While managing arrangements for older loved ones needing medical attention and rehabilitation can be daunting, the staff Cantata Adult Life Services in Brookfield have devised a modern and cost-effective service for folks in the area.
Cantata (formerly The British Home), which has been around since the 1920s, has unveiled its newest program, Take2, which offers in-home care in order to provide flexibility of treatment and lower costs.
According to Dan Urben, Cantata's director of sales and marketing, the shell of Take2 began 20 years ago but has recently been fine-tuned to better suit the needs of changing aging adult populations, mainly baby boomers.
"Demographics point to the fact that not only do people want to stay in the home, [but] at some point in time, there are not going to be the caregivers to be able to provide the level of care on campuses that people are going to need," he said.
Over time, Cantata realized three main objectives of their clientele when it came to medical care. First, they discovered nearly 90 percent of physical rehab patients preferred to stay in their home for care once they left Cantata.
Second, they recognized many people find it difficult to afford 24-hour in-home support when provided by traditional caregivers. Lastly, patient feedback suggested that in the past, traditional at-home caregiver services made it difficult to maintain privacy and independence as staff members were subject to frequent changes and inconsistent schedules.
"The realities are that when you go home after rehab, you're taking new medications, you're still scrambling to try and fully rehab, and many times we saw a need for care that followed them not only on campus but back in the community," Urben said.
To address those issues, Cantata offers in-home services where a team of two to three caregivers stationed in a particular neighborhood schedule services for local patients, including meal preparation, bathroom assistance, appointment coordination and transportation. Tasks can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes as opposed to an hours-long drawn out process.
"It's neighborhood focused, so what we do is we define a specific neighborhood where we know we can get anywhere in that community within 10 minutes," Urben said. "The reason that's important is we work very similar to the way we work in our assisted-living community on campus, meaning we work with the particular people to determine the scheduled services that each of those people need, so there's a certain number of things we're going to do for them on a day in, day out basis."
With Take2, patients have the flexibility of staying in their home for services without sacrificing the quality of care, Urben said.
As for the cost, Urben says charges are rolled into a customized care plan for each client. Urben says Cantata's Take2 program will save patients between 15-40 percent compared to other in-home care services. A top plan can average around $180 a day, but costs can be lowered based on the specific care plan and level of patient support provided throughout the day.
Others have taken notice of the innovative plan. The program has been named a finalist in an Oak Park-based service entrepreneur contest called Big Idea. The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation's giving group called Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy (ELP) will award an annual seed grant of $50,000 to a local organization for a transformative idea that makes the community "the best place to live, work and grow." The foundation will name the winner of its competition on Feb. 22 at a presentation in Berwyn.
"We need to be looking forward," Urben said. "We need to be looking for better ideas to provide more people with service, charge them less for those services, but ultimately, to increase the outcome."