Milford home care agency operating again after license expired forced by layoff workforce
The owner of a Milford home care agency said business was back to normal two months after an expired state registration forced him to lay off his entire workforce.
Earth Angels Home Care owner Molly Flanagan estimated the agency had regained around 90% of its roughly 35-40 staff and 50-60 clients after the March disruption. The expired registration had “no lasting impact” on the organization that started last year, Flanagan said.
“We started as if nothing had happened,” she said.
The return of Earth Angels employees and customers caps an episode in which employees were asked to apply for unemployment insurance and an Aroostook County agency hired some of the Milford agency’s employees and customers. .
Personal care agencies in Maine are required to register with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, according to spokeswoman Jackie Farwell. Earth Angels Home Care submitted an application for registration March 16 after its registration expired on February 24, Farwell said.
That request was “immediately processed,” Farwell said, and the agency’s new approval expires March 15, 2023.
Flanagan said a “delay in paperwork” caused the registration to expire, but the agency now has “measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Earth Angels Home Care provides non-medical home care for aging Mainers, post-surgery recovery assistance, and disability support. Flanagan said the agency aims to help seniors maintain their independence and stay out of nursing homes by helping them with daily tasks such as preparing meals or bathing.
While Earth Angels Home Care has halted operations, another agency, Près Isle-based Professional Home Care Specialists, has hired 16 to 20 former Earth Angels employees and hired 25 to 30 former agency clients, said Kyla Cronkhite, Professional Home Care Specialists. ‘ Neighborhood Warden.
Cronkhite said six of those former Earth Angels employees and seven former clients elected to stay with professional home care specialists after Earth Angels resumed operations, and all are doing well.
Flanagan said she was grateful that other providers were able to support her agency’s clients so they received uninterrupted care, regardless of who provided it.
“We got into this business to help people find home care so they could stay out of a nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Flanagan said. “It’s a nice thing to know that we have neighbors who will step in when needed and help us. Our customers are well and happy and we are very grateful to them.
Cronkhite said his agency hired Earth Angels employees to make sure their clients didn’t experience lack of care while the agency was out of service.
“We take care of the elderly and they have been left without services and no one to care for them,” Cronkhite said. “Many of these people are elderly and could fall easily or forget to take their medication. It can be very serious when these people don’t get the constant care they need.