By Joyce Wayne
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been giving future healthcare considerations serious thought lately. Beside my townhouse in Oakville, a new long-term care facility is under construction. There are already two large facilities within walking distance and another one slated to start construction nearby. The thing is, life in a long-term care facility or retirement home doesn’t appeal to me.
That was when I spoke to Lauren Moses, Vice-President of operations at Home Concierge. Lauren has a degree in nursing and has worked in the field for 23 years. Home Concierge, as the name suggests, is devoted to healthcare and good living in the home. The organization refers to its clients as members. “It’s about the experience and the relationship with our members,” explains Moses, who describes the private service, not as a “time for tasks,” job in a member’s home, but a holistic experience that goes beyond day-to-day tasks. “The member is at the centre of the experience.”
Moses suggests that when older adults reach the age of 70, it’s a perfect time to plan ahead and research the types of health care you’d prefer as they age. “It’s prudent to plan ahead and not to wait until the situation is difficult,” she says, after which she describes the variety of services Home Concierge offers, starting with companionship and including everything from escorting members to medical appointments to doing the laundry and grocery shopping to bringing members home from the hospital. She includes the usual tasks considered a part of home health care, such as light cleaning, meal creation, bathing and medical assistance.
I appreciate that Home Concierge can be at your home for as little as once a month to as much as 24/7 care. You’re able to decide what level of contact suits you best. “Our service allows you to age in place, in your own home,” Moses says. “It isn’t constructed to remove your independence or make you dependent.”
How to choose a Home Care Provider
When considering the terms of any home care service provider, Moses lists the following:
- Careful and comprehensive safety measures offered by the provider.
- Level of care. Can the provider customize your care? Do you require a companion, a PSW, or a nurse and how often and for how long?
- An ample lead time to cancel appointments.
- A provider that is available 24/7.
- Cohesion between the member and the caregiver.
- The reputation of the provider.
- How quickly the provider can accommodate your needs and requests for service.
- Find out if the provider offers a plan for improvement or recovery.
- A consistent relationship with a care provider, be she/he a companion, a certified PSW or a nurse.
Home Concierge Health Care Services
I appreciate that this thoughtful list gives the older adult time to consider whom to hire, what level of care is required, and how that level of care can change over time. It emphasizes the importance of building a solid relationship with your caregiver. And I was pleasantly surprised by Home Concierge’s rates:
For a PSW: $38 per hour with a 3-hour minimum
For a companion: $36 per hour
For a Register Practical Nurse (RPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN): $60-$80 per hour
Moses remarks, “You don’t need to be wealthy to hire these services. For $114 for three hours, a PSW can come to your home, prepare meals, bathe you and do the laundry.”
Services at Home Concierge are flexible and can be added or deleted according to the member’s choice. Moses stresses that the company does not rely on a “time for tasks” homecare model, but on a holistic healthcare model that places the member at the centre of the time spent together. Each member of her staff is a certified PSW with up-to-date immunizations, a certified graduate of a college program, and trained in CPR and first aid procedures. They are also insured, so should any accident occur in your home, they are covered for liability.
Home Concierge services stretch west to London, north to Barrie and east to Ottawa, with the majority of members residing in and around the Greater Toronto Area.
The evening after interviewing Lauren Moses, I mentioned to my husband that I’d discovered a viable and attractive plan for our future healthcare needs, as they arise. We could stay in our home, which we love, and have Home Concierge come to us rather than leaving our home when the situation calls for support. Home Concierge can even do a monthly assessment of heart, lungs, and general good health checks to remove the need to wait in your doctor’s office. I appreciate the importance of being picked up after a health procedure in a clinic or a hospital and having a PSW attend to my needs afterward.
These services are flexible and can be used only when you need them or when you’re ready for support. I slept soundly after my interview with Moses, understanding that there are good alternatives to long-term care facilities or trying to make do on your own.