Queen City Homecare was recently featured in the June 2017 issue of Sycamore Living, a local community publication. The article, written by Cathy Hollander, highlights Queen City Homecare’s commitment to providing on-going, comprehensive in-service training and education. To provide better care, Jim Gruber, Director of Education at Queen City Homecare, has partnered with U.C.’s College of Allied Health Sciences and The School of Social Work to establish an Institute on Aging Education.
Local Company Addresses Care Issues of an Aging Population
People are living longer, which is one of society’s greatest achievements, according to the National Institute of Aging. However, as people age, they may become grail or develop cognitive deficits and require help.
“Seventy percent of our clientele have some sort of dementia,” said Queen City Homecare CEO and owner Aaron Stapleton. “Individuals with fait issues, at risk of falling, run about 90 percent of our clientele.”
People with multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis sometimes need assistance as well. Queen City Homecare’s mission is to offer the care their clients need to live as independently and safely as possible in their homes or in assisted living.
“I saw a need for a higher level of private duty care,” said Stapleton.
Over three years ago, when Stapleton met social worker Jim Gruber at a care conference, Stapleton recognized the need to provide on-going, comprehensive, in-service training and education to his staff. Gruber became the director of education at Queen City Homecare. He encourages staff input about what they want to know more about.
“How do we improve the quality of life for older adults?” asks Gruber. “There’s more to caring for someone than just meeting their medical needs.”
Gruber has many years of experience helping older adults and feels the people who care for them need training to understand the unique needs of each of their patients. Gruber has been creating biosocial histories throughout his career. Gruber emphasizes the need to develop a care plan and carefully document the on-going treatment, i.e. what has happened throughout the day.
“In order to offer the optimal care and allow their clients to live a full and comfortable life, the caregivers must know and understand the whole person,” said Gruber. “A life history is a valuable tool for caregivers.”
Gruber has found that to provide better care, the staff must have a biosocial history to give them insight into the person, what their life journey has been. He feels strongly about educating those people helping aging individuals. So much so that he has partnered with U.C.’s College of Allied Health Sciences and The School of Social Work to establish an Institute on Aging Education, with the long-term goal of funding a Chair in Gerontology.
Stapleton has made a significant pledge to this endowment. He and Gruber recognized the need for more education and insight about the geriatric population for professionals of all disciplines, including the college of medicine, pharmacy and psychiatry.
“What we’re providing in our academic institutions is mediocre at best,” said Gruber. “It’s a hard sell to get professional people to even consider working with older adults. We’ve got to do better.”
Queen City Homecare’s offices are in Kenwood, but they provide in-home or in-facility services throughout Cincinnati within the I-275 beltway. After a registered nurse conducts an initial evaluation and develops a care plan, state-tested nursing assistants provide 2- to 24-hour care. A Licensed Independent Social Worker along with a social work student visit clients receiving care and review the client’s chart.
“People offering hands-on care need to understand the different cultures and how to interact with people from cultures that are not the same as theirs,” said Gruber. “I’m training a social work student to provide bio-social histories to give the staff information that they need to know about the clients.”
With caregiver input, the social workers recommend an ongoing integrated health care plan. Queen City Homecare staff reviews the plan every 90 days, preferably with family involvement in the care conferences. For the families of Alzheimer’s and dementia, patients Gruber tries to offer a different view.
“When people see their mom declining and they fell they’ve ‘lost’ her,” Jim explains to them, “Your mom has just entered a new phase of her life.” He acknowledges that it doesn’t mean that it’s easy, but it offers another way of understanding and looking at what’s going on.
Named a top workplace in Cincinnati by The Cincinnati Enquirer for 2015, 2016 and 2017, Queen City Homecare hopes to attract superior staff. They have a partnership with Queen City Hospice, which is located next to their offices.
To learn more about the U.C. social work department endowment fund, call 281.8000 and ask for Jim Gruber. Gifts can be made to the James Gruber Endowed Fund for Aging Education at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Social Work. Checks should be made payable to: The University of Cincinnati Foundation, P.O. Box 19970, Cincinnati, OH 45219.