Following a dream — literally

Published 9:51 am Friday, November 20, 2009

IRONTON — It started with an idea and was followed by a dream — at about 3 a.m.

“The name Blessed At Home just came right in the middle of the night,” co-owner Lee Ann Bower said about how one of Ironton’s newest home healthcare facilities took its name following a dream by her sister and co-owner Shelia Salisbury.

That was in the summer of 2007.

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Now two years later, Bower, Salisbury along with co-owners Julie Adkins and Tamara Van Bibber have taken more than 50 years of combined home healthcare experience, 75 years of combined nursing experience and a pair of OASIS certifications to open Blessed At Home at 209 N. Second St. in Ironton.

The Christian-based home healthcare company, which Bower said came from the four owners noticing the growing demographics of baby-boomers within Lawrence County needing home-based assistance, takes the vast experience of its 20 member field staff while providing Christ-centered care through prayer.

“We were at a place in our lives where we felt the Lord pulled us together to do this,” Bower said. “While we believe in the power of Christ and prayer, we don’t force it on our patients.”

Serving five counties (Lawrence, Scioto, Jackson, Pike and Adams) Blessed At Home is actually three separate and individual businesses.

Blessed At Home, LLC is the 24-hour, seven day a week skilled nursing arm of the company such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

Blessed At Home Healthcare is the non-skilled side of the business dealing with custodial and house care needs.

Finally, Blessed Care Solutions is the consulting branch of the business.

The consulting arm of the company is even working with a Cincinnati-based nursing home in assisting them in expanding into the home healthcare business.

For years, nursing homes and home healthcare providers have had a “rivalry” as to where each believes patients might belong.

Nursing homes need to fill their beds as they pay royalties to the state for each bed in their facility, while home healthcare focuses on those patients that are able to recover at home.

Bower strongly believes there is room for both based on the specific needs of patients and their families.

“We are living in a time where the government is scratching their heads as to what to do with the baby-boomer generation.” Bower said.

To grow the business, Bower said the company uses the large contact base they have developed through the years, but have even taken to the “door-to-door” strategy to spread the word of their services.

“We’re still very much in a growth period right now,” Bower said.

But it is the Christ-centered care that Blessed At Home offers that Bower believes separates her business for others.

Blessed At Home earmarks a percentage of their profits and donates them towards a variety of charitable organizations within the Tri-State area.

They also will use those monies to help a person in need.

Bower told the recent story of a homeless man who was living under the Greenup Bridge in Scioto County, was on very hard times and did not have any medical coverage.

The company, using some of those earmarked monies, was able to get the man back on his feet with a new apartment and other necessary items he needed.

“God has really blessed our lives and we want to bless other people,” Bower said.

The company’s services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, worker’s compensation, private payment and even the Veterans Administration, which allows the company to expand its non-skilled services into both Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky.

Blessed At Home’s office hours are Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a registered nurse on call 24-hours a day, every day.

They can be contacted at (740) 533-CARE (2273) and all home evaluations are free.