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Community Access Unlimited Home Health Care program receives elite accreditation

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Certified Home Health Aide Donna Hunter checks the blood pressure of Dan Spear of Union.
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The Home Health Care program of Community Access Unlimited (CAU) has received "full accreditation" from the Commission on Accreditation for Home Care, Inc. (CAHC). Accreditation means the agency is recognized as delivering home care that meets industry best practices and adheres to CAHC policies, procedures and standards, according to the commission.

CAHC has been setting the standards for quality home care services in New Jersey since 1986. As New Jersey’s only state based accrediting body, CAHC is dedicated exclusively to New Jersey’s home care providers and delivering the highest standard of service to our local communities and families.

"CAHC is dedicated to promoting the highest quality and safety standards in the New Jersey home care service industry," the commission said in a statement. "Community Access Unlimited shares our commitment to such excellence and has undergone our accreditation review allowing us to monitor their compliance with established guidelines and industry best practices.

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"Community Access Unlimited having passed our review is duly entitled to display our official emblem and promote itself among the elite of home care providers attaining such distinction within its provision of home health care services."

CAU's Home Health Care program is administered by the agency's Home Health Care Service Firm and provides support to any member of the community who needs home care, according to Jo Anna Hamilton, director of nurses and lead instructor at CAU. Services include care management, behavior management, dementia and Alzheimer's care and respite care for caregivers. They also include personal assistance, errands and transportation, light housekeeping, chores such as yard work and companionship.

 

Services can be provided for short, transitional periods, such as for someone recovering from hospitalization, or for long-term assignment, according to Hamilton. Care is available for any age, from child to senior citizen, for a few hours a week to 24/7.

 

Care is primarily provided by Certified Home Health Aides, who must complete a 76-hour training curriculum approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing; complete a competency evaluation by a licensed home health aide services agency; and pass federal and state background checks.

 

"We match the person's needs with our home health aide's strengths and areas of expertise," said Ewelina Oksien, nursing supervisor. "We've had patients tell us they love our aides and when they have a day off, they can't wait for them to come back. They really become members of the family."

 

Hamilton and Oksien perform an in-home assessment of a new patient to determine their needs and properly assign a home health aide. They follow up with 30- and 60-day reassessments to ensure all patient needs continue to be fulfilled.

 

Earning accreditation was a one-year process, according to Hamilton. It required creation and implementation of policies and procedures to meet all CAHC standards, commission review and a site visit.  CAU also created a quality improvement program to ensure continual improvement of service and belongs to the Home Care Association of New Jersey, which provides ongoing training and support.

 

CAU is an ideal agency to provide home care services, according Hamilton. CAU is a statewide Elizabeth-based nonprofit with more than 37 years experience providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as youth served under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enable them to live independently in the community, providing supports in areas including housing, vocational skills and life-skills training, education, advocacy and recreation.

 

"We are dedicated to providing personal support and access to the community," Hamilton said. "Whether someone has a permanent disability or is simply recovering from an illness or operation, or anywhere in between, they do not have to feel limited. Our home health aides and other support staff can help them feel at ease, knowing that things are being taken care of."

 

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About Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 37th year in 2016, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU provides support and gives voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society. CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil right. CAU currently serves more than 6,000 individuals and families, with the number served growing each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

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