direct care experience so they are attuned to the needs of their clients and families.
Resources for the Family Caregiver
Davis Allen, Owner