Capability Homecare Acquires Peace of Mind Home Health

Capability Homecare Acquires Peace of Mind and Names New Director of Operations

Bellevue, WA

Locally owned Capability Homecare has made two strategic moves to further ensure their place as the premiere homecare agency in the Greater Seattle area.

Effective November 14th, 2014, Capability Homecare acquired Peace of Mind Home Health and will assume all of Peace of Mind’s current operations.

Additionally, Laura Henrichs has been named Director of Operations of Capability Homecare. Laura has over 14 years working in the homecare industry and joined Capability Homecare last February. The transition will be seamless, as Laura has been leading Capability Homecare’s client services efforts for the past nine months.

Capability Homecare was established by Daniel and Megan Bigbee in 2008. Since then, they have been committed to providing superior home care services for clients in the Greater Seattle/Bellevue area.

Capability Homecare’s screening methods exceed industry standards to ensure their caregivers meet the high expectations of their valued clients.

Capability Homecare is committed to maintaining the dignity, respect and independence of clients while creating peace of mind for their families.

Services include assistance with Activities of Daily Living, Personal Care, Medication Management, Meal preparation, Transportation, Companionship and Nurse Delegation. More information can be found at


Impacts of Hospice

Back CameraI was out with friends the other day and one of them recommended a fabulous Italian restaurant they had just eaten at. One of the other gals chimed in about how much she also loved that restaurant- and how it brought back so many memories because while her grandmother was at Evergreen Hospice, they would eat at this restaurant regularly since it was so close to the hospice house.

She then went on to describe her experience with hospice– and what an amazing service it is. She talked about how much it helped her family through a very difficult time. One thing she mentioned that I found to be very interesting was that originally her grandmother had been admitted to the hospital and the doctors were trying to run all sorts of tests, MRI’s and prescribe medication to treat her problem. When in reality, at age 97, all she really wanted to do was to die peacefully surrounded by loved ones and without any pain. Luckily, they were made aware of Evergreen Hospice House and advocated that her grandmother be transferred there. According to my friend, most doctors won’t mention hospice– it is a topic that you must bring up to them.

My friend spoke about how glad she was that the hospice staff educated the family on the stages of dying – so that when her grandmother started talking about taking an airplane ride- she knew that was a sign that the end was near. Because of the expertise of the hospice staff, they knew to not try to correct their grandmother and explain there were no airplanes… instead they encouraged her to get on the plane when she was ready. And when the time came, the family was there to experience and witness a beautiful death.

To have been a part of the process of dying in such a peaceful and safe environment was life changing for my friend. She could not say enough wonderful things about the Evergreen Hospice house and the experience she had.

After she finished sharing her story, my other friend spoke up about her personal experience with hospice. In her case it was her mother in law who was dying. My friend spoke about how rather than be in the hospital, they wanted to bring her home and let her make the most of the limited time she had left. My friend commented on how wonderful the hospice staff were- they arranged for a hospital bed to be delivered to the house, they took care of all pain medication, offered education and training to the family regarding what to expect as the illness progressed- and after she died- they took care of all the arrangements, making it much less stressful for the family.

Hearing my friends share their personal experiences with hospice makes me glad that more and more people are taking advantage of this service. Many people don’t realize that Hospice is covered by Medicare, and is often an under-utilized service.

According to Gentiva/ Odyssey Hospice, some possible indicators that hospice may be appropriate are:

  • Life expectancy of six months or less

  • Hospitalization or emergency room visit more than once in that past 6 months

  • Weight loss with a noticeable difference

  • Shortness of breath even while resting

  • Several falls over the last 6 months

  • Feeling weak or more tired than usual

  • Making frequent phone calls to physicians’ office

  • Spending most of the day in a chair or bed

Death and dying do not have to be a scary, lonely event. Allow experts to assist your family through this process. Capability Homecare works daily in conjunction with hospice teams. We can provide respite for families, help with housekeeping, companionship and assist with ADL’s. Our caregivers are experienced and trained in hospice care. We offer:

  • Increase communication with team members

  • Liaison between client, family and hospice

  • Increased awareness of pain management, communication

  • Tracking and communication of pain changes to hospice team

  • Increase staff during crisis management – during last 72 hours of life and as needed

  • Peace of mind for families who are looking for extra comfort and help

  • Caregivers are experienced working with hospice

  • Support hospice team managing disease

  • Provide 24/7 care so the patient is never left alone

  • Respite for family

For more information about hospice, click here, or call Capability Homecare at 425 679 5770

Therapy Pets in the Operating Room- That’s a First!

We’ve all heard of therapy pets, which I personally think are a pretty amazing thing, but a dog in an operating room? That’s a first!

I saw this incredible story about a dog and a little girl and just had to share.

I once read an amazing article about a very special cat that could predict when a patient in a nursing home was about to die. The cat, Oscar would literally crawl into bed with the person and be there during their last moments.  It was a pretty amazing story, and can be read here:

There are so many wonderful things about this story- one of which is the idea that this animal can provide comfort and peace in what is normally a very sad time. It’s also a great reminder of how pets can provide companionship to lonely seniors.

My mother in law visited us over the holidays, and she really loved hanging out with my dog, Sadie. I would leave my mother in law at home while I went to work- and Sadie would snuggle into Carol’s lap while she read, or sit by her feet as she folded laundry, or sit next to her while she watched TV. Just the presence of another living being beside you can put loneliness at bay and bring comfort to people. Personally, I love those quiet days when I’m home all alone and my sweet dog just follows me from room to room- it just reminds me that I am never alone.

I think for the elderly having a low maintenance pet is the ideal solution to anyone facing mild depression. Having to take care of someone other than yourself is a wonderful way to remind us that we are all needed and worthy. I spent so many years of my life without a pet- but now I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without one. In fact, if my husband gets his way… we may soon be the proud owner of another dog! (he’d love to rescue a lab).

Senior Centers for those who Age In Place

One of the benefits to moving to a retirement community is the opportunity for social interactions with other seniors. However, numerous studies have shown that most elderly people prefer to remain at home rather than move. The choice to ‘age in place’ is one we fully support at Capability Homecare, yet we also recognize the importance of social interactions and life enrichment.

Luckily, in the Seattle/ Eastside area we have a number of senior centers that provide these social needs- for those seniors who want to ‘age in place‘. It’s the best of both worlds- you get to stay in your home but also have the opportunity to get out, see friends, have a nice meal, play games, learn a craft, participate in outings and enjoy life!

Besides the social interaction, one advantage of senior centers is that they connect older adults to a variety of services. There are many services available to the senior population- yet educating them on all of their options is sometimes difficult. Senior centers can be that gathering place where information is available.

Some of the other benefits to a senior center include:

  • Information and assistance
  • Health, Fitness and wellness programs
  • Meal and nutrition programs
  • Transportation services
  • Public benefits counseling
  • Employment assistance
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Educational and arts programs
  • Intergenerational programs

The best news is that participating in a senior center can actually be good for you!

“Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being.”*

Check out the list below to find the senior center closest to you!  

Ballard Northwest Senior Activity Center

5429 – 32nd Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 297-0403
(206) 297-0558 (FAX)
Burien Senior Program
14700 6TH Ave SW
Burien, WA 98166
(206) 988-3700

Central Area Senior Center
500 30th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 461-7816

Columbia Club
424 Columbia St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 448-5021

Greenwood Senior Center
525 N 85th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 297-0875

International Drop-In Center
409 Maynard Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 587-3735

Northwest Senior Center
5429 32nd Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 461-7811

Pike Market Senior Center
1931 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-2773

Ravenna-Bryant Senior Center
6559 Ravenna Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 527-0718

Salvation Army Senior Center
9002 16th SW
Seattle, WA 98106-2354
(206) 763-8842

Senior Center Of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 932-4044Shoreline Senior Center
18560 1st Ave. NE #1
Seattle, WA 98155
(206) 365-1536

South Park Senior Center
8201 10th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 767-3650

Southeast Seattle Senior Center
4655 S Holly St.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-0317

Tallmadge Hamilton House
5225 15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 524-0473

Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 461-7825

King County outside of Seattle

Auburn Senior Center
808 9th St SE
Auburn WA 98002-4132
(253) 931-3016

Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S. 352nd
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 838-3604

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Senior Center
39015 172nd Ave. SE
Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 939-3311

North Bellevue Community Center/City of Bellevue Aging Services
4063 148th Ave. NE (PO Box 90012)
Bellevue, WA 98009-9012
(425) 452-7681

Black Diamond Senior Center
31605 3rd Ave. (PO Box 220)
Black Diamond WA 98010
(360) 886-2418

Northshore Senior Center
10201 E. Riverside Dr.
Bothell, WA 98011
(425) 487-2441

Sno-Valley Senior Center
P.O. Box 96
Carnation, WA 98014
(425) 333-4152

Des Moines Senior Center
22030 Cliff Ave. S.
Des Moines, WA 98198
(206) 878-1642

Enumclaw Senior Center
1350 Cole St.
Enumclaw, WA 98022-2633
(360) 825-4741

Klahanee Senior Center
33901 9th Ave.
Mail To: 33530 1st Way S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 661-4151

Issaquah Valley Senior Center
105 2nd Ave. NE (PO Box 786)
Issaquah, WA 98027-0786
(425) 392-2381

Kent Senior Center
600 E. Smith St.
Kent, WA 98031-4628
(253) 859-3342

Kirkland Senior Center
352 Kirkland Avenue
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 828-1223

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation
2040 84th Av SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 236-3545

Mount Si Senior Center
411 S. Main St. (P.O. Box 806)
North Bend, WA 98045
(425) 888-3434

Pacific/Algona Senior Center
100 3rd Ave. SE
Pacific, WA 98047-1335
(253) 931-8289

Redmond Senior Center
8703 160th Ave. NE
Redmond, WA 98052-3534
(425) 556-2314

Renton Senior Center
211 Burnett Avenue North
Renton, WA 98055-1626
(425) 430-6633

North Seatac Park
Community Center
13735 24th Ave. S.
Sea Tac, WA 98168
(206) 439-9273

Tukwila Senior Program
12424-42nd Ave. South
Tukwila, WA 98168-3133
(206) 768-2822

Vashon-Maury Senior Center
P.O. Box 848
Vashon Island, WA 98070
(206) 463-5173



Hiring Caregivers, The Best of the Best!

Caregiver selection is the most important thing we do at Capability Homecare. If you think about it, in some regards our caregivers are our ‘product’ and we work hard to have the best possible ‘product’ on the market.

To do this we go through a very extensive hiring process- of which I thought I would share with you today.

  • Each candidate goes through several interviews before they are considered

  • Our in depth questioning helps determine if the candidate has the personality traits we are looking for

  • We conduct National Background checks (with fingerprinting)

  • In addition to checking personal references, we require 2 professional references

  • All caregivers are either CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), NAR’s (registered nursing assistant) or have completed 75 hours of training

  • Understanding how important communication is, we look for candidates who are proficient in English

  • We verify credentials through the Washington State Dept. of Health

We consider hiring great caregivers to be of such importance that we have two full time recruiters who spend every single day working to find the very best caregivers in the industry.  In addition to making sure our caregivers have the necessary skills and training, we ensure they meet Capability Homecare’s core values:

  • Honesty

  • Compassion

  • Empathy

  • Trustworthy

With over 18 years experience in the field of recruiting- Capability Homecare’s owner has developed a successful method of finding great employees.

We are extremely proud of our reputation of having the best caregivers of any homecare agency in the Great Seattle/ Bellevue area- and we can attribute that success to our standard of  ‘if we won’t hire this person to care for our own parents, then we won’t hire them to care for yours!’.  

To read more about our caregiver selection process, click here!

Live In Care- An Alternative to Assisted Living

This is the time of year when things start to get pretty busy around Capability Homecare. We find that after the holidays people tend to realize that their parents need help. Some people opt to move their folks into an Assisted Living or a Memory Care facility, but most people prefer to stay in their own homes and bring care in to them.

Case in point, our client Mrs. S.

Her adult sons (and their families) gathered for Christmas at her home this year- (they brought the food). It had been a while (6 months) since they had been in mom’s home and quickly after arriving they began to notice a few signs about their mom that they had never seen before.

The first thing they noticed was the state of her home- she had always been a meticulous housekeeper, yet this time the house was filthy. There was rotten food in the fridge, dust everywhere and the carpet looked like it hadn’t been vacuumed in ages- the amount of dog hair was astonishing.

They also noticed that mom kept asking the same questions over and over again. She wasn’t tracking conversations- and seemed to get defensive when confronted.

Sadly, they also noticed her body and clothes weren’t clean and her hair hadn’t been washed in weeks.

All of these things they wouldn’t have picked up on from their weekly phone conversations- but once they saw her in person they immediately realized they needed help- and fast.

They took her to see her doctor and asked him about how to get help.

That’s where we come in.

The family has hired Capability Homecare to provide a live in caregiver who stays in the guest room at the home and looks after their mom. The caregiver helps with bathing and hair washing.

The caregiver helps with laundry and making sure Mrs. S is wearing clean clothing.

She dusts, vacuums and cleaned out the fridge.

She cooks healthy meals so mom isn’t eating frozen (or worse yet- expired) food from the fridge.

She looks after and walks the dog- as well as feed it and get it fresh water (not sure how mom was managing this one on her own).

The caregiver is experienced working with people with dementia, so she can gently prompt Mrs. S when she gets forgetful. The caregiver doesn’t get frustrated answering the same question 50 times. She is compassionate and empathetic and understands how to work with someone with memory loss.

Mrs. S is happy because she gets to stay in her own home. Things are familiar to her- and each trinket has a special memory.

She also is happy that gets to stay with her beloved dog, Bailey.  She gets to stay near her neighbors- whom she enjoys the occasional chat with. The routine and familiar aspects of her life bring her comfort and make her feel safe.

Mrs. S’s kids are also happy because mom seems so much better off now. Plus, they realize how important it was for mom to stay at home as long as possible, so by hiring help they are honoring her wishes.

Their lives are too busy to do what would be required to help mom on a daily basis, so they are grateful to Capability Homecare for being there when they can’t. And we are honored to be a part of Mrs. S’s life. We are proud to be able to help- and thankful that we are able to be of service to this lovely lady.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of our client.


A Revolving Door Policy? Not for Us!

 I had a meeting with an attorney a few weeks ago and he mentioned that the Homecare firms he refers his clients to have a system in place to rotate their caregivers.  If you are unfamiliar with what that means- let me explain.

 Let’s say a client needs care 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Instead of assigning one caregiver to that client, these Homecare agencies rotate who will be providing the care.  Each week (or each day) a different person will show up to take care of the senior.

He claims that they do this so that the caregiver doesn’t have time to develop a relationship with the client.  Therefore it is less likely they will have the opportunity to take advantage of the senior.  His belief was that by having a different caregiver- the client will be protected from any misconduct.

Capability Homecare disagrees with this theory.

While we recognize the need to ensure a senior is safe and protected, we don’t think this is accomplished by having a revolving door of caregivers coming in and out of the senior’s home.  In fact, this exposure to so many different people might even make it easier to take advantage of the client.

At Capability Homecare we assign one caregiver to each client (or possibly two if it is more than 40 hours a week) because we believe that by having the same caregiver taking care of a client they are able to develop a true relationship. In fact, our motto is ‘a relationship you can trust’.

Our primary goal is match the caregiver’s personality to the senior’s personality. We employ 2 full time recruiters whose job is to do background checks, reference checks, and also to screen, interview and get to know our caregivers so that we can confidently assign them to a client knowing it will be a good fit. Our recruiters spend hours finding the best caregiver- it’s so important to us that it’s worth the extra time and effort.

Contrary to our competitors, we want our clients to build a trusting relationship with the person caring for them.

I know in the case of my grandfather this couldn’t be more important! He absolutely loves his caregiver- and if for some reason she isn’t able to be there- it completely stresses my grandpa out. It ruins his whole day- and as a fragile 92 year old man, this is the last thing we want to worry about. He counts on Erin being there- and relies on that consistency.

In addition to peace of mind for the client, it is also extremely important in terms of the actual care. By having the same caregiver each shift, the caregiver gets to know the client and what their needs are, what their likes and dislikes are, what sort of personality they have (talkative, private, depressed, forgetful…), what sort of food they like, what activities they enjoy…

By having the same caregiver each time the caregiver is completely familiar with the care plan and what the requirements are. By having a new caregiver each week, there is extra burden on making sure they are familiar with the specific details of the care plan.  Without this familiarity, mistakes can easily be made. With a medically fragile senior- a mistake can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening.

As for the protection of the senior- this is also extremely important to us.  Capability Homecare uses a process of extensive background checks, reference checks and interviews so that we feel confident that the person we have hired is a trustworthy individual. To further ensure that level of safety- we do random safety checks. We also feel it is extremely important to constantly communicate with the client and the client’s family.  As an added precaution- we have even gone so far as to offer Lifelock to some clients who require live in care.

So it’s your choice- would you rather see your loved one cared for by someone who has taken the time to get to know them and will treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, or would you rather just have a random person show up to do the job?

Call Capability Homecare today to find out more about our homecare services 425 679-5770.