National Home Care and Hospice Month

To the editor:

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month. I am privileged to have this opportunity to raise awareness about the value of home and community-based care and to recognize those who provide these vital services in our communities.

North Country Home Services is a New York state-licensed home care service agency whose mission is “dedicated to supplying in-home care and supportive services to clients, enabling them to remain at home when undergoing hardships due to illness, disabilities, injury or limitations due to age.”

NCHS’s staff of dedicated home health and personal care aides, registered nurses and service coordinators make up our team of quality providers who travel every day to homes across a vast region of northeastern New York to provide care and comfort.

Home health care plays a crucial role in New York state’s plans for long-term-care services, making access to quality home health care critical to the sustainability of the entire continuum of care. NCHS is dedicated to insuring that even those living in our remote rural regions of the northeastern New York have access to quality care provided by trained and certified home care aides and nurses.

In my opinion, the most vital component to home health care services is the home care aide. Aides are the front-line workers providing care daily to some of our most vulnerable and elderly neighbors. Individuals facing infirmities due to age, illness or chronic conditions require the supportive services of direct care aides to insure their health and well-being.

NCHS’ certified aides play a key role by being the “eyes and ears” for physicians, family and visiting nurses. Their observation skills are critical to early interventions for health concerns and condition changes in their patients. Aides help to insure a safe environment for the elderly living alone, especially during the performance of daily activities such as bathing, dressing and mobility within the home.

The presence of an aide in the home has proven to reduce the risks of falls and injury, which is so common as we age.

North Country Home Services chooses to celebrate Home Care Month by recognizing and honoring our home care aides who collectively travel over 5,000 miles every day to care for those in need. Our aides use their skills to provide quality care while pouring their hearts into their work.

NCHS’s dedicated aides have expressed their thoughts about their work with statements, such as, “It is very rewarding helping people, listening to their stories,” “Working as a home care worker gives you the opportunity to do meaningful work,” “It is a privilege to make a difference,” “I have been a home care aide for 30 years because I love my job and I love the people and their families,” and the most recent comment I heard from a NCHS aide was, “Caring for people is heart filling.”

I thank NCHS’s staff of over 200 home care aides, nurses and service coordinators for the work they do to fill the hearts of those they care for with love and compassion while “filling their own hearts” by making a difference in someone’s life.

My heart is filled with gratitude for these dedicated caregivers.

Rebecca Leahy


North Country Home Services Inc.

Saranac Lake