Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


HARMONY HOME CARE

Deep Creek native finds her life's purpose delivering personalized home care

by Cristi Sanchez


Jennifer Johnson, co-owner of Harmony Home Care

Jennifer Johnson, co-owner of Harmony Home Care

Jennifer Johnson, co-owner and administrator of Harmony Home Care, has always been sure of her calling in life. Like the company's other three owners, she is a Deep Creek native, and it was while growing up there that her aunt, Deanna Stanton, influenced her career choice.

"I've always wanted to do home health care," Jennifer shares. "Starting as a child, and all through high school, I knew that was what I was going to do. I was so inspired by my Aunt Deanna, who was a nurse in home healthcare.  I admired how she helped people through her job. Watching her and hearing about what she did really made me want to enter the field."

Following her heart after high school, Jennifer attended TCC and received her associate degree in nursing. She was fortunate enough to land a job in her desired field right out of college.

As a skilled home healthcare nurse, Jennifer spent 12 years tending to patients' medical needs in the comfort of their homes. Still, while running IVs and taking vitals, she noticed a void that she was unable to fill. 

"While tending to my patients' medical needs, I saw their need for personal care in the home as well," she recalls. "They needed help with daily activities that nurses were unable to address – like bathing, dressing, shopping, housework, transportation, meal preparation, and simple companionship.  This touched my heart, and I wanted to focus on those areas.  I love this aspect of home care. It's so much more personal. Because you get to spend more time with your patients, you have the opportunity to develop a relationship with them."

In 2016, Jennifer and the other three owners set out to pursue her passion of providing personal care to homebound patients. She started Harmony Home Care with the help of her team of trained CNAs and PCAs. "We perform thorough background checks on all of our caregivers. They are all CPR-certified and receive specialized training to meet the needs of the client.  For instance, we provide specific training in caring for dementia patients so that our caregivers know what to expect. We also provide training in congestive heart failure so that they know what clinical signs to watch out for.  All caregivers will call doctors immediately if they see concerns that need to be addressed." 

"We want people to be comfortable,
so we put a lot of thought and effort
into matching patients
with their caregivers. 
We do our best to match
according to their individual needs
and personalities."
                - Jennifer Johnson



The office staff of Harmony Home Care. From left: Jessica Briley, Donisha Carter, Jennifer Johnson, Danyelle Custis and Melanie Beecham

The office staff of Harmony Home Care. From left: Jessica Briley, Donisha Carter, Jennifer Johnson, Danyelle Custis and Melanie Beecham


With their knowledge and compassion, Jennifer and her team of caregivers help patients stay in their homes while relieving family members of the stress of being in that full-time role. Many of Jennifer's clients have their own families while also being a caregiver for their elderly parent.  This often means missing out on their children's school, sports, or extracurricular activities, as well as weekends and vacations with their families due to their caregiver role. 

"Our services allow them the opportunity to step back from that caregiver position and just enjoy being a daughter or son," Jennifer explains. "We step in to help people with jobs and a dependent family member, as well as those who need a temporary break from caregiving. We also partner with two local hospice groups that refer patients to us. We've done a lot of hospice care, including 24-hour care.

"That's so helpful for family members who act as caregivers for an end-of-life hospice patient because it becomes a 24-hour job for them," she adds with compassion. "Hospice patients often wake up agitated in the middle of the night, needing reassurance, calming, or medication. Their caregiver needs to be able to sleep and get their rest to be strong enough for the journey they and their loved one face."

While personal home care is standard for elderly patients, that's not the only group requiring such services. In addition to elderly patients, Harmony Home Care also services disabled children and veterans. 

"We have a special place in our hearts for disabled veterans who have served our country," Jennifer says proudly. "In fact, one of our owners, Brent Johnson, is a disabled vet. We make sure they, like all of our patients, receive top-quality care. Many companies don't serve disabled veterans, but veterans make up 60 percent of our clientele. We've created a good working relationship with the VA.

"We've also branched out to partner with Wounded Warriors and the Veterans Spina Bifida Program. They all reach out to us if there's someone in their program who needs personal home care."

Because Harmony Home Care also serves disabled children of all ages, organizations dedicated to caring for young people suffering from brain injuries have contacted Jennifer. "We recently worked with four different children with brain injuries from accidents," she shares. "One teenage patient didn't want friends knowing that she needed a nurse. So, we personalized the experience by ensuring our caregiver dressed down when driving the teenager to lunch with friends. The nurse would  sit a table or two away from the teens in order to maintain a sense of normalcy."

That's just one example of how Jennifer and her team ensure that each and every patient receives personalized care. "We want people to be comfortable, so we put a lot of thought and effort into matching patients with their caregivers.  We do our best to match according to their individual needs and personalities.  If for some reason, it doesn't work out, we'll gladly send out someone new.  We don't want anyone to feel trapped in an uncomfortable relationship with their caregiver," Jennifer stresses. "We've even put out special employment ads for specific characteristics that we would need in a caregiver to meet the needs of a specific patient."

In pursuing her life's passion, Jennifer is helping people through the most vulnerable times in their lives. Along with Harmony Home Care's dedicated caregivers, she delivers compassionate, personalized care, companionship, and comfort in a way that would surely make her Aunt Deanna proud.




Harmony Home Care

961 Canal Dr., Suite B
Chesapeake, VA 23323

(757) 482-4013
harmonyhomehhc.com