IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Home Instead Senior Care Review
Best For: Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care | Chronic Conditions Care | 24-Hour Care | End-of-Life Care
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Many home care agencies focus on lower-level home care. Among these types of companies, Home Instead Senior Care stands out, not only because it offers all forms of companion and personal care services, but because it also gives its caregivers significant training in managing chronic conditions and providing care for those at the end of life. Combined with the company’s proprietary CARE program—which gives caregivers specialized training in memory care issues—Home Instead’s approach offers clients reliable expertise in some of the biggest challenges facing seniors hoping to age in place, making them a good choice for basic care for those with specialized needs.
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- Medication reminders
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and prep
- Mobility assistance
- Pre- and post-operation assistance
- Respite care
- Live-in care
- 24-hour care
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- End-of-life care
- Home safety evaluations
Home Instead Care Review
Among today’s elderly, the trend is clear: more and more of them are hoping to stay out of the various senior housing options—senior communities, assisted living facilities, etc.—and stay in their own homes instead. But aging in place in this manner can present some challenges. Age and infirmity take their toll on all of us eventually, and for many seniors they can make it impossible to remain completely independent. Home care companies like Home Instead Senior Care can help prolong that independence by helping with the day-to-day activities that become more difficult over time, and by providing seniors with memory issues the companionship and supervision they need.
Founded in 1994, Home Instead is one of the country’s oldest home care companies. With around 550 locations in the US (and over 1000 worldwide) It’s also among the largest. Almost all of these locations are independently owned and operated by franchisors, but the company does set standards for its franchises, particularly in terms of the hiring and training of caregivers. For this reason, we turned to employee review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed to get some insight into how the people working at the company’s franchises view their colleagues and working conditions. In this respect, Home Instead stands pretty much on par with its competitors, with most reviewers on Glassdoor saying that they’d recommend the company as an employer to their peers in the home care industry
“If you are interested in being with a company that cares about their caregivers, Visiting Angels is the place to be. They care about the clients and their needs as well.”
“I love the flexibility and the feeling of giving back to the community by helping the aging population to stay in their homes.”
Services and Offerings
Home Instead offers the full range of what is considered “companion care” services, including basic companionship, medication reminders, and a variety of housekeeping tasks as well as transportation and mobility assistance.
Home Instead also offers many of the services that fall under the heading of “personal care,” things like help with feeding and toileting and other essential activities of daily living that can become a challenge for seniors later in life.
Specialized training programs:
Most locations also provide their caregivers with specialized training in dealing with chronic conditions (problems like cancer, COPD, and heart disease) and memory impairments, preparing caregivers to assist those with more demanding care needs.
Home Instead’s proprietary CARE program (an acronym for Changing Aging through Research and Education) prepares caregivers to look after those with memory impairment issues by providing them with strategies based on research and on Home Instead’s experience in dealing with this subset of patients. This program aims to keep clients calm and to engage them through social interaction and mind-stimulating games, and it also focuses on nutrition as an essential part of care. This program also includes free Alzheimer’s family caregiver training for loved ones who serve as primary caregivers for a senior with memory issues.
Chronic condition care:
Naturally, Alzheimer’s and dementia are two chronic conditions that Home Instead specializes in, but they also specialize in care for seniors facing a few other conditions as well, including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and depression.
In addition to the specialized Alzheimer’s focus of Home Instead’s CARE program, the company also aims to prepare its caregivers for other aspects of senior care through its ongoing training. Topics covered include communicating with seniors, planning activities, recognizing illness and depression, and home safety issues.
“Good place to work. Management is very up to date on everything and very professional. Gives raises and praise where deserved.”
“Caring and compassionate towards both clients, family members and their CAREGivers. Love what I do and look forward to coming into work every day. Never a dull moment and always more to learn—challenging, but that’s what is great! ”
“Working for Home Instead Senior Care is a very rewarding job. It allows me to feel as if I am making a difference in the lives of the clients that I help care for.”
Word on the Street
As we noted before, it’s important to keep in mind that Home Instead, like most national home care companies, operates as a franchise, meaning that most local offices are independently owned and operated. Problems at one location don’t mean that you won’t get stellar care from another, and vice-versa. If you’re looking into home care, it’s vital to research your local options and get references—and, ideally, to talk with current clients—before choosing a home care provider.
Nevertheless, a look at online reviews across locations can often reveal trends in a company’s approach to service and administration. And In order to look for such trends among Home Instead franchises, we surveyed over 100 online reviews of offices across the country—posted on forums such as Yelp, Facebook, and Senior Advisor—and came up with an overall weighted rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, putting Home Instead squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of customer satisfaction. We also noted the following trends:
Caring, competent providers:
A substantial number of online reviewers praised Home Instead’s frontline caregivers for the quality of the care they provided: there were no complaints of a lack of compassion among these employees, and very few issues with competence or professionalism, suggesting that the vast majority of clients enjoyed and appreciated the service they received.
Appreciation for office staff:
As is natural given the limited experience most clients have with a home care company’s office staff, there were relatively fewer specific mentions of Home Instead’s administrators. These mentions were overwhelmingly positive, however, with owners coming in for special recognition for going above and beyond in ensuring quality care.
Trust and dependability:
One of the most common complaints about home care agencies is a lack of dependability: no-shows and scheduling problems are par for the course with most companies. Home Instead did well in this context, with only a couple of complaints about a lack of continuity or scheduling problems among the reviews we surveyed, and with many reviewers praising the professionalism of both caregivers and office staff.
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“My father’s caregiver was trustworthy, kind, and very helpful. She took him shopping, cooked meals, did the laundry, and cleaned the house for him weekly. They provided substitute caregivers when she was not available.”
“We love our caregiver from Home Instead. The staff and caregivers are very professional and they truly care about us.”
“We like everything about dealing with Home Instead Castle Rock! Great Care first of all, but also their responsiveness to any concerns, the ability to add extra hours when needed, and excellent communications with their office and staff. We would highly recommend this company to any of our senior friends.”
Franchises are on their own to determine the rates they charge, and those rates can vary based on the type of care provided, the amount of care a client is likely to require, and the local cost of living. But it’s useful to look at several franchised locations within a company to find trends in terms of costs. We surveyed several Home Instead locations, and found that their rates came in just a little higher than the median rate charged by their local competition (a comparison based on the Cost of Care study published by Genworth Financial).
Home Instead locations also tend to require a minimum visit length of around 2-3 hours (a standard practice in the industry), and some locations also charge a lower per-hour rate if the client needs supervision for a significant portion of the day.