Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services
Community Benefit Plan and Report 2020
Community Benefits – Addressing Needs in our Community
Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services (HCS) and the VNA at HCS submit a Community Benefit Report to the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General, Charitable Trust Division annually, reviewing the activities that we provide that address concerns identified in our community. In our fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services and the VNA at HCS provided $1,116,472.00 in community benefits. This includes free and reduced care and community programs that addressed the concerns that have been identified as part of the Community Needs Assessment.
Assessing the Needs
As part of this Community Benefits process under RSA 7:32-f, every five years, HCS conducts a community needs assessment to “identify and prioritize the needs that we as a health care charitable trust can address directly or in collaboration with others.” In 2018, HCS conducted a review of the needs assessments focus groups held in the area and developed the following priorities:
- Caregiver deficits; availability of home care services, particularly for low-income populations
- Lack of caregiver supports and resources, both for families with children as well as vulnerable seniors
- Food insecurity for the senior population
- Fall prevention
- Social isolation
- Social isolation due to lack of transportation
- Access – lack of transportation to medical appointments
- Behavioral Health
- Opioid/Substance Abuse
Addressing the needs – NOTE Some Community Services are suspended during the COVID Pandemic for the Safety of participants and our staff
Caregiver Concerns: To address the issues faced by family caregivers, HCS began an educational series called “HCS Care Talks.” Experts in legal matters, Alzheimer’s Disease, and topics such as fall prevention and home safety provided talks and information free of charge. Care Talks was held during hours that the Castle Center Adult Day program was available, so that family members could attend. Caregiver support groups continued at HCS.
The Castle Center Life Enrichment Day Program provides respite care for family caregivers, allowing them to opportunity to work or have some “me” time. The Castle Center expanded its hours and services in 2019 to be more responsive to caregivers and provided 24.422 hours of care in 2020.
Home Care and behavioral health care: Visiting nurse care is provided under physician orders. A sliding fee scale is available for those who are not insured; we also accept Medicaid; application is required to Medicaid for the sliding fee to continue.
Food Insecurity for the Senior Population: Meals on Wheels and Friendly Meals senior dining continued in Keene and in rural outreach locations. In Keene, transportation was available on a daily basis to the Garden Café Friendly Meals. In 2020, 123,707 meals and grab-and-go meals were provided to seniors and to individuals with disabilities.
Fall Prevention: Addressing home safety and fall prevention is a priority with every home visit that our nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists make. A Fall Prevention Guide is reviewed with each client not only at the time of admission, but as they progress through the plan of care.
Social Isolation due to lack of transportation: Transportation is a top need for seniors in particular in this area. The Friendly Bus program is partnering with the Keene Senior Center and Cheshire Village at Home to provide rides to activities at the Senior Center. In addition, the Friendly Bus is available for rides to the Friendly Meals and other social activities. The Friendly Bus provided 9,863 trips in 2020.
Access to healthcare: HCS offers several transportation programs to address the need for transportation to medical facilities. The City Express stops at the Cheshire Medical Center seventeen times a day, Monday through Friday, and to the Walk In Clinic eight times per day. For older adults, door to door service is available on the Friendly Bus. The Medical Express provides service weekly to the Veterans Administration Facilities in White River Junction, and to Dartmouth Hitchcock-Lebanon. We also provide Medicaid transportation.
Opioid and substance abuse: Healthy Starts at HCS is partnering with the Mothers In Recovery program at Cheshire Medical Center to provide individual and group support to those who are pregnant and are in recovery.
For more information about the Community Benefits Report, Needs Assessment process, or the charity care policy, contact Susan Ashworth, Director of Community Relations.