IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Senior Helpers Review
Best For: Personal And Companion Care | Health Maintenance | Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care | Assistance With Transitions Of Care Care
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Not everyone who needs home care needs all of the services that fall into the home care category. Many seniors only need help with particular things, and may only need help sporadically. Many seniors also only need help with lower-level care in order to maintain their independence. For that reason, some companies tailor their services to focus on lower level care and also offer more flexible care options in order to better meet their clients’ needs. Senior Helpers is one such company, and focuses on basic companion and personal care services (and health maintenance and other even less intensive care options), making them a solid choice for people who are largely independent and looking for specific forms of help.
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- Medication reminders
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and prep
- Social escort services
- Mobility assistance
- Pre- and post-operation assistance
- Respite care
- Live-in care
Senior Helpers Review
No one moves into a retirement home or assisted living facility immediately upon reaching their retirement years, but these days more and more people are putting off such a move for as long as possible, choosing to stay in their own homes. The aging process can put obstacles in the way of such an approach, however, threatening a senior’s preferred lifestyle and the independence they desire. In order to overcome such challenges, home care companies like Senior Helpers provide caregivers that can help seniors maintain their independence for much longer, offering assistance with day-to-day tasks so that their clients can stay in their homes for weeks, months, or years into the future.
Based in Maryland and founded in 2001, Senior Helpers has been growing through franchising since 2005, and now has a substantial national presence with over 275 franchised locations. Each location is independently owned and operated, meaning that the quality of care at one location may not necessarily reflect the quality of care at another. Still, the central organization does influence operations at its franchises through things like establishing security and safety procedures, site selection, and on-the-job training of franchise owners. For that reason, it can be helpful to get an overview—and an inside look—at the company’s national operations to get clues about what one can expect from their local office.
In order to get that perspective, we turned to employment sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, and surveyed the reviews left there by current and former Senior Helpers employees. We found that Senior Helpers was pretty much on a par with its competitors in the industry, with ratings in the middle range, and just over half of the reviewers saying that they’d recommend the company to their peers seeking work.
Services and Offerings
Senior Helpers offers a full complement of lower-level home care services, including companionship and medication reminders, light housekeeping and laundry, meal planning and preparation, help with shopping and other errands, and transportation.
Personal care: As people grow older they often need help with day-to-day tasks such as grooming and bathing, eating and toileting, and other basic activities. Senior Helpers also offers assistance with these tasks, and can help with mobility around the home and provide care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The company also offers care for those preparing for, or recovering from, surgery. Depending on the location, Senior Helpers can provide these services on a live-in or respite basis.
Senior Helpers offers care plans customized to the particular needs of the client, offering services in proportion to the client’s true needs. While locations do tend to charge a higher hourly rate for shorter visits, the company does not require a minimum visit length and makes shorter visits available around the clock, allowing the client to be more selective about their care schedule.
Senior Helpers also highlights its availability for seniors residing in or moving into senior living communities, providing a customized care plan for those who want a more personal touch, or who live in a facility that doesn’t offer the companion and personal care services they want. Concierge care can include move-in help and support for those on waiting lists, and can come as short-term services for people needing the most basic help.
Some seniors may decide they don’t need regular home care assistance, but may have family members concerned about their well-being and general health. For clients and families in such a position, some Senior Helpers locations offer a twice-a-month wellness check program in which caregivers visit with seniors to check on their health, provide companionship if needed, and report back to families and friends.
“I love my job. Being able to care for clients in the comfort of their own homes couldn’t be any more rewarding. You develop such a bond and close relationship with the clients and their families. I feel like family, and did I forget to mention the office staff are amazing!! They are very professional and considerate of their employees and clients.”
“By far the best management I’ve ever worked under, and my coworkers were the best! Everyone is so involved and caring about each other person employed by Senior Helpers. My clients were AMAZING and the staff were even more spectacular! Definitely a WONDERFUL PLACE TO WORK!”
“Absolutely the best home companion\home health care company on the East End. The owner/bosses are very hands on, meeting every client with a full assessment before sending a companion/caregiver that fits well with the needs of the client.”
Word on the Street
Most home care companies operate as franchises, and Senior Helpers is no exception. This means that each individual branch is independently owned and operated, and the quality of care at one location may not be an indicator of the quality at the next. It’s important to do some research about your local office, ask for references, and ideally, try to talk to current clients, before turning to them for services. At the same time, getting a representative sample of consumer reviews from around the country can help to identify trends in a particular company’s franchises. We surveyed over 100 reviews from a sampling of locations around the country and found that Senior Helpers came out about average among its competitors in the home care industry, earning them a weighted average rating of 4.4 out 5 stars. We also noticed the following trends.
Praise for frontline employees: Among the reviews we surveyed we found that most of them offered specific praise for caregivers, and expressed satisfaction with both the quality of their care and the compassion they showed their clients. Analyzing a sample of the reviews, we found no complaints about caregivers, suggesting that Senior Helpers locations have had no problem satisfying its clients in this regard.
Office staff and administration: In home care, the quality of the office staff that manages caregivers and the care they provide is second only to the quality of the caregivers in importance. Senior Helpers also got good feedback about their office staff, with clients reporting relatively few of the problems with scheduling or poorly matched providers that sometimes plague home care agencies. Some clients even mentioned by name the owners of the franchises they worked with, singling them out for their involvement in their care.
Trust and dependability: Especially for family members, it’s essential that a company be a reliable source of trouble-free care. Senior Helpers did fairly well in this regard, though there were one or two reports of problems, particularly with caregiver turnover, which happened more often than some clients would have liked.
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“Senior Helpers have done a wonderful job of helping us care for our mother. They have provided professional and caring helpers as well as helping with challenging scheduling issues. We have worked with two other companies that did not perform well, Senior Helpers is definitely a huge step above these other providers.”
“Senior Helpers has been a wonderful help and support for me for the last two years as I have been caring for my wife who has dementia. The caregivers that they have sent to assist me and help my wife have all been courteous, well trained and caring. My experience has been that caregivers from Senior Helpers can establish rapport and calm anxiety quickly and effectively. The Senior Helper staff I found to be equally helpful and concerned about the well being of my wife.”
“My aunt’s nursing company suggested we use Senior Helpers after her RN and PT were discontinued by her doctor. I am so grateful that they did! So far I have met 3 helpers and liked all of them. The services start with a manager coming to the house to interview your family and review the needs and personality of your loved one. [A case manager] came to the house and was Fantastic! She is a certified dementia specialist and gave information not only on the company but about dementia and talked with us about what to expect in the course of the disease . . . She matched us with an aide that never ceases to go above and beyond.”
Like most home care agencies, Senior Helpers works as a franchise, with each location independently owned and operated. And when it comes to costs, there are a lot of variables that can go into what a local office charges, including local regulations, the local cost of living, and the type and quantity of care that the client is likely to need. At the same time, taking a look at a representative sample of locations across the country can give a consumer an idea of what to expect before contacting a company about providing care.
Based on a survey of a number of Senior Helpers locations selected from around the country, we found that the company’s franchises tended to charge a lower rate than its competitors in the same geographical region, based on comparing the price quotes we received with the information in the Genworth Cost of Care study. (As it happens, some clients in online reviews noted this, commenting on the reasonable rates charged by their local offices.) What’s more, in keeping with Senior Helpers’ flexible care approach, most of the locations we surveyed did not require a minimum visit length, allowing clients to tailor the price they paid to their actual care needs.