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Comfort Keepers provides 'peace of mind' for clients

November 28th, 2011 10:03 am by Staff Report

Comfort Keepers provides 'peace of mind' for clients

Locally, Comfort Keepers has helped more than 600 families in the Tri-Cities maintain their quality of life since 2002.

"Peace of mind" is something that is difficult to attach a price to, especially when it comes to the care of a loved one.


Comfort Keepers, a leading provider of in-home, non-medical care, has been delivering that peace of mind for more than a decade, both nationally and internationally. Locally, Comfort Keepers has helped more than 600 families in the Tri-Cities maintain their quality of life since 2002. Comfort Keepers is licensed through the State of Tennessee, which guarantees clients a second peace of mind knowing there are checks, balances and accountability for client care.


Linda Bambino, owner of Comfort Keepers Tri-Cities, described the service as "pampering people for a living." That pampering can include anything from companionship services to end-of-life care.


"Our clients are typically 65 or older and need assistance with two or more ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), such as light housekeeping, meal preparation or laundry. Other services include assisting clients to doctor appointments, shopping, or personal care," she explained. "These services can mean the difference between facility living and independent living. Comfort Keepers provides seniors or other adults extended in-home assistance allowing them to remain in the comfort of their own homes."


Services are available for a minimum of four hours up to 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The amount of time and services needed are determined by the family and Comfort Keepers. An in-home assessment is provided at no charge to determine the client’s physical and mental condition, and a plan of care is developed specifically for their needs.


The philosophy of care offered by Comfort Keepers is called "Interactive Caregiving," and is based on a holistic approach that engages clients physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. The goal is to keep clients active and mentally stimulated so that they can enjoy a better quality of life and physical well-being.


Comfort Keepers appropriately calls each of their caregivers a "Comfort Keeper." Prior to joining the company, each applicant is thoroughly interviewed, references are checked, and a national criminal background check is performed annually. All caregivers are employees of Comfort Keepers, not contracted labor, meaning Comfort Keepers is responsible for their bonding, insurance, workman’s compensation and payroll through the local office.


The safety and security of her clients is Bambino’s utmost concern. "They are my employees and we do everything in our power to make sure the caregiver we send into a client’s home is safe," she said. "Before sending a Comfort Keeper into a home, they are screened and assessed for special skill sets, and routine supervisory visits are performed to ensure standards of care are being met."


Comfort Keepers is licensed by the state and audited yearly. Bambino and her office administrator, Cindy Sproles, are proud to say the company has passed yearly audits with "zero deficiencies." That is considered an A+ for the home care industry.


Aside from Sproles, Bambino has three additional in-house staff and 65 outside Comfort Keepers. In-house staff members include Theresa Bright, community liaison; Rebecca Trent, scheduling coordinator; and Wendy Smith, client care coordinator. The folks employed by Comfort Keepers see it as more of a mission than a job.


Sproles explained a Comfort Keeper "has the heart of a servant. They really are unique people in that they love what they do. You have to have that quality and desire when it comes to being a caregiver."


In many instances, Bambino and Sproles have found the Comfort Keeper becomes an extension of the family. "We have had many caregivers who have gone in under a hospice situation. There was one gentleman in particular who stayed with his client until the instant he died. After the client’s death, our Comfort Keeper did not leave; instead he stayed and cleaned up the house, called the church and informed them of his client’s passing, and even laid out the dishes on the table so that everything was ready for the family to receive friends," Sproles said.


They have also found the Comfort Keeper learns a lot from their clients. "Many of our caregivers tell us they love talking to their clients and learning about their lives," Bambino said.


In fact, Comfort Keeper’s first patient in Kingsport was one of Norman Rockwell’s "Rosie the Riveter" models. "We didn’t know that until she told us," Sproles said. "Another client who lived to be 100 was asked on his birthday, ‘What is the greatest invention you’ve seen in your 100 years?’ He smiled and told his caregiver, "Without a doubt, toilet paper was man’s greatest invention," Sproles laughed.


Comfort Keepers provides an important service to the community.


"What we do matters," Bambino said. "We allow our clients to stay at home and have a good quality of life…that is something you can’t put a price on."


The Comfort Keepers office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but client care is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 423-246-0100. For more information on Comfort Keepers, call 423-246-0100 or visit the website at http://www.comfortkeepers.com/.

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