South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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April 2009 - Volume 5 - Issue 10

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United HomeCare Services Celebrates 35 Years of Caring and Commitment to the Elderly and Disabled

United HomeCare Services (UHCS) turns 35 this year. And, as it marks this important milestone, it can point with pride to setting the standard of excellence for home care in South Florida.

Since 1974, UHCS, a Medicare certified agency and the oldest non-profit home and community-based care agency in Miami-Dade County, has helped to improve the quality of life for older and disabled adults. Its goal is to empower people and promote wellness and independence, so that these individuals may live at home as long as possible.

To achieve this goal, the agency "builds stay at home healthcare solutions for both patients and caregivers," says President and CEO José R. Fox. "These are supported through the delivery of integrated managed care and continuum of services funded by a variety of insurance and social payments, from Medicare and Medicaid, to local and foundation funding, and private pay."

UHCS’ spectrum of resources is exceptionally rich. It spans dozens of programs, services, and community partnerships, coordinated, managed, and delivered daily to more than 4,000 clients by a patient-care centered team of employees 600 members strong.

"Our staff is fully licensed, certified, and experienced in their areas of expertise," says Fox. "They also have the personal and professional values to provide a unique support experience of caring and compassion."

UHCS specializes in Alzheimer’s disease and guides clients’ management of chronic diseases, medications, and depression symptoms through health coaching. UHCS offers a comprehensive package of personal care and skilled medical services and continually grows its services with new and innovative offerings. Recently, for example, the agency launched Platinum Care Options for private pay clients. Providing care solutions, it custom-manages all aspects of geriatric care, from long-term care planning, to supporting clients and families through the continuum of care.

Another highlight is Telehealth in-home vital signs monitoring. Clients with chronic conditions for example, are equipped with a hospital-grade device that electronically reads blood pressure, fluid and sugar levels, oxygen saturation, ECG rhythm, and other vital signs. Daily live monitoring of received vital signs allows UHCS to immediately respond to adverse changes in health status hand in hand with physicians and family members averting potential rehospitalizations and emergency room visits.

UHCS offers a wealth of other local, state, and federal programs and services, including Medicaid and Assisted Living Waivers, Home Care for the Elderly, and Solutions, a Nursing Home Diversion Long-Term Care Program. Some are designed specifically for disabled adults. These comprehensive programs carry specific eligibility and availability requirements and UHCS’ customer care center staff assist clients year round, lifting a tremendous burden off the shoulders of patients and their families.

To ensure a continuum of care for their clients, UHCS collaborates closely with the medical community. "We follow our clients through the healthcare system," says Vianca Stubbs, Director of Research & Strategic Planning. "When they’re discharged from the hospital, for example, our case managers resume in-home care services and help to facilitate their recovery."

UHCS’ partnerships with healthcare professionals also includes affiliations with universities and foundations involved in research projects. Beginning this year, thanks to a three-year, $1.1 million federal grant, UHCS became the first community agency to replicate REACH II (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health II), a program for those caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Community REACH II will provide psycho-social and educational intervention and support for caregivers, through 12, in-home sessions which focus on building caregiver skills to manage disease symptoms.

Stubbs says UHCS just garnered another, supplementary grant for Alzheimer’s care. Given through the Dade Community Foundation, it supplies Medic Alert+Safe Return bracelets to 150 Alzheimer clients, providing a safe and sure way for caregivers to oversee their safety. Should clients wander off, the 800 number on the bracelet links them back to their loved ones and homes.

UHCS not only works with its healthcare neighbors, but honors them as well.

Annually, the agency hosts the prestigious Claude Pepper Memorial Awards, which salutes individuals and institutions that have greatly enhanced the lives of the elderly and disabled in Miami-Dade County.

The signature event is always a highlight on Miami’s charitable events calendar. And this year’s dinner, scheduled May 21, 2009 at the Miami Airport Hilton, "promises to be even more stellar, as it also observes the agency’s 35th anniversary", says Fox. "Over 400 guests attend annually. We hope as many, or more, join us this year to share in our celebration."

For more information on United HomeCare Services or the Claude Pepper Memorial Awards, call Blanca Ceballos at (305) 328-0875. You may also visit the agency’s website at www.unitedhomecare.com.
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