AddnAide helps Dennis get care to stay at home

Apr 01, 2024

Dennis has lived his entire life in Cincinnati. He grew up on Broadway in downtown Cincinnati watching the riverboats come and go from the city. “The riverfront was my playground,” he said.

The family’s childhood home was located right next to the jail. With five brothers and two sisters in the home, Dennis’ parents frequently threatened they would end up in jail if they misbehaved. Dennis believed them.

For 40 years, Dennis owned his own salon, cutting hair for who he described as “the people with money in Mt. Lookout and Hyde Park.” After selling the salon, he went into the carpentry business and joined up with a company installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

According to Dennis, there wasn’t much difference between cutting hair and installing cabinets. “In either case, you measure twice and cut once,” he said.

In the 1960s, Dennis and a buddy decided they would avoid the draft and enlist in the Army. He ended up serving four years in the infantry - Second Army, Charlie Company. He’s tried to catch up with Army buddies from that time period, but hasn’t had much luck.

Today, Dennis lives in a senior apartment building in Clifton, high up on a hill overlooking the city he’s called home all his life. He enrolled in Hamilton County’s Elderly Services Program when he cut back on driving and it became difficult to manage household tasks. Dennis has COPD and is on oxygen, so he lacks the stamina to do things like cleaning, laundry or grocery shopping on his own. At first, Dennis had an aide through a home care agency. But, due to a shortage of home care workers, it was difficult to get the consistent service he needed.

Then, his Council on Aging care manager, Todd, told him about a new option – AddnAide. AddnAide is an app created by Council on Aging subsidiary home52 to help ESP clients like Dennis match with people in the community who are available to provide home care services. One of the goals of AddnAide is to expand the pool of individuals available to serve older adults who need in-home care. By having more caregivers available to help, fewer older adults are left waiting for the care they need.

AddnAide also gives people like Dennis more control over their care. Older adults can browse profiles of available caregivers in AddnAide, have secure conversations with potential caregivers, and then extend an offer of employment when they find a good match. All AddnAide caregivers receive a background check before their profiles become visible to people like Dennis in the app.

AddnAide also provides the ability for older adults to invite someone to become a caregiver in the app. That’s how Dennis matched with his aide, Renee. She lived in his building and offered to help. With his care manager’s help, Dennis sent an invite to Renee through AddnAide. She completed the background check and things have been going swimmingly for months.

“Renee does a great job for me – we’re a team,” Dennis said. “It’s gotten so that she just comes in and knows what to do.” Renee sweeps and mops, cleans the bath and kitchen and helps Dennis with his laundry, when needed.

For Renee’s part, she said she likes being a helpful person and she appreciates what she calls the “generous nature” of older adults.

She shared that PTSD has made it difficult for her to hold a traditional job. AddnAide gives her flexibility while also fulfilling her desire to be helpful. “We make a plan for each day,” Renee explained, which could include washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen; sweeping and mopping; tending to the cat litter box; washing windows; or organizing. She also helps Dennis with his laundry, when needed.

Dennis uses AddnAide to approve all of Renee’s timecards and to schedule their appointments. He can receive messages from Renee and his care manager in the app, and Renee’s paychecks are also processed through app. “I’m pretty savvy with the app,” he said. “It’s easy – self-explanatory.”

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