MARTINSBURG – Helping older people is a primary goal of many organizations, whether it’s their only goal or just part of their overall goal. Many non-profit organizations provide assistance to seniors in one way or another.
Panhandle Home Health, Inc. (PHHI), for example, is a nonprofit home care agency that has served the medically directed home health care needs of patients in the Eastern Panhandle since 1976. Although the organization provides services to people of all ages, older people are often the ones who need the services.
“At Panhandle Home Health, we believe that every individual deserves the highest quality home health service,” said Keri Goodwin, Director of Resource Development. “We continue to adapt to the changing health care needs of our community by adapting our services to be preventative, timely and responsive.”
The PHHI team focuses on the specific needs of patients to provide exceptional skilled health care at home. These services, medically directed, are provided by a team of licensed and qualified professionals, including nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, medical-social services, a dietician and home helpers.
“Our in-home services help patients, families, and caregivers achieve their wellness goals, and we constantly strive to be up to date using the most effective and patient-friendly care protocols,” Goodwin said.
There are many reasons for choosing home care options. Goodwin pointed out that patients are often being discharged from the hospital much earlier than before. In addition, home care is also cost effective compared to care provided in a hospital setting.
“At home, the risk of complications is also reduced, and home health care relieves overcrowded hospital systems,” Goodwin said. “Above all, home health is important because patients can heal where they want to be – at home – and that has a huge impact on their recovery.”
Berkeley Senior Services is also working to provide services for the elderly, which will allow people to stay in their homes. Berkeley Senior Services offers several alternative long-term care programs that allow a person to stay at home rather than receive care in a nursing home. Personal care, respite services and meals on wheels are just a few of the options available to seniors.
“Our mission at Berkeley Senior Services is to provide a network of programs and services that enable seniors to remain independent and participating members of our community,” the organization’s website states.
“Our center offers many services,” said Berkeley senior services executive director Amy Orndoff. “We have an on-site nutrition program, serving lunch Monday through Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. We also offer home-delivered meals to homebound seniors.”
She pointed out that these meals are delivered at no cost to the beneficiaries.
In addition to the nutrition program, the agency also provides transportation services, including trips to non-emergency medical appointments and necessary errands seniors may have, as well as transportation to and from the center for seniors for meals and activities.
The activities offered within the center are varied, both educational and fun. Any given week may include offerings such as tai chi, yoga, line dancing, arts and crafts, bingo, or specific educational programs focused on everything from health insurance to wellness.
Program goals include socialization and community awareness, improved mental health, improved performance in daily activities, and decreased stress, depression, and isolation.
In addition to senior center activities, Berkeley Senior Services offers a variety of home care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes. All programs are supervised by registered nurses and certified social workers and provide home health aides, who are professionally trained to meet the needs of the client.
Among these is the Lighthouse program, designed to help seniors who have functional needs at home but whose income or assets disqualify them for Medicaid services. This fully publicly funded program provides support in the areas of personal care, mobility, nutrition and housekeeping. Medicaid Waiver Services is a home care program that is an alternative to nursing home care. The program provides assistance in the home, with activities of daily living and other areas of personal need.
Caregiver support is also available for caregivers who find themselves in unfamiliar territory or who are at times simply overwhelmed with the care they are currently providing. The group respite program provides relief to a caregiver for up to 15 hours per week.
Caregivers are invited to bring their loved one to the center for the elderly from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The elderly person will receive personalized assistance from a trained member of staff during their stay at the centre. Respite care at home is another service offered, allowing the caregiver to receive help at home from a qualified professional.
Orndoff shared that the Unity campaign and United Way are extremely important to the continued success of Berkeley Senior Services.
“We would be lost without United Way,” she said. “It’s not just financially, but also with other resources,” she added.
To donate to Berkeley Senior Services, Panhandle Home Health, Inc. or any other Unity 2022 Campaign nonprofit, visit the campaign page on the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle website, www.uwayep.org.