Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest: Susan Dost
Guest Bio: Susan Dost is President & CEO of SheridanCare. She has completed comprehensive training on priority senior issues conducted by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and has taken the educational initiative to become a professional leader in meeting the key needs and issues concerning mature adults. As a Certified Senior Advisor and President of Sheridan Care, she has an empowered staff who will personally meet with each and every client, and assess each family’s needs.
Segment overview: In this Healthcare Supplier Segment, Susan Dost discusses SheridanCare In Home Healthcare based in Los Angeles, California.
Health Professional Radio
Neal Howad: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you so much for joining us today. In studio today we have Susan Dost, President and CEO of Sheridan Care In Home Healthcare. She is here today to talk with us about her business and how she’s helping our senior citizens live productive lives in their homes for as long as they can. How are you doing this afternoon Susan?
Susan Dost: I’m just great. Thank you very much for having me.
N: Thank you so much for granting us some of your time. You are the President and CEO of Sheridan, Care you are an in-home healthcare company. What prompted you to get in to home healthcare?
S: Oh that’s a great question. I started the company 14 years ago and I really saw a need to be a difference in everyone else in the greater LA area through witnessing caregivers from my grandmother, her name was Helen, she was at Sheridan. So I grew up in Michigan on Sheridan road and the family has owned that spot of land for 158 years. So it was a meaningful name to me, a meaningful person to me and she really help honed who I am today, to that’s extraordinary women. So I saw caregivers with her and I thought, “Wow this is an amazing business.” and my mother actually said, “Well you know I think that’s something you could do in LA.” So I went back to LA and just started to learn about it, I found a mentor, I just developed a different methodology than other companies in LA based on service and that’s how I started the company system one client at a time.
N: Now do you deal with seniors exclusively or is it anyone that requires assistance in their home health-wise?
S: We’re mostly serving our esteemed citizens of greater LA. Occasionally we help someone who is a little bit younger but that’s pretty much our niches.
N: Are all of your staff members registered nurses or do you have nurse assistance or is anyone who desires to give care to someone a candidate for employment with Sheridan?
S: Yeah, anyone who has a heart in the right place and is a compassionate caregiver. That’s who we hire and that’s who we match up with our seniors in LA. We hire certified nursing assistants, we hire companion aides, we hire home health aides, just caregivers is really the level we’re at. Nursing is another notch up if you want … or an RN, that’s another company that’s a sister company of our called “Nurse at your Door” that is someone who’s a little more skilled, we have nurses who do visits.
N: Now once you hire someone, obviously they may have their hearts set on giving cares to esteemed citizens or they maybe someone who as you say is a little bit more skilled. No matter their level of training or skill, do you still train them in the way that Sheridan provides care?
S: Yes. Training is mandatory here at this company. So if they’ve come to us with some credential, a PNA they have to take time to learn their craft but we really insist that they’re trained here at this company we have undergoing training. We have a trainer come in once a month who is you know gathers the folks together in, with Alzheimer’s and Dementia training, we have other disease specific training that’s really mandatory. Ongoing training is crucial to us even right down to adequate training where we have caregivers who go through just some very common sensible things in terms of you know helping a person in and out of the vehicle, down the stairs so just to be more knowledgeable also sets us apart from other companies in LA.
N: Now do you have a division or is everyone who’s employed with Sheridan are they ever called to simply give companionship and not a whole lot more, just to sit and talk and be a companion for certain amount of time?
S: Sure, yeah. Joyful companionship is key to living a long happy healthy life so caregivers as I said if they’re compassionate and they are doing this for a reason of feeling good about what they do every day, what gets them out of bed at the morning, what makes them happy about going about a their day then they’re just joyfully giving companionship which is largely what helps the person age in place more gracefully.
N: You mentioned the greater Los Angeles area, that’s where you based and that is an extremely large area to cover. Having been in existence for a while, do you cover outside the LA area or do you have any satellite facilities further out?
S: We don’t right now, we’re considering it, but after 14 years we put ourselves in the middle of LA. So we’re geographically accessible to our clients all the way from the South Palisades and all the way up to Calabasas back if you will sort of a triangle back towards downtown and Glendale area and then back again inter more through… the airport and into the south bay.
N: And that keeps you extremely busy I’m sure.
S: Well were busy but we have a great administration here who is an extension of me and we have 160 caregivers out there today helping people.
N: When it comes to the sweeping changes in healthcare here in the United States, how does that affect you as the caregiver and the person that is going to receive care, say, as far as who is going to pay? Is it their Medicaid involved, are there insurance problems that you fix for these folks or are we pretty much on our own when it comes to dealing with the healthcare system?
S: Yeah that’s the real hiccup in all of this is the you know the climate is really changing and there will be disruption to this industry as a result of other new regulations especially in the state of California. If you want me to get into the new regulation, I can do that. There is overtime and sweep time and I think you’re referring to the “affordable care act” that absolutely adds to the cost of our services now and that just get rolled on to the consumer. Sadly that’s someone who has save money their whole life once the aging in place, wants to retire in their home but now they’re hit with you know the surprising cost of a caregiver who now has to have affordable care act, they have to have insurance, they have to have overtime, they get paid as they sleep when they live in. There’s a new regulation but going back to your question about the method of payment, it’s either long term care insurance or private pay. There is a veterans program called “aid and attendants” and that’s if you’re a surviving staff of a veteran or if you are a veterans yourself you are entitled to some benefits based on your income. But long term co-insurance if you have the foresight to go out and buy a policy that pays for what we do otherwise it’s private pay.
N: So we’re talking about the time that a caregiver spends with the clients as well as the services that they provide or is it just based on how long you’re at the residence?
S: It’s based on how long a caregiver arrive, when caregiver arrived they start to clock in if you will.
N: Okay so as long as they’re on the clock but if they have to say give a bath or maybe an injection or some type of therapy or anything like that or even feeding someone – that’s not an additional cost, right?
S: No, we’re on an hourly flat rate. The caregivers they don’t do any sort of injection, the ‘Nurse at your Door’ the other company, we do the more skilled nursing visits, they do that but caregivers aren’t allowed to do any sort of injections.
N: You mentioned Alzheimer’s and Dementia care earlier in our conversation. Many times there are people that suffer from Dementia, Alzheimer’s – they have more a difficulty during the night time hours than in the day. Do you provide say emergency or quick care to a client, say you’ve left for the day and they’re having distress at night and they would like you to comeback. Is that something that you provide as well?
S: That’s a great question and yes. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So people also with dementia people are affected with sundowners so exactly what you’re mentioning. They get a little agitated at night and we have night shifts. So we have a awaken alert shift at night which are a usually a 12 hours shift from 7 to 7 or 8 to 8 and that gives the family piece of mind. Probably if you have children you had a night nanny so to take care so you could get rest, so same sort of concept.
N: How can clients get started with Sheridan Care?
S: Thank you so much for asking. We are available 27 hours a day, 7 days a week if a family wants to get started we would come over. One of our care managers come over to the house, providing a cross assessment, that’s where we sit down with the family get to know their routine, what’s important to them, what they might need help with. Really listen to them in terms of what they expect from a caregiver and match them up a perfectly based on skills set and personality.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard we’ve been in studio today talking with Susan Dost President and CEO of Sheridan Care In-home Health Care based in Lost Angeles California in the United States. And it’s been great talking with you today Susan.
S: Thank you very much Neal.
N: Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.com and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.