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Wheels & Meals expands its services with Home Care Deal

In the interest of meeting the needs of even more area residents, Kenmare Wheels & Meals is expanding beyond transit and dinners to offer the Home Care Deal.

4/27/11 (Wed)


In the interest of meeting the needs of even more area residents, Kenmare Wheels & Meals is expanding beyond transit and dinners to offer the Home Care Deal.


“We just want to help people stay home,” said Linda Freeman, director for Wheels & Meals.


The in-home care service is locally funded, paid by the clients or their families rather than by state and federal grants. “That way, we are not limiting what we will do for people, or how often,” Freeman said. “We just want to break even!”


Starting May 15th, a variety of services will be offered, including light housekeeping, grocery shopping, laundry, personal care, errands, companionship, correspondence, respite care, general handy-woman endeavors, and medication reminders.


“There are no restrictions,” said Freeman, “except that we’re not able to do medication set-up right now. We’re working on being able to do that in the future.”


The services will be offered throughout the Gooseneck area of Ward County as well as Burke and Renville counties, including homes in rural areas. “This is geared toward seniors, but not limited to seniors,” said Freeman. “Some services are already available in Burke and Renville counties, but those are based on income guidelines. We’re going to try to meet the needs of those who don’t qualify under that program.”


Freeman emphasized the Home Care Deal is intended to fill gaps now present in personal care services, rather than replacing county or state services. “We see people who are forced to move out of their homes because they need a little bit more than they have now,” she said. “Many state and federal programs advertise similar services, but they’re not really available here.”


She continued, “We also don’t want to interfere with people who are privately offering this service, but I think most of them are very busy.”


The Home Care Deal will benefit both area residents and the Kenmare Wheels & Meals program. “If we diversify our services, we can lower the cost of all our services,” Freeman explained.


She has coordinated development of the Home Care Deal with the Renville County and Burke County social services offices, as well as Kenmare Community Hospital. “They were very excited to hear about this,” she said.


Then she laughed. “This is something where we’ve seen the need for a long time,” she said, “but we haven’t had the guts to jump into it!”


Care provider will build trust

Wheels & Meals has hired an individual specifically to meet the care requests of clients. “We have one staff member dedicated to the service,” Freeman said. “The clients will be billed by our office.”


The Wheels & Meals in-home care provider already has similar experience with in-home personal care and with operations in a care facility in another state. She moved to Kenmare a few years ago and is eager to begin working with clients throughout the area, according to Freeman.


She realizes some of her new clients may not be excited to meet her. “We expect some resistance,” said Freeman. “Many seniors themselves may not see the need for this.”


However, family members who visit their aging parents or grandparents often see obvious problems or situations that can now be handled through the Home Care Deal. “There are probably more people than we know who need this service,” Freeman said, “and we will build trust through our home care provider.”


Fees for the services are $15 per hour, with 10 cents per mile charged for mileage. “Clients will be billed through our office,” said Freeman, “so they don’t have to worry about paying the provider directly.”


She encouraged seniors and their family members to contact her at the Wheels & Meals office to discuss the types of care and schedules they need, and to suggest other services that are desired. Individuals with disabilities or those recovering at home from illness or injury may also wish to consider the Home Care Deal for themselves.


For more information, or to set up an appointment, call the Kenmare Wheels & Meals office at 701-385-4364. Freeman can also be reached at P.O. Box 481, Kenmare, ND 58746



“Hopefully, we’ll keep people at home longer,” said Freeman. “That’s our goal.”