Q&As With Our Care Coordinator: Part One

For Nicole Rice, a long-time care coordinator at Friendship at Home, personal relationships are central to her ability to deliver quality service. As a licensed social worker with 15 years of experience, Rice is a firm believer that for older adults, thriving independently in the comfort of their own home is truly priceless.

Here are a few insights from Nicole on the services Friendship at Home provides to all members through their continuum of care:

Q: What is Friendship at Home?

A: Friendship at Home is a long-term life care option that enables older adults to remain in the home setting. Friendship at Home offers all the same services that a retirement community does along the continuum of care, starting with independent living and then moving into assisted living and further services, if needed.

Q: What services does Friendship at Home offer?

A: We coordinate an array of services. If an individual needs extra help with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing or mobility, we will source a caregiver to visit the home anywhere from a few hours a week to 24-hour care. The caregiver then reports back to inform me how everything is going and I reach out to each resident to ensure care is going smoothly. As the homeowner’s needs change, we can scale services up or down depending on what’s required.

Q: How is Friendship at Home different from other services?

A: We really do what we say we’re going to do. The fact that I am available 24/7 really surprises a number of members because, unless you’re in a retirement community, you don’t have access to an around-the-clock professional regarding your health needs. Anyone can call a company and request a caregiver come and help them; however, they then have to decide which company to use and determine if they’re insured, bonded and background checked. With our at-home program, all of that is taken care of right from the beginning. And, the care coordinator monitors all of that care through surprise visits and keeping a watchful eye on the members and their care needs. One would not receive this when requesting care services through a private company.

Q: How does Friendship at Home affect a member’s family?

A: It takes the responsibility or the burden off the members loved ones. It allows them to spend that quality time with a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle —– whoever it may be within our program. Friendship at Home allows family members to spend quality time with their loved ones and allows us to do the rest.

Q: How are costs allocated with Friendship at Home services?

A: It keeps the healthcare cost for the member at a steady amount. They know with our program that regardless of the plan or the services needed that it stays at a steady cost. This allows them to better plan for the aging process. Our pricing structure remains steady which allows for the individual to plan how much they need to spend monthly. We have no cap or limits on how much care a member can receive, it’s only based on their need.

Q: Why do I need Friendship at Home?

A: I think Friendship at Home is a valuable program for any older adults to consider, especially for those who want to remain in their own home. There are not a lot of programs in the state of Ohio, unless you private pay or have resources to go elsewhere, but even then, the care coordination piece is not there. At Friendship at Home, we see the care coordination piece as the cornerstone of the program. Our program allows that to happen for someone, removing the burden from families and allowing our care coordination staff to take care of you.