Hackensack, NJ, October 3, 2011 –Accredited Health Services recently celebrated the dedication, foresight and resourcefulness of its home health aides in preparing for Hurricane Irene, and providing uninterrupted care and calm, consistent services to clients during and after the storm.

“Our home health aides are trained to offer great service in all circumstances and we are so proud of the work they do,” explained Melissa Eschert, president of Accredited Health Services.  “We want to publicly sing their praises for the extraordinary measures so many of our aides took to make sure their clients were comfortable, safe and calm throughout Hurricane Irene.  We believe the compassion and willingness to take the initiative and go the extra mile distinguishes our aides as caregivers with heart and character and we want to thank them for the selfless work they do.”

There are several stories about amazing efforts AHS aides made to maintain the level of coverage and quality of care clients want and need, despite the obstacles posed by the storm.  Here are a couple of examples of the many heartwarming stories.

Ramona Cadena had clients in Tenafly, NJ that had recently expanded their caregiving schedule to six twelve-hour shifts each week from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  This client had another company covering the evening care shift.  The Friday before the storm, Ramona’s clients let her know that their night shift aide was not able to cover their shift on Saturday night.  Ramona offered to stay until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday so she could prepare dinner, serve her clients, and get them ready for bed before the storm.  The clients were so happy to have the extra coverage when they really needed it.

“My wife felt good having Ramona here with us through the storm because she knows her well and they have a lovely rapport,” explained the husband.  “Ramona went above and beyond the call of duty.  She didn’t have to be asked to go the extra mile; she anticipated what would be needed to take the best possible care of my wife and I and she delivered it without question and at her own personal sacrifice.  Her presence made riding the storm out much easier on all of us and we are grateful.”

Ramona went a step further though.  Knowing the weather was going to be bad, she brought a portable mattress and an overnight bag so she was prepared to stay overnight if needed.  No one asked her to do this – not the client or AHS management.  She took the initiative and planned for every possible contingency to make sure her clients were safe and comfortable during the storm.  As the winds and rain picked up through the night on Saturday, Ramona offered to set up her portable bed in the living room so her clients would have the peace of mind of knowing that help was there if needed. They gratefully accepted her offer.  The next day, the Sunday caregiver was unable to get to the client’s house because of storm damage and impassable roads so Ramona stayed until 6:00 p.m. Sunday night when she was relieved by another caregiver.

“I knew the weather would be bad and I just wanted to make sure that my clients were taken care of in case the aide scheduled to relieve me couldn’t make it,” explained Ramona.  “It gives me peace of mind knowing that I had a plan in place just in case.  As it turned out, the plan worked out perfectly and anticipating my clients’ needs made it easier for all of us to weather the storm.”

Ken Freed is another Accredited Health Services client in Bergen County, New Jersey who felt a great sense of relief when Jason Hardy, one of his home health aides, was able to cover for his co-workers who couldn’t get to Mr. Freed due to the storm.  Mr. Freed relies heavily on the team AHS has working with him in short shifts (2-3 hours) and he notes that all of them are skilled, conscientious and reliable.  “Jason was able to get to my home and cover several shifts above and beyond his usual schedule so my care was uninterrupted,” explained Mr. Freed.  “Because I need a lot of assistance, the dedication of the entire team eased the tension of the storm and was a huge relief to me.  I appreciate all of them so much.”  Mr. Freed wanted to also acknowledge Ana Cardenas, Kenia Saltos, Harriet Fryer, Betty Fisher and Miozoty Cuello who provide unwavering service no matter what the weather.

“I was happy to cover the extra shifts for Mr. Freed during the storm,” said Jason Hardy.  “We are a great team and all of us work together to make sure Mr. Freed not only has the care he needs when he needs it, but also to ensure that he has complete confidence that someone will be there for him no matter what the circumstances.”