FirstLight offers seniors assistance in the home

Ed Ukaonu is the owner of the Conyers-based FirstLight Homecare, an in-home non-medical care provider for seniors and others who need assistance.

Ed Ukaonu is the owner of the Conyers-based FirstLight Homecare, an in-home non-medical care provider for seniors and others who need assistance.

Statistics show that about 10,000 people in America will turn 65 each day, said Ed Ukaonu, owner of FirstLight Home Care, a care provider for seniors. That means greater pressure on the "sandwich generation," younger people caring for both their children and their aging parents.

"That is a real issue and that is a huge problem," he said.

To assist families with senior citizens who want to stay in the home, Ukaonu opened FirstLight Home Care in Conyers, at 1255 Commercial Drive. FirstLight provides in-home non-medical care primarily to the elderly but also to those recovering from surgery, whether they be seniors or new mothers.

The business offers both personal care and companion care.

With personal care, the client receives assistance with bathing, walking and mobility, transfer and posture positioning, toileting, special diets, meal preparation, eating assistance and oral hygiene.

The companion care is designed for those clients who are more independent in their personal care but require services such as medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry services, shopping and errands, and organization with mail and other paperwork.

A nationwide franchise, FirstLight also just introduced its Readmission Rescue program. The program is designed to keep those who have been discharged from a hospital stay after surgery from having to re-enter the hospital due to complications.

Ukaonu said the primary reasons people are readmitted to the hospital include falls, improper medication administration and wound infection.

"That's an area we specialize in," said Ukaonu of keeping people at home instead of making them endure long hospital stays. "We've put together this program to work with every institution in the continuum of care to include the hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes."

The basis of the program stems from early intervention -- educating caregivers and clients on red flags, warning signs, and monitoring for changes in health and wellness. Detected early, caregivers can communicate these changes to a physician in advance, which saves the client from going back to the emergency room or hospital and avoiding readmission.

There's also special programs and protocol for common avoidable readmissions for conditions such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarction.

"Our goal in creating the Readmission Rescue Program was to take the top three conditions for hospital readmission and put together a program to lower those readmissions," Ukaonu said.

"This program allows our professional caregivers to improve quality outcome and enhance patient experiences while helping them to understand their illnesses and educate them on how to better manage their diseases and issues."

FirstLight Home Care serves Rockdale, Newton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. To learn more, visit www.firstlighthomecare.com or call 770-602-0500.