Stephanie Holmes has been caring for frail and chronically ill seniors for most of her adult life.  Shortly after graduating high school, Stephanie completed the necessary training to become a Certified Home Health Aide, or CHHA. She spent the next several decades working as a CHHA at a number of residential care facilities in New Jersey before an injury derailed her career. That’s when this mother of four boys decided to become a Supportive Home Health Aide with FCS Home Care Services. 

“I knew I could no longer lift or transfer clients, so I let my license expire,” Stephanie explains. “But I didn’t want to just sit home all day while the kids were at school. I really missed being one-on-one with the clients.”

Unlike CHHAs, who must successfully complete 76 hours of specialized training and pass a competency evaluation before becoming certified and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing, Supportive Aides do not need a license and do not provide personal care. Supportive Aides perform so-called “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living” such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry and light housekeeping — activities that many seniors need help with as they age, especially if they want to continue living independently at home. Currently FCS employs five Supportive Aides and 55 CHHAs.

While their job duties may be different, Stephanie says supportive care requires the same qualities as any other type of home care.

“You have to have empathy. You have to have compassion. Because if you don’t love your work, you can’t do it,” she explains. “I treat all of my clients the way I would want to be treated, the way I would treat my own family.”

Stephanie’s rapport with her clients is one of the reasons she has been selected as Aide of the Month for February.

“Stephanie is caring, proactive, organized & efficient,” says FCS Director of Nursing, Linda MacPherson. “One of her clients calls often to compliment her for being so reliable, always showing up on time, even in inclement weather, and making sure he has enough food. We value and appreciate that.”

Congratulations Stephanie, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to your clients!