Edward Heath

Edward Heath has taken a lead role at Helping Hands Home Care in The Dalles. Tom Peterson photo

Edward Heath is a detail guy.

His family collected seashells. So, he built a shadow-box dinner table filled with sand to display them.

He wanted a Jeep. Not any Jeep—a 1998 Jeep Cherokee. So, he’s restoring one himself.

He is a former auto body guy. “I learned early there are no good shortcuts,” he said. “They always show up.”

That philosophy is guiding him as he heads Helping Hands Home Care’s The Dalles office since the exit of Mary Gailey in October. With 72 Employees serving the Mid-Columbia, Heath said the business relies on “caregivers that love providing service.”

It’s in that detail that he provides the support which in turn helps people stay where they want.

“It’s very rare that someone needs so much care that they can’t stay in their own home,” he said. “People want to be in their own environment, their own bed, with their own TV and their dog.”

Helping Hands provides companionship, transportation, meal preparation, personal care services, medication and nursing services. They offer janitorial services as well. The company is owned by Toby Forsberg and Randy Fischer, with headquarters in Portland and services in 18 Oregon counties.

Heath has been with Helping Hands for more than three years. He said it was a big change from auto body work. But the impact he’s had on other lives gives him a deep sense of purpose.

“It was the best decision of my life,” he said, “besides marrying my wife.”

Everyone needs their place. For older folks, that’s usually their home, Heath said.

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