Home Health Care: Bridges Life’s Transitions
Apr 26, 2012 09:14AM
● By Peggy Malecki
The field of occupational therapy (OT) aims to regain the health of individuals suffering from disabling conditions, using a variety of treatments to develop, maintain or recover the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Sharon Burack, owner of Freedom Home Care, a family-owned home care company based in Highland Park, has made using OT her life’s work, and aims to help local residents live comfortably and with dignity in their own homes as they age, recover from surgery or deal with a limiting condition.
“We are licensed as both a home services and home nursing agency to allow our clients consistency with one agency providing the care to clients throughout their spectrum of care,” says Burack. Clients include elderly residents that need assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing, preparing meals, running errands and doing light housekeeping, as well as wake-up and tuck-in assistance and medication management. Others require more medically related home services, including diabetic care and supervision, incontinence care, geriatric case management and dementia/Alzheimer’s care. Still others turn to Freedom Home Care for help in preparing for medical procedures like colonoscopies, recovering from outpatient surgery or home assistance following a difficult childbirth.
Freedom Home Care stands out in the home healthcare field in that they have no hourly minimum charge, are available 24/7 and allow cancellation within 24 hours of an appointment, allowing clients flexibility to receive assistance in their homes for as much or as little time as needed. “I once had a social worker give the gift of four hours of home care to a client whose husband worked during the day,” Burack recalls. “She needed assistance with her everyday tasks: making meals, bathing and dressing.”
Even though Freedom Home Care is a private duty agency (PrivateDutyHomeCare.org), they accept long-term care insurance. Burack says their services are often covered by theVeteran’s Affairs and Catholic Charities, and initial consultations and assessments are always offered at no charge. She adds that Freedom Home Care also teams with Medicare home health companies and hospice agencies to ensure they are working together to provide the best care to each client. The company is a charter member of the National Private Duty Association, provides worker’s compensation and liability insurance and strictly follows all tax withholding and compensation laws.
Burack prides her staff on their knowledge, compassion and attention to detail. Freedom Home Care’s licensed caregivers are company employees, not independent contractors, are thoroughly screened and undergo fingerprint background checks. Caregivers receive eight hours of initial orientation and annually complete an additional eight hours training and CPR recertification. Many, says Burack, are also trained in hospice services. Additionally, all care for their medically complex clients is overseen by a their registered nurse.
One additional technique taught to the staff is meditation. “I use meditation as a management tool that makes it much easier for them to deal with the daily stress of patient care,” Burack explains. “Meditation helps our staff to deal with problems and find creative solutions without going into a panic.”
Burack’s philosophy of care includes working with clients and their families to ensure all of their needs are met. “Within Freedom Home Care, we have the staff and the connections to the community to bring in resources to keep people in their homes and make sure they are comfortable,” she says. In addition to home care, bathing and other services, Freedom Home Care’s holistic care offers such optional services as healthy and specialized meal preparation, home organizing and clean-out, feng shui, Reiki and alternate care referrals, if requested.
Within the next year, Freedom Home Care plans to open wellness centers in The Homestead of Morton Grove and The Lodge of Northbrook, both independent living facilities. “We will be able to care for residents of these building in as little as 15-minute increments,” Burack states.
“We offer whatever is best for the client and their families, be it for an hour while family caretakers are attending to business or on vacation, or around the clock,” she says. “This doesn’t have to mean live-in care. We can offer the support and comfort of checking in and helping out when the family can’t be there. We offer a place to go for assistance.”
For more information, call 847-433-5788 or visit FreedomHomeCare.net.