MCL: What is the mission of Joy Care?
Jennifer Byrd: Joy Care, Inc., provides lifestyle enhancement for senior adults. We strive to maintain the emotional and physical wellbeing of our clients and improve the quality of life of those we serve. Joy Care is a unique because we offer the benefits of skilled individuals who provide the attention and services that maximize the independence and safety of our clients.
MCL: What services does Joy Care provide for Seniors?
Jennifer: Attention is given in the following areas: life skills, promotion of an active lifestyle, mental alertness, education, companionship, and organization.
- Grooming (taking care of nails and hair, applying makeup, and maintaining proper oral care)
- Dressing tasks
- Educating clients in safety within their environment
- Light cooking
- Managing home tasks
Promotion of an Active Lifestyle:
- Encouraging clients to get up and be active
- Taking clients on walks
- Gentle exercises
- Engaging clients in activities to encourage movement
- Playing cards and using activities to help increase attention, concentration, problem solving, alertness, sequencing, and memory
- Engaging in games to stimulate thought processes and provide interaction with others
- Helping clients adjust to their current living environment
- Education with emphasis on fall prevention
- Education including ways to simplify tasks and conserve energy
- Assisting with letter writing
- Reading books, magazines, etc.
- Reminiscing about the past
- Listening and engaging in meaningful conversation
- Improving self esteem through crafts and hobbies
- Eliminating clutter to reduce tripping hazard
- Sorting and filing mail
- Managing trash and throwing away junk mail
- Writing appointments on calendar
- Organizing closets and drawers
MCL: What criteria do you use to choose your caregivers?
Jennifer: Joy Care only hires qualified individuals who have experience caring for and working with the geriatric population. Our primary goals are to enhance the quality of life of each client and bring JOY to his or her life. We are not a therapy provider and do not bill through Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. Our services do not require a physician’s order. We are not a “sitter service” because our staff will actively engage our clients in activities in order to improve their quality of life. Joy Care, Inc. is licensed and bonded.
MCL: How did you get interested in such a business?
Jennifer: I have always loved working with people and specifically senior adults. With the changes in healthcare, I found many times the focus shifts away from the needs of the client and what is in their best interest. I wanted to provide a service that was truly client-centered and allows the caregiver the freedom to focus on the needs of the individual with that being the primary approach. Often, I had found that a person would be discharged from skilled therapy, but would still benefit from continued stimulation and activity after their Medicare and insurance coverage had ended.
This service is unique in that it is client-driven, client-centered and is not dictated by the regulations imposed by a third party. I prayed about my career path, and God placed this unique idea on my heart. I have always loved the verses, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.” Starting a new business with a new concept definitely requires faith. God has led and guided me in the past, and I am trusting in Him to see where this exciting journey leads.
MCL: What was your previous business background?
Jennifer: I am a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist with more than fifteen years experience treating the geriatric population. Upon graduation from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, I began my career at Methodist Rehabilitation Center where experience was gained treating victims of strokes and brain injuries, and orthopedic cases with emphasis on hip and knee replacements, amputees, and generalized weakness clients.
Following my tenure at MRC, I found my true passion caring for the geriatric population in various assisted living facilities. I have served as an Occupational Therapist and also as Director of Rehabilitation Services. I am committed to providing quality, individualized care that enhances the lives of those I have the opportunity to serve.
MCL: Do you customize your services individually per your clients’ needs or requests?
Jennifer: Yes! An individualized approach is the foundation of Joy Care, Inc. During the initial consultation, I ask about the personal goals of the individual and, many times, the goals the family may have for their loved one. Then, the activities and interventions used are structured to help the client meet their goals while having fun in the process. From teaching a senior adult how to use an iPad, to reminiscing about the past with meaningful conversation, to helping someone maintain their mobility in order to walk around their home, Joy Care individualizes their approach based on the needs of that individual.
Many times to hear laughter and see a smile tells me that we are doing what we have set out to do. As stated in Proverbs 17:22, “ A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” This verse is the theme for my company.
If you feel like you or someone you know may benefit from the services mentioned above, please call Jennifer Joy Bird at 601-573-6344 for a free initial consultation.