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Kacen’s Kare assists seniors at home

LAPLACE — Serving the River Parishes and Kenner, Kacen’s Kare is a professional in-home caregiver service that gives seniors the help they need to continue living with dignity and privacy in the comfort of their own homes.

Lawrence and Darlinta Garrison opened Kacen’s Kare at 1126 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace earlier this year. Darlinta had a vision to offer home care services to others in the community after caring for her mother at home.

Darlinta’s mother suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed in 2013. In 2019, she had a stroke and a mild heart attack that left her paralyzed on her left side and in need of extensive care.

“When COVID came along, I was able to work from home and really take care of her during the day. While taking care of her, the nurses would come in and comment that I took such good care of her,” Darlinta said. “As time went on, I had the vision to extend the same type of care that I gave to my mother to others.”

Kacen’s Kare is a non-medical in-home care service that differs from traditional home health care. With home health, which is medical in nature, a nurse might come out to an individual’s home and stay for a short period of time a few days a week to monitor a patient’s vitals and check on prescription refills.

Home care offers assistance in the form of companionship and light household duties. Carefully screened caregivers with Kacen’s Kare offer assistance with non-medical duties, including activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding, dressing, grooming, mobility and toileting. Caregivers may also assist with meal preparation, transportation to medical appointments, light housekeeping, errands and grocery shopping, medication reminders, companionship and supervision, morning wake-up and assistance with long-term insurance claims.

While Kacen’s Kare specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, Lawrence said home care can also be beneficial for older adults with other chronic health conditions.

“We’re focused on hospital re-admission reduction. Many older people over the age of 65 land in the hospital a lot because they don’t go to their regular doctor’s appointments or follow through with their medication. We help fill in the gap,” Lawrence said. “This is a caregiving service to let that family caregiver take a break. It’s always nice to have someone give you a break so you can take care of yourself.”

Some warning signs that a senior needs help are poor eating habits, neglected hygiene and home, inappropriate behavior, changed relationship patterns, harmful behaviors, decreased participation in activities, mishandled finances and medication, and personal injuries.

“We want to bring light and knowledge to the services we provide. If you look in the rural area, you don’t really get the services you would get in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Here, you have to look for it and wonder if that type of service is even in my community. We just want to let people know that it’s here,” Lawrence said.

Darlinta said the clients she visits light up when they answer the door because they are happy to have company. She also enjoys sitting and talking with her clients, many of who are more than 80 years old and have a lot of history to share. Even those with Alzheimer’s and dementia tell stories that paint beautiful pictures of their early lives.

For now, Kacen’s Kare is accepting private pay and long-term care insurance. For more information, call 985-359-5273, email lawrencer.garrison@gmail.com or visit 1126 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

A lot of people wonder about the origin of the name Kacen’s Kare. Darlinta said the company is named for her grandson, a twin who only survived for about three hours after birth.

Lawrence and Darlinta also operate Kacen Charles Community Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that has provided outreach to the youth of the community through scholarships, sports camps and activities with Fifth Ward Elementary students.