Out and About
Bloom Companion Care
Kindness, Conversation, and Care
By Janette Calabro
Bloom Companion Care matches in-home companion caregivers with each client’s specific needs and personality, providing personalized and compassionate care to help clients live safely in their own homes. Effective care includes everything from driving to a doctor’s appointment to making sure the refrigerator is well stocked, but that’s not all. Just as Bloom’s website states, kindness, conversation, and care for loved ones is the cornerstone of what they provide.
CEO and founder Gretchen Radler divulges that she pays her caregivers a little more than similar businesses do. She believes that translates to a caregiver who is often more qualified, giving the client a more professional and meaningful experience. “We pay more because we don’t want to put a vulnerable person with another vulnerable person,” says Gretchen. “We want to make sure the client understands the commitment of the caregiver just as much as the caregiver understands the needs of the client. We respect our caregivers as the professionals they are.”
Caregivers are given online training to help them navigate common caregiving situations. Between her two companies, Bloom and Arial (Arial offers a Medicaid waiver), Gretchen carries 145 caregivers. A caregiver sometimes serves as a companion, taking clients to social events or activities they enjoy. From these events, clients achieve levels of confidence and social interaction that they would not get from strictly in-home caregiving services.
Bloom’s clients include Rose, the sister of a stroke victim. Rose’s sister needed help while staying at home. A caregiver ensured she did her required physical therapy, helped
with bathing and meals, reminded her to take medication, and kept the laundry and housekeeping under control. This relieved pressure from the family caregivers, who took breaks three times a week, during the Bloom caregiver’s four-hour visits.
Rose thanks Bloom Companion Care with kind words. “It was important for the companion care company we hired to have reliable and safe caregivers,” says Rose. “This comes with a deep respect for the men and women who work in this field. Bloom helped my family when my sister needed to become stable in order to be able to live independently in her own apartment. Thanks to all the caregivers who help to ensure families in Omaha are met with these services. Thank you for all that you do.”
The most beautiful part of this particular caregiving situation, says Gretchen, is that Rose’s sister was able to change her life. “She started being more responsible for her own health outcome. She’s now a lot happier and is repairing some relationships because she has that consistent caregiver.”
Another client, Vicky, hired Bloom to assist with home chores and personal care that she couldn’t handle herself because she had neuromuscular system disorder. Consistent caregivers helped Vicky every night, which enabled her to stay at home. They became friends as a result. “Your company was there when we needed you,” Vicky says. “Bloom listened to our needs and matched us with the right caregiver. She helped with daily chores. She not only was a companion—she became a friend, too.”
Gretchen finds her job very rewarding. In her own personal experiences with family members who needed in-home care, she encountered some caregivers who were not doing their job as effectively as she would have liked. That’s when she decided to leave her career as a hairstylist and move to the field of home care provider, making the caregivers a primary focus so that clients received better care. She built her company around exceptional and qualified workers.
Caregiving is hard but rewarding work, Gretchen notes. “Caregivers are beautiful people,” she emphasizes. “They do whatever it takes to help save clients’ energy for the things that are important to them. It’s so beautiful to help stabilize somebody and take the pressure off the family.”
Gretchen advises that people hire a caregiver as soon as the need arises. “You don’t want to wait until you’re in crisis,” she points out. “If you have somebody come in for three mornings a week, you’re establishing a relationship and you’re also establishing someone to interpret the needs and preferences for that client (in case they become less able to communicate). This is why it’s important to start early. Then, when you have a major event, you have that relationship built already. If we need to, we can build up a 24/7 staff and use that individual who best understands the client.”
To reach Gretchen Radler and her team of dedicated caregivers, call 402-342-3040 or visit bloomcompanion.com. The office for Bloom Companion Care is located at 9290 West Dodge Road, in Suite 201.
Gretchen Radler, Founder, CEO