ADA — During the past week, Community Health Professionals of Ada celebrated their 40th anniversary and held their annual Festival of Trees promotion, raising money for the hospice program. They raised over $4,000 with weeklong silent and reverse auctions, a cookie contest and a spaghetti dinner. The large building was filled with beautiful, donated handmade articles including scores of “grab and go” wreaths crafted from recycled materials, which sold out in almost one day.
“A lot of these donations are made every year by our clients and their families,” said Deb Curlis, one of the community healthcare professionals in Ada.
“This year we outdid ourselves,” she said, “We actually had 94 items donated, which is amazing. As you look around, you can see nothing is the same. So out of all those people, they all think about something and they create things. Many have stories of their families.”
Curlis pointed out a tree, crafted by three sisters who wanted to do something in memory of their mother, who passed away through the hospice program. She said, “This year, they did a woodland tree. They worked all year making those handmade items.”
The business of hospice care and nursing services is one of the best kept secrets around, according to Brent Tow, President and CEO of Community Health Professionals, although in northwest Ohio there are 10 different locations in 15 counties. And though the service may go unnoticed until a family encounters the inevitable stage of hospice care, the professional services of caring for a loved one is a tremendous service in that time of need. They are the unsung heroes helping families who are usually at a certain stage of crisis.
“Most people don’t research home care and hospice service until they need them, so they often come into it with a lot of anxiety,” said Tow.
“By having a website that’s active and Facebook page updated daily, it really helps tie us in and maybe answer those questions ahead of time that somebody may be having. Especially during the holidays, I think people get together and they may get with relatives and see some decline that they didn’t see from the last holiday. They say maybe I need to call the doctor and get some physical therapy there. So you can call us we and take care of that.”
In addition to hospice, Community Health Professionals offers services in complete home health care, specialized, flexible, home-like adult day care services, and private duty nursing services.
Tow said, “We’ve been doing this a long time and we have a very comprehensive set of services from those first introductory services, such as flu shots, to private duty nursing. Some of our office locations have adult day care which is based on the medical model.”
In those situations where home is no longer an option or the caregiver needs a break they offer an inpatient hospice center with primary care nursing, two nurses to one patient.
“If you want to leave somebody with us, we come and pick them up during the day. They can have all their medications managed. The meals are set up by our nutritionists. They get bathed and we send them home, clean and monitored,” said Tow.
The inpatient hospice program offers all different levels of activities, with options for the patient to come in for social activity or if preferred, to do nothing. Physical therapy is made available while there and at the end of the day the service takes them home.
“We’ve had some adult day care patients up to ten years and it’s just one step before that long term care placement. It allows the family that flexibility, where they can say ‘I’m not ready to put a loved one in a long term care place. I want to keep them home as long as possible’,” said Tow. “That’s our whole goal, to keep people at home as long as possible, ‘cause if you don’t feel good, that’s where you want to be — at home.”