Personal shopper. Friend. Walking and bingo partner.

Those are just a few of the roles Rebecca Ptacek takes on for clients like 80-year-old Nina Anderson, whom Ptacek cares for each weekday through SYNERGY HomeCare, an in-home care provider.

But Ptacek now has an added role: Cold weather companion. This year, Synergy HomeCare has added an increased focus on providing care for senior citizens in the winter by making sure pantries are stocked, prescriptions are filled and the heat is up with cold weather checks. The checks are for those who simply need help when temperatures dip into the teens and snow starts to fall, as well as for clients like Anderson, who receive daily care.

“It's just an increased focus on providing care for seniors in inclement weather, when they don't want to get out and may want to stay isolated in their homes,” said Omaha SYNERGY franchise owner Matt Bratsburg.

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