The Homemakers Program provides services to the elderly and disadvantaged throughout the week.
Clients must meet eligibility requirements for services from the homemakering staff of six people. Roxanne Wooten is the Homemakers supervisor. Lynnette Blair is the program’s coordinator, providing schedules for homemakers Judy Adams, Glenda Merrell, Kim Morrison and Natasha Hall.
“We go in and do light housekeeping, personal care and respond to a number of other needs,” said Blair in a recent interview.
Blair added that the Housemakers Program has been available from the local department since the 1970s. It is a federal-funded program, with funds distributed by the Tennessee Health Department to county health departments.
Most of the services provided are in the home, although there is some additional assistance provided outside of the home. The homemakers do housekeeping, provide personal services such as bathing, run errands, pick up items in the community such as medicines, shop for specific items for the individuals and prepare meals or assist in preparing meals.
These homemakers cannot provide transportation because of the legal liabilities, but can use their vehicles for the other chores.
Blair said many situations for these less fortunate are sad, but it is always uplifting when they can be helped. With this assistance the drudgeries of old age and poor health are oftentimes not as desperate.
Services are provided to eligible clients, both men and women. Like most health department programs, a key measure of qualification is level of income and level of need. If the health department cannot help, officials there try to find other sources.
The number of individuals served in this program varies from time to time. Some individuals move on to extended care facilities, while others previously provided services have died.
Blair said there are three separate types of assistance in the Homemakers Program — Title 3 for 60-and-up; optional services, and family care.
Participants are continually evaluated for eligibility and need. The extent of services is also monitored due to the availability of funds. Blair said additional funds are always needed, adding that is true with most programs at the health department.