This content is sponsored by Montcordia.
Maddie Rae knew her client would be hesitant. The woman had used other agencies before, and the experience had not been good. Rae knew from both experience and training that it would take time to build trust — a slow, consistent day-by-day effort. So she listened, got to know her client, and paid attention to what was important to her. It didn’t take long before she found a way to bond with her: food.
Rae is a direct care partner for Montcordia, a full-service, home care agency focused on the person, providing in-home care and geriatric care management. They provide holistic care that aims to provide the client with an improved quality of life.
“I found out that chili is her favorite food and she loves cornbread. I make it for her weekly. I pretty much cook every meal for her now,” Rae said. “We look at recipes together, on Pinterest, so I can get ideas from her of what things that she would like. We have a lot of fun with it. And now, I think she’s let go of some of that, where she was trying to do so much for herself, where it was a struggle for her, and it wasn’t something that she enjoyed.”
With that struggle alleviated, food has become a comfort to Rae’s client once again. Rae said they enjoy making grocery lists together as they find new recipes to try, or rediscover favorite meals from her client’s past that have been too difficult for her to manage alone. Rae said when this happens, she often finds her client regaling her with memories centered on food, and the people she shared it with.
“It’s about showing them that you are there to preserve their independence,” Rae said. “It is one of the biggest things that clients see over time: You just continue to show up and really have an interest in them. And the family members love to know that their loved ones are being treated with respect, treated like family, and that they don’t have to worry about them.”
And that’s what sets Montcordia apart from other in-home care providers. Rae said she’d worked at all different kinds of care providers in the past, from large agencies to memory care units. She said in all those other jobs, she was overburdened, undersupported, and couldn’t provide the kind of one-on-one care her patients needed, no matter how much she wanted to.
Rebekah Goetz, vice president at Montcordia, said that’s not unusual.
“According to the 2021 Home Care Pulse Benchmarking study, the average supervisor-to- caregiver ratio in this industry is 1-81. At Montcordia, it’s 1-8,” she said.
And it’s not just direct care providers like Rae who are involved with the client. Montcordia begins to invest in the relationship long before beginning to provide care. And that starts by ensuring clients are matched to the right care providers.
“We have a world class team. When we go into do an assessment, it’s not just the case manager; they also get a care ambassador who is able to take that holistic perspective. And both the nurse case manager and the ambassador get to know our client incredibly well,” Goetz said. “It’s an in-depth assessment to really get to know the client in their own environment. And we also know our care partners well; we spend a lot of time with them in training, a lot of time in screening. Knowing the client’s needs and the caregivers’ strengths, we are able to identify who the best person is to meet those unique needs, and also match with their personality.”
By the time the care partner comes into the picture, the nurse case manager and care ambassador have already begun to build a relationship with the client, and are there the first time the care partner visits in order to help hand that relationship off. But that’s not the end of their involvement. Both the nurse case manager and the care ambassador continue to support both the client and the care partner behind the scenes. That can involve things like researching volunteer opportunities to help clients find things to do with their time outside the home. And time is built into the schedules of everyone involved in the client’s care to account for and encourage that level of involvement in the client’s life on a consistent basis. That’s something no one else in the industry does; care partners have an unprecedented amount of accessibility to and support from their team. It’s the key differentiator that enables Montcordia’s ability to provide superior care.
“Each day is really different, because each person is different in what they need,” Rae said. “I think what is really different and special about Montcordia is that they really encourage that. I really love what I do because I get to know each person and try to really support their independence to have the best quality of life that’s possible.”