May 29, 2013

A Vision of Caring Ideal Healthcare Services

Filed under: Home Health Care,Senior Living Guide — seniorlivingguide @ 9:47 am

If Tammy Lewis could go back in time and advise her younger self, viagra she knows exactly what she would say: “Take risks, step out on faith and ideal 3believe you are who God has called you to be.” Lewis, an RN, is CEO of Ideal Healthcare Services, a home care agency that provides personal
care and companion services to elderly and disabled adults in 11 North Carolina counties. But her younger self was not nearly as confident as the woman she is today. “I had the vision of creating this company back in 1994, but fear held me back for over 10 years,” she says. Fortunately, Lewis’ desire to help seniors ultimately proved stronger than her fears, and she launched Ideal Healthcare in 2005.
Over the next few years she successfully applied for an SBA loan and, with the support of her mentor, County Commissioner James West, honed her business skills as a member of the City of Raleigh Pacesetters program. The most important business lesson of all: Delegate. “Once I started to delegate some of the work to other people, everything ran a lot smoother.”

Naturaideal 2l Born Caregiver

Caring for others comes naturally to Lewis. You might say it’s part of her DNA. One of her earliest childhood memories is of watching two great-grandmothers succumb to cancer – and of the loving care each received from family members. “That’s what I want to do when I grow up,” she recalls thinking.

The belief that everyone deserves the same level of care her great-grandmothers received has guided Lewis’ every career decision, every interaction with a patient, client or family member during her 20-plus years working in hospitals, long-term care and home health, and in her current role at Ideal Healthcare. “Our mission is to provide all clients with a compatible companion/aide who will enhance their quality of life and help them maintain their dignity,” Lewis says. Home visits from physicians and nurse practitioners are also available. To ensure that every client and family member feels loved and safe, Lewis personally visits each one prior to the start of care. Like any business, Ideal Healthcare has had its ups and downs, and Lewis and her team continue to face their share of challenges. Still, there’s nothing else she would rather do. “This is the best job I’ve ever had, simply because it doesn’t feel like one,” Lewis says. “I’m incredibly lucky to have work I truly love.” By all accounts, the people she cares for are lucky, too.

ideal HC 1

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Southern Hospitality – by Anne Conley

Filed under: Retirement,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 9:38 am

Today I was reminded what I love about southern hospitality. Wikipedia defines southern hospitality as “a phrase used to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm, purchase sweet, recipe and welcoming to visitors.” I think a portion of that statement could be amended to read “… residents of Springmoor Retirement Community…”. What a warm and sweet welcome we, patient Wake County Extension Master Gardeners (EMG), received from the Springmoor residents as we gathered to plant a vegetable garden together as part of the Wake County Extension Master Gardener’s Therapeutic Horticulture program. EMGs who volunteer in the Therapeutic Horticulture program provide instruction to seniors on indoor plants, floral design, container or raised bed gardening.

Springmoor 1Thom Morgan, Springmoor’s landscape director, greeted us on a cool, spring morning with more vegetable plants than we had room to plant! (Food always plays an important role in southern hospitality as provision for visitors!) Four Springmoor residents – LaVerne, Ann, Charles and Rachel – soon joined us dressed in the most fashionable gardening garb I have ever seen! Welcoming hands were extended to us along with soothing southern drawls of, “Welcome, we are so glad y’all are here. What can we do to help y’all?” (Note to self: Southern manners/etiquette – how can I bottle that?!)

EMG Pam Norton gathered two of the ladies, LaVerne and Ann, at a table to make seed tapes. Pam showed the ladies how to make “glue” with flour and water, apply the glue to a newspaper strip, and then place that strip in the garden. I may be more excited than them to see how this sprouts!Springmoor 2

Springmoor 3While the seed tapes were being prepared and planted, EMG Julee Jones was busily coordinating the planting of tomato, pepper, basil and cilantro plants with Rachel and Charles. As I photographed them working, I was aware of the smile growing on my face. I was watching southern hospitality at its finest – conversation was flowing cheeringly, information was being exchanged, and a helpful spirit prevailed.Springmoor 4

As I looked up from the vegetable planting taking place, I spotted LaVerne and Ann who had moved from seed tapes to tomato cages. I usually wrestle tomato cages solo in the spring, but here were two southern ladies who, without hesitation, rose to the challenge of separating those impossible things. I may have to invite them over to my house next spring… and serve sweet tea, of course!Springmoor 5

Charles took a break from planting when I asked him to show me the vegetable garden he had recently planted on his own. I spied his many tomato plants and asked what he and his wife were going to do with all those tomatoes. And with typical southern hospitality he simply said, “Share.” I asked him if he likes tomato sandwiches as much as I do, and he does. “What do you put on your tomato sandwich?”

Charles replied, “Just mayonnaise. Maybe a little salt. And it has to be with white bread.” That was a southern tradition in my childhood. And yes, Charles, it has to be with white bread!Springmoor 6

Of course, our time together didn’t end without one more act of southern hospitality – sharing garden cuttings. I was admiring a beautiful Brown Turkey Fig in the Springmoor garden and mustered up the courage to ask for a cutting from Thom. I am so thankful he said ‘yes’ (true southern gentleman) because now I will have a lovely reminder of the Springmoor gardeners and everything I love about southern hospitality!Springmoor 7

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