Hilltop now offering home-care services to non-Hilltop residents

Hilltop Home Care employees expect the baby boom generation doesn’t want to become the nursing home generation.

That’s part of the reason Hilltop’s in-home care services, offered only to people with brain injuries and seniors living in Hilltop’s assisted-living facilities for the last 26 years, are now offered to people throughout the community.

The expansion to offering home care throughout the community prompted Hilltop Home Care to hire 15 new employees during the past six months, according to Home Health Office Manager Liz Tafoya. To accommodate the growing program, Hilltop Home Care recently moved into a new office at 2860B Dottie Lane in The Cottages, independent-living homes Hilltop owns next to The Commons.

More employees are being hired, and positions are open for certified nursing assistants and personalized care providers. Those jobs are posted at htop.org.

Michaelle Smith, Hilltop’s vice president for senior life options, said Hilltop decided to broaden its business to people who don’t live in Hilltop facilities in order to meet what Smith sees as a growing demand for home care. She expects baby boomers entering their senior years will be especially interested in staying in their homes as they age “because of financial needs and preference.” That’s where home care services come in handy, she said.

“It’s not just skilled nursing. It’s also companionship, meal preparation, dog walking. We have an IT (information technology) department, so if someone gets a new TV, they can help set it up,” Smith said.

Hilltop Home Care nurses can offer home medical care, but other employees are trained simply to make living at home safer and easier. A family member who lives far from a senior parent can pay Home Care to check in on a parent weekly, so they feel better about mom or dad living independently.

The office employs a certified geriatric care manager who can assess whether a senior is developing dementia or if it may not be safe for a person to drive anymore. There’s an expert in downsizing who can help seniors move into a smaller residence.

The service is for all ages. Home Care employees can help a person who uses a wheelchair get out of bed in the morning, or go grocery shopping for people who are physically unable to drive. The generational solutions sector at Hilltop, which Tafoya also oversees, can help with home maintenance, such as lawn work or deep home cleaning.

The goal is to provide whatever people need to make it easier to live at home or transition into a smaller home like one at The Cottages, Home Care Staff Manager Mary Lou Doak said.

“It’s another option for people, so they don’t feel backed into a corner” and forced to move into a nursing home, Doak said.

“We really have a commitment to keeping people in their homes because we know people want to stay in their homes, have their own furniture and be surrounded by their own things,” Smith said.


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