The story behind the "Next Generation of Home Care"
The story behind the "Next Generation of Home Care"
The year 1976 was an eventful year for my family. My step-father, Barton Gearhart Jr., was working out on his oil lease in McKittrick, California. He had been in the oil business all of his adult life after obtaining two degrees from USC, one in geology, the other in engineering. Now at the age of 53, he was in his element and loving life. He was a part owner of an oil company. They had a good operation that was producing oil. He was making more money than he had ever made. He was the geologist, the engineer, and manager over the entire operation. In short, he was the boss.
On a fateful day in the summer of 1976, Barton was with a group of men looking over the oil lease and doing some inspections. On the lease were three very large water softening units. These units were able to be seen into from the top. Between the units were 2”x12”x10’ boards as a walkway. As an engineer, it makes you wonder what they were thinking, putting unsecured boards between these units as a walkway, but they did. Two of the men walked across from one unit to another. Barton then followed them across. While Barton was going across the same board, it shifted, causing him to fall.
Barton was 6’4” tall and 220+ lbs., so he was a large man. He fell 14 feet. On the way down he hit an “L” shaped beam with the back of his head that basically scalped him. When he hit the ground, he landed on his neck and shoulders. In 1976 there weren’t cell phones. They had two-way radios. They got on the radio and called into their office 45 miles away, and told them what had happened. Forty-five minutes later, the ambulance showed up.
I was told by three different witnesses that after Barton fell, he pushed himself up into a sitting position and leaned against the tank. That was the last time he would use his arms. All the men could do that were there, was to make Barton comfortable. They literally had to push his forehead up out of his eyes and wrapped his head to stop the bleeding. They also decided to have him lie down. None of them knew (how could they) that doing so expedited the swelling in his neck. They didn’t ice him; they just didn’t know what to do. But we were told the swelling is what caused the damage; it crushed his C-4 and C-5 vertebra.
That was a life changing event. He was now paralyzed from the shoulders down. In the 1970’s, not even the medical community really understood what it meant to be paralyzed. In the local hospital, one of the best trauma centers in Bakersfield, they put a heat lamp on him to warm him up. That gave him third degree burns on his leg, that had to be graphed. He couldn’t feel the burn, thank goodness! He was sent to Rancho Los Amigos Hospital for spinal cord injuries. He was there for six months going through what they considered “rehab”. Then they sent him home.
We had no clue what to do with him, so my mother put him in a nursing home until they could figure out what to do next. The 3rd day in the nursing home, I went to see him. He looked at me, and with as much pleading as I had even seen in him, he said, “Wayne, either kill me or get me out of here, because they will kill me if you don’t.” I talked to my mom and told her we needed to get him home and we got him home the next day.
We hired private caregivers at first. That lasted about over a year. We then began the journey through every home health care agency in the area at the time. This journey took the next nine (9) years. We had many caregivers, most were as frustrated as we were with the agencies, for a number of reasons.
We couldn’t find the best care for our Dad, so we started a company that could. Thirty years ago we were faced with the same problems other families are faced with today. We truly lived it!!! Thirty years ago this year, when we started our Home Care business, we wanted to not only meet the needs of my step-dad, but we realized that we could help all the people we provided our services to. We also knew that we needed to hire the very best caregivers in order to meet these needs.
We developed a system to put excellent caregivers in the homes where they will do the most good. The people receiving care were getting exactly what they wanted out of their caregivers. We used the system that we put in place to open several offices, all over the country.
With the continue advancement of technology, we are using many of the same techniques that we developed in the caregiving industry and automated them into a caregiving website. In this way, people can feel confident in the care that they will be receiving in their home, by those they elect to match up with from this site.
With all the changes and the costs associated with home care, we have developed the “Next Generation of Home Care”. Like our business before, and based on our thirty years of experience, I know HomeCareMatched.com will provide you with the very best caregivers for your family! We consider this new generation the “Uber” (type of business) for Home Care. It is cost effective, it puts the schedules, the type of care and who will be allowed in the home, back into the hands of the family. Most importantly, it manages the costs for the family extending the time a family can remain in their home. It meets the needs of caregivers where they can set their fees, remove the costs of an agency, have a direct relationship with the family where their services are being provided.