IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Assisting Hands Home Care Review
Best For: Companion Care | Non-Medical Home Care | Help With Benefit Navigation
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More and more seniors are hoping to age in place—that is, to stay in their own homes and communities rather than go into assisted living. Many governments and insurance companies are also trying to facilitate this trend by directing resources into helping people stay at home, since, depending on the types of care needed, it tends to cost less and help communities stay intact. As it happens, however, injury and illness can sometimes make it difficult for seniors to stay at home. Fortunately, home care companies exist to bridge the gap between the desire to age in place and the need for help and medical care. Assisting Hands Home Care is a relative newcomer to this industry, but has offices around the country focusing on providing home care and companion services to seniors, and many offices offering higher-level skilled nursing care.
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- Light housekeeping
- Medication reminders
- Mobility assistance
- Meal planning and prep
- Home safety evaluations
- Physical therapy
- Skilled nursing care
- Pre- and post-operation assistance
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- End-of-life care
- Chronic disease management
- Financial advice/benefits navigation
The Bottom Line
Assisting Hands got high marks from its clients and employees, and came in at about the median in terms of costs of care, making it an attractive, economical option for home care in the areas it serves. With employees trained to focus on Alzheimer’s and end-of-life care, and with its commitment to helping people navigate the system to find the benefits and services they need, Assisting Hands is worth contacting if they have an office in your town.
Assisting Hands Home Care was founded in 2006 in Nampa, ID, and moved quickly into franchising; the company now has more than 100 locations across the country, each run by independent owner/operators, a standard approach in the home care industry.
While offices are independently owned, the ideal franchise provides enough in the way of standards, training, and other support to ensure consistency of quality across locations. For that reason, we’ve taken a look at how frontline employees in several Assisting Hands locations regarded their work and the people they worked for to get an inside look at how the company operates.
In this regard, Assisting Hands falls in about the middle range of national home care companies: among employees providing reviews on the Glassdoor and Indeed employment websites Assisting Hands’ ratings were in line with its competitors, with most employees at Glassdoor saying that they’d be willing to recommend the company to others. In their reviews, employees consistently expressed appreciation for the clients they worked with, and while there were some complaints about the company’s administration, these were very much in line with employee feedback for other companies.
“Highly professional attention to clients. Good management, with very high ethical standards. They actually TRAIN their caregivers, which few agencies do.”
“Great health care experience, in a face pace work environment.”
“The company truly cares for its employees as much as their clients.”
Services and Offerings
Assisting Hands promotes itself as a provider of quality home care services, in particular the personal and companion care offerings that make up the bulk of seniors’ needs. These services include help with bathing and hygiene, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and a full range of companionship services.
Medical home care
Some Assisting Hands locations also provide higher-level and skilled nursing care, including medication administration, help with recovery from surgery or an accident, and physical therapy. Again, however, not all locations offer these services, so it’s important to inquire first if you’re after these services.
Help navigating benefits
rue to its name, Assisting Hands also offers its clients help finding services that are available as benefits to them or as offerings in their community, including helping clients navigate local Agencies on Aging and Senior Centers, and getting the benefits they should be able to access via Medicaid, Medicare, and the Veteran’s Administration.
In addition to help with seeking out benefits, Assisting Hands can help clients find help with important practical considerations such as estate planning, advanced directives, and reverse mortgages.
Personal Emergency Response System
As a few other companies do, Assisting Hands offers its clients the use of a medical alert system, which can be useful if they’re going to be alone in between visits from a caregiver. This system can, at the press of a button, put the client in touch with an 24-hour emergency response center, a service which can improve a senior’s confidence and peace of mind about living alone.
Word on the Street
As mentioned above, Assisting Hands is set up as a franchise, with local offices independently owned and operated. So while consumer reviews can be helpful, reviews of one location may or may not reflect all the locations a company operates. Nevertheless, it can be useful to look at the feedback clients have offered in many different places to see if any trends emerge.
We looked at nearly 100 online consumer reviews, covering several different Assisting Hands locations around the country, in order to get a big-picture view of how the company operates, and how satisfied clients and their families were about the service they received. We found that Assisting Hands offices have a solid track record of satisfied clients, certainly in line with most of their competitors in the field. While we did see some of the common complaints that customers have about home care, including scheduling issues and other administrative problems, overall, clients were happy with—and even grateful to—their caregivers, earning the company a weighted average rating of 4.6 out of 5. In addition, we saw the following trends:
- Caregivers got high praise: Most people who go into the helping professions do so because they love their work, and so it’s not a surprise when clients offer their personal caregivers glowing reviews. It is reassuring, however, that Assisting Hands’ caregivers got as much praise from their clients as any company on the market.
- Administrators got high marks: There were a few criticisms of the office staff at individual locations—scheduling was a problem, as it often can be in a busy home care office—but on balance, clients and families were satisfied with the efficiency and professionalism of office staff.
- Trust and dependability: Being able to depend on the staff of a home care company—to provide consistent care, and to show up promptly and regularly—is the bottom line for most clients and their families. Assisting Hands came in very much in line with its competition in this respect, with most clients expressing satisfaction with the reliability of their local office.
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“I would highly recommend this company. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease and requires 24 hour care. I left him for 10 days to visit family on the East coast and was extremely pleased with the care that he received. It is so wonderful to know that you can go away and your family member will be well cared for.”
“Assisting Hands of Cincinnati cared for my mother over her final eight months. They provided professional, caring assistance with dressing, toileting, and ‘start of day’ activities. The caring (I know I said that twice, but it was very impressive) that the caregivers showed toward my mother was simply outstanding.”
“This service has been a God send to me with my 90 year old dad living with me temporarily. The office staff, management and our aide were all top notch. The staff were always available to help with scheduling changes or billing questions. Excellent customer service. Our aide in the home was sharp, professional, did all I asked and more.”
Cost and Value
As you look into rates, it’s important to keep in mind that what a company charges for home care can depend on a number of factors, including the local cost of labor, local regulations, the amount of care needed, and especially the intensity of care that the client requires. Still, to get a sense of trends in the rates companies charge, we survey a number of local offices around the country and then compare rates to the median rates for the area as provided by the Genworth Cost of Care study.
Based on our survey, Assisting Hands Home Care came in at close to the median in terms of costs in the areas we surveyed, though some locations do charge tend to charge more than the median rate for more basic levels of care.