Local ‘Angels’ fill the gap in care for senior citizens

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Laura Stetser/Pictured from left are Holly Jennings, Pat Laychock and Tara Clapp of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services in Egg Harbor Township. Laura Stetser/Pictured from left are Holly Jennings, Pat Laychock and Tara Clapp of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services in Egg Harbor Township.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Call it the rule of mom.

Pat Laychock, director of Visiting Angels, and her sister/business partner Kathy Callahan, have a clear line in the sand when it comes to hiring employees for their franchised homecare agency.

“We ask ourselves, ‘Would we let this person take care of Mom?’ If we would, then they can take care of someone else’s parents, too,” Laychock said of the pair’s hiring process for aides, called “Angels.” She said she hopes that their level of concern will put other families who may need assistance for their ailing parents at ease.

Visiting Angels provides seniors and other adults with the needed assistance to continue living at home, she said.

“We step in when the children can’t do it,” she said, noting that these situations often occur when the adult children have their own work and family obligations to meet or live away from where their parents reside.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep them home safely and prevent admissions to hospitals,” she said. “We will do personal care, light housework and laundry or just provide companionship. We come in where Medicare benefits stop.”

Laychock said her sister is a respiratory therapist who worked for years in hospitals, where she saw many of the same faces over and over again.

“She saw the same older people come in all the time for simple things that can be avoided, like dehydration, falls or malnutrition,” said Laychock, who is a certified senior advisor, trained with specialized knowledge about aging and important health, financial and social issues related the age group.

The sisters decided they wanted to launch a business to fill in the gap in care that can exist when the senior citizens return home alone. They bought the franchise seven years ago and today service approximately 60 clients throughout Atlantic County.

“We fit into their schedule,” she said, explaining that often means that weekend or holiday care is provided.

She said one man from the Philadelphia area hired her certified and state-licensed home health aids to provide companionship to his aging mother who came along on his family vacation in Atlantic City.

“The aid took her to the casinos and walked on the boardwalk with her while the family enjoyed their time together, so they all got a nice vacation.”

Laychock said she their services would make a nice holiday gift for adult children to give their parents.

“They know their children are busy with their lives and often feel bad asking for things,” she said, adding her staff could take them out shopping or do housework for them as a nice stress-free treat.

See www.visitingangels.com/eggharbortwp for more information.


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