Elfin Services provides care in Clark County

Agency believes in connecting community members with needed resources to help with the aging process

Elfin Services staff
Courtesy of Elfin Services. Steve and Yvonne Polkow decided to start Elfin Services back in 1998 while they were helping out some friends who had medical issues and required a lot of assistance.

Back in 1998, Steve and Yvonne Polkow were helping out some friends who had medical issues and required a lot of assistance. While helping out their friends, the two realized that there were not a lot of options for people at the time, especially for care management services – someone who could advocate on behalf of the person needing services.

So, after spending time helping their friends, Steve and Yvonne realized they wanted to be that resource, and Elfin Services was born.

“Local company Elfin Services is caring for the seniors in our community, advocating for seniors rights to independence and autonomy, while also being actively involved with local nonprofits like Southwest Washington Elder Abuse Prevention, the Alzheimer’s Association – Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter and HOPE, a dementia support group, to ensure our community is well supported and people have access to free education so our community is well taken care of for years to come,” said Elfin Services Agency Administrator Joey Yourchek.

Yourchek said Elfin Services has been providing in-home care and care management to the Clark County area since 2001. The agency employs CNAs and HCAs who are all certified by the state of Washington to offer assistance with activities of daily living (meal prep, personal care, light housekeeping, med reminders, nurse-delegated tasks, etc.), as well as companionship.

“We can assist people with basic care levels such as companionship and respite care after someone has knee surgery, dementia, chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease and MS, as well as end-of-life care for those on hospice,” Yourchek said.

Currently, Yourchek said Elfin Services has 12 administrative staff and more than 40 caregivers. In 2001 when the company was first incorporated, there were less than 10 employees. Since then, Elfin has added more than 40 employees, so “the growth has been huge.” Although Yourchek said caregivers come and go quickly – as many of them are transitioning to nursing school, medical school, etc. – he said they also have caregivers who have worked there for more than 12 years.

Since the owners of Elfin reside in Clark County, it was an easy choice to establish their business here. In addition, Yourchek said they are a small, local home-care agency and are not franchised. He said the idea of staying in Clark County was to stay local, small and independent, and provide the best care possible for the community.

“The company explored what it would look like to offer services in a larger location like Portland, Ore., however, to stay true to who we are as an agency, we decided not to pursue that route and provide private care for those who need it,” Yourchek said.

When talking about what sets Elfin Services apart from other home-care agencies, Yourcheck said what makes their business different is “we offer the same services, however, we do not offer the same service.”

“As a local, independent agency, this allows us to have more flexibility to customize the care we are providing to people,” he said. “We are not tied down by franchise rules and regulations and can make the decisions about what we feel is best for the client and not for the franchise. We believe caring for a person requires that flexibility because not every person is the same or wants the same care. We all have routines, quirks, special foods we like, etc., and it is our job to do anything we can to make sure we offer it to our clients.”

While promoting independence and autonomy for seniors in their own homes, Yourchek said Elfin Services takes it one step further by supporting seniors through the aging process utilizing their team of care managers, who all have master’s degrees in social work and art, and are considered experts in navigating the healthcare system.

Elfin Services is located at 7305 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., Ste. B, in Vancouver.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.