At HealthKeeperz, we serve our clients in a number of different ways depending on their individual goals, age, and state of illness/injury. Our home health professionals provide traditional healthcare services as well as palliative care and hospice. Understanding the difference between these types of care is important, both when making decisions about your own health and when making decisions on behalf of a loved one.
Traditional healthcare is what most people think of when they think “healthcare.” It includes the skilled nurses that help you recover from a serious fall, and the speech therapists who aid their patients in re-learning certain language abilities after a stroke. Following the customary disease-model of medical treatment, traditional healthcare encompasses everything from wound care, to physical therapy, to leading the patient toward a more active lifestyle.
Although palliative care and hospice may incorporate one or more of these elements, they are intended to achieve completely different goals for the patient.
Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the pain, stress, and symptoms of life-limiting illnesses. This type of care is frequently given to cancer patients or people with chronic illnesses like COPD and renal disease. First and foremost, palliative care strives to relieve suffering and improve quality of life.
Often, this means striking the right balance of medications; for example, many cancer patients feel a renewed sense of energy after finding the right regimen of anti-nausea medications and pain reducers. But it can also mean taking a holistic approach with the aid of a mental health professional, medical social worker, and/or chaplain. HealthKeeperz’ licensed home health specialists work in tandem with your doctor to bring happiness and comfort to your life in any stage of illness.
Patients and their families call on hospice care when curative treatments are no longer desired, and healthcare goals have shifted from quantity of days to quality of days. Hospice care provides immense spiritual comfort and companionship during the end-of-life period; thus, chaplains play a key role on the hospice team, often ministering tirelessly as the end approaches. HealthKeeperz’ professionals are highly trained in a number of areas related to hospice: skilled nursing, pastoral care, medical social work, and in-home aide care.
It’s not an easy decision to move into the hospice stage, but the vast majority of patients are surprised at the sense of freedom and peace that it brings to themselves and their families.
HealthKeeperz delivers a full range of services in tandem with traditional care, palliative care, and hospice. They are always delivered with warmth and compassion, providing comfort and spiritual support to the client. Working with your physician, HealthKeeperz can help you realize your healthcare goals in the comfort of your home. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.
When a close relative is diagnosed with dementia, it can send a wave of fear, uncertainty, and sadness throughout the whole family. While these feelings are unavoidable in such a difficult situation, you’re not at the mercy of them; there are many actions you can take that will ease the pain and anxiety of a dementia diagnosis. Once you’ve gotten the chance to collect your thoughts, it’s time to be proactive in a way that will help you and the patient.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia refers to a group of symptoms without a definitive diagnosis. These symptoms include forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty recognizing people, and a poor sense of time, among many others. Different people exhibit dementia in completely different ways – one patient’s demeanor might be happy as a clam 24/7, while another patient may act irritable and even aggressive. Regardless of how your loved one exhibits the disease, rest assured that you are not alone: According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50 million people are currently living with dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that causes many of the same symptoms, indicating an overall decline in memory and cognitive function. It falls under the umbrella of dementia, but not all cases of dementia indicate Alzheimer’s disease. There are many other types of dementia.
Where to Seek Help and Find Support
With so many people suffering from dementia worldwide, there are now more resources for navigating the disease than ever before. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – it will go a long way in helping you feel calmer about the diagnosis.
Are you struggling to cope with a dementia diagnosis in the family? HealthKeeperz’ expert team of in-home healthcare professionals can help take some of the weight off your shoulders. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to start the conversation.
The mission of HealthKeeperz is to care for all people for the glory of God. Once a year, we take an evening to appreciate those who most embody this ideal at our company.
This year we had the pleasure of hosting the celebration at the beautiful Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville on Friday, March 1. Kicked off by chaplain James Chavis, it was a joyful evening that saw some impressive team members take recognized as quarterly Barnabas Awards: Kayla Poston (Q1), hospice social worker; Chelsea Thomas (Q2), physical therapist; Kimberly Pecora (Q3), home health and occupational therapist; and Shelia Woods (Q4), billing coordinator.
Woods took home the 2019 Super Barnabas Award as announced by President Tim Brooks and last year’s winner, Hortensia Hayes. Woods has been a part of the HealthKeeperz family since 2002, when she first joined the billing department. Her love and dedication toward HealthKeeperz teammates perfectly embodies the spirit of Barnabas, and her many years of great service can’t be adequately appreciated in just one night. When she’s not at work, Woods is just as much of a rockstar, spending as much time as possible with her husband, daughter, and beloved granddaughter, Alexandra.
The evening also featured remarks from guest speaker Jim Doherty, chairman with the C12 Group, which strives to “build great businesses for a greater purpose.” Doherty has led multiple worldwide manufacturing companies, helping them cultivate company cultures that emphasize biblical and Christ-centered values. He was joined on the speaking card by Timmie Stultz (a former Barnabas Award winner himself) and Janie Hunt, members of the Barnabas Caring Team, set up recently to offer special, ad hoc care to teammates in need.
HealthKeeperz has a number of people to thank for making the night possible. James and Melissa Chavis of CrossWay of Pembroke Church provided the perfect music for the evening, while Howard Brooks, company founder, reminded the audience of the values that HealthKeeperz was founded on during his closing remarks. In addition, the 2019 Barnabas Awards Banquet would not have been possible without the help of our sponsors and 2018-2019 Caring Team.
“We’re thrilled to have wrapped up another successful banquet this year, but I have to admit I’m sad we’ll have to wait another year for the next one,” said President Tim Brooks. “The Barnabas Awards Banquet is not only a celebration of our company values – like compassion, excellence, and family – but also a night to relax, laugh, and just have a ball.”
Congratulations to each and every one of our 2019 Barnabas Awards Banquet winners! While we appreciate their hard work every day, it’s nice to shout it to the world once a year. Until 2020!
Have you ever asked the question, “What it is my purpose in life?” If you’re like me, the answer to that question depends greatly upon your job and the activities that you’re involved in outside of work, such as church, community service, civic work, and more. But is that where we should begin thinking when we want to answer the question of ‘my purpose’ in life. Who gets to decide what our purpose is anyway?
I want to suggest that before we head out the door today, or any day, that we pause and acknowledge ‘the One’ who defines our purpose in straightforward terms. In the Gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about an encounter that Jesus and his disciples had with a man who was born blind. Naturally speaking, this man had limitations, things that hindered him in living a purposeful life—at least we can be tempted to think so. But Jesus helps us see beyond our own natural limitations demonstrated by our “limiting thinking.”
Some thought this man’s blindness was due to his or his parents' sin. Jesus, however, dismisses these theories, telling everyone present that this man’s blindness has happened “…so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” What we call a limitation or handicap, God’s calls an opportunity for glory. Most of us will not experience human frailties such as blindness in our lives, but we do create in our minds and by our actions limitations that hinder us from embracing the work of God that He is doing.
Every day we experience joys and sorrows, as well as times of peace and trial. All of these experiences are here to serve a grand purpose—and it’s not our purpose, nor our family’s nor our employer’s. Our lives serve God’s purpose. It is the works of God that should be on display in our life each day. Suddenly, when everything is brought into this perspective, we see that there are no pointless happenings in life. Nothing is left to chance, nor karma.
God is actively at work for His glory and our good. Sometimes we are spiritually blind, even if for a moment, and we can’t see what God is doing now, and neither can we perceive His plans for the future. This is where faith helps us. “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) So then the questions are “am I going to trust God to will and to work, for His good pleasure, through my life? Will I see the limitless opportunities for His glory and my that reveal themselves in the ordinary course of a day?”
So then, how should we begin our day? I suggest not by asking God to work through our lives but by asking Him to make and keep us aware of how He plans to put His works on display in through us today. May we see His glory every day!
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis
Rural populations face special challenges when it comes to health care. Being a rural patient can mean driving at length for appointments, having trouble finding the right clinic for you, and relying on friends and family for assistance.
Fortunately, recent health care trends show that more services are beginning to cater to rural areas. From opening new facilities to dedicating special resources, health care service providers are reaching out to rural people more than ever before.
Home Health Care
As more and more rural Americans turn to home health care because of the additional ease and comfort it provides, companies are stepping up to meet the rising demand. HealthKeeperz is one of the health care providers dedicating more resources to rural care.
Home health care attracts many rural folks because it lessens some of the burdens that they otherwise face in getting medical treatment: transportation, logistical difficulties, disruption of day-to-day life. Working with your doctor, companies such as HealthKeeperz send medical professionals, like registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and medical social workers, directly to rural homes. This makes life easier for the people who normally struggle to find care that’s convenient, nearby, and accessible.
Rural home health brings that care right to your door.
The term “telehealth,” which is relatively new to the healthcare scene, refers to the use of technology for long-distance clinical health care. It may involve consultation, diagnosis, and/or administration of treatment. Telehealth can be conducted via videoconferencing, web chat, mobile devices, and remote patient monitoring tools. It may be provided in conjunction with home health or hospital care, or by itself.
Telehealth has become an increasingly popular choice for rural populations due to its convenience; it significantly reduces or eliminates the need to travel to a clinical provider, and telehealth interactions provide real-time support and feedback to the patient. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has improved coverage of this service in recent months, making telehealth more viable than ever for many rural Americans.
Beyond just telehealth, CMS has expanded the scope of its services in general of late. Federal assistance and expanded eligibility have extended Medicaid coverage to thousands of people – many of them living in rural areas – who didn’t previously think it was possible. Some people have a misconception that for older adults, Medicaid covers only nursing home placement, but coverage is much broader than that: Medicaid can help pay for inpatient services, home health care, telehealth, and more.
Programs like the Community Alternatives Program (CAP)—which we help administer at HealthKeeperz—provide elderly and disabled adults with home health support services.
In conclusion, high-quality and convenient healthcare is no longer out-of-reach for rural populations. Rural access has expanded across different categories – like home health, telehealth and Medicaid – giving folks plenty of options to meet their healthcare needs. In many cases, a combination of these services is the best way to manage your health. HealthKeeperz, working with your doctor, can reduce the need for physician’s visits and help you enjoy a better quality of life.
Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.
During a conversation with some friends, I was trying to answer this question: ”At its basic level, what does it mean to glorify God each day in my work as it relates to my coworkers?" In the moment my quick response was, “As much as it depends on me, to do all that I can to help my coworker flourish in their job.”
I didn't have much time to give the question any deeper thinking than that. Since then, however, I've had more opportunity to think about the question and think about why I would answer the way that I did.
You see, I believe that a biblical view of work can be characterized by two themes: stewardship and reward. Not only do I believe this a good characterization, but we can see them both in God at creation. His exercise of stewardship is not only seen in His creativity in the diversity seen in creation, but also in His design of sustainable ecosystems is His creation. Put more simply, He designed something, and then He provided a way for it to flourish. And His reward is seeing the works of HIs hands functioning exactly the way He designed it to do. Here’s the proof: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”(Gen. 1.31, ESV) In short, God acted upon the nothingness and result is a flourishing universe.
So when I said, “help my coworker flourish in their job,” what I meant is act on their behalf in the same way God has, does, and always will act on ours. He comes into our space, acts on our behalf, and we flourish (I think I just restated the gospel of Jesus). Jesus takes on our flesh, lives, dies, and is raised back to life in our place, and by grace, through faith, we flourish. God Is Amazing!!
Our mission at HealthKeeperz is to care for all people for the glory of God, and that means we care for all people in the same way that He does. God perceives our need and acts for our benefit that we might excel. What would it look like for each one of us to commit ourselves each day to the flourishing of our neighbor in the office? What kind of difference would it make to ask the question, “How can I help you excel today, and then take action to see it through.” When we let the two work themes, stewardship and reward, guide us here, God’s work happens.
Faithful stewardship is going to give my work shape and direction. I’ll pay attention to the detail, make the needed phone call now, follow-up on that email, or embrace accountability that seeks good for myself and others. And the reward will not only be a smoother work day, but also the joy of knowing I have made my brothers and sisters happy to be at HealthKeeperz because they, too, had a smoother work day. We all have flourished.
As we begin a new year, let’s ask God to help contribute everyday to the flourishing of our team.
Yours in Christ,
HealthKeeperz is thrilled to announce that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded four stars to the company’s home health care services this year.
The four-star designation from CMS signifies excellence across eight categories:
“It’s all in our mission statement – caring for all people for the glory of God – and how we live out that mission,” said Sharpe. “If we align ourselves within that vision, everything else we do falls in line.”
Sharpe emphasized HealthKeeperz’ holistic approach to running a home health agency, which means caring not only for patients, but also for staff. She said the organization is first and foremost dedicated to treating all people well and achieving good outcomes in every encounter – with patients and with caregivers.
“Every single member of our team helped bring us to this point,” said Sharpe. “In particular, I want to recognize Amanda Sampson, home health director for the Laurinburg agency; Kim Oxendine, home health director for the Fayetteville agency; and Karen Booth, performance improvement director.”
Sharpe reiterated the importance of not only having a powerful mission statement, but also living up to it every single day. Our team’s commitment to this ideal is evident in the kindness and dedication with which service providers care for patients. It means going the extra mile to make our patients happy – striking up a thoughtful conversation or offering a hand to hold during an uncomfortable procedure. HealthKeeperz professional staff embody the Barnabas culture in many ways, little and big.
“With each home visit, we’re seeking positive results,” said Sharpe. “Positive results for the patient and for the provider.”
Receiving four stars places HealthKeeperz among the best home health care agencies in the nation. HealthKeeperz performed strongly across a broad range of criteria, indicating positive results in each area that we see patients for. This includes everything from skilled nursing to physical therapy to occupational therapy.
“We couldn’t have gotten here without a daily commitment to each other and to the Barnabas culture at HealthKeeperz,” said President Tim Brooks. “We operate more like a family than a typical top-down organization. When our nurses, therapists, and caregivers feel respected, they do their best work, and we will never stop placing the highest value on our staff and patients.”
If you’re interested in learning more about our CMS four star-rated services, please contact the HealthKeeperz team at 800-309-3784 to begin the conversation.
The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection, renewal, and resolutions. It’s a time when many of us stop to take a look at our lives and our habits, asking ourselves, how can I live a happier life? Often, the answer lies in taking better care of ourselves – our bodies and our minds.
This is particularly true for those who work as caregivers, a career in which it’s all too easy to neglect your own self-care, as well as those for whom they provide care. Here are a few fun and easy ideas that can help you live a happier and healthier life, at any age, in 2019. They are versatile enough to try with friends, family members, and neighbors. If you’re a caregiver, they can be easily incorporated into the day-to-day care of your clients – or into your own personal life, if you benefit from home health and/or companion care.
Discover a new hobby. Research shows that continuously introducing the brain to new things keeps it young, sharp, and healthy. Picking up a new hobby is one way to give your brain a workout. The best hobby is one that challenges you while still feeling fun and enjoyable. Many people find solace in activities that require careful attention and mindfulness, such as knitting, weaving, or painting.
These hobbies allow you to zone out from the stress of everyday life and escape completely into what you’re doing. Other people prefer the rush of endorphins that comes with more active hobbies, like walking. Physically active hobbies have the advantage of benefiting your mind and body health, but don’t think you have to limit yourself if you are not highly mobile: There are plenty of stationary hobbies that still challenge your brain and allow you to reap the health benefits.
Join a social group. Chances are, your town or city offers a variety of social groups that you are not yet taking advantage of. Even small towns have clubs and groups for activities like walking, reading books, and playing cards. Isolating yourself socially is the quickest way to feel unhappy; humans crave frequent and engaging social interaction. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to this problem:
Do a Google search or check your local paper for social clubs that meet near you. Meeting new people and developing close relationships is a one-way ticket to a happier and more exciting life. Research shows that it’s great for mental health and may even keep you active by providing fun opportunities for outings and physical activities. If this sounds like a good idea but you don’t know which kind of club to start with, visit your local senior center or YMCA. These environments provide a great starting point for social groups. Maybe you’ll find your people shooting hoops, walking a few laps around the track, or just sitting and chatting.
Rediscover cooking. It’s easy to fall into a routine in the kitchen, cooking the same few dishes over and over. After all, if you find something you like, why not hold onto it? While it’s okay to have your favorite recipes, don’t let them limit you from trying something new. Mixing things up in the kitchen will help you fall in love with food and cooking all over again.
Start by finding out what foods are in season, either by consulting the internet or visiting your local farmers market. Seasonal produce is always the most flavorful and delicious, and since it’s the freshest, it’s also richest in nutrients. From there, challenge yourself to prepare ingredients in a way you never have before. Many places have at least one or two international stores, where you can buy new spices and herbs that you may have never tried before.
If you want to make it even more fun, invite friends or family to help. Interactive dinner parties are way more engaging! You may not love every new dish you prepare, but trying new things is good for brain health, and if you incorporate seasonal fruit and veggies, your body will thank you, too.
Pick a room/area in your home to redecorate. Our environment affects our happiness way more than most people think or notice. If your bedroom is cluttered, your mind will feel cluttered; if your bedroom is tidy and styled just to your tastes, you’ll wake up feeling ready to tackle the day. Picking an area in your home to redecorate is a fun and rewarding project that leaves you with a tangible sense of accomplishment at the end.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, either: Cleaning is always free once you have the supplies to do it, and thrift stores are a wonderful place to find unique household decorations. Spend a day browsing the thrift shops in your area, and you’re bound to find at least a few one-of-a-kind gems that fit your liking. Even small touches – like replacing ancient curtains with new ones that you love or buying a few candles to adorn your dresser – can completely change the feel of a space. You deserve to have somewhere that feels like your own private haven, and creating it yourself is oh-so-fun. Plus, it satisfies the craving for change and renewal that many people feel at the beginning of a new year.
These healthy living ideas illustrate that you don’t have to spend an hour at the gym every day to live healthfully; simply incorporating more movement into your life and trying new things goes a long way in making you live a longer, fuller life. If you feel so inspired, these can be adopted as new year’s resolutions – ones that you’ll actually look forward to keeping. Happy 2019!
Discussions of health care too often focus on the scientific or big-picture things while neglecting the human impact. But it’s the human things that you notice and feel everyday: The exhaustion of hospital visits, the frustration of having to drive long distances to see the right doctor, the guilt over relying on friends and family for transportation. These human factors may not always come up in conversations with medical staff, but they affect you every single day. It’s often these factors that drive people to seek home health care.
Factor 1: Finding a clinical facility that can care for you
Rural populations are severely underserved by clinical facilities in this state. Facilities tend to cluster around major population areas, leaving rural folks with few or no options. The closest doctor that can fulfill your needs may be hours away. If you require highly specialized treatment, finding a doctor is made all the more difficult. For most people living in rural areas, it’s just not practical to travel so far for routine care. After all, who has time to spend an entire day just going to the doctor and back for a checkup? Unfortunately, this means that many people in rural areas end up putting off health care visits and experiencing health problems as a result.
Factor 2: Lack of transportation options
If you don’t own your own car or can’t drive, you’re often out-of-luck when it comes to receiving clinical treatment. Living in a rural area, it’s nearly impossible to find a bus line that can take you to the medical facility you need. Many people thus turn to friends, family, or neighbors for transportation, which is a solution for some, but difficult for others. It means you’re entirely reliant on others for a ride – leaving you helpless if they are all unable to take you when you need to go. That’s not to mention the feelings of guilt and longing for independence that are often associated with relying on others for transportation.
Factor 3: Logistical difficulties of visiting a doctor
Doctor’s visits are not just about the time you spend face-to-face meeting with your doctor: They also involve a long trip there, a long time spent in the waiting room, and a long trip back. Before you know it, a routine doctor’s visit can eat up your whole day. Everybody, and older individuals in particular, experiences stress and fatigue as a result of this lengthy and disruptive process. It is extremely frustrating to spend several hours on a clinical visit in which your time with the doctor may only be 20 minutes. It is also stressful and draining to uproot your day-to-day life and routines – especially when you must do so over and over to treat an ongoing health problem.
Factor 4: The comfort and ease of home health
The aforementioned factors often make home health the preferred option for ongoing care, as doctors and patients discuss the best ways to manage a surgical recovery or an ongoing condition. For one thing, it is easier for rural folks to access, with providers serving small-town areas all over the state. That means fewer two-hour drives just to check-in about your arthritis. Home health care also removes the transportation barrier that so many people face – no car, no problem. With home health, the care you need is delivered right to your door, and you never have to worry about finding a ride. Finally, home health provides relief from the strenuous process of going to and from the doctor as often. No longer do you have to disrupt your everyday life on a regular basis to receive health care. Instead of spending hours in a waiting room, you can remain in the comfort of your own home. Many people can’t believe how stress-free health care seems after switching to in-home care.
If you are struggling to cope with the human factors of health care, HealthKeeperz, working with your doctor, can make your life easier. If we do a good job as your home health provider, you’ll inevitably need to visit your physician less and enjoy a better recovery or quality of life from your home. Please contact us at 800-309-3784 to start the conversation.
Some of my fondest childhood memories of Christmas are of those times when my mom or dad or aunt or uncle would take me, my brother, and our cousins to see the Christmas lights.
In rural North Carolina, we don't refer to groups of houses along rural roads as “neighborhoods.” However, it was to one such rural cluster of houses that we would drive to every Thanksgiving weekend to see the lights. Cars would line up for quite a distance, and we would drive by, ever so slowly, amazed at how these homeowners had taken the time to trace various objects in their yard with Christmas lights.
There was one question that never failed to surface. It was, “I wonder how much their light bill is?” Now, mind you, this was long before highly efficient and energy-saving LED Christmas lights became so prevalent. Back in my childhood days, they used the “big bulbs.” Thus, I came to appreciate these homeowners even more when I realized that their electric bill, come December and January, would be substantially higher than other months—all because they delighted in bringing joy to their neighbors near and far.
So, since my childhood, the Christmas lights have been my favorite Christmas decorations.
Now that I'm older and have been a disciple of Jesus for more than 20 years, I realize that light has tremendous significance in the truth surrounding the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus is described by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah as a great light dawning from the darkness that dispels all gloom and fear. Listen to Isaiah:
Isaiah 9:1–2 (NLT) 1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
What good news! The time of darkness and despair will not go on forever, because light has dawned. Later on in that passage, Isaiah also tells us that this good news is directly related to the birth of a child, a child who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Remarkable! That there would be a child who could usher in a reign of peace throughout the world could only be accomplished by God, and God did it and is doing it.
But do you know what is equally remarkable? That God would place this same light in us, His people. Now, because the Light Bearer, Jesus Christ, has come and reigns in our hearts, we are made to be “the light of the world.” We, like little Christmas lights in a strand, have been woven together and placed by a Grand Light Designer in such a way that we might illuminate the objects around us reveal his handy work. When passersby see us, who have been ever so carefully placed, bring light into a dark world, they pause for a moment and give smiles of praise and gasps of adoration. For that moment, ordinary lights, in ordinary places, stir up extraordinary worship.
My friends, my prayer for us at Christmas time is that we may we see how extraordinary one ordinary child was. And how this ordinary child made us extraordinary people who now have light in us that dispels the gloom of yesterday and brings bright hope for tomorrow.
Merry Christmas and may God bless us one and all.
Chaplain James Chavis