Seacrest at Home offers care and aid to seniors

Seacrest at Home provides comfort for seniors in the location where they typically feel most comfortable. The nonprofit, based in Encinitas, sends caregivers to clients’ residences, where they assist with basic tasks and provide companionship on an as-needed basis.

Kelli Denton, director of home care, noted that the agency strives to be a high-quality provider. “Being a nurse, I have high expectations of the agency, staff, and myself especially,” she said.

The agency has flourished under Denton, who has been with Seacrest at Home since it opened in January 2013. It was voted one of the top five home care agencies in San Diego County in The San Diego Union-Tribune Reader’s Poll in June. During the last 38 months, Seacrest at Home has provided services to more than 500 clients, with 140,000 hours of care.

About 60 caregivers are on staff, with a wide range of experience. Many have been in the industry 20-25 years; for others, it’s a steppingstone as they embark on new careers through college programs. “Caring and compassionate – we look for those qualities in our caregivers,” Denton said.

They travel up and down the coastline from Oceanside to San Diego, to assist people in their homes, and to some locations inland, depending on the availability of staff at the time service is needed. The caregivers perform tasks such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, grooming (bathing, dressing, etc.), meal preparation, cooking, bill paying, transportation, medication reminders and pet care.

Many requests are for companionship, Denton noted. “There are some seniors who are isolated,” she explained. “Many seniors’ friends have passed and their family is not local. For some, (this service) is their only social stimulation.”

Meanwhile, Denton emphasized that home care is nonmedical, so it doesn’t include services such as wound care and administering antibiotics. That type of assistance falls under “home health,” which is physician-ordered, and registered nurses and therapists visit the clients. But Seacrest at Home does work closely with home health and hospice agencies, Denton added.

The nonprofit not only provides services in private homes, but also in retirement communities and other facilities. Some clients have regularly scheduled times and days for visits; others have 24/7 care. And often, family and loved ones will call on Seacrest at Home to provide respite care, as they need a break.

“Very often, it’s not the clients who call, but their adult children,” Denton said. “Maybe they’re busy, or they don’t live local … (but) this is an assurance to them that their mom or dad is being checked on.” A minimum of two hours is required for caregiver visits.

Unfortunately, home care is not reimbursed by medical insurance, Denton said; the majority of it is through private payment. For those fortunate to have purchased long-term care insurance, Seacrest at Home will work with all of those companies, she added.

Also, there are scholarship programs available for those who qualify, and the funds can be applied toward the hourly rate. However, scholarships do not cover companionship services.

Seacrest at Home’s offices are at 211 Saxony Road, on the Seacrest Village campus. The companies are affiliated, but operate separately. For more information, call (760) 632-3715 or (760) 942-2695, or go to seacrestathome.org

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