The field of home care has been growing as the need grows and Epaga Home Care is now serving the Bitterroot Valley. According to Jessica Kostecki, who will be the general manager of the Bitterroot/Missoula Epaga Home Care, Epaga was originally Agape. Kostecki said that “agape” means “unconditional love, and that’s what the company wants to provide.” The owners kept the letters but reordered them to spell Epaga (“agape” spelled backwards).
Epaga Home Care provides “non-medical in-home care,” according to Kostecki. “We assist family members who need help with care and companionship.” Companionship includes the activities of daily living, such as medication reminders, taking clients to appointments and shopping. With this type of care, said Kostecki, people are better able to stay in their own homes. The service is paid for primarily through the Veterans Administration and private pay, although Kostecki said some insurance companies cover it.
The company was founded and created by Julie Brubaker and Inga Lake in Kalispell, and has been operating there for over 13 years. The two women built the business from the ground up. They decided to branch out and create some franchise opportunities throughout the state. The goal is to eventually take it nationwide.
Jessica Kostecki and her husband Dave have lived in Stevensville for 21 years. “We raised our family here,” said Kostecki. Daughters Sydney and Savannah are accomplished in 4H and FFA. Dave and Jessica put on the Freedom Livestock Show in 2020 when the county fair was canceled. In a very Montana-esque moment, Jessica and Dave met Brubaker at a 4H sheep show, and eventually decided to get involved with Epaga Home Care. Jessica has been in health care for 30 years. She started at St. Pats, then ventured into health insurance. Now she’s making a career change back into taking care of people.
“I recently lost my father,” said Jessica, “and during the time that he was really sick we needed some assistance. We worked full time and didn’t know about these resources. Going through that experience, when Dave and I were presented this opportunity, we knew it was our calling and we wanted to provide this service to the community. Having a loved one who wanted to stay in the home, we needed help to keep him in the home. We want to give that option back to the community.”
Dave Kostecki will help run the business. He is currently a senior facilities engineer at St. Pats Hospital where he’s worked for 26 years. He maintains all of the patient buildings, said Kostecki, “keeping all the infrastructure running.” Although he will help Jessica, he plans on keeping his job at St. Pats for now.
Dave and Jessica were just featured on a podcast called “Caregiven.”
“The podcasts are great,” said Jessica. “They provide educational opportunities and support on how to take care of loved ones. They’re also entertaining.” You can find the podcast and more on the Epaga Home Care website: www.epagahomecare.com.
The grand opening of the local Epaga Home Care is scheduled for Monday, May 16.
“At that time we will start adding clients and more staff,” said Kostecki. The main office will be in Florence, at 5811 Hwy 93 N, but Kostecki said most of the work happens in the field.
The staff consists of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) and Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s). Epaga provides training and assists employees to get accreditation. Kostecki said they hope to eventually employ 30-plus people in the Bitterroot and Missoula. People can apply for caregiver positions on the website: www.epagahomecare.com
People who need the service should contact Jessica by email at [email protected] or phone at 406-300-7999 to set up an appointment to discuss their needs.