A Place At Home: Pueblo nurse's experience with dementia leads to new business
A registered nurse who experienced the loss of both her parents within six weeks of each other knows all too well the struggle Puebloans face in finding care for aging loved ones.
Bambi Creek, who has four decades of nursing experience, needed every bit of her strength and knowledge to get through that trying time and now wants to help others through her new homecare franchise, A Place At Home-Pueblo.
Creek initially lost her mother and it left her father struggling. He developed severe dementia and needed intensive care.
“He was just scared,” she recalled of her late father. “He really struggled with changes in his personality and he was a big guy — 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds,” so his occasional aggression made it challenging to find caregivers who would care for him. Other companies Creek looked into charged an astronomical rate for in-home care.
Creek took on her father’s care even as she worked 70 hours a week.
“My father was always a man in control who was kind and loved by everyone, so to go from that level of social control to what he was experiencing was quite frightening. We tried to keep his life as normal as possible and it was a difficult time, but he deserved every additional effort we could provide,” she said.
Her brother moved back to Pueblo to help and her children also pitched in as “it was more than one person could handle,” she said. “He did pass as a result of his illness.”
Creek realized then it was "very clear there are not enough services” in Pueblo, so she decided to help local families get through similar journeys. She launched her A Place At Home franchise Feb. 16 at 4023 Club Manor Drive on Pueblo’s north side.
More on dementia:Bartecchi: What happened to my memory?
“I’ve been a nurse for 40 years and the saying always has been, ‘The baby boomers are coming,’” Creek said, referring to people born during the baby boom of 1946-1964.
“Now the boomers are here, and we’ve not kept up with the care for those with dementia, and since COVID it is so much worse — the health-care industry is having a hard time finding people to care for the boomers,” Creek said.
According to the World Health Organization, cases of dementia are expected to triple by 2050 with the aging of baby boomers, Creek said. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Creek and her staff of five, including her daughter, Caylyn, who serves as office manager, offer help with in-home care.
The staff offers help to “anybody who needs assistance with daily living such as feeding, dressing, bathing or independent living activities,” whether they suffer from dementia or are recovering from a stroke or a fall.
"We can help with cleaning, getting groceries, running errands or assist with doctor appointments — anything they can’t perform themselves due to decline,” Creek said.
The business does not offer skilled nursing care such as wound care, but staff can help in the arena of companionship and social stimulation. Creek also helps coordinate care for clients such as medicine management.
If it is determined the client is unable to stay at home, the staff can do an assessment and help get clients connected with providers offering the “most appropriate level of care,” Creek said.
Creek also is working on finishing her doctoral dissertation that addresses supportive techniques for caregivers of persons with dementia while working as a full-time hospice nurse. She still is trying to hire a few more workers and is looking for “those special people who can recognize the difference between an individual and the sickness they have.”
“The Pueblo community is in great hands with Bambi, and we’re thrilled to welcome her into our franchise family,” said Jerod Evanich, co-founder and president of A Place At Home. “She’s committed to providing compassionate care to seniors and their families in the area.”
“Her personal and nursing experiences will set her apart from other providers in the city and allow her to connect with families going through challenging times,” Evanich said.
“The most loving thing you can do for someone is something they can’t do for themselves. We can guide them through the unimaginable,” Creek said.
The business offers services in Pueblo and Fremont counties. To find out more, visit aplaceathome.com/franchise/Pueblo or call 719-561-1111.
More on dementia:Nothing but the Tooth column: What to consider when a dementia patient needs oral surgery
Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.
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