Help In The Home

Company helps patients get back on their feet

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Juanita Jepson, staff manager for Lifemark at Home, said her Payson office now serves between 55 and 60 clients and employs 10 local caregivers.


"They're all termed caregivers, but some are LPNs and some are CNAs (certified nursing assistants)," she said. "They are all well-trained and have six hours of educational inservice training and eight hours of orientation before they go into a client's home.


"It's basically home care," Jepson said, "whatever is non-medical."


Those who qualify can receive free home health care through the Gila Council on Aging in Casa Grande. The company also accepts payments through HMOs, insurance companies, government programs and private pay.


The care Lifemark provides can be for short-term or long-term clients, for people recovering from an injury or surgery until they can get on their feet, or for new mothers who need help.


"There's a lot of different ways to help in the home," Jepson said.


She said the company does whatever it takes to keep people in their homes.


Jepson said Lifemark, which opened its Payson office in July, is a corporation based out of Phoenix. Lifemark has corporate offices around the country and recently opened home care offices around the state.


Jepson manages the staff and has a background in home health care and teaching. She worked at Payson Regional Medical Center in home health care and ran a Montessori School in Tucson for 15 years.


Although the Payson office now serves some 60 clients, Jepson said there's room for more.


"We have 15 hours of free personal care and home care available right now -- we could help a lot more people here," she said. "The free care is through the Gila Council on Aging in Casa Grande. They contract us to do the work and get so much funding every year to help people in their homes. It's totally free for the individual.


"I know there's a need here," she said.

The base cost runs between $14 and $16 an hour for private payment.


Jepson said that if one caregiver cannot make an appointment, another is always available. "One thing about our company is, there's always a backup. No one goes without their care. It's dependable and the care givers are well-trained."


Jepson said when she chooses staff she looks for people with compassion and heart.


Caregivers work 30 hours a week with a variable schedule.


"We're one of the few companies hiring part-time staff that offers benefits," she said.


Lifemark at Home in Payson serves local residents and people in Tonto Basin, Gisela, Deer Valley, Strawberry and Star Valley.


Jepson said she believes that home care is the wave of the future. The caregivers visit those who live alone, and those who live with family or a spouse.


"Sometimes the family is exhausted," Jepson said. "We're available for respite care, too -- just to give a family a break."


For information on Lifemark at Home, call Jepson at her office at 404 W. Main St., Suite 8, or telephone her at 520-472-3236. The local e-mail address of Lifemark is j.jepson@lifemarkcorp.com.

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