Aging in Place in Unprecedented Times: How the Pandemic Is Changing Home Care

corecubedHome Care Benefits, Home Care Education, Home Care Options, Home Care Staffing, Podcasts, Resources, Season Four

Sheila McMackin, Wellspring Personal Care, aging in place


In today’s episode of Help Choose Home, we’re joined by Sheila McMackin, a licensed clinical social worker, founder of Wellspring Personal Care, and founder and past president of the Home Care Association of America.

Sheila has served on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Home Health, Home Services and Home Nursing Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How best to search for safe and effective home care in a post-pandemic world
  • Strategies for tackling the industry-wide staffing crisis
  • The centrality of relationships and personal trust to the home care industry

Below are some highlights from our conversation:

  • [2:08] Learn how best to search for home care in a post-pandemic world.
  • [4:00] Sheila discusses the “sticker shock” many families experience when discussing the cost of home care, and the factors behind the cost of home care.
  • [8:20] Learn why relationships are the foundation of the home care industry.
  • [11:10] Sheila shares trends in families choosing home care over facility care in the era of COVID-19, and how staying engaged in the process can minimize worry.
  • [12:49] Sheila discusses the responsibility of the agency to be patient and understanding when families share their struggles and anxieties.
  •  [15:39] Explore strategies for boosting caregiver hiring and retention during a staffing crisis.
  • [19:49] Learn how consumers can use referrals, members of the health care community, and social networks to secure the right home care for their loved ones.
  • [21:03] Sheila encourages consumers to diligently research home care before the need arises to best prepare their families.

After listening to today’s episode, I think that like me, you’ll come away with a greater understanding of the centrality of relationship-building to the home care industry. You may even be inspired to research home care options for your loved ones in order to better prepare for the future.

You can listen to today’s episode here, or on Apple Podcasts, YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

To learn more about the effect the pandemic has had on home health care, listen to my interview with Jeff Bevis, founder and CEO of FirstLight Home Care. Learn about the increasing demand for and benefits of at-home senior care in the pandemic and why it’s important to have a commitment to customer service.

If this episode has been helpful, be sure to leave a five-star review and share the podcast with your friends to help us in the national effort to educate about home health care options! You can connect with me, Merrily Orsini, on Twitter@MerrilyO.


The Help Choose Home podcast series is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Axxess, and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non-medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice, and other in-home health and wellness services.

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The Help Choose Home podcast series provides information and resources to help those with a care need learn more about healthcare at home. Podcasts are hosted by Merrily Orsini, Founder/Board Chair of corecubed, a marketing firm dedicated exclusively to helping aging care providers grow their business.