Is Senior Helpers a Legitimate Organization?

Is Senior Helpers a legitimate organization?

Senior Helpers offers in-home help to seniors. The company has franchise offices in cities across America. Is it a legitimate organization? Would I hire them for my mother if she were still alive? Would I hire them for husband or myself?

Some Senior Helpers locations have great reputations. Some have terrible reputations. Franchise operators own individual Senior Helpers offices. Whether Senior Helpers will work for your situation is going to depend on which office you call. I will show you how to rate your local Senior Helpers office for your needs.

Note: I listed all web references at the end of this article.

What Do Senior Helpers Caregivers Do?

Senior Helpers has several programs for different senior needs. A few are not for in-home seniors, but for help at hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

Senior Helpers “Companion Care Service”

The human need for company and companionship isn’t a simple emotional concern.

Loneliness is as dangerous as smoking. Both are associated with an early death.

Caregivers providing the non-medical Companion Care service give social and logistical help to the senior at home.

Children often coordinate Companion Care for parents who refuse to acknowledge their need for company.

Companion Services include enjoying hobbies together. The caregiver and client might watch sports and news; play games; or just sit and talk.

Caregivers also go shopping with their clients. They might walk the dog, make a meal, or pick up groceries and medicine.

Children hiring Senior Helpers for Companion Care should inquire about the Home Safety Evaluation. Fall prevention is one of the best ways to keep parents in good health.

Senior Helpers “Personal Care Service”

With Personal Care service, you get help with the “activities of daily living.”

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The only medical service included is helping to get the medications taken at the right time. Otherwise, this is a non-medical care service.

Helpers assist clients with the basic living tasks such as these:

  • bathing
  • eating
  • taking meds
  • going to the bathroom
  • walking

Senior Helpers “Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Service”

Senior Helpers’ services range from helping you wash to helping you remember. The Dementia service assists people with the following symptoms:

  • memory loss
  • cognitive impairments
  • unable to perform daily activities
  • medication monitoring

The service tailors the assistance to the patient’s needs. All Dementia Care Service providers are supposed to create a supportive environment for the dementia patient. They concentrate on what the senior can still do, such as listening to music that the patient remembers.

The Senior GEMS® service is an advanced, more comprehensive program to help dementia patients. Senior Helpers based its GEMS® service on Positive Approach, LLC and its founder, Teepa Snow.

Senior Helpers is offering a free “Senior Gems® Strategy for Care Wheel” in exchange for your contact information. The link is at the bottom of this article.

Strategies include:

  • social interaction
  • brain stimulation therapy
  • reminiscence therapy

Senior Helpers “Parkinson’s Care Service”

Caregivers specializing in Parkinson’s care help patients work around roadblocks.

Caregivers help patients with these concerns:

  • disease education
  • mobility
  • movement
  • cognitive
  • behavioral
  • safety
  • fall prevention
  • diet
  • nutrition
  • medication timing
  • medication management
  • exercise
  • mobility
  • strength
  • balance
  • adjustments over time

The agency you hire will do an initial and then periodic assessments. They will change the care protocol based on the latest findings.

Senior Helpers gives away a Parkinson’s “care wheel” and a Parkinson’s education video in exchange for your contact information.

The links for both are in the References section at the bottom of this article.

Senior Helpers “Transitional Care Service”

The Transitional Care Service is for people coming home from hospital and rehabilitation facilities.

The Transition Care Service is both a safety and a medical coordination plan.

Senior Helpers says they developed “Staying Home Safe®” to help seniors safely recuperate from medical procedures.

The Transitional Care service includes working with doctors, nurses and medical offices to coordinate follow-up care.

The post-procedure time is particularly difficult. There’s more pain and less mobility than usual.

This is when the Transitional caregiver works with the senior and/or the children to create a plan of care.

Services can include:

  • coordination with healthcare professionals
  • helping get medications
  • making sure medications are taken at the right time
  • transportation to appointments
  • food shopping
  • nutrition counseling
  • meal preparation

More Senior Helpers Services

Aside from the above plans, Senior Helpers also offers these services:

  • Surgery Assistance: for help at the surgical and rehabilitation facilities
  • Chronic Disease Care: for help with non-medical chores associated with diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other chronic conditions.
  • End-of-Life Support Care: for emotional support at the hospice or home death bed
  • Respite Care: to relieve the primary caregiver for a week or two. This is the Personal Care service described above.
  • LIFE Profile: a coordinated assessment of the client’s safety and quality of life to help decide if the patient is safe at home.

Senior Helpers Employees

Senior Helpers sends out employees with different levels of training.

The employee’s qualifications and training will depend on the franchise staff available and your specific needs.

Senior Helpers franchise owners hire both certified and uncertified employees. Medical certifications they hire include the following types:

  • CNA (certified nursing assistant)
  • LVN/LPN (licensed vocational nurse/licensed practical nurse)
  • RN (registered nurse).

Each office has its own mix of talent. Therefore, it is important when hiring this service to ask: “What certifications does this caregiver have? What services can I expect to receive?”

These questions will significantly help you get the right care.

Below you can see some questions from the Senior Helpers’ employment application. Some employees will have certifications and licenses, and some will not.

Senior Helpers ApplicationMeaning
Authorization to workRight of non-US citizen to work in the US
Background checkCriminal background report
Car InsuranceCar liability coverage
Chest X-RayLimited license to perform chest x-rays
CNA LicenseCertified Nursing Assistant
CPR CertificationAmerican Red Cross Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training
Direct DepositOwns a bank account
Driver’s LicenseHas a driving privilege
First Aid CertificationAmerican Red Cross, National Safety Council, and American Heart Association training in emergency medical treatment
GEMS TrainingGeriatric Training for Emergency Medical Services
HHA CertificationNational Association for Home Care & Hospice Home Health Aid
LVN/LPN CertificationLicensed Vocational Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse
MVR Record (Annual)Department of Motor Vehicles Motor Vehicle Record
Name TagPinnable identification
PassportRight to travel out of the U.S.
Performance EvaluationPrevious employer review
Registered NurseTop-level nursing certification. LVN, LPN and CNA report to RN’s.
State ID Card“Real ID” driver’s license or ID card
Tuberculosis TestTest clearing potential employee of disease

Senior Helpers at Home

Not all Senior Helpers services are for people in their homes.

The “Surgery Assistance Service,” for instance, sends out caregivers to surgery centers, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. It’s not a post-op care program for recuperating at home. It’s a post-op care and advocate program for the time you’re still at medical facilities.

How I Rated Senior Helpers

I gathered reviews from Senior Helpers customers and employees. Reviews varied from glowing to horrible. Two patterns emerged right away:

  • The quality of service is dependent on the office you choose
  • The Senior Helpers employees make a poverty wage

Senior Helper Employee Reviews on Indeed

Two hundred twelve Senior Helpers employees wrote reviews on the Indeed job-seeking website. This is how it broke down:

  • 92 5 star reviews
  • 60 4 star reviews
  • 32 3 star reviews
  • 12 2 star reviews
  • 16 5 star reviews

There were 152 4-star and 5-star reviews out of a total of 212 entries. So 72% of all Indeed employee reviews were positive. They liked:

  • the work-life balance
  • the senior management
  • the company culture

 

 28% of the Indeed website employee reviews gave Senior Helpers an average to bad rating. They disliked:

  • the pay
  • the benefits
  • the job security
  • the advancement opportunities

Senior Helper Employee Reviews on Glass Door

Glass Door has 97 Senior Helpers employee reviews from current and former employees. These reviewers give Senior Helpers a 3.8 out of 5, with more five star reviews than any other value. So 76% gave Senior Helpers positive reviews. They liked Senior Helpers for these aspects:

  • its culture
  • its values
  • its work-life balance
  • its management
  • its career opportunities

24% of the Glass Door reviews showed dislike for Senior Helpers. They disliked the compensation.

Employees left mostly positive comments, such as:

  • “Employer with Integrity”
  • Wonderful place to work.”

Extreme Senior Helpers Chicago Office Customer Reviews on Yelp

The Chicago Senior Helpers franchise seems to be excellent with a few bad apples.

Customers left both glowing and angry reviews for the Senior Helpers Chicago franchise.

The majority of reviews praised this office for its excellent help. 90% of the reviews were positive.

“Thank you 70 times over,” wrote “Ruthie, Jonathan, & Jonathan et al.”

“Communication via phone, email and text was always precise and timely,” wrote another happy customer.

Unfortunately, the negative reviews are powerful, too.

“They stole money using my father’s credit card,” wrote one reviewer.

Out of ten Yelp reviews of the Chicago Senior Helpers, nine are positive and seriously grateful for the help received.

Glowing Reviews for Senior Helpers of Fairfax, VA on Rate a Biz

Fifteen customers rated the Fairfax, VA Senior Helpers office on Rate a Biz.

Glowing appreciation included a 5 out of 5 star review.

“Excellent Services; Excellent Caregivers,” they wrote.

“Senior Helpers of Fairfax, VA is an organization that is both professional and caring,” wrote another son, this time the son of a 95-year-old mother needing assistance.

Reviews included praise including:

  • Reliable
  • Professional
  • Wonderful
  • Helpful
  • Excellent
  • Top Quality
  • Awesome

Senior Helpers Madison, WI Customer Reviews on the BBB Site

The Better Business Bureau has accredited the Madison, WI Senior Helpers franchise since 2012.

BBB gives this office an A+ rating. There are no complaints or reviews on the BBB site.

Abysmal Employee Pay Rates Revealed on Payscale

The website Payscale states that Senior Helpers CNA (certified nursing assistants) receive $10.81 per hour in compensation.

This means that a CNA working 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year makes $21,620 a year.

That’s barely a living wage, according to the MIT University “Living Wage Calculator.”

Negative Senior Helpers Employee Reports Posted on Unhappy Franchisee

Scores of Senior Helpers employees posted negative reviews on the website Unhappy Franchisee.

These reviewers are specifically critical of Senior Helpers franchises in these locations:

  • Pennsylvania (town not mentioned)
  • Greenacres, Florida
  • Hernando County, Florida
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • North Palm Beach, Florida
  • Groves, Missouri
  • Granada Hills, California
  • Charles, Missouri
  • Round Rock, Texas
  • Napa, California

Reviewers detailed unethical and chaotic working scenarios they endured:

“They are very unprofessional.”

“Senior Helpers is a joke!”

Claims included Senior Helpers over billing customers and under paying caregivers.

Glowing Customer Reviews for Senior Helpers in Winter Park, FL on Angie’s List

Several Winter Park, Florida Senior Helpers’ customers used Angie’s List to write glowing reviews.

Going back to 2009, there are 37 total reviews published.

Thirty-three rate Senior Helpers with an “A” on a scale of A to F, which is an 89% positive rating.

The reviewers thank the caregivers for help parents with problems such as:

  • dementia
  • Parkinson’s
  • hearing loss
  • mobility issues
  • MRSA infection
  • kidney disease

Reviews included heartfelt descriptions including:

  • well trained
  • caring
  • compassionate
  • attentive
  • loving
  • licensed
  • reliable
  • pleasant
  • hardworking

One daughter said: “The caregivers are very attentive to Mom’s needs and have bonded beautifully with her.”

Another said: “Her presence lifts the spirits of my mother each day that she arrives.”

Our Opinion of Senior Helpers

Senior Helpers does appear to be a legitimate organization that genuinely cares about its senior clients.

The majority of the employee and customer reviews are positive, some to the point of glowing with gratitude.

There are two problem areas to watch for:

  1. Does the office you’re contacting have a good reputation?
  2. Does the office pay the caregiver paid a reasonable wage?

Senior Helpers reviews are generally all or nothing. People really like the agency, or they really don’t.

The ones who don’t like the agency feel that management doesn’t care about them or their senior customers.

So the single most important consideration when hiring a Senior Helpers caregiver is the local office’s reputation.

Search for “Senior Helpers reviews” and the name of your local franchise’s city. See if employees or customers have given feedback you can use.

If you do have a problem, find another agency. The majority of Senior Helpers agencies do appear to be excellent caregivers. Acknowledge that some are bad, and move on to a better one should the first one not work out. Once you do find a good Senior Helpers agency, changes are — based on internet reviews I have reported here — you will have a good experience.

People Also Ask

Does my mother qualify for home healthcare? One of the best resources for children looking for home help for their parents is Phil Moeller’s articles on the PBS News Hour website. Find out what Phil has to say about whether your mother qualifies for home healthcare here.

References

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About Caroline Bogart

Hello. My name is Caroline Bogart. I am a programmer, writer, and web developer. I build free websites for animal rescues. I was once featured in the Boston Globe. I am obssessed ways to avoid falling, saying mobile, and aging in place.

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