Buckingham home health care Certified home health aids, Francis Perez and Jessica DelValle, share a moment together at Buckingham adult day center where they also work in addition to working in client’s homes. (Photo courtesy of Buckingham Place.)

Sometimes, clients go to Buckingham Place adult Day Care center and Home Health Care Services in Princeton. But in many cases, the center comes to the clients.

Hilary Murray, director of marketing for Buckingham Place, said more and more people are using the business’s healthcare services, where trained health aides visit clients for as little as two hours a day, for however long is needed, and provide services that allow the clients to stay in their own homes.

That could be anything from bathing, dressing, showering, grooming, meal cooking, companionship, housekeeping, transportation or even just sitting and doing puzzles or exercise regimens. The aides can also drive clients around for doctors’ appointments or shopping.

“Home healthcare is an increasing trend,” Murray said. “Many people find the most comfortable place to live is their own home even when their healthcare needs change.”

The cost of the care can be more affordable than living at an assisted living facility, Murray said. The cost is often covered by long-term care insurance.

For many people, this arrangement makes more sense than an all-day live-in aide.

“Many older adults don’t need someone all day long with them,” Murray said. “They need someone to help them get up in the morning and help them get dressed and prepare breakfast. Others like us to come in the evening maybe to help them with the end of the day routine and meals.”

Murray said Buckingham does everything possible to put clients at ease about having an outside person coming to their home for a few hours a day. All clients meet with their assigned health aides beforehand to make sure their personalities are a good match, and so that no one has a stranger showing up on his or her doorstep.

“We bring them in to meet the client before they start their assignment so that they can meet them and get a sense of who they are,” Murray said. “That makes for a smoother transition when you know who’s coming to your home.”

Even on days when the regular aide is off duty, Buckingham assigns the same backup aide every time whenever possible.

Murray said Buckingham hires and trains aides who have good personalities, and that often a bond develops between aides and clients.

“They need to be professional and generally just be a pleasant person,” Murray said. “They have to be someone that I would choose to take care of my own parents.”

Buckingham has offered the home healthcare program for three years. The aides are all state certified, supervised by a registered nurse, and receive additional training, including dementia-specific training at the Buckingham Adult Day Care Center.

Buckingham place also offers an adult day care program, and many clients choose to use both the adult day care and home health aide services.

Buckingham also offers 24-hour live-in aides. The center is located at 155 Raymond Road in Princeton. Phone: (732) 329-8954. On the web: buckinghamplace.net.

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Diccon Hyatt is business editor of U.S. 1. He has worked for Community News since 2006 and was previously community editor of the Ewing Observer, the Hopewell Express, the Lawrence Gazette, and the Trenton Downtowner. From 2003 to 2006, he was a general assignment reporter for the Middletown Transcript in Middletown, Delaware. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Delaware, where he was features editor of the student newspaper, The Review. He has won numerous awards from the Maryland-Delaware D.C. Press Association and the Association of Free Community Newspapers for features, news, and opinion writing. He is married and lives in Marlton, NJ.