By David Heitz
There is a reason home ownership is referred to as “The American Dream.” There’s nothing more special than investing in your own little piece of the world. For most of us, by the time our homes are paid for and looking and feeling just how we want them to look and feel, we are getting up in years. Even though the activities of daily living may be getting more difficult, the last thing we want to do is spend time away from our homes, which we have worked so hard to make just right. Even if we’re in great health but may be recuperating from a surgery, having a bout of loneliness, or just a little difficulty getting around town, we want to continue to live right at home. Who wouldn’t?
Right at Home is committed to helping us do just that. Forget those old stereotypes about home care companies being one step before a nursing home. The idea behind “Right at Home” is to keep you living independently in your own home for as long as possible. “There is so much stigma associated with this industry,” said Nicole Hinton, a representative of Right at Home of the Pine Belt. “People think, ‘If I’m getting help, I must be dying or have lost all independence.’ That is not the case. We are about improving your quality of life. We want to dispel the myth that you have to be sick or disabled to use our services.”
Never Learned to Drive? We Can Take You on Errands.
For the most part, Right at Home offers non-medical caregivers, although certified nursing assistants are available through Right at Home. Often, the services provided through Right at Home are as simple as driving their clients to the grocery store a couple of times a week and providing companionship.
Men and women can find themselves a little bewildered after losing their life partner. “I have a friend whose husband passed away, and there is nothing wrong with her mind or anything like that, but she never learned to drive,” Hinton said. “Sometimes she needs to go to Wal-Mart or to get groceries and her medications. The other day, she needed to go to a baby shower, and we had a caregiver carry her to the baby shower.”
Right at Home is based in Laurel and owned by brother and sister team Marvin Bush and Rachel Bush Howell. They are caring for their own parents. They would never hire anyone who they would not trust with their own mom or dad. Right at Home is a national franchise with a comprehensive hiring system. Applicants must complete extensive reference and background checks, personal interviews, and competency testing. Excellent manners, honesty, and great social skills are a must.
Right at Home accepts private payment, veteran benefits, and long-term care insurance. They are in the process of being Medicaid certified. “But we can service anyone,” Hinton said. “Some people get help from the waiver program.”
Need a Break from Caring for Someone or Yourself? Call Us.
Hiring a Right at Home caregiver often is preventative medicine. For example, when a person is caring for someone else, usually their spouse or their parent, they need “respite,” or time off. Right at Home can come and spend time with their loved one so they can go play cards with the girls, run errands, or do whatever they need to do.
Research has shown that in some instances, caregivers of people with dementia sometimes die before the patient themselves. Providing care for a loved one can be an exhausting and stressful job. Numerous studies exist showing the negative impact caregiving can have on a family caregiver’s health. It’s why it’s so important to avoid burnout and take a break whenever you feel like you need one. And sometimes for yourself, even after a short hospital stay for something minor or an outpatient procedure, it just makes good sense to have extra help at home. Accidents are far more likely to happen when a person isn’t feeling completely up to par. For many elderly people, a fall can mean a broken hip and extended rehabilitation time.
When Right at Home first comes to see a new client, they not only do an assessment of that person’s needs but also a home safety check. “We look around the home to check for cords or any other sort of fall hazard,” Hinton explained.
Even When Extensive Care Is Required, We Can Keep You “Right At Home.”
Some people do require extensive, at-home care due to injury or illness. But even then, Right at Home’s services usually are more inexpensive than an assisted living facility or a nursing home. Some people actually want to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home, as those facilities can provide comfort and a high level of socialization. If that is the case, then we certainly can assist them there as well. We can also work alongside a hospice or home health company to meet the client’s needs whether in home or facility.
“So many people are living longer, and the nursing homes are full,” Hinton said. “Everybody wants the greatest nursing homes, and there are often waiting lists. We can be everything the nursing home can be in most cases, but because we’re non-medical, we can’t give medications. We can remind them, however.”
Pharmacies like divvyDOSE accept most insurance plans and deliver pre-packaged daily dosages of a person’s medications and supplements to their door each month, no matter how many doctors are involved. divvyDOSE also has a caregiving mobile app that lets caregivers log in and make sure their clients or loved ones are being adherent to their medications. divvyDOSE is not yet available in Mississippi but is coming soon.
Sometimes, even when people are in an assisted living community, memory care facility, nursing home, or hospice, they want a higher level of care than the facility provides. Again, Right at Home can come into those places too, even if it just means sitting with someone and keeping them company. “We have caregivers that become very instrumental in our clients’ lives and also to the families, making forever great relationships,” Hinton said.
We’re Here to Keep You Active and Healthy—Not Just When You’re Sick.
That said, the idea of having a caregiver is to keep a person healthy in mind and body and active for as long as humanly possible. “Most people may live a very long time with quality care early on,” Hinton said. “We are here to improve their quality of life. People do not have to wait until they are sick to call us. We customize each client’s need to their wishes and benefit.
Having someone to prepare your meals, provide light housework, help you tend to your pets, and make sure your home is as safe as possible shouldn’t be considered a luxury—especially for aging Americans who may not have children with free time or a spouse to help them.
“When they read the prayer list at my church on Sunday, and I hear all the names of ones needing help, I refrain from standing up and saying, ‘Hey, I can help you,’” Hinton said. “But the fact is, our services really can provide most of the needs, including the prayer. We as a faith-based, family-oriented company do not deny that a life strong in faith embraced by those who genuinely care results in a more fulfilling life. We’re here to make sure people have quality of life for long as possible. Our mission is to add life to your years and joy to your days by keeping you feeling right at home.”
Right at Home can assist with companion care and other home healthcare needs for your senior. Together, we can be part of the loneliness and isolation cure for our nation’s invaluable older adults. “Our mission is to add LIFE to a loved one’s years and joy to their days by keeping them feeling RIGHT at HOME.”
For more information about Right at Home, contact Nicole Mathis Hinton at 601-426-6333 or 601-689-1360, or e-mail her at www.rahpinebelt.com.
Photo credits: FredFroese/iStock, Lesley Lister/iStock, KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock
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