First Health with Heart blog post. Just some thoughts and things on the horizon
Please hang with me as this is my first attempt at posting in a blog post. As I tend to write the way I think, things may seem a tad disjointed. There is a lot going on in my size 7.5 cranium. Especially when it comes to taking care of Seniors and how to manage their care for the best possible outcomes and quality of life. I will attempt to use plain language and avoid all the professional jargon that folks in the healthcare community typically throw around. So here we go.
I suppose I should start with a quick run down as to where my passion for care started and grew. I started in the health care industry delivering equipment for a medical equipment company in 1992. That company held the contract for Hospice of Louisville and the surrounding counties and boy, did we deliver?! Fifteen to twenty two deliveries and/or pick ups per day and around 110 miles per day driven. I learned very quickly that it takes someone pretty special to care for folks in the final weeks and days of their lives. Even though my role was relatively small in delivering hospital beds, wheelchairs and home oxygen machines I saw how spending a little extra time with folks and how listening really makes a difference in their maintaining a positive as possible attitude. Being that exposed to end of life events and having so much windshield time also made me think a lot about my own short time on earth, what I was goin to do with it and how could I live the best possible life time as the best possible version of myself. The next years saw me challenged by company buy outs, growth from driver to customer service, to warehouse management, to sales and to location management. After sixteen years of medical equipment I felt it was time to challenge myself again and get into something new. I was very fortunate to be given an opportunity in a sales position for what is now one of the largest skilled home care agencies in the Ohio area. It was a very challenging and exciting ten years being a part of the growth and prosperity that the company experienced.
As I approached my ten year mark with that agency I realized something was missing within me. A catalyst to this void was that I had lost my mother and father within eighteen months of each other in the last couple of years. I also realized over time I had been distanced further and further from the people (clients) we worked with. The interaction and relationships that I craved were no longer there and my ability to impact their quality of care had diminished. The health care community became more and more political and the job burdened with paperwork and red tape, distractions from what I felt was why I do what I do which is help provide care and assistance to those that need it when they need it the most. So I turned in my resignation and started working with Health with Heart. I had worked along side Linda Marshall and Richard Maniscalco in the past so I was very comfortable with the transition. Linda is a fierce patient advocate and Richard has the drive and vision to truly help Health with Heart break new ground in how we care for the elderly and those suffering from the challenges of aging.
Through my experience with the passing of my parents I learned something very valuable. Through all these challenges our parents go through and all the emotions that go along with them, there is another group greatly affected by their trials. The spouses, children and families. The impact upon the caregivers’ lives and their quality of lives is often overlooked by the healthcare community. There is a social component not addressed by diagnosis driven care. I’ve been with Health with Heart entering my third year now, and I can say that our focus and our messaging is evolving more and more focused on the entirety of the family and its health and wellbeing as well as looking at new and improved methods for caring for our elders physically, emotionally and socially.
As I continue to write I will explore some of the issues we face as the client, the primary care giver, the child, the spouse and the navigator. I will also be sharing what we at Health with Heart have in the pipeline for increasing the quality of care for our elders. Hopefully you will learn a little and I will gain greater insight into how to help those that helped us.