Jude Tarris never envisioned a career in home health care until after he became a caregiver for a national franchise. “I really took to the people I was helping and it felt nice to make a difference,” he said. That experience propelled Tarris to open Valley of the Sun Homecare in Scottsdale.
Tarris provides services that help people live independently in their own homes, from running errands and driving to medical appointments to meal preparation and light housekeeping. “Instead of moving into assisted living, they can stay at home with our help,” Tarris said.
Valley of the Sun Homecare also provides caregivers who can assist with grooming and bathing as well as 24-hour care and live-in service.
Most times, the initial call comes from a family member who is concerned about an elderly relative, Tarris said. Often the calls come from out-of-state children who visit parents and notice differences in habits and obvious changes in behavior, like not attending to personal hygiene or letting the house fall into disrepair. “They realize something’s not right.”
Adult children can be apprehensive because while they’re concerned for their parents’ welfare and safety, they’re often reluctant to “ruffle feathers,” Tarris said.
After a family member or the potential client makes that first call, Valley of the Sun Homecare staff will offer a free in-home assessment. “We really dive in and learn what their needs are, what their home situation looks like and maybe give recommendations if they need safety equipment,” he said.
If the family is then ready to proceed, Tarris and staff will devise a care plan and match a qualified caregiver with the client. Then, a care coordinator accompanies the caregiver on the first day to make sure the caregiver is a good match for the client. After the first visit, the care coordinator continues to make supervisory visits.
Valley of the Sun Homecare caregivers are required to undergo a rigorous background check and drug screening, and they must be certified in first aid and CPR. The company also provides in-office training for employees. “We don’t hire them unless they meet our requirements,” Tarris said. But the bottom line? “Is this someone we would trust with our own family?”
Recently, Tarris added an 11-month‑old puppy named Winnie to the staff. After rescuing her from the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Tarris trained her to become a therapy dog. Winnie has completed her training and will now visit Valley of the Sun clients and patients at skilled nursing facilities around the community. “She’ll put a smile on their faces.”
For more information, visit valleyofthesunhomecare.com.