An Extra Set of Eyes with a Home Care Agency
How one couple received ‘undercover care’ through a unique cleaning service
When it comes to deciding where to spend their future years, an increasing number of seniors are choosing to remain in the comforts of their homes. It can be difficult, however, for their family members or care managers to keep a close eye on the household. Fran and Jack Lish are among this growing niche, preferring to remain in their Gaithersburg, Md. apartment. Fortunately, with the unique services provided by their son’s companies Elder Clean Pros and Advanced Home Support, they and their loved ones rest assured knowing that their safety will always be a top priority.
A Brooklyn native, Jack graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in economic geography. Just a short time later, World War II broke out.
“I was a patriotic American and went to inquire about becoming a Navy Officer,” he said. “I served a little over 3 ½ years, two of those were spent in French Morocco on the Atlantic.”
With this experience and having received his M.A. in statistics, he was eventually recruited to teach advanced communications and cryptology. While this may seem complex and challenging to others, Jack would say with a smile that his career was a walk in the park compared to pursuing Fran.
Born in New Jersey, Fran attended the University of Georgia, leaving after her first year to work as a secretary in the government when the war started. She had actually met Jack when she was on the verge of graduating high school as he was working for the government and renting a room with her aunt.
“He was coming home from work when I was outside on the porch babysitting. He saw me and thought he was at the wrong house,” Fran said with a laugh.
While they enjoyed a courtship before she left for Georgia, she was not ready to get married. Jack, however, never gave up and was delighted when she finally said ‘yes.’ They were married in 1945 and later welcomed Sam, their only child.
Over the years, they maintained busy lifestyles as Fran transitioned from being a homemaker to reentering the working world helping Jack who had become an attorney running a practice out of their home. Aside from his career, he has also been involved in a great deal of community work, including serving as international president of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs.
Like many of their peers, the Lishes eventually found their apartment was becoming difficult to maintain. As a result, they enlisted the services of Elder Clean Pros, Sam’s unique company that ensures the cleanliness and safety of a home but also provides oversight and observation of the individual.
Nearly 20 years ago, Sam Lish started the home healthcare company Advanced Home Support, one of the few private duty agencies providing skilled nursing along with personal care throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro area. The organization’s thoroughly screened and trained professional caregivers offer assistance with activities of daily living, transportation, homemaking, and medication management, among many other services.
Within the past five years, however, Sam and his wife, Jody, noticed a trend of seniors needing help but not necessarily skilled nursing or personal care. They noted how basic housekeeping services are not what the senior needs or what their loved ones had in mind. Instead, they want the knowledge a nurse comes with and that additional help around the house.
Therefore, they started Elder Clean Pros, through which individuals can either receive a monthly or twice-monthly full home deep clean. Additionally, the elder clean specialists offer a weekly safety check along with linen changes, room wipe downs and vacuuming and tidying. Most importantly, since many of the specialists are Certified Nursing Assistants, they provide, as Sam and Jody often refer to it, ‘undercover care.’
“So many seniors will not tell their family what is really going on. If we notice something needing immediate attention that nobody knows about, like a bruise or injury, we can at least let the family or care manager know what we’ve seen,” said Jody. “We bring attention to those issues before they become a crisis.”
As a result, children and family members rest assured knowing there is another set of attentive eyes on their loved ones. For this among other reasons, care managers such as the Director of Aging Network Services in Bethesda, Md., Barbara Kane, LCSW-C, understand the importance and need for this type of service. “It fills a niche for seniors who are not ready or who are resistant to home health care. Seniors are more likely to want housekeeping help, but these housekeepers have an eye on things,” she said.
And Jack Lish is just one of many clients who have proven why this undercover care is so essential. During a visit, the cleaning specialist noticed Jack’s leg was swollen and reported back to Sam who took his father to the doctor. They learned Jack had a blood clot, and he was immediately sent to the emergency room.
According to Jody, many individuals, like her in-laws, have started out using Elder Clean Pros, finding it provides an easy transition for seeking the services of Advanced Home Support.
As the cleaning specialists visit twice-monthly, Jack now has a caregiver that comes every weekday and will even make him himself available on weekends and holidays if needed.
“Our caregiver is such a caring and nice person; we feel lucky to have him,” said Fran. “These services have certainly helped me a great deal and we’re very satisfied. We feel well taken care of and completely covered.”