How home health can help expand your mission

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Brian Barnes
Brian Barnes

For more than 60 years, The Legacy Senior Communities, a Jewish-sponsored not-for-profit charitable organization, has had a consistent presence in the Greater Dallas community, providing seniors and their families high-quality healthcare and housing services.

For most of our history, we served the community at one of our campus sites through the traditional model of senior housing. A few years ago, however, we made the decision to expand our mission by bringing our services directly to seniors living in their homes. In 2011, we launched The Legacy at Home, a premier Medicare-certified home healthcare agency, and through it, we have reached many more people than if we solely provided senior living services in our campus settings.

The Legacy at Home is the largest not-for-profit home health provider in Greater Dallas and has established a reputation for excellent, comprehensive, Medicare-certified in-home healthcare, private-duty nursing and personal assistance with daily living. In September alone, we billed more than 9,500 hours of personal assistance care and made more than 900 home health nursing and therapy home visits.

Opportunity to expand continuum of care

As a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization, we realized that a tremendous opportunity existed to help more seniors and their families by expanding into home healthcare. Greater numbers of seniors are choosing to age in place at home, and home healthcare allows them to remain as independent as possible.

In addition, the concept complements the care we provide at all levels of housing within our campus setting. Many seniors living in our communities have taken advantage of this service, and it gives them confidence to have Legacy, a name they already know and trust, deliver the care they need. At The Legacy Willow Bend, our life care community in Plano, TX, for instance, the services provided by The Legacy at Home allow many more seniors to stay independent far longer and often delay or prevent a transition to a higher level of care.

Also, when someone comes to our campus for short-term rehabilitation, we can extend our rehabilitation services after discharge to their home to continue treatment. This coordinated approach to care planning facilitates a much more effective and seamless transition home for the patient and has been proven to reduce re-hospitalizations while improving patient care.

Ability to provide charitable care

Through The Legacy at Home, we have been able to expand our mission not only outside our four walls, but also into the lives of seniors who are unable to afford private-duty personal care. Through supportive grants from partner organizations and funds raised, we are able to provide seniors and their families with the care they need without them having to worry about the price tag.

How can we say no to one family that needs help but turn away another in need based solely on their ability to pay? Now, through The Legacy at Home and its generous supporters, we don't have to.

In September alone, The Legacy at Home provided almost 400 hours of personal care services at no charge to seniors in the Greater Dallas community.

Chance to establish relationships

The Legacy at Home has extended The Legacy Senior Communities brand and our mission in the community. It has allowed us to touch the lives of people who we wouldn't have come into contact with previously.

In many cases, The Legacy at Home is now the first exposure seniors and their families have to The Legacy Senior Communities and all of the services we offer. Also, The Legacy at Home has become a transition into The Legacy Willow Bend for seniors who no longer can live safely at home and require the support of a campus healthcare setting. As they become familiar with our services in their home, they are more likely to turn to us when they need both short and long-term supportive services.

The decision to create The Legacy at Home was a natural fit for The Legacy Senior Communities, and we're looking forward to watching it continue to grow and to help us to expand our care and our mission.

Brian Barnes is chief financial officer and chief operating officer for The Legacy Senior Communities.

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