November 3, 2011

Intouch Offers Help Navigating the Maze of Home Care Choices

By Pam Berenger
Community Liason
Intouch Adult Day Care and Home Care Services

“Home care” is a simple phrase that can turn into a complex and diverse maze when individuals begin weaving their way through the vast array of services and service providers available for seniors and people with disabilities.

The staff of Intouch Home Care Services of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) in Moline can help guide people through the process of choosing services best suited for their needs, according to Intouch Adult Day and Intouch Home Care Services’ program director Mary Bivens. Intouch Home Care Services and Intouch Adult Day Services are programs of LSSI, a not-for-profit, faith-based organization. In all programs, LSSI’s focus is on maintaining or improving the quality of life for the nearly 70,000 people it serves throughout the state.

“Promoting independence and wellness is an integral part of Intouch and LSSI,” Bivens says. “We believe that adding home care to our local programs rounds out our services by providing support to our clients and their families as well as continuity of care.” — Pam you may need something to go with continuity of care…I can’t put my finger on what’s missing – it may not be clear what that means.

While LSSI’s Intouch Home Care Services has provided non-medical assistance to older adults in their homes throughout Illinois since 1981, it became part of LSSI’s Quad-Cities program this spring. Trained home care assistants, including CNAs, help individuals with personal care, home care, meal preparation and other tasks of daily living in Rock Island, Mercer and Henry counties.

Staff also provides companionship and work with clients on enhancing their wellness. In addition, home care assistants are available to provide respite to family caregivers. Generally, home care and/or adult day services are appropriate whenever a person prefers to stay at home, but needs ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided by family and friends alone. More and more older people, electing to live independent, non-institutionalized lives, are receiving both services as their physical capabilities diminish. Younger adults who are disabled or recuperating from acute illness are choosing home care whenever possible.

Intouch services are available to private pay clients, veterans, low-income seniors served by the Community Care Program and to individuals qualifying through the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Intouch accepts all referrals unless the person is severely impaired.

After receiving the referral and completing the intake process, the Plan of Care is given to a home care worker. Each Intouch caregiver receives a minimum of 24 hours of training using modules provided by the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers (IACCPHP). The trainees also receive an orientation session about LSSI. After the initial training, workers have quarterly training sessions each year.

A field monitor visits the client 60 days after the home care service starts to make sure the client is getting the service he or she needs. In addition, the monitor makes regular checks on caregivers, to make sure they are doing their work in accordance with their training and the individual’s Plan of Care.

Often the Plan of Care includes Adult Day Services. For more than 30 years, Intouch has provided adults 18 and older with an environment where they can benefit from increased physical, mental and social stimulation. Intouch is the largest adult day facility in Illinois and is approved by the Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA). The adult day center is a 21,000 square foot facility that offers several activity rooms, an enclosed garden area and a secure Alzheimer’s section with four activity rooms.

“Our goal is to help families and individuals avoid premature long-term care placement by working with caregivers and clients to keep people in their homes,” Bivens says. “We work closely with individuals, families, caregivers and other agencies to work out a plan of care best suited for the individual, whether that is home care or a combination of home care and adult day services.”

For more information on Intouch Adult Day Services, contact Mary Bivens, program director, at (309) 797-0200.

Founded in 1867, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is a statewide, not-for-profit social service agency of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), as well as an agency of the United Way. LSSI serves people of all faiths through an array of services at 83 program sites across Illinois. For more information, visit or the LSSI Facebook page.