Like many family members who oversee the caregiving of a loved one, Dorie Boyce found herself in a predicament. Her uncle Nicholas Campbell was a residential living resident at Abbey Delray South in Delray Beach, Florida, while she was based in Chicago. With more than 1,000 miles between them, closely monitoring his health and well-being was challenging. The situation became increasingly worrisome after Campbell had a bout with a kidney infection and the subsequent discovery he wasn’t taking his medications as prescribed.
Boyce flew down to Delray Beach to not only be by her uncle’s side but to find a solution for her concerns. After consulting with the care team at Abbey Delray South, she was introduced to Lifespace Personal Services, Lifespace Communities’ private duty home care program. The offering proved to be a blessing.
“Being so far away was difficult, especially during that time,” said Boyce, who, through Lifespace Personal Services, scheduled a drop-in twice a day to ensure Campbell was medicating accurately. “Having a caretaker stop by daily was especially crucial when the doctor made any changes to his prescriptions because they would monitor all the details for my uncle. It really helped regulate him because medication management wasn’t something he particularly wanted to do himself.”
This experience is common. Currently, more than 700 residential living Lifespace residents use Lifespace Personal Services for a variety of reasons, from basic tasks such as grocery shopping to more complex health care-related needs like Campbell’s. Each resident’s level of service is customized to their personal preferences and needs.
“The freedom of choice is one of our biggest draws,” explained Linda Humbert, Lifespace national director of home health, who spearheads Lifespace Personal Services. “Whatever their need is, we listen and cater our services accordingly. Our mission is to support residents and their families with successful aging at home.”
Humbert also highlighted various ways Lifespace Personal Services differs from other options available to residents. Unlike many private duty home care providers who require at least a three- to four-hour time commitment for their assistance, Lifespace Personal Services has a minimum of only one hour. Services are also provided by Lifespace team members instead of independent contractors, assuring quality because the organization itself is responsible for screening, training, supervision, and the regulatory and tax liabilities related to the program. And while Lifespace Personal Services carries a fee, the money remains within Lifespace Communities, where it helps enhance and sustain the offering.
“When you hire a private agency or individual for home care, you take on the liability that comes with that,” explained Humbert. “Trust is paramount, so our program is designed to give residents and their loved ones peace of mind knowing we are fully invested in every aspect of Lifespace Personal Services.”
This approach was a major draw for Boyce, who enrolled Campbell in the program for three years. As his needs changed with time, so did the services she procured on his behalf. The twice-a-day drop-ins evolved to four hours of home care assistance, then 12 hours, and eventually 24 hours a day.
“The nurses on hand were great about giving me updates on his well-being throughout the whole process,” said Boyce. “We had a very good relationship. Little things like having someone to go in and keep him company, make sure he didn’t fall, and that he was eating well went a long way.”
While her uncle has since passed, Boyce continues to be a strong advocate for Lifespace Personal Services because of the impact it had on her and her loved ones. “Having care provided by the community and having the billing handled in-house made it relatively easy,” she said. “Having eyes and ears down there on my behalf was priceless.”
Editor’s note: Lifespace Personal Services is currently offered at eight Lifespace communities — Abbey Delray, Abbey Delray South, Beacon Hill, Deerfield, Friendship Village of Bloomington, Harbour’s Edge, The Waterford, and Village on the Green. The program will be expanded to Friendship Village of South Hills beginning spring 2019.
[In photo: (left to right) Registered Nurse Louisanne Fleurissaint, resident Rachel Gold and social services director Nicole Milsted mingle at an event held at Abbey Delray South.]
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