VERNON — Linda Esposito started From the Heart Elder Care out of love, need, and guilt.
Five years ago, when her own mother passes away, Esposito had a well of guilt in her heart because there were no viable options of care for her mom. She experienced first hand, the struggle adult children wrestle with as they deal with meal preparation, doctor appointments, running errands, and house upkeep, all while trying to manage their own families and lives. It was out of this need, this struggle, that From the Heart Elder Care was born.
Now five years later, From the Heart outgrew its former home in Sussex Borough, and has moved to Route 515 in Vernon. Esposito has purchased a building for her thriving licensed, bonded, and insured business and has her busy hands full in making sure the community is educated in the changes of home care that are on the horizon.
“I built this business from nothing based on that giving gene that I’ve always had,” Esposito said. “People need care and I wanted to help.”
From the Heart offers services, including companionship, grocery shopping, care for plants and pets, personal care such as showering and dressing, medication reminders, meal prep, light housekeeping, and dementia care. From the Heart has about 45 clients in Sussex County, and is looking forward to branching out, however, Esposito wants the community to know the home health care industry is facing a challenge due to new state regulations.
As with all things in life, there is a good and bad side to these new changes.
“By next June 29, home health care agencies must prove that they are in the process of getting accredited,” explains Esposito. “The good news is this creates a higher standard of care and forces agencies to do the right things and for the right reasons. The downside is that since the state will only allow Certified Home Health aids in the home, home companion jobs are slowly going to be phased out. This poses a problem for home care agencies, as it is more difficult to find CHH aids.
“In the past an agency could hire a companion to come visit mom, drive her to doctor appointments, take her to the beauty parlor, but with new state standards this will now be viewed as a liability,” Esposito said.
From the Heart Elder Care has enlisted the help of a consultant to aid them in the tedious details of accreditation and also offers a Home Care expert management monthly subscription to help other agencies. Helping Hearts Advisers is available to answer such questions as: What are the documents needed in the clinical and employees files? or What happens when the Division of Consumer Affairs shows up at my door? This subscription is $75 per month and Helping Hearts Advisors are open Monday to Friday from 9-5 p.m.
“When I started From the Heart, no one taught me-are your files right? Where do your clinical folders go? A consultant helps with those things and we want to offer that help to other agencies,” Esposito said. “We want to help other agencies so that we can all continue to help our elderly.”