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Keeping West Michigan’s Elderly Safe!

Finding ways to ensure elderly patients are safe at home is a goal of Family Health Care(FHC). One way FHC accomplishes this goal is through the organizations bathing program, which not only helps older adults remain safe by helping prevent slips and falls, but also relieves the strain on caregivers.

On October 10 during the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan Annual Conference,Family Health Care was presented with the Tess Canja Innovation Award from BlueCross Blue Shield of Michigan. This award is given to social service agencies thatwork to improve health-related situations for older adults. Winners areselected by a committee of state-wide volunteers who consider the creativity,cost-effectiveness, replicability and quantified positive impact demonstrated.

“This was a bit of a surprise since the Tess Canja Award is very competitive,” said ReneeKopach, outreach services manager at Family Health Care. “Our goal is to ensuresomeone’s mom or dad, grandma or grandpa is provided the care they need sotheir family can spend time making memories.”

In 2015, in response to an identified need among its respite clients, FHC implemented the bathing service. This service is available to seniors who are not eligible for skilled home care and would otherwise have to pay privately for the service or go without. A major safety concern for the senior population is getting in and out of the shower, a task that is often difficult or uncomfortable for family caregivers to assist with. FHC respite aides assist with bathing and personal care which increases bathroom safety, improves hygiene, and decreases risk ofskin break down and infection rates while providing essential support forfamily caregivers.

Family Health Care’s In-Home Respite Care program is comprised of men and women who have apassion for ensuring elderly community members receive the compassionate carethey deserve while providing the caregiver time to rest and recharge. Theseexperienced respite aides provide weekly visits during the day, on the weekendsand sometimes overnight. They help with meal assistance, reading, visiting andcompanionship, and provide time to socialize with another adult.

To learn more about respite services and how Family Health Care is working to give ourelderly in the community the best life possible, visit