Hackensack, NJ, November 14, 2011 – Just two months after Hurricane Irene hit New Jersey residents hard, the Halloween Nor’Easter wreaked havoc on area residents.  The unprecedented early snowstorm was no match for Accredited Health Services’ home health aides who once again rose to the challenge to make sure their patients were well cared for.  They remained unfazed by blocked roads, bad weather and widespread power outages.  Here are a couple of examples of Accredited aides who went above and beyond the call of duty for their patients.

Help Finding a Safe, Warm Place to Weather the Storm

Jackie Valentine is a home health aide for Mr. and Mrs. H (names abbreviated to protect patient privacy) in Teaneck, New Jersey.  She was worried about how Mr. and Mrs. H were weathering the October 29th storm and called all weekend to check in on them, but never got through due to the power outage and downed phone lines.  Jackie wasn’t scheduled to come in until Monday, October 31 but she wanted to make sure her patients were o.k.  Jackie’s power was also out, but she used her mobile phone to reach Mr. and Mrs. H’s daughter, Tina.  Tina let Jackie know that her parents were insisting on staying home until the power came back on.  No amount of arguing from Tina could get her parents to budge.  They were intent on hunkering down for the duration.

This worried both Tina and Jackie, the two agreed to shift into emergency mode to make sure Mr. and Mrs. H were o.k.  On Monday morning, Jackie drove over to check on them.  The house was dark and freezing and Jackie reached out to her supervisor, Cindy Sansone, a Family Counselor at Accredited Health Services, for support.  Cindy spent four hours on the phone with more than 50 area hotels until she was finally able to secure a room for Mr. and Mrs. H in Secaucus, NJ.  Jackie went over to the Horowitz’ home, convinced them (with the help of daughter Tina) to go to the hotel where they would be warm and comfortable and helped them pack a bag to get them through a couple of nights until heat, electricity and telephone lines could be restored at their home.  Jackie called a cab to drive the Horowitz’s to the hotel, followed them in her car, and got them checked in and settled into their hotel room, and made arrangements for meals to be delivered before heading home.   Jackie came back the next day, Tuesday, to check on them and make sure they were comfortable, warm and well-fed at the hotel.  On Wednesday, Jackie went by Mr. and Mrs. H’s home in Teaneck to see if the power was still out.  It had been restored so she went in, turned the heat back on and then went to the hotel in Secaucus to help her clients get their bags packed and check out of the hotel.  Jackie called a cab to bring her clients home.  (According to New Jersey law, home health aides cannot transport patients in their own vehicles.)  Jackie followed in her own car to Mr. and Mrs. H’s house where she got them comfortably settled back in at home, unpacked their bags, and resumed the usual care routine they followed prior to the storm emergency.

“Jackie’s polite persistence in trying to reach Mr. and Mrs. H and convince them to make a move to a warm hotel with plenty of food and power was so well-received by the family,” explained Jackie’s supervisor Cindy Sansone.  “I’m so glad she reached out to me to help find a solution that would ensure that Mr. and Mrs. H would get through the storm, and its aftermath, with as little discomfort as possible.  It took Jackie, the Mr. and Mrs. H’s daughter Tina and I working together to make it happen, but it was a great team effort that paid off well.  We are so fortunate to have such a devoted care-giver in Jackie.” 

Tina was extremely grateful for the extra effort Jackie and Cindy put in to help ensure the safety and comfort of her parents.  In the end, Mr. and Mrs. H were glad to find a warm place to stay as well.  Jackie, Cindy and Tina were able to create a happy ending to a trying ordeal for all.

Driving Through a Dark and Stormy Night

Lynna Truong was scheduled for the overnight shift for Dorothy N. (name abbreviated to protect patient privacy), a resident of Dumont, NJ.  She had to navigate through driving snow, slick roads and downed power lines to get to Dorothy for her appointed 11:00 p.m. start time on October 29th.  The drive normally takes 15 minutes, but that Saturday night of the storm, the trip took more than an hour due to extensive road closures, detours and many tense moments on slippery roads.

“It wasn’t an easy ride to get to Dorothy,” explained Lynna, “but it was worth the effort because I know how important it is to make sure our patients’ routines are consistent, especially when there are extraordinary weather circumstances that cause anxiety.  I was so happy I was able to get there on time for Dorothy.”

“We’ve had two catastrophic storms in a row and two opportunities for our home health aides to demonstrate their amazing commitment and care for our clients.  We are so grateful to our dedicated team and their tireless efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the comfort and well-being of Accredited Health Services clients,” said Melissa Eschert, president of Accredited Health Services.

About Accredited Health Services

Accredited Health Services is one of the leading licensed homecare organizations in the state of New Jersey.  What makes Accredited different from other homecare companies is the awareness that there are many issues that need to be addressed when a loved one is making the transition from natural independence to assisted independence.  Families not only require practical and physical help in this time of transition, they also need assistance in managing the complex web of emotions that come up in times like these.  With every client, Accredited applies 30 years of experience helping more than 200,000 people and their families find solutions that facilitate best possible outcomes and quality of life for all involved.  Robust training, a dedicated staff devoted to offering continuity of care, and a wide range of services available to manage changing health care needs lays a solid foundation that offers homecare help, hope, comfort and consistency.  For more information, visit www.accreditedhs.com or call 877.200-0606 and ask for Melissa Eschert, President of Accredited Health Services.