IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Touching Hearts at Home Review
Best For: Companion Care | Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care | Transportation Services
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There are plenty of companies that address lower-level care for seniors, and such companies tend to separate themselves from the pack by offering additional services tailored to the needs of a specific set of clients. Touching Hearts at Home distinguishes itself through an excellent record in online reviews, but the company does also provide some specialized services: in particular, the company offers Alzheimer’s and dementia care, a dedicated senior transportation service, and a house monitoring program that augments the company’s basic companion care by keeping the client’s family updated on their condition. With its record for quality and these specialized services, Touching Hearts at Home is a solid choice for those needing companion care for themselves or the seniors in their lives.
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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
Touching Hearts at Home Review
A lot of different types of services can fall under the heading of “home care,” including lower level services like basic companionship, transportation, and light housekeeping, up to more intensive help with activities of daily living like feeding, toileting, and hygiene. All of these services are geared toward one thing: helping seniors weather the challenges of aging while remaining in the homes and communities they love. Like many of its competitors in the home care industry, Touching Hearts at Home focuses mostly on lower-level companion care; nevertheless, the company’s franchised locations also provide transportation services and specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Touching Hearts at Home was founded in 1996 in Minneapolis, and after choosing to expand through franchising in 2007, the company has grown rather slowly–it now has around sixty franchised locations–making it one of the smaller home care companies in the US.
Of course, size is rarely a barrier to quality, especially since the home care industry is heavily franchised, and most local offices are independently owned and operated. Still, the quality of a company’s franchises often reflects on the quality of the company overall. For that reason it can be useful to get an inside look at how a company’s franchises operate. In order to get this inside look at Touching Hearts at Home, we surveyed employee review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor to see how Touching Hearts caregivers felt about their workplaces.
In terms of ratings, the company did quite well, with one of the highest averages of employee ratings among the companies we reviewed. In addition, nearly two-thirds of employees reviewing Touching Hearts at Glassdoor said that they’d recommend the company to other caregivers, a relatively high rate for the industry, and one which suggests that caregiver stability—always an issue in home care—might be less of a problem for Touching Hearts clients.
“Our Mom had severe dementia and our Dad (her caregiver) was no longer able to care for her the way he had in the past . . . Touching Hearts came to our immediate aid, as this was an emergency situation. They were very interested and concerned about their needs and expectations. Communication was top notch. They were able to place someone within 3 days.”
“I seriously don’t know what we would do without Touching Hearts. My mother has Alzheimers and at times can be challenging to be with. Touching Hearts has supported her and us with love and care and nothing but patience. I am beyond grateful and cannot thank them enough for helping us through this time of difficulty and emotional ups and downs. They have been amazing.”
“Touching Hearts has been a blessing for my Dad and our family for some time now. They really live up to the name. Trustworthy and caring are the first two words I think of to describe them. If you or a loved one needs help at home to remain independent, I highly recommend them.”
Services and Offerings
Touching Hearts at Home provides the full range of companion care services, including medication monitoring and help with maintaining prescriptions, help with housework, meal preparation, and basic companionship.
Not all home care agencies provide all the services that fall in the home care category, and while Touching Hearts isn’t alone in not providing higher level care options like help with feeding, toileting, dressing, and basic hygiene, it might not be the best choice for you If you’re in need of such services.
Alzheimer’s and dementia care:
Touching Hearts caregivers are trained specifically in dealing with clients struggling with dementia, and the company focuses on maintaining quality of life and preserving as much freedom as possible for the client while ensuring their health and safety.
Like a few other home care companies, Touching Hearts offers transportation assistance. This means a professional caregiver who will drive the client to various destinations, including the airport, social occasions, entertainment events, and even personal care appointments—a useful addition to care offerings, especially for seniors who live at a distance from friends and family.
Communication with loved ones who are concerned about a client’s care is a particular challenge for many home care companies, but Touching Hearts’ suite of house monitoring services is dedicated to helping friends and family keep tabs on a senior living alone. With this approach, Touching Hearts takes special care to notify the client’s team about the types and extent of activities the client engages in, and lets them know about any changes in the client’s health. In addition, the house monitoring program makes caregivers available to oversee home maintenance and to monitor the safety of the home environment.
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Word on the Street
As mentioned above, Touching Hearts at Home operates as a franchise, with each individual local office independently owned and operated. It’s crucial to keep this in mind as you look into your local office, because your local owner/operator can make a huge difference in the quality of care provided (making it essential, too, to get references and get in touch personally with current clients).
National companies do, however, exert some influence over their franchises, steering their hiring practices and their security and safety procedures, and providing training to franchise owners. For that reason, trends across franchises can sometimes give clients and their families an idea of what to expect from their local office. In order to get a sense of these trends, we surveyed more than 100 online customer reviews of Touching Hearts locations, and found that the company came out very well, with a weighted average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5, and with the following trends apparent:
Deep appreciation for caregivers: Across the industry, most reviewers express appreciation for their caregivers. Regardless of the company they work for, the vast majority of caregivers do the work they do because they want to help people. Even so, Touching Hearts caregivers stand out, with almost no clients expressing disappointment or unhappiness with their caregivers among the reviews we tallied.
Office staff and administration: Among over 100 reviews, we only encountered a couple that had a problem with the office staff or administration they worked with. At the same time, many administrators came in for specific praise for their management of the client’s care and for being accessible to people concerned about the care being received by their loved ones.
Trust and dependability: In a similar vein, the reviews we tallied had very few complaints—and plenty of compliments—for the trust and dependability of Touching Hearts’ caregivers, with several reviewers mentioning how they could rely on their caregivers to take on tasks without direction and relatively few clients expressing dissatisfaction with their caregivers’ punctuality or ability to do the work required.
“Touching Hearts cares about its employees’ happiness as much as their clients’ well being. Great place to work.”
“They are truly caring, flexible, kindhearted, and offer you hours and clients that match the caregivers based on location, availability, and even personality and interests!
A great job all around!”
“I have been with Touching Hearts for over 2 years and I love this company! The management are friendly, professional, and very accommodating with flexible hours. My co-workers are great and take their compassion to the highest level. The hardest part of my job is when I have to leave when my shift is over, as you become attached to the person you are caring for. Overall I gave Touching Hearts a five star rating as it really deserves it!”
Since Touching Hearts locations are independently owned, each office can also set the rates they charge for care (though some will have to do so in line with state regulations). These rates can vary from location to location depending on the local cost of living and whether the location is in a rural or urban area, and can vary among clients at a location depending on the type of care the clients need. Even so, we reached out to a sampling of locations in order to find out if there were any trends among the rates they charged, and compared their rates with the local median rates as listed in the Genworth Cost of Care survey.
Based on this effort we found that, on average, Touching Hearts tended to charge slightly less than their competitors, though they were still very much in the normal range. Locations also had a little variation in terms of policies, with some requiring minimum visits of two to three hours, but all of them offering a free initial consultation to allow potential clients to get a sense of the company and get some advance notice of the rates the local office was likely to charge.