by Zinta Aistars
Published at Golden Slippers Network
February 22, 2015
In the classic movie, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks together the heels of her ruby red shoes and wishes herself home. In real life, most seniors make that same fervent wish.
“There’s no place like home,” says Kristin Kolasa, owner and founder of Kindred Spirits Senior Care. “That’s where people want to stay. Home is their place of comfort.”
Kindred Spirits Senior Care was established in 2011, Kolasa explains, in Northville, Michigan, covering Oakland and Wayne counties. Kolasa had long worked in health care, but when she and her mother Renee helped care for an elderly friend, something clicked. And it wasn’t her red shoes.
“When Richard passed away, my mother made a comment at his funeral that stuck with me,” she says. “She said, ‘I felt like Richard and I were kindred spirits.’”
Kindred Spirits—the name fit the concept Kolasa had for what is now a business with 40 employees, offering in-home services to help seniors live at home safely and comfortably: dressing assistance; bathing and showering; meal preparation; light housekeeping; errands and shopping; accompanied doctor visits; transportation, and more.
“Most importantly, we provide companionship,” Kolasa says. “For medical needs, many of our staff are CNAs [certified nursing assistants], and when needed, we offer hospice support, too.”
Working with a family begins with a free consultation.
“We spend a lot of time up front talking with the family about their needs,” says Kolasa. “We’re not a bull in a china shop, taking over. We talk to the family to find out what they need from us. We do with them rather than for them.”
An elderly client was an example of Kindred Spirits staff making a difference in the life of a senior who felt like no one was listening to him. In his early 80s, he had no family left, and he lived in senior housing.
“He was an agitated and disengaged man,” says Stacey Tardich, director of community outreach at Kindred Spirits. “He wouldn’t participate in any of the activities at the facility.”
Kindred Spirits staff helped him shower, shave, change the batteries in his hearing aids (one reason he spoke so loudly), and dress. A new cushion on his wheelchair eliminated his pressure wounds. “We put a cover over his catheter that was hanging from his wheelchair to restore his dignity,” Tardich says. “And we accompanied him to his doctor visits to make sure he understood his doctor’s directions and expressed his needs to his doctor.”
Perhaps most important of all was that ...
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