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Village Home Care provides compassionate local caregivers

 

Last updated 8/20/2017 at Noon

Fallbrook native Carol Stevens has owned and operated Village Home Care since 1999. Lucette Moramarco photo

Carol Stevens has owned and operated Village Home Care since 1999, and the Fallbrook native believes in neighbors helping neighbors.

"The women and men I employ are locals," said Stevens, who remembers Fallbrook when it had a population of 16,000 and the train ran through town. "They're paying taxes in town, having coffee in town and supporting the local businesses. We spread the love around town."

One of the ways Stevens and her group of caregivers "spread the love around town" is by providing compassionate assistance to elder members of the community.

"I have a passion for care," said Stevens. "It's not a job that you end up being very wealthy monetarily wise, but I'm wealthy in my heart. I have a great group of people that work for me."

Village Home Care is a non-medical agency that offers a variety of services and hands-on care provided by people who have been screened (criminal background checks) and CPR certified.

"The basic services that the caregiver provides is bathing, showering, grooming, shaving, hygiene, bathroom needs, light homemaking, shopping, meals, clean up after meals, and medication reminders," said Stevens.

Stevens is a LNV and all of her caregivers have medical backgrounds. Two members of her staff are retired nurses.

"I feel that people should know that when they hire non-medical agencies, that it's real important that there's a nurse on board," said Stevens, who explained that it is illegal for caregivers to administer medications. "So if there's a medication question, they can call me. The agencies that don't employ nurses, they're making guesses."

Although caregivers can't administer medications, Village Home Care staff can help clients organize and take their medications.

"What we do is we fill a weekly med-cassette and then the patient and the caregiver follow that," said Stevens.

Stevens said Village Home Care serves a wide variety of clients – "from someone who needs very little care, to hospice end of care," said Stevens, adding that many of her caregivers have been hospice trained.

Perhaps most importantly, caregivers provide companionship and the opportunity for clients to have some fun.

"We've gone to the casinos, we've gone to the malls, and we've gone to plays," said Stevens, who added that going to the beach is also a favorite of clients. "The beach is a biggie. A lot of people like to go and just walk in the sand."

One of the most requested trips is a short jaunt to a local business.

"Dollar Tree is a big one," said Stevens. "They love to go to Dollar Tree."

Village Home Care serves clients who may only request three hours of service a week to those that require 24/7 assistance.

"The favorite services are four to five hours, a couple times a week," said Stevens. "If people don't need constant care, we suggest shorts shifts. It's more like something they look forward to. Our job is not to come in and overwhelm people."

Stevens and her staff will happily work as many hours as required but what they most enjoy is seeing improvement in their clients.

"We like to see them cut back hours," said Stevens. "If they come home from the hospital with a fractured hip, sure we'll be there eight hours a day. But as they get stronger, then we're there six hours a day, and then four hours a day. It's good when we're not there as much because that means they've gained their independence back. We like to see people get better."

Village Home Care only accepts long-term care insurance but Stevens will work with those paying out of pocket to design a care program that works with their budget.

"Once you get to a certain age and are not generating more income for yourself, you have a chunk that you have to live with and I'll budget with that," said Stevens. "I don't want to take somebody's life savings. That's not what we do."

Village Home Care is a licensed home care business.

"California made it a law that we have to be licensed, and people should do their due diligence to make sure that the company their hiring is licensed," said Stevens, adding that people can visit http://www.ccld.ca.gov and select "find licensed care" to see if an agency is legally licensed.

For more information about Village Home Care, call (760) 723-1140 or email villagehomecare@aol.com.

 

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