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Home Instead: your home instead of a nursing home

Many people want to spend their golden years in the comfort of their own homes. That’s exactly what Home Instead helps them do. Pensioner Heidi Weiss is one of the organisation’s clients. She explained the benefits of this form of care when we visited her flat in Wattwil.

20 July 2017, author: Isabella Awad, photos: Daniel Ammann, video: Gabriel Huber, Focus Format

Heidi Weiss is happy. Like every morning shortly before 11, she stands by her window waiting for Susann Anderegg. She sees the other woman approaching on her bicycle and waves. For the next two hours, the pair cook and eat together, play a round of Yahtzee and walk to a nearby café for coffee. Susann Anderegg works as a CAREGiver for Home Instead. She provides personalised senior care in people’s familiar home environment.

Operating locally

Thomas Aepli, a certified home director, has managed the Spitex-approved Lake Constance office for six years. Its 70 employees, mostly Red Cross nursing assistants, provide care for around 70 clients in the St. Gallen/Thurgau region. ”Our employees have excellent social skills and are motivated, reliable and trustworthy,” says Thomas Aepli.

Cooking and talking

An in-home care assignment often begins with transitional care after a hospital stay and is then continued, says Thomas Aepli. Home Instead is bound by the collective employment agreement for temporary employees and offers 24-hour care as well. Assignments last at least two hours and have no maximum limit. Home Instead CAREGivers help seniors with housekeeping and shopping, they cook and eat with them, play games, talk to them and help them with personal hygiene. “We relieve some of the pressure from caregiving family members and help provide a daily structure,” says Thomas Aepli.

Professional care

“We are the outpatient service that takes its time,” says Thomas Aepli. Home Instead believes in taking time to address and take care of people’s individual needs. “In the public eye, caregiving is not as highly regarded – and paid – as nursing,” says Thomas Aepli. It is becoming increasingly difficult to spread the burden of elderly care within the family. He is convinced that there is a growing need for professional services and networks.

60 years in the same four walls

Heidi Weiss has lived in downtown Wattwil for 60 years. “I feel at home here, I have Schnurrli, my cat, and Ms Anderegg,” she says, laughing. “This is my home. Why should I leave?” She won another round of Yahtzee today.

Home Instead

Home Instead is an international organisation that was founded by Paul and Lori Hogan in the United States. Paul and Lori took care of Paul’s 88-year-old grandmother at their country home until she died at the age of 100. They had to rely on the support of a constantly growing team. Wanting to share this idea with others, in 1994 they founded what would one day be the largest senior care organisation: “Home Instead Senior Care”. Today, there are more than 1,000 franchise offices worldwide. Home Instead has been doing business in Switzerland since 2007 and now has 19 locations.

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