In the 1960s, Tabitha was on the cusp of change. For more than 70 years, we had taken in and cared for the community’s orphans, homeless and elderly. But times were changing and in the sixties, Tabitha began focusing its care on serving Elders.
Even then, Tabitha knew that caring for Elders extended beyond its own walls, that there were hundreds of Elders who needed health care support in their homes and had no services to help them. Led by visionaries like Martha Maseman, Tabitha worked with Lincoln Community Chest leaders to develop a program to meet the needs of Elders at home and in 1966, launched Tabitha Home Health.
Maseman, who would later go on to help conceptualize Tabitha Meals on Wheels and Nebraska’s first hospice service, employed a handful of caregivers in home health that included nurses, therapists and aides. These caregivers provided assistance to Elders in their homes by checking blood pressure levels and helping with bathing and personal care. The main goal for these clients was independence. Often, just an hour or two of support from a Tabitha Home Health aide kept a senior safe in their home and out of the hospital.
Since its inception in 1966, Tabitha Home Health has had to ebb and flow with the changes in needs of clients, the community and government policy. Only 10 years after serving residents of Lancaster county, Tabitha extended home care into surrounding communities like Saline county, and eventually began serving the cities of Seward, York, Nebraska City and many others.
As many of the services provided by Tabitha Home Health were paid for by government-funded programs like Medicare, Tabitha made adjustments along the way to continue to care for clients. When Medicare coverage began in the 1960s, Tabitha saw more complex care needs and began providing nursing and therapy services.
Tabitha Home Health Care has come a long way in the last fifty years. Today, the service reaches nearly 400 clients throughout southeast Nebraska. For Elders who are unable to leave their home, Tabitha Home Health nurses, aides and therapists help them remain independent after a hospital stay, surgery or in managing a chronic illness.
Throughout the years and amidst the changes, Tabitha Home Health and the vision of Martha Maseman has remained the same, to provide compassionate care and work toward keeping Elders safe in their home.
Happy 50th anniversary, Tabitha Home Health Care!