Daughter on Call coming to Neepawa
- Published on Thursday, April 20, 2017
By Kate Jackman-Atkinson
The Neepawa Banner
In November 2012, Gail Freeman-Campbell founded Daughter on Call with one casual health care aide. Now, she’s preparing to expand her Brandon-based business into the Neepawa area. Freeman-Campbell, who worked as a nurse, said that she recognized a need in the Brandon and Westman area for personalized home care and founded the business to meet that need.
Freeman-Campbell explained that there are many things provincially provided home care can’t provide. For example, home care workers can reheat a meal, but not prepare one, they can’t transport patients and they can’t do some household tasks, like taking out garbage. “They’re working on a much larger scale,” she said. Her company has a different focus, providing more personalized care. “We [provide care] in a way that we don’t believe in rushing out. Fifteen-minute care doesn’t give what [people] need,” she explained. She added that they don’t want to make their clients feel rushed, which can be especially bad for those who may be facing age-related mental challenges.
It’s been a rapid pace for growth for Daughter on Call, which now employs a staff of 50. Freeman-Campbell credits their success to a good reputation and taking time to get know their clients and their families. Part of this comes from the integration of technology into patient care. Freeman-Campbell talked about their use of technology, saying that through a smart phone, care givers log into a patient’s file and record their work. A family member can then log in and see who cared for their loved one that day, what they did and how the client is doing.
While most of Daughter on Call’s clients are elderly, Freeman-Campbell said that their client base does vary. They work with MPI and WCB and they have some clients as young as 18. Sometimes, they’ll get calls from family members overwhelmed by providing care on their own. Overall though, she said, “Our clients really vary.”
Like their clients, the services Freeman-Campbell’s company provides varies as well. She explains that it could be help with personal care tasks, such as bathing, it could be help with household chores, it could be medication management (provided the medication is in blister packs), or it could be transportation to medical appointments or social outings. She said that many families who are unable to take loved ones to medical appointments like this service, as the staff member will take notes and can ask questions on the patient’s behalf. Another popular service is post-surgery care, which can range from one hour to 24 hours of care after a procedure.
Freeman-Campbell was trained as a nurse, though these days, running her company takes up all of her time. She explained that all of her staff speak English as a first language and the majority are certified Health Care Aides or have worked a career in the field. Some staff, she explains, aren’t certified, but have an aptitude for helping others. These people undergo an in house training program and Freeman-Campbell said if that goes well, she will help them challenge Assiniboine Community College’s Health Care Aide program. She pays for up front costs in exchange for a return of service agreement. She said that these arrangements have helped her retain good staff.
As it came time to further grow her business, Freeman-Campbell said she looked north-east, to Neepawa. “I’ve had so many calls from [Neepawa] in the last four years,” she explains, adding that her company has provided some care in the area. She added that it’s a good area with a large population of seniors. She plans to staff the Neepawa operation with local staff and has already received resumes. “I’m very optimistic we’ll be able to hire local people,” she said. She would ultimately like to open a Neepawa office, but as the business gets established in the area, it will be run out of Brandon.
While the services provided by Daughter on Call aren’t covered by Manitoba Health, they can be covered by private insurance or additional insurance provided by agencies such as Veterans Affairs, WCB or MPI. Freeman-Campbell said that they can also help families work with their RHA to provide Family Managed Care, which can help offset some of the costs.
Daughter on Call recently held two informational meetings in Neepawa on April 17.