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Home health visitors lend a helping hand

Physical therapist Jerry Tolley stabilizes Sandy Ryan as she uses her walker inside her Stephens City home. Ryan is a client of BestCare Home Care. Rich Cooley/Daily

BestCare Home Care provides comprehensive services to seniors

By Sally Voth

Stephens City resident Sandy Ryan couldn't say enough about the nurses and therapists who have helped her regain her health in her own home.

She nearly died after medication she was taking led to her becoming significantly underweight. After spending time in a nursing home, Ryan has enlisted the help of a home healthcare organization.

"I'm just trying to gain weight and get stronger and get back to living," Ryan said.

Helping her do that are the staff of BestCare Home Care, a Northern Virginia-based firm that offers full-service care, from skilled nursing to non-skilled nursing to personal care to companionship.

"As of right now, I have two nurses that come out, and physical therapy," Ryan said. "I canceled the [certified nurse aide] because I've gotten to the point where I can do pretty good myself."

She also met her occupational therapy goals, so an occupational therapist no longer comes to her home.

"I think that they're the best group that I've ever had to take care of me," Ryan said. "The people there have just got such warm hearts and they're always helpful. You can feel the love that comes out of them, and anything you need or want, they always try to do for you before they go, even though it might not be anything that would be their place to do."

BestCare Home Care was started in 2005 and based out of Woodbridge. A Winchester branch office opened in September 2011, according to marketing coordinator Missy Blitch.

After being on Valley Avenue for a while, the business moved to 130 Creekside Lane in Kernstown several months ago, she said. It can serve clients in Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick, Page, Clarke and Loudoun counties.

About 35 employees, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, CNAs, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists care for approximately 110 patients, Blitch said. She said BestCare hopes to be able to offer live-in care in this region at some point, but for now, clients can hire them for shifts of anywhere from one to 24 hours.

According to BestCare's website, the services skilled nurses can provide include diabetic care, cardiopulmonary monitoring and assessment, IV therapy, wound care, ostomy care, pediatric nursing, post-surgical care and pain management. In addition to the speech, physical and occupational therapists, medical social workers can also help patients, it states.

BestCare workers can help with light housekeeping, bathing and dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, companionship, driving clients to stores and medical appointments, and provide special services to clients with Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism, according to the site. They can also be called to do respite care.

The site states BestCare's companionship services can include talking, playing cards, reading, watching movies, helping with correspondence, caring for plants, participating in crafts and providing help with walking.

Blitch said the organization accepts insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid waiver and private pay. They can step in on a regular basis or just be called periodically, she said. She said there are other agencies out there that provide skilled nursing and others that offer some of the personal care, but BestCare is the only one to provide the comprehensive service.

Besides being state licensed, BestCare is accredited through the Community Health Accreditation Program, Bliss said.

"There's just a need here," she said about the decision to open an office in Winchester. "As the demographics are changing, there's more and more seniors coming into being. A lot of people want to try to stay at home as long as they can, so our goal is to try to help them and help their loved ones care for them at home.

"I think a lot of people don't realize there's care that can be done in the home, everything from skilled nursing care to any kind of therapy to personal care."

There is a 24-hour phone line and Spanish interpretation is available, Bliss said.

For more information, call 409-4622, or visit bestcarehomecare.com.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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