Business as Usual: New senior-care business hopes to help meet rising demand
by Patrick McCreless
Mar 24, 2013 | 5678 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A new Oxford business is available to lend a helping hand to area seniors.

Divine Help and Home Care opened Thursday on East Choccolocco Street, providing home care services to seniors in Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne and Tallapoosa counties.

Services offered by the business include running errands, housekeeping, hygiene assistance, escorts for shopping and respite for family caregivers. The business currently does not provide medical services or accept Medicaid.

"But we're going to try to get Medicaid certification in the next couple of months," said Nakia Street, a non-practicing registered nurse and owner of Divine Help.

Street said the in-home care business has grown considerably in recent years as baby boomers have aged.

U.S. Census data shows a nearly 14 percent increase in Alabama's senior-citizen population between 2000 and 2010 and an approximately 13 percent increase for the total U.S. elderly population during the same timeframe.

The business also has a training area where Street will soon train and certify new employees in senior home care. Divine Help currently has six contracted caregivers.

"New employees don't have to come in certified," Street said. "They can come here and I do a 75-hour training course to get them certified and in compliance with state laws."

Street got her start in health care working at the Autumn Cove assisted living facility in Anniston before moving to Birmingham to work as the assistant director of the Chateau Vestavia retirement community. Street then worked for several years in the nonprofit sector before deciding to return to nursing and health care, opening a senior care business out of her home in Clay County.

"My clientele picked up and so I decided to move out of the rural area to see if business would pick up more," Street said.

Street said her goal was not to compete with assisted living facilities in the area.

"In-home care is not a replacement for nursing homes," Street said. "It's about collaboration ... we can monitor mama and daddy as they age before they are ready for assisted living."

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

Editor's note: This story has been modified from the version originally published to clarify that Nakia Street is trained as a registered nurse but is not practicing as a nurse.
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