June 14, 2024
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June 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

SYNERGY HomeCare Makes Life Better When People Need Help With Day-to-Day Tasks

It’s difficult for everyone when aging parents decline and adult children become their caregivers. It’s tough for the elders to lose their independence, and hard for their children to be there when they have their own children and jobs. Too often, distance makes it impossible. The solution is a home health aide from SYNERGY HomeCare for a few hours a day up to 24/7.

SYNERGY receives referrals from patients, their families and health care professionals. Sometimes a person will be aware of needing help and other times it’s their children who realize there’s a problem. Professionals who see older adults, such as physicians and social workers, are on the lookout for signs a person isn’t managing well and can advise their family to call SYNERGY for help at home. SYNERGY has its own nurses to oversee home care plus they collaborate with doctors and nurse practitioners who make house calls.

An incident or accident can also send a person — including younger people — to the hospital. Don’t leave it to the system to make sure your loved one is well taken care of; you need an advocate. SYNERGY is your voice that makes sure a patient is attended to and cared for. During COVID, when families weren’t allowed in, SYNERGY aides were able to visit and report back to a patient’s family. And, unfortunately, it often takes an advocate for things healthy people take for granted, like getting someone to come quickly when the patient has to be helped to get up from bed and use the bathroom or needs to be changed.

SYNERGY is formalizing its advocacy program with a complimentary concierge service. When an older patient is hospitalized, the next step may be a move to a rehabilitation facility. When SYNERGY gets involved early, they can help you and your loved one navigate all the decisions that must be made in the hospital and make the transition to rehab, where they will be an advocate for patient care. When your loved one is ready to go home, a Synergy health aide can attend to their physical and emotional needs.

SYNERGY HomeCare aides are trained to care for the whole person, not just their condition. “We set them up for success,” said Sandy Contreras, executive director. “That means teaching aides not only how to care for people with an illness, dementia, or physical disability but how to work in a kosher kitchen, and how to be a companion. We know how to engage patients and keep them stimulated. We have online training modules and PowerPoint presentations we give for different conditions and situations.”

Long term care insurance was purchased decades ago by many of us, but when we need it, we don’t know how to activate the policy and obtain the benefits. If your loved one has long term care insurance, Contreras has become an expert in processing all the complicated paperwork. She helps you navigate this exhausting process so you can focus on your loved one. You may not know that all long term insurance policies require home health aides to be certified. All SYNERGY home health aides are certified and SYNERGY has its own program to train and certify home health aides.

Contreras is a certified dementia practitioner, which allows her to train her staff in best practices. That specialized training helps her look for problems others might miss. “I was assessing a patient today and noticed she had a pill on her lip that she wasn’t swallowing. Her daughter said, ‘She doesn’t like medicine.’ I was able to persuade her to swallow by telling her, “I guarantee if you swallow it, you’ll feel so much better.’”

David Bersson, who started the SYNERGY HomeCare franchise in Teaneck with Ethan Keiser, said he has an older friend who was very resistant to getting help. He realized after a stay in rehab that he needed an aide when he got home. “He may be in a wheelchair now but he’s eating, clean and happy and has someone to talk to,” said Bersson, “He’s much happier than when he was in rehab.”

There’s another need SYNERGY has identified that is often overlooked. If your loved one is moving into an assisted living facility, there’s not only a lot of work to be done but emotional trauma. A SYNERGY aide can assist a few hours a day before the move and continue during and after. The patients are not only relieved to get the help and the continuity of care makes the transition less stressful.

As SYNERGY approaches its sixth anniversary in the Teaneck area, Bersson has learned quite a bit about what people need and how to provide those services. “Customer service is the most important part of our business,” he said. “We respond quickly when people are in distress. Every case is different. We keep checking in to see if the caregiver and patient are a good fit. If we intuit that mom isn’t happy with her caregiver, maybe she wants someone more outgoing or she wants someone who stays in the background, we can make changes. It’s of the utmost importance that all of a patient’s physical needs are taken care of. Just as important, we make sure your loved one is given warm companionship, which improves their quality of life.”

To ask about getting a home health aide, visit www.synergyhomecarebergencounty.com. and contact Sandy Contreras in Teaneck at (201) 833-1500. SYNERGY’s New York office is growing. If your loved one lives in the five boroughs, contact SYNERGY at (212) 928-9500.

By Bracha Schwartz

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