The owner of a home care business recently spent a five-hour shift at a client’s home to assist his staff.
Sometimes, a Visiting Angels caregiver gets sick or is unable to go to the client.
Tom Hilbrich said one of the things they tell clients and families is they don’t miss shifts.
It’s that kind of dedication Hilbrich says sets Visiting Angels apart.
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"We know families sign with us because they need us, and we’re going to be there," he said. "There are very few agencies that do that."
That type of service is now available in Jackson County as Visiting Angels has opened an office in Seymour at 914 E. Tipton St., Suite B. It has been open since June 1.
Tom and his wife, Elizabeth, also own an office in New Albany and have more than 100 employees serving Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jennings and Scott counties in southern Indiana.
The nationally known but locally owned company provides bathing assistance, dressing assistance, walking assistance, medication reminders, errands and shopping, light housekeeping, meal preparation, friendly companionship, respite care for families and 24-hour care.
Adding a Seymour office was an opportunity for the Hilbrichs to grow into a spot where no other franchisee had been, Tom said.
"Knowing and understanding this population and the type of people that are here, that was what was really advantageous to me," he said. "We only have a few competitors here, and as we go out and discuss with our referral sources, they all tell us that it’s an underserved population from a home care perspective."
The company serves those age 18 and older, including disabled adults, veterans and senior citizens, in the comfort of their own home no matter where home is.
Home care is nonmedical service and doesn’t have to be performed by a nurse, while home health and hospice have to be performed by a nurse, Tom said.
"A lot of times, people get the blend of both," he said. "We work in and around these folks all the time. They take the lead when they are there. They are only there 45 minutes to an hour. We’re there seven, eight hours a day. We’ll support them, take off and follow up with services they asked for."
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic didn’t keep the Hilbrichs from expanding their business.
"The virus really pushed people back into their homes, as opposed to if you had a loved one that needed assisted living care, they weren’t opting for that choice, so they were opting to keep people at home," Tom said.
"If you’re keeping people at home, a service like this, all of a sudden, that one-on-one care, they were OK with," he said. "But the one-versus-30 care that you get in assisting living, that was more challenging, and those were hot spots for sickness."
As they go into clients’ homes, Visiting Angels staff members have to wash their hands for 2 minutes upon arrival, wear a mask and use antibacterial gel.
"With them choosing to stay home as opposed to going into assisted living, that was the opportunity for growth for us," Tom said. "With the no-so-great number of assisted living facilities around here, the population has to do something. We’re Medicaid approved, as well, so we serve the state-needed individuals that are in this area, so that’s a big piece of the pie for us."
The Hilbrichs put a big emphasis on the type of people they hire, getting to know them to ensure they are the right fit. Then the employees focus on getting to know the family of their clients.
"That match of caregiver to family is the secret sauce," Tom said. "Anybody can do your just normal health care placement agency, but they are going to get it wrong. If you take the time to try and get it right for sure skill-wise but then you can get it characteristic-wise, that’s the win-win for everybody."
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Visiting Angels now has an office in Seymour at 914 E. Tipton St., Suite B.
For information, call 812-271-2500 or visit visitingangels.com/seymour.