Santa Cruz, CA, January 08, 2018 - Lifespan, a comprehensive aging care management agency locally owned and operated and serving Santa Cruz for 35 years, is now offering a new and innovative service — Personal Assistants.
Personal Assistants are skilled individuals with experience serving aging and disabled persons who can offer a variety of activities, such as socialization, recreation, home organization, escort to medical appointments, and more. Support is also available with organizing mail, bill paying and completing forms.
Kathy Geerin, of Santa Cruz is one such personal assistant. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, and a graduate of Hofstra University, Geerin was an art teacher and art therapist in special education before joining Lifespan in 1997. She started out working in Lifespan’s conservatorship program and later became a part-time care management assistant prior to that program expanding into the current personal assistant program.
Geerin works with six to seven clients for several hours each per week. A typical day with a client might involve going grocery shopping, escorting to a hairdressing or manicure appointment, sorting and organizing mail and other paperwork, trips to the library or a scenic beach drive. She may also assist with scheduling appointments and arranging transportation. Sometimes Geerin will simply sit and talk with a client if the client desires. “I enjoy learning about my clients, some have a fascinating history, it’s really interesting.”
There is a one-hour minimum for the Personal Assistant service.
Lifespan is a comprehensive aging care management agency dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in the home or setting of one’s choice.
Lifespan’s goal is to maximize the health, safety, comfort, and independence of its clients through compassionate person-centered care. Since 1983 Lifespan has provided all-inclusive home care and professional geriatric care management services to adults in need of assistance. A leader in aging care services, Lifespan is one of the very first organizations to provide this combination of care on the West Coast, and still the only agency of its kind in Santa Cruz County.
Lifespan’s professional care management is provided by registered nurses and master’s level social workers who conduct assessments of client strengths and unmet needs then help the client and family decide on a plan of care. In addition, care managers can coordinate a variety of resources and work with health care providers, fiduciary agents, and other professionals to make sure that all needs are met as conditions change. Lifespan also offers medication set-up and managements by RNs.
Home care aides provide the important support with activities of daily living such as light housekeeping, shopping, laundry, meal preparation and clean up, personal hygiene, mobility, and medication reminders. They also provide protective supervision for persons with cognitive impairment. Care up to 24/hours per day is offered based on staffing availability. All home care aide services are supervised by the professional care manager RNs and social workers to ensure optimal care.
Lifespan is in full compliance with the 2015 California Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act, under the auspices of the California Department of Social Services, which specifies that all employees meet criteria as registered home care aides. This includes thorough screening, criminal background clearance (fingerprinting) by both the Department of Justice and FBI in addition to verifying initial and ongoing professional training. Employees of all levels are covered by Lifespan’s general liability bond and worker’s compensation policies.
There are more than 2 million professional home care workers in the U.S. providing care and support to aging adults and persons with disabilities in home and community-based settings. The home care workforce has doubled in the past 10 years and the population of those 65 and older is expected to double to 88 million by 2050, making the role of professional aging care professionals that much more critical.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901