Interview with Local Senior Care Provider- Touching Hearts at Home
Information about services offered at Touching Hearts at Home
Lifespan of Greater Rochester, NY is the one-stop-shop for information and guidance for older adults and caregivers.
Chris Lawrence: Hi, my name is Chris Lawrence, and I’m the owner of Helping Homes REI, LLC right here in Rochester. Today, we have on Mark McDermott, the owner of Touching Hearts at Home in Rochester. Thanks for joining us today, Mark.
Mark McDermott: Good to see you, Chris.
Chris Lawrence: Yeah, thanks. Touching Hearts at Home provides senior home care services in Rochester, and the reason I wanted to bring Mark on today is to share some information on what services his company provides and give a little more information on the senior home care industry in general. Because oftentimes, when we buy a house in Rochester from seniors, and sometimes we work with the children of the seniors, it seems like there can be a lot of… It’s a very stressful time, a lot of moving pieces, and lots of uncertainty of what those next steps look like. So wanted to get some insight from you and share a little bit of information about Touching Hearts.
Mark McDermott: Great. Thank you. Yeah, Touching Hearts is a company that helps seniors in their homes. Our mission is to enable older adults to age in place and avoid hospitalization. And by aging in place, Chris, it’s not really just in the home that they’ve been living in or the apartment they’ve moved to. It’s also senior living communities like assisted living and memory care. Home is where the heart is, so we help seniors stay at that level and where they are, and in the meantime, really helping their caregivers, often their families, who are really struggling to support their parents and take on other things like their jobs and their children. So it’s sort of more of a community support that we’re doing as much as it is helping an individual senior.
Chris Lawrence: Right. So it sounds like it’s not like a one size fits all. If it’s someone that needs your services, you would meet with them, see what their situation is, see what best suits them, whether that’s in their house or whether that’s assisted living or apartment or whatever that next step looks like, right?
Mark McDermott: Yeah, very much so customized and personalized. We provide nonmedical services, so the menu of services would include things like safety oversight, standby assistance, meal preparation, hygiene reminders, memory care, transportation, meal preparation. People can choose from these range of services from three hours at a time to 24 hours a day. A big part of this is matching and making sure we have the right caregiver for the right client. So very much an individualized approach.
Chris Lawrence: Yeah, that sounds great. Now, is there other companies and resources that provide different services that you’re connected with because oftentimes, it seems like there’s a lack of information to the children and the seniors and they don’t really know where to go or what to turn to. So is there a resource or something that you would recommend that could help assist them through this time?
Mark McDermott: Yeah, I mean, I’m really proud that I’m the chair of the board of Lifespan. Lifespan is based in Rochester and has programs all over the county and even outside of the county. Lifespan is that one-stop-shop for people trying to figure out the answers to home care. They are also in this area the organization that receives the calls for a statewide program called New York Connects. Again, trying to connect people with information and resources. Lifespan’s number is (585) 244-8400. I would encourage anyone who has really any question about caring for older adults in this area to call Lifespan.
They also offer free education programs. They offer a gerontology certificate. They have social workers who come to visit people at no cost. They have safety experts who come to the home and can do things for people there like rails and grab bars at no cost. An amazing organization, so we’re lucky to have them, frankly, in this area.
Chris Lawrence: Oh, wow. It sounds like a really good resource for the seniors and the children because it seems like it’s sometimes hard to get that information. So, that’s great. We’ll also post that in the blog article just to have the website and phone number on that. If someone had more questions about your company, your services, what you provide, what would be the best way for them to reach out to you guys?
Mark McDermott: To call us in our office, which is in Rochester, and the number is (585) 271-7390. We’re right now working a little bit from home and a little bit in the office trying to maximize safety for the staff. We also have a website, www.touchingheartsny.com. There’s a lot of good information there. But I’d be really happy to speak with anybody who has questions and be a resource myself.
Chris Lawrence: Great, and you bring up a good point. I would imagine you guys are changing the protocol with COVID and all that sort of stuff. So you’re still providing services, still doing your normal business?
Mark McDermott: Yeah, as a matter of fact, we’ve had the two strongest months we’ve ever had in terms of demand through this COVID situation. We have had to shift some of our policies and procedures to more thoroughly provide PPE, personal protective equipment, to our caregivers. We have made the decision not to serve clients who have COVID because we don’t have the appropriate medical training to do that, and we didn’t want to endanger our staff and other clients. But yeah, the demand is huge. And I expect it to increase because unfortunately, there’s so much negative publicity about senior care facilities, much of it I think unfair. But because of that criticism, there will be more and more people who are trying to stay home, which is our mission.
Chris Lawrence: Right, right. Great, well, thank you so much for taking the time today. Is there anything else you’d want to share? Or just if they want to reach out, just give you a call or check out your website?
Mark McDermott: I just want to share how thankful I am for my own employees, a hundred plus people out there helping seniors. But also the other people in our community who are doing everything they can to help older people who are so vulnerable right now. So, just more of a shout out, and to Lifespan, which is amazing. And to the great job you’re doing. It’s been a pleasure knowing you, Chris.
Chris Lawrence: Yeah, thanks. I appreciate that. Thank you for your services and all of that. So yeah, thanks for the time today. Thanks.