All Posts in Category: Home Health Companions

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How to Find Joy in Your Career as a Home Health CNA or Caregiver

August is Happiness Happens Month! For the next few weeks, we want to celebrate anything that makes you happy — including the joys of caregiving!

Of course, there’s more to life than work. But when you spend a great deal of time dedicated to your career, it’s essential to find happiness in it — even joy in it. Studies show that over half of the employees in the U.S. feel a sense of identity in their jobs.

 Why not make this sense of identity joyful?

 When you find meaning and passion in what you do, you can grow both personally and professionally.

3 Ways to Find Joy as a Home Health CNA in Dallas

You spark joy for your amazing clients each day. Now, we want to bring you joy each day! Here are three ways to find joy in your career as a home health CNA, caregiver, or nurse.

1. Build a relationship with your home health clients.

One of the most meaningful parts of being a home health CNA or caregiver is being able to make an authentic difference in the lives of others. You travel to their homes each day to provide comfort, relief, and support. This means the world to them.

As you connect with clients, you can find more joy.

Laugh with them. Learn from them! The wisdom of older adults is remarkable. Take time to get to know them, their story, and their lives — and you’ll never be the same.

2. Set goals for your home health career.

Goal-setting isn’t just for productivity. It’s for happiness!

Growing as an individual, caregiver, and coworker empowers a sense of satisfaction and meaning that motivates you to continue on.

Make a habit of setting goals for your home health career, whether specializing in an area of care, continuing your education, or learning something new. Aim for both short-term and long-term goals to build momentum and stride toward your exciting future.

3. Care for yourself, too.

You’ve heard the saying before:

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

 It’s true. As a home health CNA, you spend your days caring for others. This brings a sense of joy and fulfillment on its own.

But if you forget to take care of yourself, you can easily find yourself burnt out and exhausted. Don’t forget to extend the same care and love to yourself as you do your clients.

Find a Joyful Career as a Home Health CNA in Dallas

 In the end, there are three main ingredients to creating a joyful home health career:

  1. Building meaningful connections and relationships.
  2. Growing personally and professionally.
  3. Finding balance through it all.

At Home Health Companions, we’re on a mission to create an environment that empowers all three! Our goal is to help home health CNAs, nurses, and caregivers further their careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities like our recently established Home Health Companions University.

Want to join a team that makes a difference each day? Explore our fulfilling home health career openings here, and apply today!

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Psoriasis Action Month: What Caregivers can do to Support Patients

August is Psoriasis Action Month, and we wanted to take a moment to support our clients, family members, and loved ones affected by this condition each day.

If you aren’t familiar, psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It causes itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin, often affecting older adults.

With over 8 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with psoriasis, we’re here to take action. Here’s what caregivers, CNAs, and nurses can do to support clients with psoriasis this month and every month.

Tips for Supporting Psoriasis Care as a Caregiver

Support Healthy Diet & Exercise Habits

As a caregiver, you can best support your clients by helping them understand how the disease impacts their bodies and lifestyle. Encourage them to support their skin health and reduce inflammation with a healthy, nutritious diet and simple exercise routines.

Ask About Medication Reactions

Some medications can irritate symptoms and trigger reactions in psoriasis patients. Sit down and talk about how they’re responding to the medications they’re on. If they’re experiencing any discomfort, pass this information on to their doctors.

Limit Stress & Encourage Self-care

Psoriasis isn’t just a skin condition — it affects a patient’s quality of life. Sometimes, it can hurt one’s self-esteem and functioning, leading to anxiety and depression.

One of the best things you can do is to practice empathy and be there for your clients. Help them cope with their symptoms and advocate for their needs by creating a low-stress environment and encouraging self-care.

Learn More About Psoriasis Care & Take Action

Healthcare is all about taking action — and no one teaches us this better than our inspiring caregivers, CNAs, and nurses at Home Health Companions.

This month, we urge you to learn more about psoriasis and how it affects your clients. As you do so, you can truly make a difference in the lives of others and discover even more satisfaction in your career.

Want to work with a team that makes a difference every day? We’re always looking for new caregivers to join our amazing team.

Learn more about our job openings here!

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Home Health Caregiver Heat Stroke Tips

5 Summer Heat Tips for Caregivers in Dallas

Let’s face it — summers in Dallas are hot!

While the rest of the year is perfect, we prefer to stay cool inside for most of July and August. Still, as a home health nurse, CNA, or caregiver in Dallas, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect not only your clients but yourself from heat exhaustion.

5 Tips for Home Health CNAs to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dallas

Summer is for self-care! With just a bit of planning and preparation, you can feel calm, cool, and confident as you care for yourself and your clients.

To help, we’ve researched 5 tips for home health CNAs and caregivers in Dallas:

  1. Increase your water intake. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Make a habit of carrying around a refillable water bottle: one for you and one for your client.
  2. Dress in lightweight clothing. Comfort is key. Opt for lightweight scrubs to keep cool as you move around throughout the day. Encourage your client to dress in loose, breathable fabrics to help regulate their temperature.
  3. Take advantage of early mornings. Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is vital, not just for your physical health but for your mental health. Enjoy the early morning’s cooler temperatures, whether going for a morning stroll before work or eating breakfast outside with your client.
  4. Help keep their home comfortable. Make a habit of checking on the thermostat when you arrive at your client’s home, throughout the day, and before leaving. Keeping fans on, an air conditioning set, and curtains closed during the afternoon can help their home feel cool and comfortable.
  5. Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke and exhaustion aren’t to be taken lightly. Knowing the signs of heat stroke can save a life and prevent illness in yourself and your client.

If you or your client are overheated and start developing a headache, nausea, dizziness, or fever, check your temperature and apply emergency heat procedures immediately.

More Than Just Heat Tips for Caregivers in Dallas

While these summer months can get a bit sweltering, following these simple, effective heat tips for caregivers in Dallas can keep you and your clients cool, safe, and healthy.

By caring for yourself, you can better take care of your clients. During these summer at Home Health Companions, our goal is to care for our clients and staff with respect, honor, and compassion.

We’re honored to have earned recognition from our employers and clients as a Best of Home Care Employer for 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. It’s all thanks to our amazing team and their continued dedication and hard work day after day. They truly prove healthcare workers are heroes!

Suppose you’re interested in joining our Home Health Companions team. In that case, we’re always looking to help more CNAs further their home health careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities. Want to learn more about our benefits? Click here to apply and learn more!

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Happy CNA Week! Why it’s a Great Time to Be a Home Health CNA

June 16th is National CNA Day, and there’s a reason we’re celebrating all week long.

This CNA Week, we’re honoring the incredible impact our home-health nursing assistants have had on our clients – not just this year, but over the past two years.

2022 CNA Day Theme: “I’m Still Standing.”

CNAs made it through these “unprecedented times” like it’s nobody’s business. They kept family members’ parents, grandparents, and loved ones company during a time of social distancing and loneliness. Day after day, they not only cared for the health of our clients, but they lifted their spirits!

And in the words of Elton John, they’re still standing.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that because of these efforts, there’s never been a greater time to be a home health CNA.

In honor of CNA Day, we’ll list just a few reasons nursing assistants are choosing home health career paths:

Why CNAs are Choosing a Career in Home Health

It’s easy to develop more personal relationships.

It’s easier to create a more natural, personal relationship with a client when you’re caring for them in the comfort of their home. This can help you leave a greater impact and find meaning in every day.

There’s a high demand for CNAs.

Right now, there’s a strong need for home health CNAs, creating promising job security. By choosing this path, you’ll make a difference in your career and in the life of others.

Which means excellent pay!

High demand = high rewards! We help CNAs further their home health careers while enjoying competitive pay, benefits, and continuing education opportunities, like our recently established Home Health Companions University.

At Home Health Companions, we’re celebrating CNA Week by offering exceptional pay, benefits, and flexibility to potential CNAs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re ready to work with you to find the perfect schedule to reach your career goals.

To be honest, we think it should be CNA Day every day at Home Health Companions. Learn more about how you can join our all-star team today!

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Home Health Companions Wishes You a Happy Nurses Week

Today commences National Nurses Week, where we honor the care, compassion and dedication nurses provide to their patients and families every day. Take a moment this week to recognize a nurse that has made an impact in your life. Home Health Companions wants to thank our very own home health nurses that work so hard to provide exceptional care to our clients.

When was the first National Nurses Week?

President Richard Nixon chose to recognize the National Nurses Week in 1974 via a proclamation, and the main focus was to show the true importance of caregivers all over the country. In that same year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) declared May 12th Florence Nightingale’s birthday, International Nurses Day. Now every year, Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was an English nurse named to be the founder of modern medicine and this holiday pays homage to the one that paved the way for so many nurses.

Why is National Nurses Week so important?

Nurses are on the frontline of care and there are not enough words to begin to thank them for their impact on the lives of so many. This Nurses Week show your appreciation by writing a handwritten note, providing lunch/dinner or giving small donations or gifts. These are just small tokens of gratitude and a way to recognize them for all their hard work and commitment to helping others get better and maintain a good health.

Thank You Nurses from Home Health Companions

We want to thank you for your hard work and the dedication you show when it comes to helping other people and serving the needs of clients. We know that the world would be a lot different and some of us wouldn’t be here without your hard work and commitment. We want to send a special thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Home Health Companions is always looking for more compassionate and dedicated nurses. See our latest home health nurse jobs and join our team!

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8 Qualities & Characteristics that Define a Caregiver

Being a caregiver is an incredibly rewarding experience that can offer many amazing benefits. From the sense of satisfaction, you get from helping someone in need to the strengthened bond you form with the person you’re caring for, there are plenty of reasons to be proud of being a caregiver. Here are just a few of the reasons why caregivers are amazing people:

1. Constantly Giving of Themselves

Caregivers are always putting the needs of others before their own. They’re always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it’s running errands, cooking meals, providing transportation, or simply being a companion. This selfless attitude is one of the most admirable qualities a person can have.

2. Great Communicators

Caregivers know how to communicate effectively with the people in which they are providing care. They understand that different people have different communication needs, and they’re able to adjust their style accordingly. This ability to communicate clearly is essential in providing quality care.

3. Have a Lot of Patience

Caregivers know that some days are going to be more challenging than others but the patience shown when faced with opposition is unmatched. This patience is often very helpful in diffusing difficult situations.

4. Flexible

Caregivers are flexible people who are able to adapt to changing circumstances. They’re able to roll with the punches and make necessary adjustments on the fly. This ability to go with the flow is a valuable asset in any caregiver’s toolkit.

5. Have a Positive Outlook

Caregivers understand that there will be good days and bad days. They try to focus on the positive and find the silver lining in every situation. This positive outlook is contagious and can often help the people they’re caring for feel better about themselves.

6. They are Resourceful

Caregivers are always looking for new ways to help their patients. They’re constantly researching new resources and keeping up with the latest developments in home health care. This resourcefulness is invaluable in providing quality patient care.

7. Caregivers are Strong

Caregivers are some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet. They have to be because they deal with challenging situations on a daily basis. They have to be strong for not only their patients but their patients’ families as well, even when they don’t feel like it themselves.

8. Compassionate

Caregivers are some of the most compassionate people one can ever encounter. They genuinely care about the people and have a desire to make their lives as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. This compassion is one of the key defining characteristics of a caregiver.

 

Why You Should Consider a Career as a Caregiver

Caregivers play an important role in the lives of their patients. They provide physical and emotional support, which can make all the difference in the world for patients who are battling illnesses or injuries. Caregivers are also vital for providing continuity of care, which can be crucial for patients who are recovering from surgery or a long hospital stay.

Becoming a caregiver can be a rewarding experience, both professionally and personally. If you have a passion for helping others and want to make a difference in the lives of those around you, then becoming a caregiver may be the perfect career choice for you. Here’s why:

1. Sense of Accomplishment

Caregivers generally report feeling a great sense of accomplishment from the work they do. This is likely because caregiving requires a high level of compassion and empathy, which are two traits that can be difficult to find. In addition, caregivers often report feeling a deep sense of satisfaction from knowing that they are helping others on a daily basis.

2. Build Close Relationships

There are many other reasons why someone might want to become a caregiver. For example, caregivers often have the opportunity to build close relationships with those they care for. This can be a very rewarding experience, as it allows caregivers to really get to know the people they are helping. In addition, caregivers often have flexible schedules, which can be a great perk for those with busy lives.

3. Make A Difference

Caregivers have the opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life. They are the unsung heroes of the world, and they are essential in helping those who need it the most.

When you become a caregiver, you can help people with their activities of daily living, and you can provide them with companionship and support. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and it can make a significant difference in their lives.

4. Great Way to Give Back

When you become a caregiver, you can use your skills to help others. You can provide them with companionship, support, and care. Caregiving is a great way to give back because it provides an opportunity to make a real difference in someone else’s life.

It can be extremely rewarding to help another person manage their illness, recover from surgery, or simply listen when needed. Caregiving also allows you to build strong relationships and create lasting memories.

5. A Rewarding Experience

When it comes to finding a career that is fulfilling, many people may overlook the option of becoming a caregiver. However, this is an incredibly rewarding profession that allows you to become part of a new family and experience what it’s like to dedicate your life to others.

 

Join Our Team as a Caregiver

Caring for someone is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. The sense of satisfaction you get from helping someone in need and the strengthened bond you form with the person you’re caring for are just a few of the reasons why caregivers are amazing people.

If being a caregiver sounds like something you’d be interested in, join us now and become part of our team of dedicated and passionate individuals. We’re always looking for new members who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Check out our home health careers and apply today!

 

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Why You Should Consider a Career in Healthcare Recruitment

Are you seeking a career where you have the potential to impact the lives of caregivers and their patients? Consider a rewarding career as a home health recruiter and care coordinator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall career growth in healthcare is estimated to grow 16 percent by the year 2030. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, there will be an even great need for healthcare recruiters to help match qualified caregivers to amazing career opportunities. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider a career in home health recruiting.

 

Benefits of Being a Home Health Recruiter

Potential to Grow

Health care is continually evolving. One of the many things we’ve learned from the pandemic is that change is necessary and so is innovation. As a result, new health care roles were introduced and other health care roles grew in importance, like home health caregivers. The innovation and evolution of healthcare will continue to drive the career growth of home health recruiters. As the home health landscape changes and the U.S. population continues to age, we will always need great recruiters to help us find spectacular caregivers to be companions to our clients.

Make a Real Impact

Help caregivers find their dream job while ultimately helping patients find amazing companions. In your role as a home health recruiter, your ability to help caregivers has the potential to change their career trajectory. Many caregivers have done extensive training with plans to continue their education to go on to be a nurse. Others might have become caregivers by having to care for their loved ones. Either way, there’s an opportunity to help these health professionals throughout every step of their career. You can take pride in knowing by helping these professionals, you are potentially saving lives.

Build Lasting Relationships

As a home health recruiter, you will connect with a number of professionals with the potential to build lasting relationships. You will not only recruit exceptional caregivers but you will also schedule care givers to fulfill client needs. This will help forge real relationships and possibly friendships as you are matching the needs of the care givers with client’s needs.

We’re Hiring

As you can see, the benefits add up as you dive deep into this career. If you’re interested in making an impact while furthering your career in home health, apply today for the home health recruiter and care coordinator job at Home Health Companions.

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Home Health Companions Receives 2022 Best of Home Care® – Employer of Choice Award

It’s official! Home Health Companions is excited to announce that we have received the 2022 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse for the fourth year. The Employer of Choice Award is granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. Home Health Companions is recognized among the best employers of in-home caregivers in the region.

“We’re excited to congratulate Home Health Companions for their well-deserved achievement: earning the Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award,” says Todd Austin, President of Home Care Pulse. “Since this award is based on employee feedback, it shows the dedication Home Health Companions has to providing their employees with a great working experience, ensuring clients have well-trained, compassionate caregivers.”

Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice award-winning providers work with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it is able to collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as a Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice for the fourth year,” says Lisa Shardon, President of Home Health Companions. “This award is a testament of how we continue to support our employees and provide opportunities for growth like our Home Health Companions University and Concierge caregiver program.”

We’re Hiring!

Find out why our caregivers love working for Home Health Companions, explore our careers here.

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Wound Care: Prevention and Management of Chronic Wounds

Wound Care 

What does Home Health Companion provide for wound care, and why is it important? 

A wound is created from an internal or external break in the body’s tissue. Almost everyone has had a laceration, avulsion, abrasion, or puncture, whether minor or severe, but how it is cared for determines how well this wound will heal.  

Each wound requires a different level of care; some can be treated at home, and others may need the attention of doctors or trained personnel. Treatments range from many approaches such as debriding, removing stitches, taking pain medication to handle the pain, plus bandage changes, and more.  

Treatment is necessary to prevent infections due to improper care and neglect of the appropriate steps to ensure the area is cleaned and bandaged, depending on the type of wound. Injuries affect both the younger and older demographic, but members of the aging population are at a more significant disadvantage. Severe wounds may be caused by heart transplants or hip replacements that are more popular amongst older individuals but do not exclude the younger demographic in cases like these or other instances. Full-time or part-time care is needed. However, finding a suitable facility to provide the help necessary can be very tedious.  

Advantages of Wound Care: 

  • It reduces the risk of infections (Necrotizing fasciitis & Cellulitis) 
  • It helps to make healing faster  
  • It allows better medication and pain management 
  • It tracks the healing progress 
  • It helps in regaining full mobility 
  • Limits possibility of the wound having to be reopened 

 

Any facility can provide care, but Home Health Companions offers the best care with trained personnel to ensure each client receives the care their injury requires. The severity of a wound determines the level of attention a wound will need, especially if it needs to remain open, with HHC for wound care includes: 

  • Bandage changes to keep the area clean while it heals 
  • Debriding/ cleaning the wound  
  • Monitoring the healing process 
  • Medication management  
  • Helping with household chores to ensure the wound doesn’t require strenuous activity. 
  • Checking for infections or signs of infection  

 

When you want the best care to heal or even help you or a family member throughout the healing process, choose Home Health Companions. We are trained, and above all, we want to see you get better for yourself and the people that care about you.  

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Team Demonstrates How an Inc. 5000 Company Works in Times of COVID-19

Home Health Companions has been recognized multiple years as one of Inc. 5000’s “most inspiring companies,” and in the days of COVID-19, anything inspiring can do us well. The company has lifted its employees up and served its clients in innovative ways in times of pandemic, and now, the team has been recognized again in 2021 as one of #Inc5000Regionals.

Inc 5000 Regionals TX Social Image 3

The story behind this home health care provider in Dallas, Texas is an inspiring one, and the company’s response to the pandemic the last 12 months has been as impactful as it has been moving.

The whole world is living through trying times. Though, for Home Health Companions’ primary clients (elders who live at home, often without caregivers living with them), the COVID-19 era has been even more challenging. This generation has faced challenges before, but no one alive today has seen life shut down to the extent it has during the pandemic.

Home Health Companions has stood out thanks to its home care services, its focus on companionship and combatting isolation, and its unique initiatives to offset specific challenges the pandemic has brought to their clients and the company’s employees.

 

An Inspired Initiative

Home Health Companions was founded in 2011 as a licensed home care provider that also focuses on providing the companionship and advocacy its clients need.

Over its first several years in business, the company added more services and staff based on client needs. Come 2020, a pandemic was the last thing anyone expected. Home Health Companion’s response is what has set the company apart, and ultimately what led to the Inc. 5000 recognition.

 

Home Health Companion’s Response to COVID-19

Home Health Companions had to make immediate operational and structural adjustments at the start of the pandemic to continue serving their at-risk client base. These changes included rigorous infection and screening protocols as well as compliance with the ever-evolving CDC and HHS guidelines.

Meeting these new standards, however, was all reactionary. It was not the kind of proactive, forward-facing change that leaders at the company believed were necessary in order to get ahead of the problem before the disease impacted clients and staff in more terrible ways.

The company quickly rolled out a new initiative called Home Health Companions University. With over 51 hours of available training, company employees received paid education to provide greater and safer service. The continuing education hours gave staff the opportunity to keep working safely while also moving forward in their careers.

There’s a greater need now than ever for home health care. And in light of the “new normal” we’ve all come to know, this need has reached a point of absolute urgency in Dallas and throughout the country. Home Health Companions stands out as a company who not only reacts to the needs of the community, but who also sets new standards of innovation, service and education.

The Inc. 5000 recognition has rightly showcased Home Health Companions as an inspirational business, and the team is committed to see that tradition continue.

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Home Health Companions Awarded “Best of Home Care Employer of Choice” Award—Again

Recognition is hard to come by at times. And in the healthcare field in the era of Covid, pure exhaustion has riddled frontline workers with new and urgent needs from their employers in order to simply do their jobs. Home Health Companions stepped up to ensure the well-being of their caregivers, and now we’ve been awarded for it.

Employer_of_Choice_2021

The 2021 Best of Home Care Employer of Choice awards have just been announced, and for a third year Home Health Companions has been recognized as a “best of” employer.

The Best of Home Care Employer award gathers ratings from both clients and caregivers. It is described as a “badge of trust” that tells prospective employees that the business treats every stakeholder with the highest level of integrity.

When asked about the award, President and CEO Lisa Shardon said, “We’re honored, of course. Getting this recognition comes straight from the hearts of our clients and the caregivers on our team. Having received this award three years now, that leaves me confident that our efforts to support, educate and take care of our staff are really getting through.”

The efforts to educate, in particular, have garnered much attention recently at Home Health Companions. In the middle of 2020, as care providers worldwide were struggling under the weight of Covid-era demands, one of Shardon’s most impactful initiatives at the company was an internal one. She worked with the leadership team to create an on-demand “university” of training to give staff more tools and opportunity to move forward, and greater confidence in a wide array of clinical topics.

What does it mean to be a 2021 “best of” employer?

The Employer of Choice award starts with happy caregivers. The employer—in this case, Home Health Companions—is recognized for excellent caregiver satisfaction ratings, which typically go hand-in-hand with greater company efficiencies, client satisfaction, and clinical results as well.

This caregiver feedback is collected each year by an independent satisfaction research firm called Home Care Plus. A minimum of 10% of current caregivers must be surveyed for a company to qualify.

We’re Hiring, Too!

Home Health Companions has now been recognized in 2018, 2019 and 2021 as a “best of” employer. And to the luck of all industry professionals who are looking for a supportive and future-facing work environment, we’re hiring for several positions. Visit our Careers Page to see all open roles!

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Nurses, Caregivers and CNAs: Boost Your Confidence for Your Interview

For any recent grads in nursing, CNA programs or like studies, you’ve accomplished something significant by completing your education and training. Now, it’s time to apply for positions and prepare for the interviews.

The great news is that you are—and will always be—in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the growth of these fields is greater than the average for all occupations, and is expected to increase by another 11% between now and 2026.

Whether this is your first job or a career change, you’ll want to put your best foot forward to apply, interview, and secure the position you want. It’s understandable that you might feel nervous 

2020-Q4-Nurses-1-Boost Confidence For Your CNA Interview 2

about the job hunt, but if you prepare in advance, you’ll feel be confident and stand out as a good candidate. 

In this post we’ll share key tips to note for online job applications, how to prepare for your job interview, and how to follow up once you meet with a prospective employer. And don’t forget—Home Health Companions is hiring, too!

Prep for online application processes

Job seekers and employers are online these days with a number of portals used to communicate. Often, human resource departments use these services like Indeed and Glassdoor to help them quickly select the most qualified candidates for their needs.

You can check out a list of job services over at the The Balance Careers article featuring the top 10 and determine which platform you like best as a job hunter. Ideally, start with one or two and become familiar with how to craft and load your resume before applying for several positions in their system. 

No matter the platform, you’ll start by writing or loading your general resume. This should include dates and descriptions of prior jobs, as well as a list or description of the skills you used in that role. You can also include a separate list of general or specific skills you acquired in training and your education. Use this information to create specific resumes for each application you complete based on the description of a position provided by the employer (selecting or reworking your skills to reflect the skills asked for in the job description). 

Along with your resume, you might be asked to include a list of up to three references. Prepare your list in advance by asking permission from your sources and collecting their preferred email addresses and phone numbers. References can be your instructors, supervisors, managers and co-workers from your past jobs, and even people you know through volunteer activities.

Use your descriptive words! Human Resource staff use online job search tools to help them target applicants who are the best fit for a position. By using popular keywords (which you can glean from existing job posts), these online portals help HR departments discover you.

In addition to job search websites, you can also look for positions for specific business and facilities where you may want to work. Perhaps your training took place in a particular hospital or nursing home that has their own human resources department. Be sure to check out these locations for the jobs they post on their website.

Consider the type of care you would like to do, then search for opportunities in your area that match your interest. Perhaps you would like to work for an in-home service such as Home Health Companions, so check out the websites of employers for open positions as well. Word-of-mouth from your instructor and classmates can also alert you to job opportunities as well, so let others know you are seeking a job.

Stand out with a cover letter. Many applicants fail to write a cover letter to include with their resume submissions. This is your chance to, once again, use key words and your specific message as to why you believe you’re a good candidate for each job. Write a standard cover letter and then modify it for the specific application. Be sure to personalize it to the primary contact person for the position as advertised with details. 

The biggest hurdle for most job seekers is overcoming the reality that seeking a job is a process of marketing one’s self. Consider this activity a chance to explore and find your best opportunity, and be honest and strategic when describing the skills and training you’ve accumulated to this point. Don’t be shy, and don’t sell yourself short!

Prepare for the interview

Once you’ve got an interview scheduled, it’s time to do a bit of preparation homework. Be sure to ask your scheduler what you should expect for the interview. Take a look at the facility’s website, too, and familiarize yourself with their mission and who they serve.

If you know someone else who works for that employer, ask them about their experience. Many of the online job searches also provide feedback from employees as well.

It’s understandable that you might be nervous as you prepare for your interview, but remember: it’s an opportunity for both you and the employer to explore what’s possible. Employers seek people who will represent their mission in a positive manner, and you want to do work that is suited to your skills and interests so you can enjoy it and get paid!

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On the day of an interview, arrive a few minutes early so you feel comfortable in the space. Bring a copy of your resume and any other documentation that details your training. Dress in professional-but-comfortable clothing that helps you feel and look your best.

Each employer is looking to see what you know, what you’re willing to learn, and why you want to work for them. They will ask you questions to get to learn about you and your work ethic. They are trying to determine if you are reliable and can be trained for what you don’t know, so be candid about areas of weakness and demonstrate examples of your ability to be learn.

An internet search will bring up a number of articles and videos featuring the types of questions you might be asked during an interview. Over at CNA Classes Near You, they offer a concise look at some common questions you’ll want to consider as you prepare in advance. Take some time to practice your answers, but realize that the questions will vary and your comments should be specific and authentic to whatever is asked. Take a few moments during the interview to reflect on the questions, and make your answers specific to the position.

At the close of the interview, be sure to ask at least one question about their facility and the importance of the position in helping them serve their clients. You might also ask about their 

2020-Q4-Nurses-1-Boost Confidence For Your CNA Interview 4

management philosophy, the rate of turnover, or educational opportunities. Do ask about next steps in the interview process, too, such as a possible second interview or a skill demonstration, and get the interviewer’s email address.

A brief “thank you.” An overlooked finish to an interview is the follow-up of a thank you. Send a brief email thanking the interviewer for his or her time and take the chance to state your genuine interest in the position.

Your career is your ticket to bigger things

You’ve made it to the point that you’re working or ready to work in the field. Your skills and knowledge are in demand. Remember: your work is a reflection of your belief that you have values and skills that merit attention and income.

Whether being a nurse, caregiver or CNA is your stepping-off point to other roles in the healthcare field or the position you plan to do for some time, you want a work-life balance that suits you and makes you feel that your efforts matter. A confident beginning with an employer can set the stage to a satisfying experience in your work, and help you advance your career into the future.

Bibliography:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-best-job-websites-2064080

http://www.homehealthcompanions.com/careers

https://cnaclassesnearyou.com/prepare-cna-job-interview/?doing_wp_cron=1601900470.5617818832397460937500

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Is it Loneliness? Recognize the Possible Signs of Silent Suffering

John Prine’s beautiful song “Hello in There” details the story of a man who has lived many years. As the song unfolds, we learn that his wife has died, the kids have moved away, and he has even outlived one son who died in the Korean War. 

The chorus speaks to the reality of what it is to be human and to age. Trees grow stronger, rivers wilder, but sometimes old people just grow lonesome. And with each passing day, as time moves ever so slowly, a person left alone simply waits for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.” 

2020-Q3-Nurses 3-Is It Loneliness 1Although Prine wrote the song when he was 22, his insights into one of the more insidious issues of aging rings true. In the United States, the reality of living alone and becoming isolated go hand-in-hand for many seniors. Per Merck Manuels, “Nearly 29% of the 46 million community-dwelling older adults live alone. About half of the community-dwelling oldest old (>85 years) live alone, and about 70% of older people living alone are women, and 46% of all women age >75 years live alone.” 

But being alone and isolated does not always equate with the state of feeling lonely. In this post, we’ll make the distinction, then highlight the underlying health impacts and call out some of the signals you can look for as a health care provider.

A Silent Threat

Being able to articulate a sense of loneliness is a two-part problem. Someone can be feeling it, but be unable to explain the “what” and “why” of the experience. And honestly, even uttering that we feel lonely comes with negative connotations that we’re some sort of social failure. 

In the fascinating article “Is There a Medical Cure for Loneliness?” over at AARP, author Lynn Darling explains how loneliness is primal. We were built to respond negatively to being on our own. At a cellular level, alarms go off. 

Darling details how scientist Steve Cole looked at the white blood cells of people who had expressed dealing with long bouts of loneliness, and discovered that their cells “appeared to be in a state of high alert, responding the way they would to a bacterial infection. It was as though the subject’s body were under mortal assault by disease—the disease of loneliness.” 2020-Q3-Nurses 3-Is It Loneliness 2

This biological response to loneliness makes all the sense in the world given that we are social beings. We need to feel connected and have purpose that is assigned, shared and recognized by others. Loneliness is indeed a disease all its own with a reported impact of nearly one-third of all adults over the age of 45 reporting feeling lonely. 

And for older adults over the age of 65, and more reasons people live alone such as the loss of a spouse, plus the onset of health issues like diminished hearing and eyesight, loneliness is at its worst. Loneliness comes more often when people have diminished social contact and are more isolated from daily activities and interactions. This happens more often with older adults. 

2020-Q3-Nurses 3-Is It Loneliness 3

Is it any wonder that such a notable biological response would impact a person’s physical health, especially over time? Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loneliness can impact or cause series health problems, including a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% increased risk of heart disease, and a 32% increased risk of stroke.

Look for Signs

Once our white blood cells are ramped up due to that pervasive sense of loneliness, it trickles to our brain and to our thinking, signaling us to be on alert and causing us to draw away further away from others due to lack of trust. Loneliness becomes a loop in our thinking process. 

As humans, the disease of loneliness is an issue for everyone, but in a roll as a caregiver for patients there’s an opportunity to be that first-line of defense and help. Look for any of the following changes with someone in your care:

  • Expressed sadness or feelings of despair
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, socializing or daily activities
  • Sleep disturbances or memory issues
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Neglect of personal hygiene and other routines

Resources

As a care provider, you might be the person who most often sees these changes first in a client, and can bring your concerns to the attention of the family members you report to. You can explain that this is something many deal with and there are ways to provide support. 

Be prepared to offer a list of resources available to families and seniors. The CDC provides a great list of resources, including Eldercare Locator which is a free national service that helps families and elders find local resources such as financial support, caregiving services, and transportation. 

If you work with a professional organization such as Home Health Companions, you’ll also have access to a dedicated team of knowledgeable staff who can help you. Together we can work to destigmatize the disease of loneliness, and by helping others we also help ourselves. When it comes to loneliness, none of us is spared from its impact.

Bibliography:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/geriatrics/social-issues-in-older-adults/older-adults-living-alone#:~:text=In%20the%20US%2C%20nearly%2029,%E2%89%A5%2075%20years%20live%20alone.

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2019/medical-cure-for-loneliness.html

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html

https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx

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How to Maximize Errand and Transportation Services

Hiring others to run errands and help with transportation might have been seen as a luxury for busy business professionals in the past, but these days, it’s a quality of life issue and necessity for those aging at home. During the pandemic, more people have realized the benefits of outsourcing their daily errands and hiring others to drive as a way to not only stay safe but to save money, too.

If you’ve struggled with the transition from doing everything for yourself to commissioning others to do for you, read on to learn how more seniors have made the switch and how to maximize the benefits of these tasks.

The power of elders

The aging population is growing in the United States. Per the Administration on Aging, as of 2016, those over 65 numbered more than 49 million with a projection to grow to 98 million by 2060. And of those in this age group, most are able to remain in the comfort of their homes today given the in-home care and companionship available.

With more elders aging in place, companies have stepped up to address the preferences and needs of this growing community. That is great news for our community, and means more options for services than ever before.

At Home Health Companions, we are experts in catering to the specific needs of elders and those with medical concerns. Because of our focus, our errand, shopping and transportation services are suited to work within our client’s individual expectations and budget.

Arranging for help with daily tasks and transport can be overwhelming. In this guide, we offer a quick overview of the kinds of errands most people need help to accomplish along with how to gain the most value out of these services.

Know what you need to accomplish

The reality that so many more seniors are staying at home as they age is good both economically and emotionally. But it means attention needs to be paid to the issues of mobility outside the home, especially as circumstances change.

The first step is to consider all the errands that most individuals require in order to care for themselves, and then to determine the level of risk and hassle with each. Right now, for instance, staying out of public areas for those over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions is a national health safety concern. So, hiring out for errands in public places is of particular importance.

That said, as the pandemic has revealed, many errands require energy and resources that on the balance might be better done by someone else as a rule for the sake of both safety and efficiency. That errand list can include projects around the house and even those quick dashes to stores nearby.

You might be surprised by the general tasks, and how much time and money it takes to accomplish these each week. A typical personal home list might list the following for his or her regular “to-dos:”

  • Pick up medications: average hours—1
  • Grocery shopping: average hours—1.5
  • General shopping, items for house, gifts, etc.: average hours—1.5
  • Paying bills: average hours—1
  • Mail handling: average hours—1
  • General deliveries: average hours—0.5
  • Arranging appointments: average hours—0.5
  • Taking out the trash
  • Pet care    average hours—1
  • Laundry services

When you factor in your time, plus waiting in lines and contending with crowds, the risk of injury while dealing with your errands means that hiring someone to do many of these chores regularly—and in a planned manner—can be both reassuring and an important consideration for your quality of life.

As you tend to your list, consider the amount of time and automobile resources involved, too. A professional errand service will efficiently address as much as they can in the span of an hourly rate to help you get the most done possible.

Affordable and safe transportation

Car ownership is not seen as the rite of passage it once was. More people have opted for the use of public transit or taken advantage of the myriad of shared transportation options available today.

For those who do own a car, you know how expensive the annual bill is to maintain it. Per Investopedia, which cites Consumer Expenditures in the U.S. Department of Labor’s U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average vehicle costs $9,576 per year to own and operate. Even if a car is paid in full, the repairs, insurance, and regular maintenance add up to just the same.

Home Health Companions offers packages that make getting around an easy, hassle-free, and affordable alternative. Even if you’ve reduced your list of errands, you still need to go to doctor appointments and other activities, so access to a trustworthy transportation service is essential.

The advantages of a trusted service

Working with a trusted professional service will lighten your burden in hiring the right you need, also. Home Health Companions takes care of all the pieces of the puzzle that make finding the right person easy. We take care of all the employee management, including security screening and taxes. All you have to do is arrange your errand needs with us, and we take care of the rest.

Home Health Companions is a professional and accredited organization with expert staff, prepared to accommodate you for all your transportation and errand needs.

A comfortable goal

Hiring for help with errands and transportation might seem like a luxury at first, but once you realize how it help can improve your days and allow you to stay in your home, it’s a worthwhile investment. The goal for everyone is to stay as healthy and independent as possible—and for as long as possible. Reducing the risks of public settings with lots of people and congested parking lots and streets can help you achieve that.

As you age and circumstances change, it doesn’t mean you’re cut off from life. By creating a plan and accessing help for errands and transportation, you can reduce the risk and spend more time doing the things you love to do.

 

Bibliography

https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/Aging%20and%20Disability%20in%20America/2017OlderAmericansProfile.pdf

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/cost-car-ownership.asp

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10 Tips to Become a Better CNA

The role of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is essential to teams that care for the wellbeing of clients, especially those teams delivering home-based care. As the frontline provider of these care services, a CNA is often the first professional to note both the physical and mental changes in clients.

The work of a CNA is rewarding, demanding, fast-paced and varied. If you are a CNA or aspire to be one, then you know there’s never a dull moment. Time passes quickly on any given day.

Honing your professional abilities will ensure you bring your best for the care of your clients. Continuing to learn and grow professionally will also position you for advancement in your career. Here, we offer ten professional tips to excel as a CNA.

  1. Be prepared with a plan for each day. At the top of any list for an effective CNA is the importance of being organized and prepared for your day. Be sure to have the equipment and supplies you’ll need so you won’t be delayed in performing your work at a client’s home. Write tasks and lists of steps out (or store them on your favorite note-taking app), and make your notes specific for each client.Over at Harris School of Business, they offer “6 Tips for Being a Good Patient Care Technician,” which breaks down this point and suggests that you carry a fanny pack to keep those most-essential supplies on you, including a pad and pen handy for making notes.

    “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
    – Peter Drucker
  2. Share your compassion. In your work as an in-home CNA, your work usually involves assisting clients with highly personal tasks such as toileting and bathing. By remaining compassionate with your clients, you establish a climate of mutual respect.And since you bring care services to your clients in the sanctuary of their homes, the importance of establishing a high level of trust is even more essential. By demonstrating your compassion as a skilled nursing assistant, you set the groundwork for a positive experience, which sets your client at ease when they feel most vulnerable.
  3. Be a patient listener. Hand-in-hand with compassion comes the ability to be a good listener. We honor each other when we fully listen to others and demonstrate that they have been heard. At no time is this more important than when a person needs care.Take a pause, breathe and pay close attention to what your client is saying about their needs and concerns. You are not required to produce answers but to acknowledge what has been said. Perhaps a resolution is within your control or abilities, but when it is not, you may be the conduit to pass their information on to family and your team at the office. When you truly listen, you provide powerful medicine.“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey
  4. Pay attention to details. As the expert who brings care to your client’s door most frequently, often you are the one who establishes the most significant relationship. You will have ongoing communication with the client, and your work will often entail keeping a thorough and accurate record of the care you provide as well as essential health data you obtain from the client. Your log of those details is what ensures uniformity of service, as well as changes which may need to be made in the future. Be sure you are following the protocols to log and report information.
  5. Understand basic medical terminology. Over at Indeed in the article “8 Skills for Your CNA Resume,” they suggest you leverage your knowledge of medical terminology. As you read this, you might either be CNA or working toward becoming a certified nursing assistant, so you will have learned a fair amount of terminology you can employ.Expect to increase your knowledge of medical terminology and pharmaceutical names rapidly as your career grows. The more you understand of the language used in medicine, the more you’ll understand your client’s specific needs and the care you provide in your role.“They certainly give very strange names to diseases.” – Plato
  6. Use your strongest communication skills. The ability to clearly provide information is critical when talking with your clients. Be precise and informative about everything you know and can report. As you observe and receive information, make sure to pass it along accurately when required by family and staff at the home office.
  7. Ability to follow protocols and work independently. You’ll work and communicate with a team at the office and as you serve your clients. But in many visits, you’ll be expected to provide care by working independently. Be sure you know the standards for all the services you conduct, as this protects both you and your clients.

    “Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.”
    – Robert Heinlein
  8. Continue your education! Make it a point to learn more about the work you do, from the latest safety tips to any ongoing education offered through your employer or community college. Continued learning will keep you fresh and engaged in your career and prepare you for opportunities of advancement as well.
  9. Take good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and make sure to get good sleep at night. The right nutrition and rest helps protect you from getting sick, or (just as dangerous) burnt out. Physical conditioning in this job is important, as work as a CNA requires lifting and bending, especially in in-home care. Make sure you treat your body right with regular exercise and stretching.
    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Maya Angelou
  10. Do something positive for you. Find time to enjoy activities that give your mind and body either rest or excitement (or a little bit of both). The care you provide for others doesn’t always end when you complete your day of work as a certified nursing assistant, because you should take care of yourself, too. Making time for yourself gives you the energy and mental resources to go at it for another day. Read more self-care tips here.The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that jobs for certified nursing assistants will grow by 9% through 2028, which is higher than the average for all other occupations. Work as a CNA is a promising career in demand for the foreseeable future, and being a good CNA will benefit you in your future career goals as well.

 

Bibliography:

https://www.thinkcnaonline.com/blog/advice-for-certified-nursing-assistants/

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/skills-for-your-cna-resume

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

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Health Care Services

How to Age at Home with Confidence

Whether it’s you or someone you love, growing older means dealing with changes in health that can render daily living more complex. And if aging in place at home is one of your primary goals, it could still be difficult and scary to discuss what to do to reach that goal.

Health and aging mean dealing with new information, new specialists, more appointments and medications. These pile onto existing worries, including home maintenance, personal mobility, care of or by a spouse, and paying your bills. You want to stay in your home, but you’re not sure how you can make it work and still be safe.

You’re not alone in dealing with the struggle, and there are resources available to you. The first step is to plan and to form a strategy based on the services you need now—and as your circumstances change. This is exactly what we deliver in our Aging Life Care Services.

Advocacy for seniors, and those who have special medical needs, has become increasingly important in our society with so many aging loved ones. As per Population Reference Bureau: “Today, 40 million people in the United States are ages 65 and older, but this number is projected to more than double to 89 million by 2050.” More of us are older and more of us want to stay in our home, so gaining help to navigate the needs and services available has become critical.

If it seems daunting to create your age-in-place plan, there is help. A Home Health Companions Aging Life CareTM professional (also called a geriatric care manager) works with you and your family to make sense of all the moving parts of both the medical and personal care you need.

Here, we’ll explore why aging at home is beneficial, and how support from an Aging Life Care professional will make it possible.

Benefits of aging in place

Your desire to age in your home is understandable. You prefer to remain where you’ve lived in other chapters of life, and with the things and amenities that are familiar. You’d like to maintain your independence and keep as active a life as you can, too.

Over at Retirement Living, they’ve highlighted the top reasons aging is place is optimal in the article “5 Benefits of Aging in Place.” The list includes personal comfort, maintaining your cognitive health, and keeping your social networks. And to this list we can add the reality that retirement communities can be problematic for the spread of diseases, because people who are already susceptible to infection live there in greater numbers.

The primary reason most people want to stay at home, however, is that it is often the most affordable option. Long-term care facilities charge sometimes astronomical monthly fees, and even assisted living runs in the thousands of dollars per month.

In contrast, by staying in your home, you could keep living costs manageable, especially if your home is paid in full. Even the monthly mortgage would be a fraction of the cost of a retirement community.

 

The value of an Aging Life CareTM professional

The benefits of aging in your home are many, but coordinating all the pieces of medical and personal needs as you age can be a struggle. Whether it’s you or someone you love who needs to prepare to age at home, working with an Aging Life Care professional will assure everyone involved is confident of the plan put in place.

What can an Aging Life Care Professional do for you? Over at the Aging Life Care Association, they provide a detailed description of the myriad of areas where these experts offer an objective assessment.

Here, we highlight a few:

  • Medical concerns. This means they can act as a liaison with your physicians and specialists to determine the kinds of care you’ll require and how those needs can be managed at home.
  • Financial concerns. This can mean help with arranging bill payments, consultations with a Power of Attorney, or connecting families to local and governmental resources.
  • Family concerns. This can be a particularly challenging area, especially for families who live some distance apart. Conversations can be difficult when everyone is not heard or understood. Aging Care Professionals are skilled in working with families to help keep the focus on shared expectations and goals.

Aging Life Care Professionals walk hand-in-hand with their clients while taking a bird’s eye view of the circumstances and objectively working to tailor a specific proposal that will provide confidence for you going forward.

Oftentimes, it may take a consultation or two to chart out the communications of medical providers and other services. However, once you feel assured and understand your plan, that Aging Life Professional can step aside and come in again only as needed or when circumstances change.

At Home Health Companions, our Aging Life Care Professionals offer a seamless transition from plan to implementation. Once you’re set, other staff can step in to provide private duty nursing, personal and companion care as you need.

Aging Life Professionals help people stay at home longer, safer, and with greater quality of life. As we all continue to age, the services of these experts will be in even greater demand.

May was National Aging Life Care Month! The Aging Life Care Association and partners gathering touching stories from families who have benefited from working with Aging Life Care Professionals. You can find those stories on their Facebook page.

 

Bibliography:

https://www.prb.org/americas-aging-population/

https://www.retirementliving.com/5-benefits-of-aging-in-place

https://www.aginglifecare.org/ALCA/

https://www.facebook.com/AgingLifeCareAssociation

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Lisa Shardon of Home Health Companions Interviewed on CBS

Lisa Shardon, President and CEO of Home Health Companions, spoke with CBS news in an interview this week. The subject of the interview was the company’s active hiring, even in this time when unemployment in the state and around the nation is at record highs.

Home Health Companions is currently looking for caregivers, certified nursing assistants, and nurses who love to work with elderly people. Requirements and other details for these openings can be viewed on the careers page.

Lisa’s interview

Lisa spoke with CBS earlier this week and talked about the company, its values, and the pressing need to hire. In-home care has always been an essential service, but now, with many families moving loved ones back home around concerns of COVID-19, the need for in-home services is greater than ever.

In the interview, Lisa talked about Home Health Companions and the reach of its private duty nursing, caregiver, and aging life care services. She talked about the specialized care offered for dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and hospice care that the company provides in 13 counties across the Metroplex.

Many of these open positions are supported by a unique Home Health Companion continuing education curriculum, too. The CNA, nurse and concierge caregiver roles each include access to the new Home Health Companions University that was launched earlier this year. This proprietary curriculum provides paid training to learn and grow into specialized levels of care.

Benefits

Lisa also had the opportunity to talk about the benefits offered by the company. Those benefits include:

  • Affordable medical benefits
  • Dental benefits
  • Vision benefits
  • Affordable life insurance
  • On-call incentives
  • Employee and client referral bonuses
  • A unique mentoring program
  • And continuing education

All training is provided by the company to new hires along with recognition and rewards for performance.

Pay is commensurate with experience.

 

How has COVID-19 affected the company?

Home Health Companions had to make immediate operational and structural adjustments to continue serving an at-risk client base in the time of COVID-19.

Some of the changes implemented have included rigorous infection protocols to protect both clients and staff, close compliance with all CDC and HHS guidelines, PPE provided to caregivers, plus testing and daily screening for COVID-19 and related symptoms.

In parallel with these necessary precautions, Home Health Companions has seen an uptick in client needs, though visits that can be performed via telemedicine now are following that new model. As a product of the increased need for in-home care services, Home Health Companions is now looking for those possible super-hero team members who are motivated to make a difference in the lives of local families.

 

Watch Lisa’s interview here:

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An Amazing Trade-Off!

Ms. García at the annual Bishop’s Gala. Home Health Companions helps sponsor this event, partnering with many churches in the area.

I had been a successful healthcare executive for almost two decades when I first met Lisa, the CEO of Home Health Companions. She was my client while I worked in the post-acute care industry. I would have been thrilled to know then that I would work with her later, though I never would have imagined the way it panned out.

Lisa and I connected thanks to our shared passion for integrating innovative solutions into healthcare organizations. She opened up to me about her goals, and I guided her through the executive strategy to develop the solutions that would get Home Health Companions to the point that it could optimally meet their clients’ needs.

When Home Health Companions’ COO stepped down in January 2020, I was flattered and excited when Lisa called me about the position. I knew we could do tremendous things together, and I accepted her offer.

 

My transition to Home Health Companions

It was a big decision to move to the COO position after years of developing global partnerships and strategies. In the first weeks on the job, I found myself sitting in an office looking at P&Ls, HR materials, policies and operations. But I knew I was the best candidate to develop an innovative strategy with my experience in operations, oversight and marketing. I was determined to champion everything Home Health Companions stands for.
I quickly came to terms with the trade-off I made. Though the environment felt like a big change, I grew more excited day after day as I took on new projects. Our clients were going to enjoy a uniquely innovative and superior model of in-home care.

But then, I was faced with challenges I never expected. Just two months into the job, the nation was hit with the COVID-19 crisis. My expectations rapidly shifted from professional growth to a laser-focused approach to serve the healthcare community. I faced immediate business threats, like not being able to serve our elderly patients or the most medically at-risk, plus creating safety policies and procedures to keep staff healthy. We all worked longer and longer hours, and I grappled with the fear of financial and business operations ramifications.
Throughout this experience, I learned a precious lesson that I did not have on my list of big plans coming in: the true meaning of being a servant leader.

Projected growth versus actual growth

When I started at Home Health Companions, I had an agenda to grow the business through innovative and improved operations. I also had an agenda for my own professional growth. The biggest lesson I’ve learned these first four months, however, was the result of the novel coronavirus, and that lesson wasn’t in my game plan.
Some of the biggest challenges I faced as soon as the pandemic escalated included creating new COVID-19 workflows to keep staff, the healthcare community and our clients safe. I also had to keep up with every governmental and CDC change, which were updated daily, to ensure we were following all the rules and recommendations.

I had to step up as an organizational leader when we experienced a growing fear from our staff around visiting nursing homes—and even going into clients’ homes. Those of us on the executive team decided to implement daily conference calls and huddles with our staff to keep them informed on all COVID-19 changes and to ensure they understood the importance of infection control. There were several Saturdays where we even met staff in wide-open parking lots to safely provide them with more masks and gloves, always at the greatest possible social distance.

This exercise in regular leadership and actionable guidance was calming for staff, and it was an empowering lesson for me. By opening these additional lines of communication, we learned that many members of our staff also had a fear of losing their jobs. We were able to quell those fears and purpose all our conferences toward what positive action they could take right then. “What can you do today?”

The value I find in servant leadership

Servant leadership is not a new concept. At some point in our business careers, we all come across the many different leadership styles. While completing my MBA at Southern Methodist University as well as during professional development experiences at Harvard and Oxford, this and the many other styles of leadership were frequently assessed. And while these incredible conceptual models fascinated me academically, they became intimately and deeply applicable during this unforeseen epidemic.

By stepping up to Home Health Companion’s organizational needs during an unprecedented situation, COVID-19 taught me that growth is about transparent servitude in times of unforeseen challenges. My heart aches for all that our community has suffered, as well as the suffering that’s taken place nation and worldwide. I have found purpose, however, in doing what I can to ensure in-home care is available to those who need it, many of them now more than ever.

 

About Ariane García

Ariane Garcia COO of Home Health CompanionsFor 20 years Ms. García has served in several firms across the healthcare industry including: hospitals, medical device companies, post-acute healthcare, and medical technology. She excels in strategy & business development, contract negotiations, operations, P&L oversight, and marketing strategy. She has championed efforts to enhance capabilities in general management, new market identification, and finance.

It is with great gratitude that Home Health Companions welcomes Ms. García to our team, and applauds her capacity to apply all her skills to such immediately profound needs our organization has had.

“Having Ariane assume the COO role will enable me to do more strategic external-facing activities for Home Health Companions mission,” Ms. Shardon of the company said.

Ms. García earned an MBA from COX Business School Dallas Texas, a bachelor’s degree in Markets & Cultures, and second in Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. Ariane completed a certification in open innovation strategy from University of Oxford in the UK and a certification on negotiation and leadership from Harvard Law School. She has served on various community organizations with responsibilities in governance, finance oversight and fundraising.

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