Written by The Business Journal Staff
Name: Terri Garcia
What we do: Provide home care services for aging seniors and other health-challenged adults
Family: Husband: Steve;16 year-old daughter: Aley
What led you to establish AngeliCare, Terri?
It was something that would give back to the community and something that I wanted to start small and grow into.
Around how many clients does AgeliCare attend to each year, Terri?
It varies but somewhere around 60 in a month.
Describe some of the unique and important services that AngeliCare offers?
In researching other companies in what they offer versus what we offer, we all basically offer the same, but we offer a one-hour visit where a lot of them will only do a two-hour minimum. But we’re one hour to 24 hours a day and we’re very flexible. Some people may not want us every day or every week. If you need medication reminders, we’ll do that. If we’re there and you need meal planning preparation, we’ll do that. We’ll help you with your bathing, we’ll help you get dressed. Sometimes shoes are the hardest thing to get on because they’re way down there and it’s those little things that we’ll help with. We do provide housekeeping. We’re not maids, we’re care providers first but a lot of people do need help at home, which makes it possible for them to stay at home.
What advantages does home care offer over clinics or assisted living facilities?
It kind of goes back to when my grandmother was being cared for. She was in an assisted living facility and that’s all the choices you had when I was a kid. I spent every weekend all year long at grandma’s side and that was something that made a lot of people think “I’ll never go in one of those” because of the way they were run back then. Things change, things do get better but there are still people who have that mentality of nursing homes where they sit there and do nothing. But on the other hand, being at home makes people happier in their surroundings and when they’re happier, they tend to be healthier.
What advantages do home care agencies have over independent care providers, Terri?
There are independent people out there that do home care, but they’re not always available or they have no formal training. There’s nobody to hold them accountable to what they’re doing to make sure they’re doing things the proper way. Nobody’s doing their background checks or doing their employment taxes or providing workers comp or anything like that. They’re just kind of out there. You don’t pay as much for that but you pay for what you get. When you come to an agency such as AngeliCare (care providers) to fill out applications, we check references, we bring them in for interviews, we talk to them and we ask questions about how they get along with people
What are some challenges to the home care industry right now, Terri?
Finding qualified people to care for clients in their home.
What does it mean to be the only home care support agency in Fresno and Madera counties accredited by the Joint Commission?
The Joint Commission is an organization that checks on us and makes us accountable for the things that we say we’re going to do. We have hand hygiene where all the care givers have to be instructed on how to wash their hands properly and when to wash your hands. We have bathing requirements. Not every client we have needs to be assisted with a bath, but you need to know the proper way to bathe someone. They have to demonstrate that they know those skills and then we have to keep up and make sure that they continue to know those things. Then there are safety issues and doing home visits, going out and talking with a client one-on-one with and without the care giver throughout the year, making sure we document everything, turning in the weekly reports and going through and making sure they’re not administering medication and dressing wounds because we’re not supposed to do that kind of thing.
What are your roots in the San Joaquin Valley, Terri?
I was born and raised in Hanford, then we took a short stint to Southern California for three years, but I’ve lived in Fresno since 1978.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Terri?
That was an afterschool job. Being around people, watching other people because it was at a jewelry store. I learned to show up to work on time. I was a high school kid, so I got to clean up the windows and clean all the felt in the cases and vacuum, and wrap all the presents. The one job that taught me the most is probably the one right before this. I worked for a bagged salad company and my boss taught me how to be a boss. I really learned a lot from her, like how to lead without being somebody that made everybody’s life miserable. She let you be an adult and let you choose the little fork in the road where maybe a lot of people maybe wouldn’t have chosen the right way and I seem to keep going the right way without her telling me to do it. That taught me a lot about dealing with people.
What do you do in your spare time, Terri?
Take a breath. I have a 16 year-old daughter so that should say enough right now. I try and get as much exercise as I can. My husband and I started walking. Cooking, family, friends. Pretty low-key.