Broad range of services to help Seniors
Article and image by Bill Hornbostel
When it comes to support for seniors in Northumberland, a new player has emerged: Flourish at Home.
Beth Brook, founder of Flourish at Home, says “It is a service to support mostly seniors, to help them continue to live at home independently.”
“It’s a one-stop coordinator and provider of services to help people,” says Brook. “It can be customized, depending on what their needs are, can evolve over time to change as the clients age, and then perhaps need more support or different support.”
“It’s a little bit different than some of the agencies that may already exist,” says Brook. “I’ve got a broader scope, offering more services to clients who see value in having somebody look after all the details and know that they’re going to have consistency, the same person coming, they can count on that person being there when they say they’re going to be there.”
Flourish at Home has been up and running for the last two months. Brook says, “I’ve got a team of ten: seven personal support workers are PSWs, and three caregivers. And a group of other people that I can call on for different services, whether that be home maintenance, yard work, different things that can be offered, depending on what the client needs.”
“Of course,” adds Brook, “my team is all fully-vaxxed, PSWs all have their CPR, first aid, police checks for vulnerable sectors, their references carefully checked. They’ve got a lot of experience.”
Flourish at Home offers several categories of help to clients. There is personal care, which includes personal support, laundry and light housekeeping, companionship, and grocery shopping; home services, which include home repairs and maintenance, gardening and yard work, and organizing; nursing, which includes post-operative care, cancer care, and palliative care; and moving help, which includes packing and unpacking, home staging, and décor.
Brook talks about the most common types of personal support help being requested. “Personal support workers can help with those who are ill, or have mobility issues need help in the morning,” she says. “Some clients have family, perhaps a spouse with them, but they need additional help and support at certain times of the day. So that personal support worker or PSW, would go in and help them get up bathe dressed, perhaps help them with their food, that kind of thing.”
“Then there’s also the other type of client that I found is looking more for companionship, and still some care, but they may have some dementia,” continues Brook. “And in some cases, their family may not be here. I’ve got a couple of clients like that, where their family is not here but they so they really value having somebody come in to keep their loved one company and to make sure that they’re doing okay, perhaps take them you know, for a little walk or whatever.”
Brook speaks about the kind of clients Flourish at Home serves. “It’s people who are living in their homes and want to stay in their homes. They maybe don’t want to move to assisted living, especially with COVID. I think there’s even more reluctance to move, so I’m finding people, rather than pay to move into an assisted living – and those can cost a lot of money to move there – they can use just a portion of that to have the support brought into their home. It allows them to continue living where they want to live, and, and be happy that way.”
Brook also talks about what prompted her to start Flourish at Home. “My background is not in health care – I’m actually in finance, a banker – but my volunteer work has been on the health care side of it; it started with involvement with United Way, the Northumberland Hills Hospital board, the Community Care Northumberland board, and I am a long-time volunteer with hospice in Northumberland.
“But also, I have a history, seeing my own parents as they aged,” continues Brook. “They were in Winnipeg, and my sister was there taking care of them and being the caregiver coordinating the services. And just over time, seeing what they went through, and also what’s available in the community and what’s not available, I really saw a gap in the services that are provided.”
“Also, I just found it very confusing, even though I was supposed to know – I was on the board of organizations – and I found it very confusing to try to figure out who does what,” Brook adds. “I think there’s a need for advocacy, for somebody to be an advocate for a client and to try to help.”
“I started this is because there’s a lot of seniors in our community. They don’t always have family here with them,” says Brook. “I saw that through my volunteering with hospice and Community Care. Their family may be far away and would really benefit from having somebody local look after the care for their parents or their loved ones.”
For more information on Flourish at Home, visit flourishathome.ca or call 905-373-3618.