IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for June, 2019
Nurse Next Door Review18 minute read
Best For: Personal And Companion Care | Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care | Transitions Of Care
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Many home care companies have their own proprietary programs for dealing with selected aspects of the aging process. Nurse Next Door’s Happier Aging program complements its lower-level and higher-level care services by reconnecting patients with activities and interests that they may have abandoned due to the effects of aging and by specifically targeting other areas that can boost a patient’s happiness. In addition, Nurse Next Door puts its caregivers through a rigorous screening process and takes pains to connect clients with compatible caregivers backed by a dedicated care team, making Nurse Next Door a solid choice for those hoping to build strong client-caregiver relationships to improve their home care, or the care of a loved one, for the long haul.
- 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
Nurse Next Door Review
Seniors who want to stay in their own homes throughout the aging process often call on home care agencies for help with the basics of living at times when the challenges of age or injury threaten their ability to perform essential daily activities. By providing companion care services like house cleaning and transportation, and by providing personal care services like help with feeding or hygiene, home care agencies allow seniors to live independently while staying in the neighborhoods and communities they love.
Nurse Next Door’s services include both companion and personal care, and the company also offers even higher level nursing care as well, all in the service of allowing seniors and their families the safety and connection of aging at home.
Nurse Next Door was founded in Canada in 2001, and now has 150 locations worldwide, with about half of them in the United States. These are franchised locations, meaning that they’re independently owned and operated. Still, the central organization does provide on-the-job training to its franchisees, along with proprietary software and a set of security and safety procedures. And these standards seem to have had a beneficial effect on the running of Nurse Next Door’s franchises, judging by the reviews left by current and former employees at job sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor.
Employees thought relatively highly of the company, and nearly 9 out of 10 employees at Glassdoor said that they would recommend the company as an employer to other caregivers. Notably, employees also offered consistent praise for management—though it should be said that due to the relatively small number of locations Nurse Next Door has franchised in the US, there are also relatively few employee reviews posted at these sites, so they may not be representative of the quality of your local office.
“I have never worked for a company that encourages their caregivers to go above and beyond for their clients! I would hire Nurse Next Door for my family members.”
“Great company with the right attitude towards making lives better. The culture that Nurse Next Door lives by should be inherited by all home health aide companies.”
“There is a great atmosphere of truly caring that every client gets the best care and great efforts made to make sure all shifts are covered.”
Services and Offerings
The first level of home care services is often referred to as companion care, and Nurse Next Door offers a full range of companion care services, from basic companionship to light housekeeping, to meal preparation, to transportation to medical appointments, personal errands, and social functions.
The next level of home care services is often called personal care: Nurse Next Door also offers a full range of personal care services, including help with feeding and toileting, hygiene assistance, and even some activities that fall under the heading of skilled nursing care, including medical support for those recovering from surgery or injuries.
Nurse Next Door’s proprietary approach to care focuses on helping the client reconnect with family and friends and with activities that bring them happiness. This approach focuses on travel and adventure (including day trips and virtual visits to more distant destinations), learning new skills, social outlets (including family and friends), and play.
Continuity of care: Nurse Next Door does its best to maintain continuity of care in order to reduce the stress of the client having to repeatedly become acquainted with a new caregiver. Round-the-clock care is taken on by a stable team of caregivers for the same reason.
Nurse Next Door also adheres to an exceptionally rigorous caregiver screening program. In addition to making sure that all caregivers are bonded and insured, franchises perform check references and perform background checks to ensure the caregivers have no criminal records. In addition, Nurse Next Door offers comprehensive training and continuing education to make sure that their caregivers are fully skilled and current in the best practices of home care.
Word on the Street
In order to find out more about local businesses, it’s sometimes useful to have a look at online reviews at sites like Yelp or Google. Such sites feature online reviews of home care agencies, but while it’s easy to find lots of reviews of a national company, you can’t be sure that the review you’re reading will give you any insight into the quality of your local home care franchise. If you look at enough reviews, however, it’s possible to get a broad view of the trends in quality and customer experiences across locations, and that can give you some sense of what to expect even though your local franchise is independently owned and operated.
In order to get that broad view, we surveyed 35 reviews of Nurse Next Door franchises around the country—a low number for us, but again an indication of the relatively low number of US locations franchised by the company. Nurse Next Door locations did quite well in these reviews—earning a weighted average of 4.9 out of 5 stars—and in addition, we noticed the following trends:
Caregivers Received a lot of Praise
Across the industry, positive caregiver reviews tend to outnumber negative reviews: this makes sense, because very few people become caregivers if they aren’t already interested in caring for people. Nurse Next Door scored right in line with its competitors in this regard: in the sample of reviews we surveyed, there were almost no reports of problems with caregivers, and many specific reports of their professionalism in providing care.
Staff in the Office
Especially for a company like Nurse Next Door, which prides itself on managing its clients’ cases and aims to provide consistent continuity of care, the quality of the administrative staff is crucial. In the reviews that we surveyed, Nurse Next Door’s office staff and administrative ability also came in for praise, with many reviewers specifically mentioning the owners of their local franchise for taking a personal interest and going the extra mile in caring for them or their loved ones.
Trust and Dependability
Reliability is also a crucial aspect of home care, and we look at reliability issues specifically as we survey online reviews. In this respect again, Nurse Next Door had a solid record: among their reviews, they scored a significant number of positive mentions of their caregivers’ dependability and initiative, with several family members of clients reporting that they felt they could rely on caregivers to provide needed care without prompting or asking.
“My Mom needed transportation to a new facility this past summer at the last minute and they were right there for me. My Mom has dementia and some other challenges and they knew how to work with her. Not only got her settled into her new home and made sure she was safe they checked in and visited for the next couple of weeks to be sure she was all set. I highly recommend this company – they take care of your loved one like they are family.”
“Throughout the time I used their services, I was always pleasantly surprised and pleased with the quality and care they provided. The personnel (without exception) were always a pleasure to be with…intelligent, personable, accommodating, caring, knowledgeable and professional…they knew (know) their business…and helped make my life and my wife’s that much easier under very trying conditions.”
“The Nurse Next Door team are professional and very well trained. I live 2 hours from my mother and my brother is about 40 minutes from her house; this agency has given us the peace of mind that mom is well taken care of while honoring her wishes to stay in her home and ‘age in place’.”
Nurse Next Door’s relatively small number of locations made it a little harder to find a representative sample of franchises in order to get a sense of how locations tend to price their services. And the rates home care agencies charge can vary based on the type of services required and the local cost of living. But we did reach out to a number offices around the country and found that, in comparison with local averages (as published in the Genworth Cost of Care study) Nurse Next Door’s pricing came in a little above their competitors in similar markets.
At the same time, Nurse Next Door does offer a free preliminary consultation in which the local office assesses the needs of the client, and, depending on the situation, may lower its hourly rate for clients requiring more hours of care per week.