by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
As a breast cancer survivor and the sister of someone undergoing a stem cell transplant for leukemia, Katherine Keith understands all too well the importance of quality in-home care. Keith has also always loved the Northern Neck area and thought it could benefit from an in-home care service, prompting her to open Right at Home in the Northern Neck in January 2017.
Providing a range of services from simple companionship to personal care assistance, Right At Home is available for seniors and disabled adults across the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.
Located at 235 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, Right At Home provides a range of assistance services, including light housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping, transportation, home organization and personal care including bathing. Caregivers also may assist clients with physical therapy home exercises. Right At Home also offers clients a monthly group outing to museums, parks and restaurants. Outings have included trips to the Kilmarnock Museum, Reedville Fishermen’s Museum and Belle Isle State Park.
But, of course the most important service is basic companionship, according to Keith.
“Whatever we can do to improve someone’s quality of life is what we do,” she said.
“Unlike some companies, we don’t have a minimum [time] requirement,” she added. “We are available even for a couple of hours, if that’s what someone needs.”
Keith, who has a masters in counseling from the George Washington University, is also a certified senior advisor. Her career path has taken several turns. A retired school principal and co-founder of the Howard Gardner School in Alexandria, Keith also founded and is the director of a small non-profit in the Northern Neck called My Grandmother’s House.
Keith believes in building a community in whatever project she takes on.
“We have found a small group of really lovely, wonderful caregivers,” said Katherine. “The kind of people I would love to have caring for my loved one, or for me. It has been a delight to watch our caregivers with clients.”
Keith has three full-time employees at Right At Home and 15 part-time caregivers.
“I’m very concerned about our clients’ psychological state,” she said. “So we want to make sure we address issues of isolation.” To do that, Keith extends her monthly outings to other elders in the community, free of charge, who might otherwise be isolated.
“We all truly enjoy our group outings,” she said.
Depending on the client’s mobility, Keith attempts to get all clients some time outside. With her encouragement, caregivers and clients often take drives through Belle Isle State Park or other scenic areas and the team installs bird feeders for their clients and other elders in the community if they are not able to get outside.
To reach Right At Home, call 480-2151, or visit nnhomecare.com