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The Convalescent Shop provides a full range of respiratory products and services. (Above) Jeff Siples of The Convalescent Shop is at the home of Roger West on Old Trail Road providing care and assistance. Standing behind Roger is his faithful caretaker and wife Arlene.
The Convalescent Shop provides a full range of respiratory products and services. (Above) Jeff Siples of The Convalescent Shop is at the home of Roger West on Old Trail Road providing care and assistance. Standing behind Roger is his faithful caretaker and wife Arlene.
Any family member or loved one may be in need of daily medical care at some point in the future. It could even be you. Young or old are you aware of all your options? With November being National Home Health Care and Hospice month, it is the perfect time to let our Waynedale News readers know about some of the health care services provided right here in the Waynedale area.

One such business is The Convalescent Shop that began in 1987, with its first store in Decatur, Indiana. Jim Burk, a local pharmacist, purchased the franchise through ConvaCare. In 1998 Tom Hanchar was hired as partner and took the store free standing. As the business prospered they added two more locations: 603 N. Wayne Street in Angola in 2000 and 7501 West Jefferson Blvd., in November of 2003.

The Convalescent Shop, an owned and operated company of Thomas International, Inc., is a durable medical equipment company that provides a full line of quality equipment and respiratory products for adults and children, featuring oxygen and respiratory care products, feeding and urological supplies, scooters, power chairs, wheelchairs and lift chairs, compression stockings, sleep apnea care, bath aids, walking aids, medical mattresses, and motorized beds. Their commitment to providing the best possible service includes having the products you need available when you need them.

This health care provider works closely with the patient’s physician to assure that the patient’s needs are met reliably and accurately.

Their trained staff provides patient assessment, patient counseling, prompt delivery, set-up of equipment, patient and caregiver instruction on the proper use and care of the equipment, and complete insurance filing.

“What most distinguishes The Convalescent Shop is our unique approach to care, combining fast and efficient delivery of products with our personalized, one-to-one service,” states local businessman Tom Hanchar.

For over 18 years the professionals at The Convalescent Shop have been providing home medical equipment in northeast Indiana, southern Michigan, and western Ohio. Today, with the growing concern of medical costs, they have expanded their services to include home delivered oxygen therapy. Their state of the art oxygen products are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, 365 days a year.

“Patients tell us that they value our personal communication and timely delivery of the supplies,” said Jeff Siples as he delivered oxygen to the home of Mr. Roger West on Old Trail Road. Roger grew up in Waynedale on Boggs Avenue, worked in the Kendallville Foundry for many years, as well as, 20 years with Bartlett Tree Service. He was diagnosed with Emphysema and/or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Because of the nature of the disease, Roger knew that he had COPD for a number of years but it significantly started to affect the quality of his life about a year ago. That is when he called his physician and set up a program with The Convalescent Shop to start oxygen therapy.

“They are an A-1 top-notch company,” said Roger’s wife Arlene, who has given up her job at Azar’s to be with her husband. “We called Tom at The Convalescent Shop this morning and they were here at the house within 40 minutes with a new cannula for my husband.” “If you don’t feel comfortable with your oxygen provider for whatever reason, you need to find another,” said Arlene.‑”You won’t have an effective treatment plan if you and the oxygen provider are not able to work together and we would highly recommend The Convalescent Shop.”

Tom Hanchar stresses that despite all the different oxygen devices on the marketplace, the best ones are those that the customer feels most comfortable operating. “Each patient is assigned a team of caring individuals that are totally committed to meeting their individual needs. We provide as little or as much assistance as necessary to ensure maximum patient compliance with their physician’s prescription.”

Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice, 1315 Director Row in Fort Wayne also provides additional care for Mr. West. This care includes a Home Health Aide coming to Roger’s home for an hour 2 times a week, a Registered Nurse who is his case manager visiting 1-2 times a week, and to coordinate Roger’s ongoing care, a social worker stops in once a month. “It is important to remember that each of our patient’s are unique. No two have exactly the same needs, and if they need us at 2am we are there for them,” said Chris from Heartland’s Hospice team.

These healthcare providers, The Convalescent Shop and Heartland Home Health Care, work together with Mr. West and his family to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care as he goes through his final journey or as Roger puts it in his own words, “Patiently waiting for the Lord.” But even greater is the support that he has received from his wife, family and friends. Roger reported that he didn’t know how long he had to live and that he didn’t want to know. He said that he had everything that he needed right now thanks to The Convalescent Shop who provides not only oxygen (portable and bedside), but also his breathing treatment called a nebulizer, Bi-PAP concentrator (works like a ventilator), air mattress, bedside commode, bedside table, an Invacare wheelchair, and scooter.

Caring for a loved one can be a huge, and often daunting task. However, thanks to companies like The Convalescent Shop and Heartland Healthcare, Roger can remain within the comforts of his home. Companies like these are actually unsung heroes with a huge responsibility. Without these caregivers Roger could be in a nursing home.

The Waynedale News Staff

Cindy Cornwell

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