‘Ideal Partners’ providing in-home care
Business owners Linda Hudson and Marilyn Spicer presented at November PubTalk
A new business called Ideal Partners In Home Care is providing services to make it easier for the elderly or people with health problems to stay in their homes.
The business, operated by Linda Hudson and Marilyn Spicer, was featured during the last PubTalk meeting of the year Thursday night at Crossroads Carnegie Art Center.Spicer is the owner/operator and runs the financial, bookkeeping and marketing end of the business. Hudson is a partner and registered nurse in charge of client services, employee recruitment and training. Together, they are Ideal Partners In Home Care, Spicer said during the PubTalk presentation.
While it’s not a health-care service, Hudson said under her supervision and training the company’s employees can provide medicine management to help clients take their medicine according to their prescriptions.
They also provide in-home assistance to veterans, most of whom are eligible for government benefits to pay for those services, she said.
“We want to get the word out about the veteran aid and assistance program,” Spicer said.
For veterans needing the type of assistance provided by Ideal Partners In Home Care, Spicer said she can help them apply for the benefits available through the Baker County Veterans Services to help pay the cost.
Applications for veterans aid services go through Jane Chandler in the Baker County Veterans Service office at the Baker County Courthouse. For more information about applying for veterans aid benefits directly with Chandler, veterans or family members can call her at 523-8223 or stop by Chandler’s office, which is open Mondays through Thursdays, or by appointment on Fridays.
Spicer said there’s about a four-month delay from the time a veteran is approved for benefits until the checks start rolling in, so they’re looking for investors willing to help with cash flow.
Spicer said cash flow during the first four months is one of the hurdles they are facing in extending services to veterans who don’t have the funds to pay during that time period themselves.
“We’d like to be able to float the money for those services, but lack the resources,” Spicer said.
Hudson said the government eventually picks up the tab for the initial four months for veterans who qualify, but the delay in initial processing of the payments is a problem.
Veterans aren’t the only ones signing up for assistance with Ideal Partners In Home Care. Their services are available to anyone needing help that will allow them to stay in their home.
“We provide services to people who want to remain in their own home, but need a little help shopping, mowing lawns, doing laundry and those kinds of things,” Spicer said. “We’ve even tagged along on a fishing trip because that’s what the client wanted to do, but it wasn’t something he felt like he could do on his own.”
The duo received their license to operate their in-home care business in September, and they have already grown to 12 employees providing services to people across Baker County.
Out of a 2009 county population of about 17,000, 35 percent are age 65 or older, which Spicer said bodes well for the future of Ideal Partners In Home Care.
“We saw a real need, and we wanted to get this business up and going so it will be around when we need it,” she said, drawing a laugh from the crowd of about 45.
“There is a real need for this kind of service,” Spicer said. “It’s sad but true that people were being forced out of their homes and into nursing homes or care centers because they could no longer change their cat’s litter tray.”
Gene Stackle, economic development manager for the Baker City/County economic development team, said he has been working with Hudson and Spicer for more than a year helping them develop business and marketing plans through BEGIN, the Baker Enterprise Growth Initiative.
“The philosophy of BEGIN is based on the three-legged stool of products and services, marketing and sales, and financial and booking,” Stackle said.
When existing businesses or prospective new businesses come to Stackle, he and a panel of business experts go over all three of those sectors of the client’s business and assess their skills and passions, what they do well and what they don’t do so well, and then do some brainstorming to come up with a plan of action to set the clients on a path for success.
Stackle said Hudson and Spicer have a passion for what they do, and that passion has been a key to the business getting off to a fast start.