Monroe man is 'Angel' to local elderly

Published in the Home News Tribune 11/10/10
By Maria Prato Staff Writer

MONROE  -  The home health aide business is a word-of-mouth kind of industry. And so far the gossip is good for Peter Broskie and his piece of the Visiting Angels franchise.

Eight years ago, while visiting with his parents in Concordia adult community's clubhouse, something occurred to Broskie.

 "When you're out at the grocery store, you really don't see the elderly,'' Broskie said.

"Those people would rarely get out. I really saw there was an older population, and it's hard for them to get around.''

 What began as a passing thought soon grew into a business venture.

 "I knew this was a good type of business,'' he said. "There is a need, and the need is only going to grow.''

 In Monroe, the booming senior population lent itself well to Broskie's staff of home health aids.

 "It just struck me that I've never seen a population of disabled," he said. "I just saw they needed help.''

 Since establishing the business, his clientele base has continued to expand, spanning from New Brunswick to Monroe.

 Today, Broskie has about 30 clients and more than 75 home health aids to assign from his database. However, pairing a client and a home health aid is more than just syncing together supply and demands; it's about wants and needs and chemistry between the two.

 "We need someone who's compassionate,'' Broskie said of his employees. "We take the extra step to make sure we're providing the right caregiver.''

 For Theresa Gyimah, taking care of her 83-year-old client, Aneliese, is about as fulfilling a job as they come.

 "She needs me, so I need her,'' Gyimah, a live-in health aid, said. Management of the daily cooking, Analiese's medication intake and the household chores, is not only Gyaimah's duty, but her pleasure.

 "I'm just happy to take care of someone,'' she said.

Whether it's someone to come in and prepare the meals or do some grocery shopping or 24-hour-a-day care with a client who may have more pressing medical needs, Visiting Angels can meet a client's needs, Broskie said.

For more information log onto www.va-nj.com or call 732-656-7720.

Maria Prato: 732-565-7263; mprato@MyCentralJersey.com


Alternative Home Caregivers: 'Visiting Angels'

Visiting Angel

(ARA) - Sometimes these angels take their clients on trips to the racetrack, or to the mall, or out to lunch. They may even just take them out to get some fresh air.

If these "angels" don't sound typical, it's because they aren't. They are staff members from the Visiting Angels, an innovative national network of agencies that provide non-medical homecare to older adults.

"We are different," says Phyllis Rosen, owner of a franchised Visiting Angels agency in Del Ray Beach, Fla. "We build relationships with our clients. How do you know what to do for a client until you get to know them? We are a people business, not a money business."

Unlike most service agencies that assign staff and schedule appointments with little input from their clients, Visiting Angels representatives begin by meeting with potential clients in order to get to know them. They also talk with involved family members, and when necessary, a person's physician or social worker. Working with the family, they develop an individualized program to manage the particular daily needs of each care recipient. The clients participate in selecting their own caregivers, ensuring that the match will be a good one.

"I've never met such a group of caring, dedicated people," says Rosen about the Visiting Angels caregivers.

The services they provide include hygiene assistance, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, shopping and joyful companionship. They are available on a live-in or live-out basis, daytime or evening hours, and on weekends or holidays. Caregivers can be hired to provide a temporary respite for family members, or for a long-term engagement.

Visiting Angels was established to provide alternatives for older adults who wish to remain at home rather than move to a nursing facility. Founder Jeffrey Johnson, a former Director of social work in a nursing home, found that many people were frustrated by the lack of options for seniors. He set out to create a network of agencies that could provide personalized assistance for older adults, allowing them to remain in their own homes and to keep their own schedules.

"We are totally out of the realm of any other agency," explains franchisee Rosen. Visiting Angels caregivers concentrate on the needs of their clients, and provide a more personalized experience than any other agency.

And about that trip to the racetrack, the client and the caregiver each won $40. But then they had the angels on their side.

Courtesy of ARA Content


Visiting Angels to Aid Seniors

Published in the Home News Tribune 11/29/03

Visiting Angels franchise offers elderly help in their homes

By RAVIYA ISMAIL
STAFF WRITER

MONROE: When Peter Broskie's parents moved into an adult community in Monroe, he had no idea their decision would influence his choice of a career.

But Broskie soon realized he wanted to create an organization that could provide services for an important facet of the community: senior citizens.

"We've lived in this town, and I really think this is what this town needs," said Broskie.

Last year he began researching home-care franchises and decided to invest in Visiting Angels, which provides living-assistance services to the adult community.

"We saw the need in the community, visiting my parents in their community," said Broskie. "You see the people, you see how frail they are. (Broskie's parents) have a neighbor who has fallen down a couple of times."

Visiting Angels is based in Havertown, Pa., and is a home-care company with more than 160 franchises nationwide. The company provides nonmedical senior home care including live-in care, assistance in hygiene, meal preparation, errands and shopping, and simple companionship.

Broskie, who has a full-time job, has been working part time since the end of September to get the company started. He operates it out of his home in the township.

"I think the growing trend is that (seniors) are not going to a nursing home, they are living at home," said Peter.

He serves as directors of the company, and his role is to be liaisons for the caregivers that will be working for Visiting Angels and the seniors they will serve.

"We match up the caregivers to (seniors)," said Peter. "No other agency does that."

Peter said there are similar types of agencies and individuals that provide services for the senior community, but Visiting Angels expands on the service by performing meticulous background checks and making sure a particular caregiver is adequately matched up with a client.

"I want the clients, the son or daughter, to get a quality caregiver for their parents or grandparents," said Peter.

Peter have been advertising in the newspaper, asking for interested people to serve as caregivers. They also have been traveling to Havertown to receive training to run the company and have been talking to directors of area senior centers.

Part of the reason Peter chose to open his own Visiting Angels franchise is because of the company's standards. "The mission statement, how they market themselves by emphasizing that (the client) picks the caregiver," said Peter. "They emphasize that character matters."

Peter said they are looking for potential caregivers who have a strong interest in serving seniors and display a caring and compassionate nature. So far Peter has interviewed more than a dozen people, with one woman interested in providing live-in care, and another, a stay-at-home mother, able to contribute a few hours a day.

"It's word of mouth, it's visiting people, it's networking," said Peter, adding that he hopes to have the company fully running in December.

Information about Visiting Angels is available by calling (732) 656-7720.

Raviya Ismail: (732) 565-7261; rismail@thnt.com

 

 


Visiting Angels and Alzheimer's Foundation of America Join Forces to Improve Quality of Life for Dementia Sufferers and Their Families 

 

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 15, 2004-- National Senior Homecare Company Will Offer AFA-Endorsed Training and Qualification Program to Caregivers Nationwide

 

Visiting Angels, a leading senior homecare franchise, announced today that it has become the first national non-medical senior homecare provider in North America to offer an Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA)-sponsored formal training and qualification program for those who care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. It is part of a collaborative relationship formed by Visiting Angels and the AFA to enhance the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer's and related dementias, and their families.

 

It is estimated that five million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that the brain disorder will strike as many as 16 million Americans by mid-century, according to the AFA. The plight of the late President Ronald Reagan, who suffered from Alzheimer's for more than a decade, served to increase awareness of the disease and the toll it takes on both individuals and their families.

 

AFA is offering its training program through Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), AFA's new membership division for healthcare professionals that was introduced this fall.

 

The DVD-based training program, which includes a beginning and a more advanced series, is designed to educate all levels of healthcare professionals about the brain disorder and how to provide safe and effective care for individuals affected by it. Topics include understanding Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, principles of basic care, and managing activities of daily living and behavioral problems. The series was developed by Richard E. Powers, M.D., Chief of the Bureau of Geriatric Psychiatry at the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and a member of AFA's board of trustees.

 

Upon completing the AFA-sponsored training program, Visiting Angels caregivers will be eligible to take a qualification exam through DCPA and earn designation as an AFA Qualified Dementia Care Provider or an AFA Qualified Dementia Care Specialist. AFA reviewed and sanctioned the qualification standards.

 

"This new training and qualification opportunity fills a tremendous need. I get a lot of calls from families who need respite care for someone with Alzheimer's, and this means I can provide caregivers for them who truly understand that they're dealing with," said Meg Beresik, owner of a Visiting Angels franchise in Bay Head, NJ.

 

Beresik knows from personal experience how important it is for the families of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's to have access to trained caregivers. In June of 2001, Beresik's mother was diagnosed with the disease. Beresik lived 40 minutes away from her mother and was a working parent with two young children. She found it so difficult to find qualified caregivers for her parent that she was inspired to leave her former career as a technical writer to open a Visiting Angels franchise.

 

Taking care of clients with Alzheimer's is very different from taking care of any other client, according to Visiting Angels CEO Larry Meigs.

 

"Individuals may have differing degrees of dementia, from forgetfulness and mood swings to the very real danger of their suddenly walking out of the house," he says. "That's why it's so important for caregivers to have comprehensive training covering all stages of dementia."

 

Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer, praised Visiting Angels for stepping up to provide DCPA training to its healthcare professionals. "As the incidence of Alzheimer's disease continues to increase, it is critical that organizations recognize the importance of setting high quality standards for healthcare providers. These efforts will go a long way toward providing optimal care to those in need," Hall said.

 

Having access to caregivers trained in caring for individuals with Alzheimer's will provide much-needed respite to their families, who are often juggling many responsibilities, as was the case with Beresik. She herself had to balance a job and caring for young children with responding to her mother's increasing dementia.

 

In addition, some Alzheimer's sufferers are being cared for by spouses of similar age who may have health issues of their own.

 

"They're not young anymore, they are experiencing interrupted sleep, and they are afraid to leave their spouse alone. As a result, they don't go to their own doctors' appointments--which is a recipe for disaster," says Beresik. "By establishing a relationship with a professional caregiver trained in caring for individuals with Alzheimer's, family members have a 'safety net.'"

 

Visiting Angels' franchisees provide a range of helpful services to seniors, including light housework, assistance in personal hygiene, meal preparation, shopping and companionship.

 

AFA, headquartered in New York, NY, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for "care in addition to cure" on the national front, and to collaborate on innovative, hands-on support services to individuals affected by dementia, and their caregivers and families. AFA unites member organizations in nearly all 50 states. For more information about AFA, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org. To learn more about DCPA, visit www.careprofessionals.org.

 

"As the number of Alzheimer's sufferers continues to grow, so will the need for qualified caregivers," says Meigs. "That's why we formed this partnership with the AFA to offer this specialized Alzheimer's training and qualification to our caregivers nationwide."