DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Felicia Clark is a caregiver for Peggy McKeen. Peggy suffered a fall in her home last year that left her paralyzed from the waist down, but she said she is getting better, and having a competent caregiver helps.
"It helps me to be able to stay at home. They're here to give me my baths, to give me comfort, encouragement," said McKeen.
She considers her "helpers" to be God sent.
"They are my family. I am so thankful, very thankful for the two girls that's been in my life," added McKeen.
"We're not talking about nursing. We're talking about simple care, to keep that person at home and to keep them out of a nursing home," said Ronald Grantland.
Grantland, Elder Care's vice president, explains the concept behind his home-based agency.
"We help them with their daily activities, such as bathing and grooming, walking, meal preparation, cleaning of the house - this type of thing," said Grantland.
Grantland said caregivers are well trained before they begin working and have additional education, constantly. Background checks are also run on the workers.
"It's the future of health care. A lot of the states have already gone, big time, to this type care," added Grantland.
A former lawmaker, Grantland said this also eases the burden on state coffers.
"Of course Medicaid Dollars are very scarce, and if we can spend that money wisely and keep these clients at home, it's very cost effective and it gives the client a quality of life - at home where they had rather be," he said.
That's where Clark and her co-workers come in.
"It's awesome for us. You've got to have a heart for one and we love going in and helping. What they can't do, we can," said Clark.
In this household, this relationship has led to a healthier body and mind.
"We comfort each other," added Clark.