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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

5 Reasons it’s Great to be a Home Care Nurse

Posted by Ken Accardi on Mar 7, 2016 7:52:05 AM

Today's guest post is from Linus Minick who is a marketing strategist for various medical institutions. He is also a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on healthcare.

There are many different specializations and career paths a nurse can choose to take. From ER nurses to OR nurses, nursing allows people to gear their career towards their specific interests. Some people work well with little supervision, some people love providing emotional support for their patients, while others are driven by saving lives. A career in home care nursing combines all of these aspects of nursing, without a nurse having to step foot in a hospital.

Check out some great reasons to become a home care nurse:

High Demand Job Sector

Deciding to become a nurse is a great career choice in 2016. In fact, nursing is one of the fastest growing careers in the US, including home care nurses. This means that having a nursing degree makes you extremely employable. With the current nursing shortage, a trend that is predicted to continue in 2016, many different sectors in health care are in high demand for nursing staff. This is only exacerbated by the fact that an aging population is more prone to chronic diseases. Chronic diseases tend to lead to more doctor visits, inpatient treatments, and longer times spend in hospital care. With financial pressure being put on hospitals to discharge patients as quickly as possible, patients being treated in their own home are becoming more and more of the norm.

Develop Meaningful Relationships

elder-care-1738-crop-600x338.jpgHome care nurses do their work in their patient’s home. They see where their patients live, where they sleep and what they own. As a home care nurse you are more than likely going to be involved with an entire family rather than a single patient. In this way you are able to develop a deep relationship with your patient, along with developing a great bedside manner. Home care nursing is perfect for any nurse who loves to get to know their patient, their history, and their lives. With the chaos that is usually a hospital, and having a single nurse looking after numerous patients, it can be very difficult to develop these relationships.

Work in the Comfort of a Patient’s Home

This is as much for nurses as it is for patients. Nursing studies show that patients who have chronic heart issues or chronic diabetes and are treated within their own home result in more than 20-thousand fewer hospital re-admissions. By becoming a home care nurse you are joining a more efficient health care system and keeping your patients out of the hospital. For home care nurses who are treating terminally ill patients, you are part of the gift that allows them to pass on in the comfort of their home, the comfort of their bed, and the comfort of being surrounded by familiar sights. For many patients that are facing death, this is one of the greatest gifts they can receive.   

A Fulfilling Career

Relationship-marketing-250x227.jpgNo matter what type of nurse you are, you are already helping people and saving lives. This is no different for home care nurses. The difference with home care nurses is that they are by their patient’s side for the entire length of the patient’s recovery. They are there to share all the victories, whether big or small, as well as being there for any setbacks in a patient’s recovery. Sharing these moments with your patient can lead to an extremely fulfilling experience. This is the same with the patient as it is easier to share hard news with someone you’re comfortable with, just as you take more joy in sharing positive news with some you are close to. Becoming a home care nurse is a great way to feel fulfilled and useful every day.

Freedom and Autonomy

If you value independence and autonomy home care nursing would be perfect for you. For the most part you are able to create your own schedule. You do have to keep in mind what time is best for your patients, the time it takes to reach a patients home, along with any paperwork that may have to be completed. Unless you are working with a patient that needs continuous care, say goodbye to 12 hour shifts, and perhaps even the usual 9 to 5.

Home care nurses are part of an industry that is in a middle of worldwide shortage, and trends are only expected to continue in this direction. While this puts a greater demand on current healthcare staff, this also means there is no better time to become a nurse. Choosing a career in home care nursing allows you to create fulfilling relationships with patients within the comfort of their patient’s home. If you love developing relationships with your patients, enjoy freedom and autonomy, and want to join one of the fastest growing occupations, a home care nursing career would fit perfectly.

On Another Note

We invite you to download our free whitepaper that expresses habits of successful home care agenciesSeven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.   If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, triple aim technologies, April 2016 Monthly Newsletter

Can Robots Supplement Home Care Caregivers?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 4, 2016 10:53:57 AM

According to this article, the Japanese government is aggressively investing in the development of robots that can aide with care for the elderly.  If you're like me, your initial reactions are likely to be thoughts that robots can never replace people and that human touch and caring are the keys to successful care.  Although this is likely to be correct, we are also facing a serious shortage of caregivers, as seen in the following two graphs from AARP depicting our aging population and the associated declining caregiver pool.

Population_over_80_in_the_US_-_AARP.png

Declining_Population_of_Caregivers_in_the_US.png

Adding Automation and Robots to Offload Caregivers is a Necessity

Looking at the graphics above, it becomes clear that providing more care with less caregivers is not a choice, but a necessity.  The Japan story about investing in robots for elder care seems to be reasonable in the tasks that they're looking to automate, as follows:

  • Walking

  • Shopping

  • Waste Disposal

  • Lifting

  • Bathing

  • Monitoring

Despite the investment, the article reports that the early results are not great and that a lot of the robots are too big or too expensive. 

A Positive and Incremental Step Towards Robots

Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies who have developed a patient monitoring technology that doesn't use robots, but instead uses automated phone calls that check in with at risk elderly consumers in between home care or certified home health visits and alert the agency if their responses indicate concern.  This isn't a robot in any way, but it does show how technology can be used to cut back on face to face visits while caring for a large population census. 

If interested, we're offering a free whitepaper entitled How Home Care can Win under the new Care Model.  This paper talks about how it will be necessary to provide more care with less face-to-face visits and how technologies like the Triple Aim solution can help.

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies, February 2016 Newsletter, technology

Advice from Elders on Aging Gracefully

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 28, 2015 10:26:35 AM

Aging_Gracefully_-_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog.jpgThankfully, I get fewer and fewer chain letters, inspirational writings, and bad jokes via email.  It seems that this practice has faded away (either that or people just realize that I'm not interested), but there are new ways to share that type of content, such as posting on Facebook.  If you've been on Facebook lately, then I'm sure you've noticed that viral videos, memes, and pictures of adorable or ridiculous cats are the new normal.

 

With all that in mind, I found this video from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC)'s show Wiretap that I'm sure you will all enjoy.  It was described by one account that I saw as getting advice from your future self...

As someone who works with the elderly, I found this entertaining and heartwarming.  Spoiler Alert - If you haven't watched the video yet, you might want to skip this next bit.

The video features successively older people giving advice to those younger than them.  One of the first is from an 8 year old who says to the previous speaker, "Dear 7 year old, No matter what anyone says, Stay Weird," and it goes on from there.  I especially love the last guy to speak, at age 93, who says "Dear 91 year old, Don't listen to other people's advice. Nobody knows what the hell they're doing." Classic!

This reposting of CBC content is done by linking to CBC's posting, and as such, is authorized by the CBC terms of use.

If you're interested in care for the elderly, home care, and/or helping to avoid preventable hospitalizations, you can subscribe to this blog on the upper right corner of this page.

On a related note, Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies, that helps home care and home health agencies achieve the Triple Aim.  Click here to learn more about the Triple Aim and download a free whitepaper by clicking here:  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies, aging gracefully

"97-Year-Old Visits Google" & the Future Role of Tech In Home Care

Posted by Jed Hammel on Dec 14, 2015 10:55:10 AM

the-huffington-post-1.pngA recent viral video, "A 97-Year-Old Visits Google, Is Flabbergasted By 'The Future'" has made the rounds on a number of established media outlets, including USA Today, CNN, CBS, and the Huffington Post.  You can read the HuffPo's entire article via this link.

It's a cute story that has evoked comments like "I hope I'm as sharp as she is when I'm her age," but rather than cute, I found it to be very poignant.

Granting the wish (and reporting the story) of an elder by giving her an opportunity to experience the pinnacle of web technology companies, something very few of us will ever be able to do, honors her and all our elder citizens in a great way.

97_year_old_visits_google_and_is_flabbergasted_by_the_future.jpg

The story got me thinking though.  No offense to the Huffington Post or the other media outlets, but I wonder how "clickable" and viral a headline of: "37-Year-Old Visits Google, is Flabbergasted by 'The Future'" would be to the internet?  I would guess not very.  I mention this because as I watched the video and read the story, as someone who considers himself pretty tech-savvy, I thought to myself that I would've been just as flabbergasted by the experience of visiting Google as the elder woman in the story was.  

We live in an dizzying time of rapidly advancing technology that becomes a part of our lives seemingly in a blink of an eye.  Not only is it hard for me to keep up on all the advances, but since technology is a pretty integral part of my daily life, it's sometimes easy for me to forget just how "flabbergasting" and amazing it is to live in this technological age of ours.   

Baxk_to_the_Future_-_Home_Care_Best_Practices_-_97_Year_old_visits_Google.jpg

The 97-Year-Old woman and I are in the same boat, being "flabbergasted" by the future, as I imagine a lot of other people are as well.  

This idea brought me to another thought, that I've noticed a tendency of some to judge different generations, older or younger than them, as something foreign, instead of as full human beings on different parts of the same journey as their own.  I feel that there is an erroneous idea out there that if you're younger, then "you haven't lived yet" while on the other hand, for our elder citizens, curiosity and personal growth somehow comes to a halt at a certain age.  This, of course is nonsense, but it got me thinking again. 

For me, I am looking forward to getting older and enjoying each phase of my life while learning and growing as a person with each step along the way.  Home Care folks understand this concept probably a lot more than most.  Home Care is all about caring for the person, understanding who they are, what they need, where they've been, and where they want to go.  

The point is that the world moves pretty fast these days, and technology plays a broader role in our lives with each rotation.  But stories like the 97-year-old visiting Google reminds us that whether we're 17, 37, or 87, it's an amazing time in which we live and technology is for everyone.    

The Role of Technology and Innovation in Home Care

The actionable takeaways from all of this musing of mine are as follows

  • Your clients or patients may be more interested in current technology and upcoming tech trends than one might think.  Perhaps integrate the use of tech or learning about tech into your interactions with them.

  • Technology changes fast and it's hard to keep up with each innovation, but to stay competitive in your market, compliant with regulations, and so on, it's important to keep your tech as current as possible 

  • Choosing tech vendors that can grow and change along with you is vital to keeping your business strong 

  • The right technology can allow you to focus more on caring for your clients instead of dealing with paperwork and admin

  • Home care is about seeing a client as a person with unique wants and needs, first and foremost.  The same should be true of the vendors you partner with.

Speaking of partnering, Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies, that helps home care and home health agencies achieve the Triple Aim.  Click here to learn more about the Triple Aim and download a free whitepaper by clicking here:  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies, technology, January 2016 Newsletter

4 Ways Home Care Can Improve Sales via Content Marketing

Posted by Jed Hammel on Nov 30, 2015 10:48:13 AM

BostInno-logo.pngBostinno is a useful online resource that covers the startup and innovation industry in the Boston area.  They also have sister sites that cover Chicago, Washington DC, and Austin TX.  One of their recent articles, "When Content Marketing Doesn't Work," caught my eye.  It offers some easy-to-implement ways for our home care audience on this blog to improve their online content campaign and perhaps increase their content marketing ROI.

I suggest you give the full article a look, it's a pretty quick read, but as a start I'll summarize the main points below.  You also might find this previous Ankota blog post useful, Do You Have Strong Landing Pages on Your Home Care Agency Web Site?  

4 Ways to Improve Your Online Content Marketing

  • Have a Strategy 

  • Post Consistently

  • Provide Quality Content Relevent to Your Customer 

  • Investment in the Tools, Time, and People Needed for Your Campaing to Succeed

These days, most folks know they need to have a website, that SEO is important, and blogging is something that they should do.  But with so much else to focus on to operate your business and to maintain a robust sales pipeline, content marketing can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. I would suggest that creating, implementing, and measuring your online content plan, though it does require some time, can often pay big dividends to your business with relatively little effort. 

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In other news, Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies, that helps home care and home health agencies achieve the Triple Aim.  Click here to learn more about the Triple Aim and download a free whitepaper by clicking here:  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies, December 2015 Newsletter

3 Ways Home Care Startups Can Improve via Agile Development Principles

Posted by Jed Hammel on Nov 5, 2015 9:06:09 AM

There is a growing industry of Success and Time Management gurus who promote different paths to success in life and business.  One well-known author/blogger/speaker is Tim Ferris, author of "The Four Hour Work Week."  As the title suggests, this book offers ways to streamline your work time/practices down to the bare mininum.  The hope is to create and maintain a successful business(es) on only 4 hours of work per week.  Another well known author/blogger/speaker is Gary Vanyerchuk.  "Gary V" believes that success requires constant "hustle," and that working 15+ hours a day as well as the weekend is what is usually needed to acheive success in business.

Whether it be Ferris' 4 hour work week, Gary V's 70+ hour work week (and I'd guess these two would share more beliefs about success than the above may make it seem), or one of the many other success principle systems out there, one idea I've noticed is pretty constant with them:

Getting specific and granular with time management/project goals in order to create efficient systems is a big Key to success.

The trick is to get clear on your goals, create the most efficient system you can to reach those goals, and remain flexible to adjust as needed when the situation or goals change.

The above may have illicited a collective "Duh" from a lot of folks reading it, since this may be both obvious and easier said than done in practice.  What makes this ideal harder to achieve in a startup or small business environment is that not only is "a different job description or two a day" mentality becoming more the norm, oftentimes, it is what is required to make the business thrive.  This mentality can be hard for folks to adopt who have worked in a corporate or structured work environment in the past.  That said, there are a few simple things folks can do to create and maintain systems when growing a business.

By way of example, Ankota Co-Founder, Ken Accardi, gives an insightful interview with TechTarget surrounding Agile vs. Waterfall (click the link for a rundown) software development that also serves as primer for what may be the future of workplace thinking.  I encourage you to read the entire interview, but as a start, here are a few key takeaways:

1.)   If you put a good person in a bad process, the process is going to win every time.

2.)  Be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, it could be the difference-maker in your businesses success.

3.)  Startups and small businesses are built on relationships, but to scale up, effecient proccesses and systems need to be in place for growth. 

If you do read the full interview, let us know what you think and if you have any success principles you'd like to share! 

Achieving the Triple Aim in Home Care

Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies, that helps home care and home health agencies achieve the Triple Aim.  Click here to learn more about the Triple Aim and download a free whitepaper by clicking here:  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, agile development, triple aim technologies

What are the Types of Nurses? A Home Care Primer

Posted by Ken Accardi on Nov 2, 2015 8:55:50 AM

Nurses are wonderful and in the editorial opinion of this blog, nurses and home care workers will be the key to health care reform in the US.  Our belief is that by having nurses oversee the care of our large population living with multiple chronic illnesses, that we can achieve better patient satisfaction and lower healthcare costs to the broadest population (also known as achieving "The Triple Aim").

Not All Nurses are Created Equal

Understanding the types of nursing degrees and certifications is helpful in determining how to best provide care solutions.  So, if for example, you're a home care agency working to provide a care transition program with your aides, and you're looking to partner with the nursing services of a hospital or home health agency, you might be asked what kind of nurse you need on your team.  The infographic below, from Maryville University does a nice job explaining the types of nurses.  To see the original posting , click here.  You can learn more about online nursing education programs at Maryville University by clicking here.

Maryland University_Nurse Infographic _Ankota Home Care blog

Achieving the Triple Aim in Home Care

Ankota has partnered with a new company called Triple Aim Technologies, that helps home care and home health agencies achieve the Triple Aim.  You can learn more and download a free whitepaper by clicking here:  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies

5 Healthcare Fun Facts (Actually More Alarming Than Fun)

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 19, 2015 10:11:02 AM

Just the Facts_Ankota homecare blogA friend of mine sent me a link to the healthcare page on the website www.justfacts.com.  I also found an article called 50 Depressing Facts About the Healthcare System That Will Make You Beg for Reform. There are a plethora of facts on these pages that are eye-opening, informative, and in many cases just sad.  I'd encourage you to go to the sources (via the links above) to see which facts are most interesting to you, but for now here are 5 facts that I found quite interesting:

  1. In inflation-adjusted dollars, healthcare spending in 1960 was $1,082 per person.  In 2010, it was $8,218 (an increase of 760%)

  2. The $2.4 trillion spent on healthcare in 2008 was nearly as much as food, clothing, and national defense combined.

  3. A quarter of Americans throw away prescriptions because they can't afford to fill them

  4. Healthcare spending dwarfs the combined profits of every corporation in America

  5. Doctors spend $210 Billion per year on procedures based on fear of liability, not patient need

Silver Lining 2 I always try to find the silver lining...  In this case that silver lining is that we can make a lot of improvement, and I believe that home care can be at the heart of that improvement.  Ankota has established a strategic partnership with the new company, Triple Aim Technologies (TAT).  TAT offers an automated solution that enables home health and home care agencies to very inexpensively keep tabs on their at-risk patients in between visits, and to be tipped off when they're exhibiting symptoms that are likely to lead to a hospitalization.  We're offering a free white paper explaining the Triple Aim solution (see below), and if you download the white paper, you can also express your interest in a free TAT pilot.

 "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model" is available for download by clicking the link or the picture below.  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies

Home Health Formula for Better Outcomes, Lower Cost and Increase Referrals

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 7, 2015 3:12:15 PM

If your home health agency could improve outcomes and star ratings, reduce cost for many episodes, and increase referrals, would that capture your attention?

This is the mission of Ankota's strategic partner, Triple Aim Technologies...

The Triple Aim is a framework created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) that describes as approach to optimizing health system performance.  IHI challenges US health plans to design programs that simultaneously pursue three dimensions (those 3 dimensions are the "Triple Aim):

  • Improving the patient experience of care (quality and satisfaction),

  • Improving the health of populations, and

  • Reducing the per capita cost of care

Triple Aim Technologies_Ankota Home Care Blog

How Can Home Health Achieve the Triple Aim?

First and foremost, healthcare at home is the least expensive form of healthcare. By contrast, the hospital is the most expensive.  Avoiding preventable hospitalizations for large populations is the best way to achieve the Triple Aim. Home Health and Home Care agencies are optimally suited to drive this change.

The Triple Aim Technologies solution helps home health agencies achieve this goal.  Imagine how many hospitalizations could be avoided if your best nurse, with full knowledge of the disease histories of your patients, could call every one of your patients, as often as every day, and ask them the most relevant questions that would indicate that they're trending towards a hospitalization.  Of course, this wouldn't be affordable with actual nurses, but this is what Triple Aim Technologies has achieved with automation.

Home health agencies that adopt the triple aim solution will have increased patient contacts, reduced readmissions, improved star ratings and reduced costs (because the additional automated calls can serve tor reduce some live visits). Once triple aim certified agencies are able to provide the necessary geographic coverage for hospital systems or health plans (such as Medicare Advantage plans), the solution can be deployed to them to assist with readmission reduction (for hospitals) or population health management (for health plans) leading to paid referrals to the triple aim certified agencies.

This is just a brief introduction to the Triple Aim solution, a more detailed backgrounder is available in a free whitepaper entitled  "How Homecare Can Win Under the New Care Model".  Please download by clicking the link or the picture below.  

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota Home Care Triple Aim White Paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, triple aim technologies

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About Ankota

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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