Branum, who has been a nurse for for than 30 years, founded the SCV’s Preferred Care franchise in January 2013 and currently services local community and surrounding areas of Granada Hills and Sylmar.
She was inspired to open Preferred Care while working as a hospice nurse, where she saw the importance of daily caregivers and the work they put in after the nurses left.
“Non-medical care is something (clients) need all the time,” Branum said, “whereas the nursing visits were intermittent.”
Preferred Care offers a wide range of services for clients with all levels of health and mobility.
Their most basic companion and homemaker care services are designed for seniors who can live on their own but need help with daily tasks like grocery shopping, house cleaning, meal preparation, social outings and regulating medication.
For clients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, caregivers will focus on mental stimulation, memory enhancement and social interaction, while keeping an eye on health and safety issues like hygiene, medication and items in the home that could lead to falls.
Preferred Care’s most comprehensive level of service involves 24-hour live-in care, often with caregivers living in the home for two to three days at a time and rotating several times a week.
Transitional care is an especially important service, Branum said, because of recent changes to Medicare under the Affordable Care Act.
Hospitals with high admission rates receive lower Medicare payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the CMS website.
The need for transitional care “is increasing, because ever since last October, if somebody is readmitted within thirty days with the same diagnosis, the hospital gets dinged,” Branum said.
In-home care in general is also increasing in popularity, she said.
Branum and her staff at Preferred Care assess each client’s situation individually to determine what kind of care and how many hours would be best for them.
“I think if someone desires to stay at home, it’s definitely doable,” Branum said. “They don’t always need as many hours of care as people think they do… They perceive that it’s way more expensive than it is, if they think they need care all day.”
Even for patients with dementia or other cognitive disabilities, staying at home might be safer than moving to a nursing home, she said, because the patient is more likely to injure themselves in an unfamiliar environment.
Branum said that she also thinks seniors are being more vocal about their preferences.
“I think more and more people are being adamant about wanting to stay at home,” she said. “They don’t like the idea of living in a facility.”
For more information about Preferred Care at Home Santa Clarita and Jane Branum and her team, click here.
More information about Preferred Care nationwide is available here.
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