As parents or grandparents age and the choice between homecare or a nursing home arises, it isn’t very hard to anticipate which way a senior will likely lean. “Homecare feels more dignified,” says Rosa Barksdale of Barksdale Home Care Services in Pelham, but dignity these days may seem to be unattainable dollar wise.
On the contrary, says the founder and CEO, “It’s less expensive, and the trend is definitely toward staying in the home – providing the care and recreational needs,” she says. “Barksdale can resolve most of the issues that come along with this change of life.”
Barksdale’s intervention usually begins through a hospital or physician’s referral. Required through the New York State Department of Health, says Ms. Barksdale, “We get the doctor’s orders, he tells us the plan of care we must carry out, and we do that.”
Moving forward, Barksdale Home Care has an ongoing consultation to make sure medical changes from the referring institutions accompany a client’s daily living situation. “We interact with them on a monthly basis,” she says, as Home Health Aides follow the directives of doctors and registered nurses, she adds.
Of course, many times when home care suddenly bears down on a family, they seek home health aides through word of mouth or family connections. Ms. Barksdale’s recommendation is to go through an agency such as hers. Besides being bonded and insured, trained and competent, Barksdale can guarantee 100% attendance. “The client doesn’t have to worry about no shows and that’s a big problem,” she says – especially if you’ve got to go to work, she adds.
All that aside, Ms. Barksdale, in hiring aides, looks first for one important characteristic that is central to the job requirements. “What we want to make sure of is the aide compassionate,” she says, and the necessary patience needed to nurture and care flows from there, adds Barksdale.
But Barksdale doesn’t only limit its services to seniors. For instance, she says, “We take families that have disabled children, and we go in and provide care.”
They’ll get the child ready for school and drop them off. Later, they’ll return for another shift, pick up the child, help them with their homework and get them ready for dinner before the parent comes home.
Of her aides, she says, “these are very special people that really have to be trustworthy, knowledgeable, loyal and dependable, and we are responsible that they get ongoing training so they are empowered to render this service for the client.”
Still, people out there have doubts as to whether they can afford home care. What families learn is a lot of times care comes down to having an aide their only 20 hours a week to help with simple things like preparing meals, administrating medication and helping with showering and dressing. Nonetheless, she says, “If someone says they can’t afford it what we usually do is ask them where the cost is coming from. Then we try to look at that cost and see what we can do to providing some kind of service.”
In worse cases, where care isn’t affordable, Barksdale makes sure to get them in touch with the appropriate government agencies. Once those issues are worked out with social services, she says, “Families ask back for us since they weren’t left in a lurch in their time of need.”
And after 27 years, rising to the daily challenge comes as easy today as it did when she began. Dotting our i’s, crossing our t’s and going above and beyond, she says, “I’m driven to come here every day because I feel I’m making a difference and providing a service that is needed so much in a community that I love.”
Rich Monetti interview of Rosa Barksdale