Home Care Assistance Review9 minute read
9 minute read|
Updated for December, 2018
More and more seniors are choosing to remain in their homes as they grow older instead of moving into senior housing or assisted living. Staying at home confers a number of benefits, including allowing the person to remain in their community and allowing them to fully enjoy home comforts and familiar surroundings well into their golden years. When aging begins to take its toll, however, many seniors turn to home care agencies for help with the day-to-day activities that challenge their independence. Home Care Assistance is one of the country’s larger home care agencies, and it offers all the services that seniors generally need to continue to live on their own, and also offers specialized programs and unique approaches to care.
- All types of home care, including clients with special needs, respite care, and live-in care
- Medication reminders
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and prep
- Social escort services
- Exercise assistance
- Mobility assistance
- Physical therapy
- Pre- and post-operation assistance
- Respite care
- Live-in care
- 24-hour care
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- End-of-life care
- Uses a team approach to care, with supervisors consistently monitoring caregivers
- Offers research-driven approaches to home care
- Offers specialized care for selected conditions
- Rigorous screening and hiring practices for caregivers
- Most locations require a four hour minimum visit.
Founded in 2003, Home Care Assistance has been expanding through franchising since 2004. Based in San Francisco, the company now has more than 100 franchise locations throughout the US in addition to operating 25 company-owned offices. While each franchise location is independently owned and operated, the company nevertheless has consistent policies regarding the screening and hiring of its caregivers, and these policies are some of the most stringent in the industry. The hiring process includes making sure new caregivers have experience working with seniors, performing reference checks and background checks, and putting applicants through a proprietary screening exam which measures the employee’s aptitude for home care. Looking at employee review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed reveals that employees are generally happy with the company—in line with most of its competitors in the industry—and a significant portion of reviewers on Glassdoor—over 70%— would recommend the company to their peers.
“Pros: A company that will invest in their employee’s personal and professional development -Unrelenting support and resources from every department and level of leadership.”Newport Beach, CA (via Glassdoor)
“I took care of many people that need assistance. Management is excellent! Great workplace and great management and supervisors! It’s not a hard job, you just have to care and be concerned for the people you care for. The most enjoyable part of this position is when you make the people you care for enjoy life.”Palm Beach, FL (via Indeed)
“Enjoying working with staff that is always courteous and kind. Like the flexible hours. Also good Internet cellphone communication with professionals. Clients fun to work with.”Overland Park, KS (via Glassdoor)
Services and offerings:
Companion care: The services provided by Home Care Assistance include all of the basic companion care services offered by its competitors, including help with grooming and hygiene, laundry and light housekeeping, meal planning, and transportation. The company also offers these services on a sporadic basis for respite care, and also provides care on a live-in basis.
Personal care: Home Care Assistance also provides many forms of higher-level personal care, including help with mobility, feeding and toileting help, some assistance with physical therapy requirements, and help for those recovering from procedures or illness.
Specialized care for selected conditions: In addition to general home care, the company offers help to those dealing with a variety of specific conditions, including:
- Stroke recovery
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Balanced Care Method: Based on studies of seniors who seem to age particularly well, Home Care Assistance has devised a proprietary balanced care method that takes a holistic approach to care with the aim of improving the client’s quality of life.
Cognitive Therapeutics Method: In improving mental health, Home Care Assistance applies another proprietary approach: its Cognitive Therapeutic Method aims to engage and improve all aspects of thinking (including memory, attention, and visual and spatial reasoning) in order to facilitate the client’s independence and boost their health.
Team approach to care: Every client of Home Care Assistance benefits from the company’s team approach to care, which involves care managers and caregivers working together to produce a plan of care and consistent checks on patient progress.
Word on the Street:
In order to get a sense of the quality of the local offices of Home Care Assistance, we did a survey of online reviews drawn from as wide a range of locations as possible. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that most of these offices are independently owned and operated, and may not reflect the quality you can expect from your local office; you should always take care to get references, and ideally, talk to other clients in order to get a full sense of the care they provide.
Still, after surveying over 100 reviews online, it’s possible to see some trends among the experiences of those working with Home Care Assistance, and most of these reflect well on the company. In fact, among the reviews we collected, Home Care Assistance got relatively high marks for their work, earning them a weighted rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Customers are happy with their caregivers: This is true throughout the industry: most clients do end up bonding with their caregivers, regardless of the company they work with. At the same time, Home Care Assistance received praise from family members for the care their loved ones received, and from clients as well.
Competent administration: Administrators don’t usually come in for as much praise as caregivers, but Home Care Assistance did quite well when it came to customer comments about the way their offices were run, with some customers telling stories of administrators going the extra mile to provide quality service.
Trust and dependability: Reliability was another trend among the reviews, with many customers making specific mention of their caregivers’ punctuality and attention to detail even when unsupervised, an attribute that is always reassuring for both clients and their families.
“Home Care Assistance is friendly and does an excellent job at what they do . . . The services of Home Care Assistance were there when I needed them. They were always on call.”Philadelphia, PA (via Google)
“I referred a client to Home Care Assistance and they took amazing care of her and her family. They helped with home chores, transportation, and much more. I highly recommend using Home Care Assistance!”Colorado Springs, CO (via Facebook)
“Great service offered, amazing staff. They were very kind and prompt when we needed help with in home care! Would recommend this company to anyone needing assistance with in home care!”Bellevue, WA (via Google)
Cost and Value:
Just as with quality, the amount your local office will charge you for the care you receive will vary based on the local owner’s policies. Costs will also depend and on the type of care a client receives. For that reason, no single franchisee can characterize a company’s rates, so we take pains to survey locations from a number different areas and compare them with the average rate charged in that area as listed in the Genworth Cost of Care study. We found that rates charged by Home Care Assistance franchises tended to range a little higher than average, though those rates might vary depending on how many hours of care the client received. It’s important to note, too, that the locations we surveyed required a four-hour minimum length for their caretaker visits.
Home Care Assistance offers a full menu of home care services—from companion care up to help with activities of daily living—offers help overseeing clients’ recovery from illness or surgery, and can provide full time live-in care. Known for its rigorous approach to screening its caregivers, the company also augments its approaches with research-based programs that focus on boosting longevity, quality of life, and the client’s cognitive functioning. These approaches, combined with its team-based approach to care plans, make it an excellent choice for those willing to pay a little more for high-quality home care.