web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



When Health Care Comes Home


A parent or spouse suddenly suffers a debilitating stroke or heart attack and requires home health care. Where should the family turn?

 

            Many families thankfully are never forced to consider such questions. Others, though, are not as lucky and feel overwhelmed by the new situation thrust upon them, not knowing where or to whom to turn for advice.

 

            The Jewish Press recently spoke with Avi Cyperstein and Adina Berger, director of marketing and director of patient services, respectively, for InterGen Health, a relatively new home health care agency that prides itself on its caring and customer-friendly service. InterGen, which started operations in June 2008, employs approximately 500 home health aides and services patients throughout New York City’s five boroughs and Nassau County.

 

The Jewish Press: It’s probably natural for people to worry that home health aides won’t treat their loved ones with the same devotion and care that they would. How do you address that concern?

 

Cyperstein: I’ve had families who will ask to meet the aide before we start anything and I will put the person in my car, drive to the family’s house, and sit down with the family and patient to go through any questions they may have and see if they hit it off.

 

We want to make the transition from “Oh, my God, what do we do?” to “Wow, this is really working out!” as smooth as possible. Essentially we view ourselves as an extension of the family. We want the patients and families to know that we’re here for you.

 

I should add that all our home health aides are licensed, certified, and trained in the ADLs – activities of daily living – which means assistance with eating, feeding, clothing, bathing, washing, showering, moving, transporting, toileting, basic housekeeping, walking, etc. We also do background checks on every one of our aides to make sure they are legally allowed to work in the United States, have no history of Medicaid fraud, etc.

 

           How many of your patients are Orthodox, and do you make an effort to send Jewish home health aides who better understand Orthodox Jewish culture and practices to these patients?

 

           Cyperstein: It’s hard to know how many are Orthodox. I think maybe 30 percent. [Regarding the second part of your question,] there’s very few Jewish home health aides. So what we try to do is find someone who has experience working with Orthodox patients. We are constantly being surprised by people who come in to apply for a job and we’ll ask them about their previous experience, and they’ll say, “What do you mean? I worked for this rabbi in Brooklyn for 12 years. I know everything about kosher and Shabbos.”

 

            Right now we have an Irish aide who has been working for an Orthodox family for almost a year who takes the patient to shul, checks the times for Minchah, and on Shabbos speaks to the patient about the parshah. The aide is becoming so knowledgeable in Jewish law that visitors to the family sometimes ask, “This aide is Jewish, right?”

 

Do you often get complaints from patients that their home health aides are cold or “have an attitude”?

 

Berger: Often? No. It happens, but when you buy a bunch of grapes, you’re going to have some good grapes and some bad grapes. Most of the time, the bad ones are one or two and you get rid of them right away. The same thing with home health aides.

 

            So the bad grapes are discarded?

 

Cyperstein: Well, if it’s a significant complaint we’ll take them off our roster, but [often the complaint is more subjective]. For instance, a family will complain to us that the home health aide is not talkative; we need someone who’s more talkative.

 

I got a request a couple of weeks ago for a Spanish-speaking home health aide who’s young and not fat. I sent this e-mail to my office and they thought I was joking, but this was the family’s request and we got it. We have to meet the family’s needs.

 

I once got a request for someone who knows how to play chess. The patient liked to play chess and needed an aide who could play chess with him all day, so we found someone. We kind of roll with it. There are a lot of general type of requests – someone who’s talkative, who’s good at cooking, who can help, etc. – but we get funny and interesting ones too.

 

If Congress passes President Obama’s health care plan, how will that affect you?

 

Cyperstein: It’s a good question. I honestly don’t see how it can affect us tremendously, but it affects the customers.

 

Berger: We’re constantly sending letters to the Senate to make sure the bill doesn’t get passed because they’re going to keep cutting the number of hours [that patients are entitled to under government-provided insurance], which ultimately affects us. But it’s the patients that are affected by it the most.

 

How do you monitor your aides? How do you know if they’re doing a good job?

 

            Cyperstein: For one, we have someone in our office whose job is to make sure that the home health aides are at their appointments and are clocking in properly. Part of her job is also to periodically call up people we’re servicing and ask them about their home health aide: How is the service? Is there something that we can do better?

 

A lot of people, especially foreigners who don’t have family close by, feel like they’re almost at the mercy of the home health aide, so if there’s something they don’t like they’re afraid to call us and complain. So I’ll go to the family member or patient and say, “Here’s my card; call me with any questions.” When you open it up, a lot of the time you will hear about things that can be changed for the better.

 

We like to be proactive, not reactive. We view ourselves as family. We’re here to help.

 

Those desiring more information about InterGen can visit www.InterGenHealth.com or call 718-346-1000.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When Health Care Comes Home”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
France Jew in a French synagogue talks about rising anti-Semitism.
Israel to Ease Absorption, Employment for Immigrants from France
Latest Indepth Stories
Jo-map

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

bulb

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

Medics evacuate the dead and injured after attack on Har Nof synagogue Tuesday morning.

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.

Joshua Klein

Another thing they have been covering up is the nature of the building that was attacked. To this day people refer to it as a consulate or an embassy, but it wasn’t.

The reality is that civility is less important than clarity, and right now only very few people on the Left are interested in having a civil conversation about the merits of particular policy solutions.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/when-health-care-comes-home/2010/01/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: