By Bridget Nash Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Many people of all ages have health care needs that frequently require the help of trained professionals. The home health field is a way for a number of them to receive the care they need while staying home.
Healthback is one of Enid’s home health agencies that offer services for anyone from infants to senior citizens.
“The majority of our patients end up being Medicare age,” said Darla Choate, Healthback regional manager for business development and a licensed home health administrator. Choate said a physician may order home health for anyone, however, not just senior citizens.
Healthback offers clients a variety of services including skilled nursing, certified home health aides, occupational therapy and speech therapy and they can provide a social worker. It also has a full-time physical therapist as part of its staff.
“We provide services to keep (patients) in a rehabilitative state ... to get their health back,” Choate said.
Healthback has been in Enid for more almost 10 years and offers many specialized services such as wound and cardiac care.
“Any specialty a physician might have, we try to have training in these areas,” Choate said. “We gear care to the patient’s specific needs. We do have a lot of nurses that have specialized training and certification, which helps us provide better care for the patients.”
Healthback has 31 locations across the state and a 20-person staff in Enid that includes a team of well-trained licensed professionals.
“We try to have local, hometown nurses in each of our agencies,” Choate said.
The commitment to having local nurses is one Healthback takes seriously because it helps establish trust with the patients, she said.
“People in the home aren’t going to let just anyone into their home,” Choate said. “We use local nurses. It (also) gives us a faster response time. We do have the nurse on call 24 hours.”
The circle of trust doesn’t end with the patient trusting the home health professionals who enter their home, said Choate. The physician also must trust the home health agency he or she recommends, and when the patient is pleased with the agency he or she also has more trust in the physician.
“It is a trust relationship,” said Choate. “We are a reflection of the physician when he gives the referral.”
Care Team is another one of Enid’s home health agencies.
“We have actually been in business, doing what we do, for over 40 years,” said Lacey Morgan, corporate marketing director.
Care Team has offices in several locations across the state, and Enid is its newest location, where it is managed locally.
Care Team is a private-pay agency, said Morgan, which is beneficial to those patients who need more home health care than Medicare will allow.
“We are the only stand-alone, licensed, private-pay agency in Enid,” said Morgan. “Anyone can be a client.”
Aside from providing home health care, Care Team also provides other services to their clients.
“Most of our services are helping out around the home,” said Morgan.
Care Team has more than 20 staff members who offer home health care services and help clients with household tasks, and they also offer around-the-clock care.
Recently Care Team added Ashby Memory Method to its therapy services.
“It’s a specialty program for anyone with Alzheimer’s,” said Morgan. “It’s very unique. No one else in Oklahoma offers it.”
Ashby Memory Method is a therapy in which the client and the therapist engage in activities that have been shown to reinforce skills and work the parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
Care Team also offers medical alert pendants for clients. These pendants are to be worn by the client and have a button to push in the case of an emergency. When the button is pushed, local emergency responders are notified.
“It’s just an added protection,” Morgan said.
Care Team is a member of National Private Duty Association.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about Care Team may call or go to www.careteamhc.com.
“We answer our phone 24-7,” said Morgan. “There is never an answering service.”
Grace Care Companion Services
There are people who may not require home health care but need help with every day tasks or would just like some companionship. For those people there is Grace Care Companion Services.
Housed in Autry Technology Center’s Center for Business Development, Grace Care has been in business for two years.
“We are strictly what you would call a non-home health business,” said Bob Osborn, president/general manager. “Our job is to help people stay healthy.”
Osborn said some people just need assistance with tasks such as general house cleaning, cooking, running errands or paying bills.
“We do from a few hours of service to 24 hours a day,” said Osborn.
Osborn said many clients are senior citizens, but they can help anyone, such as an expectant mother who has been ordered to refrain from heavier household chores or someone who has just had knee replacement surgery.
Currently Grace Care cannot offer any type of health services but Osborn said they soon will have a home health license.
Osborn said Grace Care can offer help with household tasks and companionship to anyone in Enid or the surrounding area.
“We are trying to reach out anywhere we can to provide services,” said Osborn.
Aside from help with tasks, the companionship services can be helpful to people at home or people who are staying in the hospital. Osborn said not only are the clients grateful for the companionship services but family members who may live too far away to visit also are grateful.
Grace Care Companion Services currently has 10 employees, and many long-term care insurance plans cover their services, Osborn said.