IN-HOME CARE REVIEW
Updated for January, 2020
Visiting Angels Review
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Visiting Angels Home Care offers a full spectrum of companion and personal care, as well as specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, for seniors at the end of life, and for family caregivers who need a break from their duties. For those looking for a broad spectrum of care in order to ensure continuity throughout the aging process, Visiting Angels is a good bet.
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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
Visiting Angels Review
“Aging in place” is a new trend in senior living in which older people and their families work to keep the senior in his or her home for as long as possible—often by remodeling the home to make it more accessible, but also by hiring people to assist the senior on tasks ranging from housekeeping and meal preparation on up to help with feeding and hygiene. The companies that offer such services are generally known as home care agencies, and they can often allow an older person to remain in the home and community that they’re accustomed to. Visiting Angels is one such home care agency, and it has a good track record of providing quality assistance to seniors in need.
Visiting Angels Home Care was founded in 1992, and began to expand through franchising in 1998. And it certainly has expanded: the company boasts close to 600 locations in the US, giving it one of the widest geographic reaches among US home care agencies. Because Visiting Angels has grown through franchising—a common approach in the home care industry—each individual location is independently owned and operated. Still, the national company provides training to its owners and also sets standards for its franchises, so it does exert some influence. And this influence seems to have paid off, at least among those who know the company best: in 2017, an industry-wide survey of companion care workers, home health aides, and others working in home care found Visiting Angels the Best Place to Work based on employee feedback.
This recognition is supported by Visiting Angels’ performance at the employee rating sites Glassdoor and Indeed, where the company’s ratings were pretty much in line with its competitors in the home care industry. In addition, three out of five employees who posted reviews at Glassdoor said that they’d recommend the company to their peers looking for work—a higher percentage than many companies, and a sign that, depending on the location, employee turnover could be less of a factor than it sometimes is in home care.
“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
As mentioned above, Visiting Angels offers a full range of companion services, including medication reminders, meal planning, incidental transportation, help with shopping, and other forms of lower-level practical assistance.
Visiting Angels also offers a suite of personal care services for clients who need help with the activities of daily living, including help with feeding and toileting, help with mobility around the home, help with bathing and other aspects of hygiene, and other higher-level tasks.
Alzheimer’s and End-of-Life Care
Visiting Angels also provides specialized care for those with memory impairments, care aimed at helping the client remain in the comforting, familiar home environment while keeping them as independent as possible and preserving their health and safety. In a similar vein, the company offers specialized care for those approaching the end of life—care focused on preserving the client’s comfort while at the same time providing help to family caregivers dealing with this stressful time.
Visiting Angels offices are specifically prepared to help those seeking care for a loved one living in another part of the country. Their long distance caregiving approach focuses on streamlining the process by which local caregivers can be enlisted for clients who may not have support in their community. This approach also includes regular updates on the senior’s health and well-being and drop-ins and check-in calls by management to ensure that the client is doing well when unattended by a caregiver.
Visiting Angels’ Ready-Set-Go Home program focuses on helping seniors successfully transition from a hospital or other care facility back into the home. The program, which begins during hospitalization, uses education and clear communication with the client’s health care providers to reduce the likelihood that the client will need to be readmitted.
Life Care Navigation
With so many programs addressing so many aspects of aging, Visiting Angels can address a broad range of needs as the client gets older. The company’s Life Care Navigation approach means that caregivers address the unique requirements of each part of the aging process while at the same time keeping the client in his or her home.
Word on the Street
Visiting Angels has hundreds of locations, and each one is run as an independently owned and operated franchise of the national company. This isn’t unusual: franchising is the standard model in the US home care industry. It can, however, be tough to get a sense of a franchised company through online reviews, since reviews of other locations may not reflect on your local office, and your local office may not have enough reviews online to get a read on the quality of their care. One answer to this dilemma is to make personal contact with your local office and ask for references and for the opportunity to speak with current clients. Another solution is to look at a broad cross-section of online reviews to see if any trends stand out across locations.
We had a look at over 100 online reviews of Visiting Angels offices, reviews posted by customers at a wide selection of locations. We found that, overall, Visiting Angels locations were very much on par with their competitors in the home care industry, with a weighted average rating of 4.2 out of 5. We also noted the following trends:
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People Appreciated Their Caregivers
As is common throughout the industry, Visiting Angels clients appreciated the help and care they received from the company’s front-line employees, with many reviewers recounting specifics about their caregivers and why they were happy with the care they received. Among the reviews we tallied, only one expressed any disappointment with the staff who came into the client’s home.
Office Staff and Administration
Home care clients tend to be less impressed with office staff, however, and this was as true for Visiting Angels as it is for the rest of the industry. Many reviewers expressed appreciation for the owners of their local location and for how the staff approached their loved one’s care with professionalism and a customer-oriented approach, but a few called out management for poor communication and a lack of responsiveness to emerging needs or care issues.
Trust and Dependability
Across the industry, issues with scheduling tend to plague local home care offices: home care delivery is a complex business, and this complexity can lead to missed shifts and late arrivals. Again, Visiting Angels was on a par with its competitors, with a few clients expressing complaints about their caregivers’ lack of punctuality and about problems arranging their schedule with the local office—problems that led to worries about the reliability of the front-line employees sent to the home.
“The Visiting Angels were not just my aunt’s caregivers, they were mine too. I honestly do not know what I would have done without them. They made our family feel safe and jumped through hoops to do whatever we needed whenever we needed it.”
“This is a top notch agency! Completely reliable and dependable . . . We have worked with several of their caregivers and have never had one we didn’t absolutely love. There is not one negative thing I could say about their caregivers or the agency. Everyone always shows up on time and ready to work. I absolutely love the Visiting Angels!”
“Visiting Angels has allowed me to stay at home. The staff has been very polite, kind, hard working, and great companions.”
Rates for care in the home care industry can vary significantly from location to location. Urban areas tend to see higher rates than rural areas, for example. And even among clients at a single location, rates can vary depending on the type and amount of care needed. Still, in order to get a sense of what sorts of rates are charged by Visiting Angels franchises, we contacted a sample and found that their hourly rates were pretty much in line with other companies in the area as indicated by the Genworth Cost of Care Study. In addition, Visiting Angels helps families and clients to make informed decisions about their care, including the type of care needed and the likely cost, by offering free initial visits and consultations.