Santa Monica’s Wise & Healthy Aging Adds Senior Home Care To Its Services

Saturday, 2 Nov 2013, 9:47:00 AM

Mirror Staff

For many seniors, having access to reliable and affordable non-medical home care can make the difference between being able to continue living independently in their own homes or needing to move into an assisted living facility, nursing home, or their children’s house. 

But choosing a home care agency can be challenging, given the many choices available and the unevenness of the service provided.

This month, making a good decision may have gotten just a little easier for Westside seniors and their families, with the entry of the non-profit social services agency WISE & Healthy Aging into the home care field.

The new service initiated by the Santa Monica-based WISE & Healthy Aging is called WISE HomeCare, announced President and CEO Grace Cheng Braun.

Offered through a unique partnership with a local home care provider, 24Hr HomeCare, it brings together the strengths of the two organizations to ensure that seniors receive the highest quality of trusted service, Cheng Braun said.

“Although there is no lack of home care agencies, the truly quality, reputable home care agencies are few,” she said. “Over the years, we have received many requests from our clients for dependable home care and have only felt comfortable referring them to a select number of providers. We found 24Hr HomeCare, whose caregivers are fully bonded employees that have cleared extensive background checks and are properly trained, to be among the best. It’s great working with their office in Culver City.”

Given this situation, WISE & Healthy Aging had begun to consider becoming home care providers themselves.

At the same time, 24Hr Home Care had developed a highly successful model for working hand-in-hand with a somewhat similar non-profit community-based organization in northern California — Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay.

“So when 24Hr HomeCare approached us to see if we would have an interest to work together, it seemed like the right fit,” Cheng Braun said. “We had the advantage of learning from our colleagues up north, who were very positive and generous in sharing their experience, and everything fell into place within three months.”

As an experienced, community-based social services agency, WISE & Healthy Aging has been able to bring an extra level of oversight and care management while maintaining competitive rates.

Clients receive the extra benefit of assessments and care planning. And staff members even make unannounced visits to make sure that all is going smoothly.

“We are the source that families can trust, something that’s especially important for those adult children who live out of the area and manage their parents’ care from afar,” Cheng Braun said.

The services available through WISE HomeCare include personal care such as assistance with bathing and dressing; light housekeeping including trash removal, laundry, dusting/vacuuming; medication reminders; companionship such as accompanying on walks or playing mental awareness-stimulating games; transportation to medical appointments or for errands; and installation and maintenance of an emergency response system.

Service can be provided throughout the Westside and beyond, according to 24Hr HomeCare Co-founder Ryan Iwamoto.  

Many long-term care insurance policies cover homecare services, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an Aid and Attendance program that can cover up to $2,000 a month in reimbursement for homecare services for a veteran and surviving spouse, he noted.

Although the system has only just been put into place, several clients are already receiving the valuable new services that WISE HomeCare provides, Cheng Braun reports. To find out more about WISE HomeCare, please call the toll-free number, 866.757.9473, at any time 24/7, or the main WISE & Healthy Aging number, 310.394.9871 during business hours.  Information is also available online, at www.wisehomecare.org.

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