IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Best For: Companion And Home Care | Care For Clients In Transition
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Many seniors these days are trying to avoid going into various types of senior living arrangements, and they’re taking steps to remain in their homes for as long as possible. At the same time, aging can present challenges to a senior’s independence: health issues and accidents can make everyday activities a problem, and simply living alone always carries risks to seniors’ physical and psychological well being. In the past decade, more and more home care companies have come on the market aiming to help seniors overcome the various ways getting older can threaten a person’s independence. ComForCare came in advance of this trend: founded in 1996, it has over 20 years experience in providing lower level companion and personal care, helping seniors through the ordinary activities of living. What’s more, the company focuses on care for seniors in transition—recovering from accidents or surgery—who may not need help on a permanent basis.
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- Medication reminders
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and prep
- Social escort services
- Pre- and post-op assistance
- Respite care
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- Home safety evaluations
Like many home care agencies, ComForCare focuses on companionship and homemaker services, and doesn’t provide a full range of more intensive help. At the same time, however, ComForCare aims to provide a personally tailored care regimen for its clients, and specializes in essential care for clients in transition—coming back from an injury, an operation, or otherwise experiencing a change in health conditions. With a solid record of customer satisfaction, ComForCare is worth a look if you need reliable basic care for yourself or a senior family member, and especially if you’re in the market for help with a care transition.
ComForCare waited five years after its founding before expanding into franchising – a relatively long time in comparison to its competitors. But its expansion has been rapid: the company now has around 200 locations throughout the US, making it one of the larger home care companies currently in operation. The company’s site, however, makes it clear that its approaches to care are maintained in all locations, approaches that include a 10-step employee screening process (involving background checks on all employees and interviews with each applicant) and regular evaluations of caregivers. Going by online employee review sites, it appears that its employees are fairly satisfied with what they’ve seen inside ComForCare’s franchises: while employee reviews are right about average compared with of ComForCare’s competitors, a significant majority of employees on the review site Glassdoor would recommend the company to their peers.
“I have worked for ComForcare, Inc. off and on for many years now and I love it . . . We love our clients with everything we have, going above and beyond what is expected of us.”
“This was a great place to work.”
“I love working when I can. I also love how friendly everyone is. When you have a question or concern on a client you get quick answers.”
Services and Offerings
ComForCare provides a full range of companion and personal care services, including medication reminders, grooming and hygiene help, meal preparation, transportation, and basic companionship, among other offerings.
In providing the higher level help that goes under the heading of personal care, ComForCare touts the process they take in formulating the client’s care plan, which includes in-home assessments (and follow-up to make sure any new needs are being addressed), and reaching out proactively to medical professionals and others involved in the client’s health care. As care continues, clients are guaranteed check-ins by management to assess the quality of the care they’re receiving.
ComForCare also provides temporary and sporadic assistance to family caregivers who need a rest or need to get out of the home for work requirements or special occasions.
This proprietary program gives a special focus to the needs of those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive problems, and trains caregivers in engaging with their clients and redirecting them away from behavioral triggers that might cause them distress or other problems.
Transitions of Care
This program specializes in helping patients that need either short-term or long-term help transitioning back home after discharge from a hospital, rehabilitation facility, or skilled nursing care facility. This program includes a safety assessment and closely coordinates with the client’s medical providers to boost the chances of a successful recovery.
Medical Alert System
ComForCare partners with Philips to provide its clients with their Lifeline line of home-based and mobile medical alert systems, giving clients the ability to summon help even when the caregiver isn’t in the house.
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Word on the Street
In order to get a sense of how customers felt about the care they received from ComForCare, we went online and looked at consumer feedback for the company’s franchises at some popular review sites. Since ComForCare operates as a franchise, no individual location’s performance can characterize all of the company’s offices, and you should always carefully look into the record and references of your local office before hiring a caregiver. At the same time, companies do exert influence over the management of each office, and it can be useful to look at a wide sampling of reviews to see if there are any trends across locations. After looking at around 100 reviews—which combined to give Comfort Keepers a weighted average rating of 4.6 out of 5—here are some common themes:
Caregivers Received High Praise
Based on our analysis of a subset of the reviews we collected, ComForCare got some of the most consistent praise for their caregivers’ competence and compassion of all the companies we’ve looked at. Regardless of the services needed, and regardless of the length of time that that clients called on those services, consumers gave ComForCare’s caregivers high marks, even when a client or family received care from multiple employees. What’s more, many customers mentioned having stuck with the company for years, which is a good sign that the company delivers quality care.
Office Staff Also Received Praise
Customers also singled out office staff at ComForCare locations for their involvement in their care or the care provided to their family members. One or two reviews did report problems with communication, and a few reported no-shows or other scheduling issues, but overall the franchise staff received praise on par with the staff of ComForCare’s competitors.
Trust and Dependability
As noted, some reviews did mention problems with scheduling, as is common among home care companies. For the most part, though, ComForCare had a solid record of reliability among caregivers and office staff.
“We required around the clock caregivers for our mother. The shift schedule was very challenging and confusing, but they managed it beautifully. The caregivers helped my mom with her mobility, personal hygiene, food preparation, companionship and miscellaneous household chores. They were caring and professional.”
“We have used multiple services and caregivers over the years and ComForcare really stands out among the best. The staff is courteous, knowledgeable and professional, and the owners are always just a phone call away (they pick up, not machine or answering service).”
Even within a single franchise, rates for home care can vary considerably by location and by the type of care that the client requires. When we surveyed ComForCare locations to find out the rates they charged, we chose locations around the country and compared each location’s rates with the median rates for home and companion care in the surrounding area as provided by the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. In doing this, we found that ComForCare came in about on par with its competitors, making it a solid choice for those concerned about expense. It should be noted in addition that ComForCare does require a minimum number of hours per visit, which is a standard practice throughout the industry.