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Lisa Vogel, second from left, and members of her team.

Featured Article

The Lisa Vogel Agency

A True Partner for the Family

Article by Marie Robey Wood

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

For Lisa Vogel, home care is about more than health care; it’s about connecting caregivers and patients to help families. Lisa describes her business as a match-making service that carefully matches its caregivers with its patients. She started her agency twelve years ago in Baltimore and last year opened an office servicing Montgomery County.

Chelsea Smith is the Agency's Director of the downtown-Bethesda office. According to her, the needs of the patients can include short-term and long-term care, as well as hospice services. Caregivers assist patients with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, toileting, transfers, eating, and ambulation. Additional assistance may include homemaking services like assistance with laundry, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, companionship and transportation to appointments and shopping.

According to Chelsea, the needs of patients can include short-term care for those just coming out of surgery and rehab (such as individuals who have undergone hip or knee replacements) to patients with beginning Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to patients suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and even ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Their caregivers have even assisted patients who have had open-heart surgery and even a heart transplant.  

The origin of the Lisa Vogel Agency and the emphasis on a personal approach grew out of Lisa's own experience with her grandparents: her grandmother suffered from physical ailments and her grandfather was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at 50-years-old. She remembers the constant concern her parents had worrying about the quality of care her grandparents were receiving in their nursing home.

With her family's history of caring for aging relatives, Lisa set out to develop a home care model that would start with the patient's needs. She accomplishes this by personally meeting what she calls “the patient's care team.” This can include not only family members but also physicians, therapists, and in some cases the patient's financial planner and attorney. “Often times we are the team's greatest player, especially when the patient needs care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” she reflects. The Agency’s minimum amount of care per week is 20 hours.

The Lisa Vogel Agency caregivers are personally interviewed, complete an extensive screening process, and are employees. The Agency recognizes that each family is different and tailors their approach to each unique situation. When selecting the perfect caregiver, Lisa takes into consideration not only the custodial needs of the patient, but also their personality, location of care, and the hours care will be needed. “Nine times out of ten the matches between the caregiver and patient work out on the first try,” says Lisa, “We are advocates for both the patient and the caregiver and recognize as circumstances may change so may an individual’s care plan.”

Not only does the Agency take its policy of providing for the patient seriously, it also has the interest of its caregivers in mind. All the caregivers are considered employees, not independent contractors, and are covered by insurance. This protects the caregiver if an accident on the job should occur.

Ndeye Faty, an Agency caregiver, is quite devoted to her patient of more than one year. She cares for this patient 12 hours per day and provides assistance with homemaking services such as shopping, meal preparation, and enjoys accompanying her to church on Sundays. Ndeye remarks, “I realized just after meeting my patient, we shared a love for cooking. I am able to assist her in the kitchen, allowing her to maintain her independence while safely enjoying one of her favorite hobbies.” Along with keeping her client safe and comfortable, Ndeye has developed a close bond with her patient during their time together.

The services provided by The Lisa Vogel Agency are either paid privately or with benefits from a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. For insurance patients, the Agency staff will assist with the entire claim process, beginning with an initial call to confirm benefits. “This call helps our patients better understand their policy in order to plan their care schedule and prepare for any out-of-pocket expenses,” said Chelsea. In addition to the initial call, the Agency will handle claim paperwork, weekly billing, and will also collect the payment directly from the insurance company. “The LTC claim process can be a very daunting task for our patients – sometimes an approval can take up to 90 days – but we continue to service our patients and advocate on their behalf until the claim is approved.”

Basically the Lisa Vogel Agency fills a growing demand for in-home care. If given the choice, who wouldn’t prefer to be cared for at home and in familiar surroundings when individual nursing care is needed? The service also lifts a burden off the shoulders of family members who sometimes find caring for their loved ones to be overwhelming.

“Our growth in Montgomery County has been so exciting,” Lisa notes. She considers re-creating her model and opening offices in new territories over the next few years, but Lisa never wants her Agency to lose its personal touch – “that is what is most important to me.”

  • Lisa Vogel, second from left, and members of her team.
  • A client and caregiver of the Lisa Vogel Agency