By Lauren Schiffman, Contributing Writer
Grafton – Established in 2018 in Grafton and open for less than a year, Trusted Like Family Home Care provides hands-on, personalized care for seniors and adults with disabilities in their own homes. Mike Braun founded the company, and along with Lisa Powers, RN, Director of Nursing, spent significant time recruiting the right candidates to provide that care throughout Worcester County.
Services include companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation and driving clients to appointments and on errands. Caregivers pick up groceries and prescription medications and remind clients when to take those medications. They also provide ADL – activities of daily living – support, like personal care activities and dressing.
During the pandemic, caregivers also have been ensuring that the food in their clients’ homes are not expired and that clients have an adequate supply of food and medications.
All Trusted Like Home Care caregivers are certified Home Health Aides (HHA) or Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), and all undergo extensive training prior to providing hands-on care.
“We hire only highly skilled caregivers, and we continue to train them to enhance their skill sets,” Braun said.
For example, if a client needs transferring support, the caregiver receives training on proper transferring techniques, ensuring the safety of both client and caregiver. All training is conducted by Powers.
All hires have previous caregiving experience. Some are certified in Alzheimer’s care and some in first aid. Braun said that when a client has a particular set of circumstances, Powers trains the caregiver in those areas, regardless of previous experience.
How does Braun determine which caregiver to assign to clients?
“We put a lot of effort into matching clients with caregivers. We survey our caregivers on several topics,” he said. “We try to find out as much as we can about our caregivers and clients so we can make the best possible match. If we can find those common threads, that’s a place for the relationship to start.”
Braun added that he makes every effort to keep caregivers assigned consistently to clients; it helps to build a relationship and minimizes confusion on the part of the client, especially one with memory impairment.
Braun also conducts background checks on each caregiver, including a criminal history search, CORI check and research on driving records.
“I’ve been very lucky in finding a terrific set of caregivers through personal connections and people that I trust. I hire great caregivers – not just any caregiver,” Braun said.
“Excellent client service” is Braun’s motivation. He communicates constantly with clients and their families to reassure them about precautions being taken in the home and how caregivers are protecting families’ loved ones.
How has Braun adapted his business to our “new normal?” For one, he requires that caregivers carry a thermometer to take and report their temperature prior to beginning a shift. Since the early days of the pandemic, “we communicated the CDC guidance regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 and provided preventative measures to each of our caregivers,” Braun said. He also requires staff to remain home if they do not feel well – a policy in place before the pandemic.
Caregivers have received extra supplies of masks, hand sanitizers, wipes and gloves, and they wear masks at all times when in a client’s home. Further, upon entering, caregivers are required to immediately wash their hands.
“We use a smartphone-based app for our caregivers to check into and out of each client visit. Each caregiver must answer a series of COVID-19 screening questions prior to beginning a shift. If any of their answers indicate that they might be sick, they cannot check in for the shift,” Braun said.
Additionally, Braun has increased the frequency of communication with caregivers, clients and their families.
“All of this has been very well received by the clients and their family members,” he added.
For more information about Trusted Like Family Home Care, call 508-579-1890 or visit www.trustedlikefamilyhomecare.com.