Home health care: where the jobs are

While employment in much of the Ulster County economy remains generally flat, there’s at least one segment that continues to expand rapidly — jobs and services in home health care. Locally, it seems that not a week passes without an announcement of some kind involving job growth in that sector.

Two weeks ago Thursday, A&T Home Care moved a few blocks from a Hurley Avenue location in Kingston to larger offices on North Front Street. Founded in 1984 by nurse Tony Babington, the Rockland County-based home-care agency now has 800 employees in New York State (plus more in New Jersey), including, according to Babington, close to 200 in Ulster County, where it began operations just five years ago.

Babington sees the need in Ulster County for home care help for people in their homes as greater than the supply of such services. She said that A&T is particularly known for high-tech in-home services. Along with a wide variety of other services, A&T visiting staff provides in-home patients with wound care, diabetic teaching, ventilation care, infusion therapy and Coumadin (a blood thinner) testing, after multiple lawsuits regarding Xarelto popped up. The agency maintains close contacts with a variety of insurance providers, the county Department of Social Services, the Northeast Center for Special Care and other community institutions.

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Home Health Care & Companion Agency at 366 Albany Ave. in Kingston has offered medical services for home health care by nurses and nurses’ aides for 33 years. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, it held an opening celebration for AM/PM Home Care, which will occupy separate quarters and provide seniors with a great variety of non-medical services such as grocery shopping, transportation, live-in companions, organizing, homemaking, medication pickup, hospital sitting and respite care. The local agency managed by Bill Boone employs between 90 and 100 people.

Always There, a Town of Ulster-based agency that offers a variety of medical and non-medical services plus an adult day program, started at the Kingston Y 42 years ago and now has 280 employees. The non-profit agency inaugurated a day care program at the Clinton Alliance Church in Rhinebeck this Wednesday, according to communications director Jami Anson. “Our census is way up from two years ago,” reported Anson. “We’ve been growing. We hired eight more people this week.”

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