For the second year in a row, an area agency received an award based on client and employee satisfaction.
Visiting Angels, Greencastle, was recognized with Home Care Pulse's "Best of Home Care" distinction, which is awarded to the top 25 percent of agencies nationwide. Visiting Angels, which provides non-medical homecare services to elderly or disabled people, is now ranked among a select few of the best agencies in the country.
Visiting Angels Director Pat Kelley said 20 percent of the agency's business is conducted in Clay County.
Visiting Angels is an alternative to nursing home care and allows seniors to continue living at home. Their objective is to make it unnecessary for seniors to move into a nursing home. They offer services such as: Hygiene assistance, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and shopping, as well as companionship.
"(Receiving the award) confirms all the extra things we do for the clients is paying off in customer satisfaction," Kelley said.
Once every three months, Visiting Angels Greencastle has a Senior Appreciation Week. Kelley calls the caregivers and asks how they "can go above and beyond for the clients."
For example, one of their clients from Brazil hadn't had her nails done in five years. The agency made an appointment with a local nail salon and paid for the woman to get her nails done.
"She called me a year later and asked if we were still doing the Senior Appreciation Week," Kelley said.
"We sent her back to the salon again."
Another client had loved going to the movies, but hadn't been for some time.
Visiting Angels, at their own expense, took the woman to Metropolis, Plainfield, to see a movie.
"It blew her away because it is such a big theater," Kelley said. "She said she couldn't believe the was sound coming all around her."
Home Care Pulse, a company which measures client and employee satisfaction, created the "Best of Home Care" award to identify agencies in the private duty home care space that demonstrate a passion for client and employee satisfaction. Home Care Pulse believes that honoring the companies can educate and help families make better care decisions for their aging loved ones.
The selection process for the award includes the evaluation of client and employee satisfaction in areas such as agency training, communication, overall quality of care, caregiver performance, caregiver morale, response to problems and recommendation of services.
Employee satisfaction is measured by working environment satisfaction, caregiver performance improvements, how well an agency rewards caregivers and caregiver morale.
Client satisfaction is measured by client work ethic, timeliness and compassion, as well as the agency's communication, coordination with schedules and overall service.
"One of the reasons we won this award is we never ever miss an appointment," Kelley said. "No other agency can say that."
He said if a caregiver can't make an appointment, a substitute is sent in, and if a substitute isn't available, Kelley said he sends a manager.
Substitutes are people who have job shadowed under the caregiver. Job shadowing is used so the clients can get to know the substitutes. Because of this, Visiting Angels never sends a stranger to a client's house.
"This is something other agencies don't do," Kelley said. "We keep the same caregiver on the same case. If the client needs to be transferred from the bed to the bathroom to bathe or something, you don't want a stranger to show up at your door."
The Visiting Angels agency is part of a nationwide franchised network of 450 offices, which now exist in 40 states.
For more information, visit www.visitingangels.com.