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The Best Senior Care Services

Where Can You Find the Best Resources for Senior Care?

Let's face it: as our loved ones get older (or as we do!), it can be hard finding the right resources for care. Most people resist the idea of going to an independent or assisted living facility, preferring instead to "age in place" . In fact, that's what two-thirds of Americans surveyed have said they plan to do, year after year.

There can be some challenges to making that happen. We all know that as we age, physical decline is to be expected: our balance falters, our memory gets a little fuzzy, and we may need to use the bathroom more often. Also, older people often struggle with daily tasks, like cooking and doing laundry, and they need someone to lend a hand from time to time.

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Senior Care Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Right at Home Review 5 Star Rating

Right at Home

5 Star Rating
  • Can provide both non-medical care and nursing services (depending on location)
  • 600+ locations nationwide and international
  • Free in-home consultation
  • Every caregiver undergoes a criminal background check and is bonded/insured
  • Caregiver shifts are verified through time sheets and internet-based solutions
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Right at Home was founded in Nebraska in 1995 and has expanded to 600+ franchise locations throughout the United States and seven other countries. Whether you need basic non-medical senior care, like medication reminders and meal prep, or your situation requires skilled nursing in the home, Right at Home has options that can help.

Excellent availability

While Right at Home doesn't come out and tell you where they do and don't have offices, we had no trouble finding senior care in both of our target zip codes: a suburb in a medium-sized metro area in the Southeast and a more rural area in the Midwest. For both of those locations, we were taken directly to the page for the office near us and could reach out right away. So, chances are good that there's a Right at Home franchise near you too.

Very easy to set up care

The process for establishing care through Right at Home is pretty standard and uncomplicated. Once you've identified the office in your location, you can either make a phone call or fill out the information in the online form (if you'd like them to have some details before you talk on the phone). The initial call will go over what kind of care you're looking for, answer any questions you may have, and set up a time for a free in-home consultation.

Individualized care plan

That visit will allow Right at Home to create an individualized care plan and to start the process of matching you with the right caregiver. All caregivers undergo an extensive screening process that includes a criminal background check and calling personal and professional references. Caregivers are also bonded and insured.

Best Senior Care Services

Visits are verified

One way that Right at Home stood out in our evaluation of senior care providers is their verification of caregiver visits. Not only does the company use basic time sheets filled out by the caregiver, but they also use several internet-based solutions to verify their time and attendance. If you ever want written verification of those care services, you can request them at any time.

Peace of mind

Given that some rival senior care providers have gotten complaints about visits that never happened, we love to see that Right at Home takes this step to give people peace of mind that the care is actually taking place. And, like some of our other high-ranking senior care services, Right at Home has supervisors visit periodically to make sure that clients are satisfied with the care they're receiving.

Impeccable reputation

Right at Home's reputation is phenomenal, starting with an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau. Many of their franchise locations earn Home Care Pulse's Best of Home Care Awards for categories including top senior care provider, top employer, and a leader in experience and training. But, what means more to us is the feedback we found from individuals, families, and even senior communities who would recommend Right at Home every time. Across the board, people say that their experience with senior care delivered by Right at Home providers is compassionate, reliable, flexible, and skilled. We encourage you to check out the feedback for the franchise office in your location and see for yourself.

#1 choice for senior care

If we were looking for senior care for our own loved ones, Right at Home would be the first call we'd make. Their service area is one of the largest we've found, and their commitment to both caregivers and clients is remarkable. Be sure to consider Right at Home when deciding which senior care provider is right for you.

Visiting Angels Review 4.5 Star Rating

Visiting Angels

4.5 Star Rating
  • Non-medical care available including companionship, grooming, dressing, toileting, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and errands
  • Free in-home consultation
  • All caregivers undergo a comprehensive background and criminal history check
  • Caregiving process is monitored with frequent phone calls and supervisor home visits
  • All agencies are licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Can interview any caregiver prior to the start of services
  • Can cancel services with two weeks' notice; can make permanent schedule changes with one-week's notice
  • Caregivers can use "Caregiver University" to get advanced training for specific conditions
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 1998

For more than 20 years, Visiting Angels has been providing in-home care to elderly adults. The company has over 600 franchised locations nationwide (plus even more in the UK, South Korea, and Mexico), offering a variety of non-medical services like Alzheimer's and dementia care, companionship, light housekeeping, and much more.

Free consultation

You can take advantage of a free in-home consultation from the Visiting Angels staff in your location: just enter your zip code to see the office serving your area. The consultation will include an assessment of the client's needs, the living situation, and a discussion about which services would be needed and how often. We appreciate that Visiting Angels has a "Select Your Caregiver" policy, allowing all clients to interview any caregiver prior to starting services, and the ability to change caregivers if needed (allowing for an initial adjustment period, of course).

Double-check availability in your area

Because all Visiting Angels' locations are independent franchises supported by the company, availability can vary. For example, when looking at a zip code in the suburbs of a mid-sized metro area in the South, we had no trouble finding coverage for that location. On the other hand, for a slightly less urban area in the Midwest, the Visiting Angels location that came up for that zip code didn't list the town (or even the county) in the area of coverage. Either way, you'll need to reach out to start the process, which involves either an online form or a call to the general toll-free number for Visiting Angels. We'd prefer to be given the direct number for the senior care location nearest us, but it is what it is.

Best Senior Care Services

Caregivers can access training as needed

Visiting Angels also gives their caregivers access to the "Caregiver University" . If they need specialized training for conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or dementia, it's available on demand to help them better care for their clients.

1-week notice to change, 2-week notice to cancel

While you're not obligated to a long-term commitment when you sign up for senior care through Visiting Angels, you do have to give two weeks' notice to cancel your service altogether. If you're just making a permanent schedule change, the company only requires one week's notice.

Caregivers are vetted and monitored

How about safety? Like any reliable senior care service, Visiting Angels performs a comprehensive background and criminal history check before a caregiver is hired. The agency is licensed, bonded, and insured for additional peace of mind. We were also glad to learn that they also monitor the caregiving process, with supervisors making home visits and calling clients to make sure everything is going well. That's a much-needed inclusion for senior care, given that complaints about other services often mention a lack of supervision and accountability for caregiver performance.

Best Senior Care Services

Caregivers and clients love Visiting Angels

And reputation? We have zero concerns when it comes to Visiting Angels. Of course, any company that has independently-operated franchises can vary by location, in terms of the care given and the quality of the experience, but overall it's clear that Visiting Angels expects its caregivers to offer kind, compassionate, and reliable senior care - and that those caregivers deliver.

More than 2,000 customer reviews

Across nearly 2,000 reviews left for this agency, reflecting the experience of clients nationwide, the average was an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars. Clients say that the carers are compassionate and reliable, and caregivers say that the company treats them well. We were particularly pleased to see feedback from both employees and customers who have been with Visiting Angels for 5+ years. Add that to the "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and it's easy to see why this senior care provider ranks so highly among the companies in our evaluation.

Excellent choice for senior care

If you're fortunate enough to have a Visiting Angels office near you, we recommend that you make reaching out to them one of your first steps when arranging for senior care. The company is committed to top-notch help, hiring excellent caregivers and keeping them around for a long time. Visiting Angels is one of our favorite resources for non-medical senior care nationwide.

Home Instead Review 4 Star Rating

Home Instead

4 Star Rating
  • World's largest home care franchise network: 1,200 locations around the world, 100,000+ clients and families
  • Available services include personal care, nurse-directed care, hospice support and more (depending on location)
  • Free care consultation
  • All caregivers are carefully screened, background checked, and insured
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

If you're looking for the largest home care franchise network - and one that also delivers excellent senior care, of course - Home Instead should be your first phone call. In operation since 1994 and partnered with the Honor brand, this company has more than 1,200 locations worldwide. More than 100,000 clients and families benefit from the services offered by Home Instead at any given time.

Many kinds of services on offer

All caregivers hired through Home Instead have been carefully screened and background checked, then insured. What can they do for you? Depending on where you live, you may have access to these Home Instead services:

  • Personal Care: assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, and so on
  • Nurse-Directed Care: medication management, glucose checks, wound care
  • Hospice Support
  • Meal Prep and Housework
  • Transportation
  • Companionship

Care available in many locations

To arrange for senior care, your first step is to enter your zip code and find the Home Instead location serving your area. We tested two locations, one in the suburbs of a mid-range metro area in the Southeast and another in a more rural area about an hour from two larger cities - and we were very pleased to find franchise offices serving both areas. Take some time to explore the website of your local office: it may include details about the management team at that location or even client reviews. For our first location, its website displayed over 300 ratings and comments from clients, averaging almost 5 out of 5 stars (and we love that).

Get into the specifics

You can then reach out via phone or fill in the online inquiry form to start the process. The phone call will go over what you're looking for in senior care. Some locations can provide both nurse-directed and non-medical care, while others specialize just in the latter. That's also when you can get more specifics about the service in your area.

Best Senior Care Services

Services vary depending on where you live

For instance, in the rural zip code, we found out that they had a minimum number of 12 hours of care per week and a shift minimum of three hours - so we could have four days of three hours, three days of four hours, two days of six hours, you get the idea. There are no required contracts, and you can shift your service as needed, including pausing for a time (such as, if your loved one goes into the hospital for a while).

Great reputation for most office locations

Home Instead is "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau and all of the franchise locations we looked at had an equally positive reputation. One thing that stood out to us was that a senior residence in the rural area we researched recommended Home Instead very strongly: the director there said that all of the caregivers coming into their facility from this company are fantastic, and added that compared with other senior care agencies, Home Instead does a better job of retaining their care givers. That's very important.

A few franchise offices aren't as good

But, Home Instead is kept from earning our #1 spot because of a few franchise locations whose reviews didn't quite live up to that high standard. While most offices we looked at had gotten mostly 4- and 5-star client ratings, the overall ratings (which came from clients in multiple locations) often only averaged 3.9 stars: not terrible, but not what we would hope to see. That happens when you have any franchised business, but it was enough to stop Home Instead from moving into our top position over the competition.

Big network = options for most seniors

Still, as the largest senior care network in the world, Home Instead may come through for you when other providers can't - and in general, you can expect to get compassionate, high-quality care here. You may want to double-check the ratings for your particular location, but we have no problem recommending Home Instead as a solid option for senior care.

BrightStar Care Review 4 Star Rating

BrightStar Care

4 Star Rating
  • Can provide both non-medical and skilled nursing senior care
  • 365 office locations in 39 states
  • Joint Commission accreditation for many locations
  • Personalized care plan supervised by an RN, even for non-medical care
  • Full client oversight and comprehensive case management
  • All caregivers undergo in-depth interviews, background checks, drug screening, and licensing/certificate verification
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business for 20+ years

BrightStar Care offers in-home and in-facility help for people of all ages, and especially for seniors. In business for over 20 years, the company offers four kinds of help: home care, senior living communities, care homes, and medical staffing. There are approximately 365 franchised BrightStar offices in 39 states across the US.

See feedback specific to your location

One thing we really appreciate when searching for senior care on the BrightStar site is being able to go to a specific franchise's website, see the services offered, and best of all, read the client reviews for that office alone. With many franchised senior care companies, it can be tedious to try and sort out which reviews (if any) apply to a given location, but BrightStar makes that easy. Just be aware that it will depend on where you're looking for care: for example, when we looked at a second location in another state, we were only given a contact form and phone number, with not much detail about the senior care offered at that office or customer reviews.

Extensive caregiver screening

Another aspect of senior care at BrightStar that is noteworthy is their in-depth screening of caregivers. All applicants have to undergo detailed interviews, background checks and drug screenings, and verification of all licensing/certificates. That's one reason why the Joint Commission has accredited many individual BrightStar franchises: another great sign that this is a senior care provider you can trust.

Best Senior Care Services

All care designed and supervised by an RN

We're really impressed by the fact that every personal care plan implemented by BrightStar caregivers is developed and supervised by an RN - even if your loved one is only receiving non-medical assistance. Both types of care are available through BrightStar, and we think it shows an admirable commitment to clients to have all of it carefully planned and monitored by someone with medical expertise.

Plenty of praise from clients

It shouldn't be a surprise that BrightStar Care's overall reputation is excellent, given how much effort the company has put into what it offers. The Better Business Bureau gives BrightStar a perfect "A+" grade, and across multiple franchise locations, the ratings from clients are equally high. People say that their BrightStar caregivers were kind, attentive, and helpful, even when they needed to increase the care to round-the-clock service. Caregiver feedback for BrightStar isn't always as enthusiastic, but still averages about 3.5 out of 5 stars across 4000+ ratings. The most common complaints? Low pay and difficult clients.

Fantastic choice if it's available in your area

The only thing keeping BrightStar from being at the top of our list is availability: with franchises in only 39 states (and no list that we could find to say which states aren't included), there's still a good chance that their senior care wouldn't be an option for many people looking for it. Other than that, we really love everything that BrightStar stands for, and we encourage you to see if there's an office near you.

Home Helpers Review 4 Star Rating

Home Helpers

4 Star Rating
  • Services include personal care/companionship, nutrition/well-being, safety/24-hour monitoring, wellness calls
  • 225+ locations in 37 states
  • Free in-home assessment
  • All caregivers are extensively background checked, well-trained, and insured
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • More than 25 years of experience

From new moms to elderly patients recuperating from an illness, Home Helpers can be there to lend a hand. Since 1997, this company has been helping people be independent and comfortable right at home.

Coverage across 37 states

Home Helpers operates about 225 franchise offices in 37 states, so their services might not be available where you need senior care. But, finding out if there's a Home Helpers office in your area is quick and easy: just enter your zip code and see the list of results. But, be aware that the franchises on that list might not serve your actual location.

Check your zip code and coverage map

For example, when we entered the zip code of a suburb in a metro area in the Southeast, we were given several options that were in neighboring areas - but none of the coverage maps included the well-populated suburb we looked up (and it was one almost always covered by rival senior care services). It was surprising that, for our second comparison area - a more rural area in the Midwest - there was no problem finding a Home Helpers office whose coverage map included our target zip code.

Call for a free consultation

If you find a Home Helpers location near you, you'll start with an initial phone call to learn more about the services available in your area and to give them an idea of what kind of senior care you might need. The next step is to schedule a complimentary in-home assessment: you'll meet their team, discuss any questions or concerns you have, and then create an in-home care plan that fits your needs.

Best Senior Care Services

4 dimensions of care

Home Helpers has a unique approach to senior care that we really like. They call it "Cared-4" because it spans four areas of assistance:

  • Care and Companionship: this is what you'd typically expect when looking for senior care. It can include help with dressing, bathing, mobility, feeding, using the bathroom, meal prep, getting in and out of bed, and so on.
  • Wellness Calls: even when the caregiver isn't in the home, your loved one can get a scheduled wellness call. This could be used as a morning or evening check-in, for reminders (medication, hydration, meals, exercise), or just basic companionship.
  • Safety and 24-Hour Monitoring: you have the option to include a medical alert system with your Home Helpers senior care.
  • Nutrition and Well-Being: this includes everything from grocery shopping to setting up a meal delivery program, hydration reminders, help with social media, going for a walk, or visiting a religious service.

Supervision of caregiver visits

Once you've been matched with a caregiver, your Home Helpers supervisor will drop by at random during care visits - to make sure that things are still going well and to find out if any changes to the care plan are needed. We're grateful that this senior care service takes that extra step, since some of its competitors don't.

Award-winning senior care

Home Helpers has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, which is always a strong indicator of a good senior care option. The company also received National Provider Status and Best of Home Care endorsements from Home Care Pulse for six consecutive years; those awards are based on client and family satisfaction scores gathered independently. That lines up with the feedback we found for most Home Helpers office locations as well. Although caregiver feedback for the company is a little more average (usually about 3.5 stars out of 5 across 2000+ ratings), there's still nothing that would indicate that there's any reason not to trust Home Helpers for your senior care needs.

Worth considering

Although we can't make Home Helpers our top senior care option because of its slightly limited service areas, we give the company high marks for their holistic approach to care and for maintaining a standard of excellence. If there's a Home Helpers office near you, we encourage you to put them on your list of trustworthy providers of senior care.

Comfort Keepers Review 3.5 Star Rating

Comfort Keepers

3.5 Star Rating
  • Provides non-medical care such as hygiene, bathing, and grooming; transfers and mobility assistance; incontinence care and toileting; feeding and meal preparation; light housekeeping and laundry; and more
  • Private duty nurses available in some locations
  • Available in 45 states
  • All caregivers undergo DMV record/national/local criminal background checks, personal and professional reference checks
  • All caregivers are bonded and insured
  • Can do a virtual or in-home assessment to determine needs

Comfort Keepers was founded in 1998 by a home health aide who wanted to offer more than just medical care to seniors and others in an in-home setting. The company has expanded so much that it became a Halifax brand, with 700 independently-owned and operated franchises in 12 countries. You can trust that any caregiver you work with through Comfort Keepers has had extensive background checks (including local/national criminal and DMV records), their personal and professional references have been contacted, and they are bonded and insured.

Locations in 45 states

We recommend that you start by pulling up the Comfort Keepers locations that serve your area. This senior care provider operates in all but five states, so chances are good that you'll have a franchise near you. Make sure to click over to the website specific to the Comfort Keepers branch serving your location: it makes it much easier to find out more.

Virtual and in-home assessments at no charge

One way that Comfort Keepers stands out is by offering both virtual and in-home assessments. It can be challenging to determine exactly what help is needed, so why not benefit from a professional's experience? The virtual aspect is particularly useful: maybe your elderly loved one would feel uncomfortable having someone come over at first, and so it would be an easier transition if the assessment is done remotely to get started.

Offers the typical senior care services

When Comfort Keepers provides non-medical care, there are many ways that they can support your loved ones. Some of the services your caregiver can offer include:

  • Companion care: planning and preparing meals, transportation to and from appointments, errands, medication reminders, and light housework
  • Personal care: hygiene, bathing, grooming, transfer, mobility assistance, incontinence care and toileting, feeding
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia care: activities that stimulate memory and cognitive function

These services are available both in-home and in-facility, as a long-term arrangement or for respite. Comfort Keepers' caregivers can also be hired for 24-hour care, post-hospital help, or end-of-life care.

Best Senior Care Services

Private duty nurses available at some locations

Also, if you do need medical care, some Comfort Keepers locations offer private duty nurses. You would need to ask your local franchise to discuss your care needs and find out if that level of service is available.

Has won some awards

What about reputation? That's where things get a little more mixed. We took a long look at feedback from both caregivers and clients, and it wasn't consistently good or bad. True, anytime you're dealing with a company that has independently-operated franchises, a lot will depend on the location itself: the people who run the office, the caregivers they hire, how many carers are available compared with the demand locally, and so on. It's encouraging to see that Comfort Keepers rated higher in customer service than any other senior care provider for two straight years, according to a survey done by Newsweek. And yes, there are some clients and caregivers who have nothing but good things to say about their experience with Comfort Keepers.

Caregivers and clients aren't always happy here

On the other hand, we also found a lot of complaints. In some areas, caregivers report that their office is managed badly, that they're being asked to work on their days off because the demand is so high, and that they're only being given 25-cent raises once in a while. That's not a way to keep good people, in our experience. We also found clients ranting (and rightly so) about caregivers who never showed up, leaving their loved ones without food or medication - for hours or for days. There doesn't seem to be a standardized accountability method implemented by Comfort Keepers: no online check-in to report a visit, no requirement to turn in care notes after every appointment, and so on.

Good but not the best

Unfortunately, no senior care service is immune to the problems we found with Comfort Keepers, and the company's affiliation with Halifax is an indicator that you can probably get help if something isn't going the way you expected. In other words, there's a corporate headquarters and oversight of some fashion. And, Comfort Keepers' background and reference checks are a little more extensive than some of the services we evaluated, which is another plus. Still, we encourage you to look at the higher-rated senior care options on our list first, and then circle back to Comfort Keepers if you don't find what you need elsewhere.

Always Best Care Review 3.5 Star Rating

Always Best Care

3.5 Star Rating
  • Can get both non-medical and skilled care
  • Local franchises may provide senior care or only make referrals to residential communities
  • All caregivers undergo background and reference checks
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In operation since 1996

In business since 1996, Always Best Care provides senior care through 225+ franchise locations throughout the US and Canada. All caregivers are screened carefully, including background and reference checks.

Availability near you may be limited

Is Always Best Care available in your area? You'll definitely want to enter your zip code early on to find out. The company doesn't list which states they do and don't have franchises, but the map was pretty empty in places like Montana, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Oregon, and Idaho.

Search delivered confusing results

When we looked up the franchises for a mid-sized metro area in the South, we were given two different offices - one that was in the city itself, and another that was mysteriously in another major city about two hours away (but shown on the map as just down the street from the first one). When we looked at the Always Best Care franchise close to us, we were a little concerned that the owner bios said that they live full-time... in another country. We're not sure how that works for hands-on supervision of their franchise.

Some franchises don't offer in-home senior care

Then, when we started reading what the location offered, we were even more confused that it referred to "escorting clients and their families on tours of matched independent & assisted living communities" . Wait, what? Evidently that particular office only specializes in matching seniors with partner residences and not for in-home care. And that second location? It didn't have service in our metro area. We didn't fare any better with our other test zip code, a more rural area still within a 1- to 2-hour drive from two major cities. All we got was "Try another location near you."

Best Senior Care Services

May offer skilled nursing care

For the franchise locations that do offer senior care, you may be able to receive services ranging from personal care - like bathing, grooming, dressing, transportation, and companionship - to skilled nursing like catheter care and maintenance, tube feeding, ostomy care, and more. Not every senior care provider in our evaluation offers options for that kind of medical care, so it's one factor that could tip the scales in favor of Always Best Care if you need that level of help.

Mostly positive reputation

This senior care provider has a good reputation in general, reflected by an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. And, like any franchised company, customer feedback varies by location but most of what we found everywhere we looked at Always Best Care was positive. Most caregivers like working with their local office, and most clients get the help that they need. We also found several locations that have a particularly strong relationship with their local independent and assisted living facilities. But, again, your results may vary based on the office serving in your area (if there is one).

Some room for improvement but not bad

So, while we think you can probably hire a caregiver through Always Best Care with no worries, we're just not confident that they'll be available for senior care where most people live. We also aren't thrilled with the fact that prospective clients could think there's an office near them, only to find out that the only service offered is more or less a matchmaking program with nearby residential facilities. You've got a couple of rival senior care providers to check out first before you go with Always Best Care, but it's not a bad option overall.

Great AuPair Review 3 Star Rating

Great AuPair

3 Star Rating
  • $45 for a 30-day subscription
  • $99 for a 90-day subscription
  • $162 for a 180-day subscription
  • Limited free plan
  • Can pay for background checks on chosen candidates
  • Has helped over 1 million families connect with care providers for seniors, children, pets
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Although you may think specifically of childcare when you hear the name "Great Au Pair" , this service has been connecting families with caregivers of many kinds since 2001. Over a million families have found their senior care provider, tutor, pet sitter, or nanny using this platform.

Website is easy and intuitive to use

Compared with some catch-all caregiver websites, Great Au Pair is really straightforward from the start. You can see how many people have chosen to offer their services on the platform (over 85,000 at the time of this evaluation, just for senior care), and you can use all of the filters on the left side of the page to refine the results. That can include entering your zip code and a search radius, availability, age range of the caregiver, desired certifications, and many others. That's a great way to get right to the candidates who are most likely to be a good fit.

Subscription required for most features

However, if you want to connect with people offering senior care on Great Au Pair, you'll have to pay for a subscription. It's true that the site offers a free account, but it limits you to replying to "paid members" (caregivers who have paid to have their profiles listed), sending and replying to favorites, and receiving FastMatch emails. In order to message candidates directly, access in-depth interviews and watch candidate videos, view their photo galleries, and access interview questionnaires and sample contracts, a subscription is required. You can opt to pay $45 per month, $99 for three months, or $162 for six months; all plans will auto-renew until you cancel.

You'll pay for background checks

Beyond that, you'll also have to pay for any reports you'd like on your chosen senior care candidates - and those can add up. A US Federal Criminal Records Search costs $25, a state criminal records check costs $40, and so on.

Best Senior Care Services

Good feedback from caregivers and clients

Is it worth it to pay to use Great Au Pair for senior care? Maybe. There are a lot of positives here: not only does the company have an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau, but there were also plenty of recent client and caregiver testimonials on the site itself. And, although the information in those testimonials is limited, there are quite a few from those who used this platform for services outside of childcare and were happy with it.

You might not find any active caregivers near you

On the other hand, you may not find any caregivers in your area (but at least you'll know that before you sign up). For example, when we looked at a mid-sized metro area on the East Coast, there were 12 within a 30-mile radius of the zip code. But, when we searched for a zip code in a more rural area in the Midwest (though still within a 1-hour drive of a larger city), we got no senior care matches. And, even in our list of 12 candidates from the first search, only two had been active on the Great Au Pair platform within the last few days; the rest hadn't logged in for weeks (or for more than six months).

Too limited to be more than average

We've had to keep Great Au Pair as a "just average" option on our list of senior care services. Though we appreciate being able to see well beforehand if there are any caregivers in a particular area and to get a generous preview of their profiles, the hit-or-miss availability will leave a lot of clients without any options near them. Keep Great Au Pair in mind as a backup choice, but definitely look at our higher-ranked senior care services first.

Synergy Home Care Review 2.5 Star Rating

Synergy Home Care

2.5 Star Rating
  • Offers non-medical home care services
  • Offices in 40 states
  • Free in-home assessment
  • All caregivers undergo training, a national criminal background check, and are bonded and insured
  • Office staff is available 24/7, 365 days a year
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 1999

Synergy Home Care got its start in 1999, offering help to seniors, new mothers, people recovering from an injury or illness, those transitioning from hospital to home, and everyone in between. While there are many services that can be obtained through this senior care provider, it's important to point out right away that Synergy only offers non-medical care, and services may vary depending on your local franchise office.

Offices in 40 states

You'll also want to make sure that Synergy Home Care is available in your location before you get too far into the process. At the time of this evaluation, this senior care provider was operating in 40 states, with some of the more notable exceptions being New Mexico, Maine, and West Virginia.

Doesn't make it easy to get in touch

It's not the most intuitive experience to figure out if you can access Synergy's senior care. We put in one of our target zip codes (in the suburbs of a mid-size metro area) and found locations all around us - but none that listed our particular suburb in its coverage area. For a slightly more rural area in another state, it did indicate in the dropdown which Synergy Home Care franchise served that zip code. However, when we submitted a contact request online for that location, at first it didn't go through; when we tried calling the number for the location, that call didn't connect several times either. In all, it was a frustrating experience trying to arrange senior care through Synergy.

No long-term contract

Most of your experience with Synergy is going to depend on the franchise in your area. All of them will have a service agreement, not a long-term contract, but the terms will vary by location. The agreement will spell out the minimum number of care hours per week and how many you're requesting, but you can shift those as needed over the course of the service. The only costs that would be above and beyond the agreement are for mileage: if you ask your caregiver to run errands in his or her personal vehicle, you'd be charged for the cost.

Best Senior Care Services

Good vetting of caregivers

On the positive side, we appreciate that all Synergy caregivers undergo training, have passed a national criminal background check, and are bonded and insured. That's an advantage over some of the more generic senior care referral platforms we evaluated, where caregivers can sign up at will and may not have any professional experience with the elderly. And, at least at the franchise we contacted, Synergy offered a free in-home assessment to determine what care might be needed and to identify any hazards or obstacles in the house.

Solid reputation

And, Synergy overall has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. We checked out several franchise locations as well, and all of them had the same perfect rating. It's a pretty heavily-regulated industry, so we're not surprised to see this senior care provider crossing all of the t's and dotting all of the i's, but it's still good to see.

Too frustrating to rank high

Synergy isn't a terrible place to get senior care, and if they're available in your area (and you can actually get a hold of them), it's not a service you should necessarily avoid. But, because of our experience with the glitchy online form and the phone calls that wouldn't go through, plus the fact that Synergy isn't available in 10 states, we can only give the company a lower rating compared with other senior care providers on our list.

Care Review 1.5 Star Rating


1.5 Star Rating
  • Basic membership is free: post a job, see profiles of local caregivers, see which caregivers apply to your job, and use site tools
  • Premium subscription is required to message caregivers, request background checks
  • All caregivers have to undergo a basic background check to list their profile
  • More extensive background checks can be purchased by clients

Care is probably one of the most well-known websites for finding help, from housekeeping and pet care to tutoring and, yes, senior care as well. Available in 17 countries and counting, Care is working to connect over 4 million clients with the help they need.

Create an account to view senior caregivers

The easiest way to get started with Care is by entering the zip code for the senior's residence, right on the main page of the site. You'll then be asked what kind of care you need (senior, housekeeping, pets), whether you're looking for in-home help or a senior living community, what kinds of help you have in mind (transportation, companionship, and so forth). You'll then be prompted to create a free account on Care: you can't preview any caregivers without taking that step.

Glitchy website

After your account has been created, you'll answer even more questions about the senior care you need: which days of the week, what time of day, the range of hourly rates you prefer, and then a description of what you're looking for. We felt a little rushed into making a job posting, but when we tried to skip that stage (as Care offered that option), we were taken to an error page that said "closed account" . What? It wouldn't let us log in using the account info we had just provided, either. That's a huge hassle.

Spendy to subscribe

It also meant that we had to look to other resources just to find out what Care charges for memberships. Obviously there's a free account option that lets clients post a job, see caregiver profiles, and so on - if you can actually access it - but a premium membership is necessary to message caregivers and set up the senior care you need. Our research indicates that you should expect to pay $38.99 for a month-to-month plan, $78 for three months, or $156 for a full year of access.

Best Senior Care Services

Background checks... kind of

How about background checks? Care requires all caregivers to undergo a basic CareCheck as part of their own screening process, but those results aren't shared with clients. If you'd like a more extensive background check (and to be able to view the results), you can purchase those separately on any caregiver you're interested in hiring. Care doesn't disclose upfront what those will cost, only saying that you can upgrade your membership to include unlimited background checks "at a discounted cost" if you wish.

Reputation has tanked

Care's reputation has dropped quite a bit since the last time we evaluated the platform with respect to senior care, going from a flawless "A+" to a not-as-impressive "B" from the Better Business Bureau. Why the change? According to the BBB, there have been nearly 900 complaints filed against Care over the last three years, with nearly 300 of them in the most recent 12-month period. Time and again, it's almost always the same issue: "I canceled my account and have the proof, but Care has continued to charge me. I can't reach anyone to take care of this." Others had problems with the availability of the caregivers listed on the site: clients would reach out to schedule a time, and would get no response, find out that the person didn't have availability, or have some other issue. Many clients felt misled by the number of carers listed in their area compared with how many actually wound up being available for hire.

Customer service is awful

Jump over to Trustpilot and the story gets even worse: across nearly 3000 reviews, 80% give this service the lowest possible rating, and only 12% who rated it with a 4- or 5-star score. In fact, going through just the first ten reviews there (all left within a few days of our evaluation), the word that came up almost every single time was "scam" , both from clients as well as caregivers. The website glitches when people are signing up, help is only made available to paid members (and even then, it's hard to reach anyone at Care when Help Center emails get returned because their inbox is full), charges are made even after accounts are canceled... you get the idea.

Not worth using to find senior care

Care is a huge disappointment. Not only can prospective clients not browse caregiver profiles without creating an account, the site is so glitchy that some people (like us) never even get to that point. And, we're definitely not the only ones with that issue, given how many complaints have been filed against Care with the BBB and on other review sites. Sometimes having a big name in an industry isn't indicative of success - at least, not anymore. Care's first-to-almost-worst drop in our rankings should come as no surprise. Save yourself the grief and try one of the higher-rated senior care options in our evaluation instead.

Sitter City Review 1 Star Rating

Sitter City

1 Star Rating
  • $13/month (paid annually), $25/month (paid quarterly) or $37/month to use service
  • Post a help wanted ad or browse caregivers near you
  • Easy to see experience, location, and self-reported certifications at a glance
  • Background checks may be available
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Sittercity is based in the US and works to connect families with caregivers, primarily focusing on childcare. It was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Thiers, who wanted to create a reliable and accessible way for parents to find trustworthy childcare providers. However, senior care is one of the services also available through this platform (in theory anyway, but more on that later).

Not the most user-friendly experience

Getting started with Sittercity can be a little cumbersome if you don't live in one of the major metro areas featured on the main page (Atlanta, Chicago, NYC, and so on). More than likely, you'll need to click on "View All Cities" and then pick the one closest to you - and you'll still get results from outside of your area. In that results list, it's easy to get a quick idea of how far they are from you, how much experience they have, what they look like if they've included a photo, and any certifications they've self-reported.

Caregiver info is all self-reported

When you click on an individual profile, you can see anything that the caregiver has shared about him/herself. Most people tell you about their experience and background in senior care, their hourly rates, and what kinds of services they feel comfortable providing. Sittercity also lets people self-report if they're certified in first aid or CPR but doesn't verify those credentials. Background checks and motor vehicle records are also an option, but because caregivers have to pay to have them run, it's not often that you'll find that here.

You'll pay a lot to use this service

You can also post an ad describing the kind of care you need and then wait for senior caregivers to reach out. Whether you do that or you want to reach out to a caregiver in your area, you're going to need to create a Sittercity account - and it's going to cost you. You'll pay $37 if you go month-to-month, $25/month if you pay quarterly ($75 total), or $13/month if you pay annually. That's a huge drawback compared with most rival senior care services we evaluated - especially since the subscriptions are non-refundable.

Best Senior Care Services

Caregivers aren't sticking with Sittercity

It's an even bigger downside when you look at the caregiver profiles: at the time of this review, we didn't spot a single one who had logged in within the last six months. Most profiles showed an "availability valid through" date that was about a year old. From the looks of it, this senior care service isn't very well-liked by caregivers - not enough to get people to stay on it, anyway.

Often referred to as a scam service

And, despite having an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, Sittercity gets terrible feedback from caregivers and care-seekers alike. Granted, pretty much all of the comments are regarding childcare and not senior care, but that makes little difference: both carers and those needing help use the word "scam" too often for our comfort when describing their experience here. That refers to both the people posting jobs, the people answering them, and even the way they were billed by Sittercity (often without their knowledge for months or even years after creating an account).

Avoid using Sittercity for senior care

We have a hard time coming up with any reason why you'd want to spend even a minute of your time on Sittercity when looking for senior care. In all likelihood, there won't be any recent caregiver profiles in your area anyway, and the negative comments from carers and clients alike make this platform a "no thank you" in our book. Use any of the higher-rated senior care options in our evaluation and just skip Sittercity.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Plus, when friends and family aren't available, it can make it harder for everyone to feel comfortable with an at-home arrangement. Fortunately, senior care services can fill that gap, for everything from simple companionship a few times a week to more in-depth services like bathing and transferring from bed to chair and back again.

Having a care provider you can rely on is invaluable, whether you're the one receiving the help or the one getting the updates that yes, your beloved family member really is doing fine from day to day. But, we're all too familiar with some of the horror stories in the news - about senior citizens being taken advantage of (or worse) by those who were supposed to be there to help. It can make choosing a senior care service pretty nerve-wracking.

However, there are some amazing services out there with fantastic reputations. How do you sort out the good ones from the bad? Here are some criteria that can guide your decision-making:

  • Care provider screening process. What is done to evaluate the people they hire? Background checks should be the bare minimum.
  • Reputation. Look at what other clients have said about the senior care service and the individual carers (when available). Does the service have a good track record? See if the company has been rated by the Better Business Bureau, if it has industry accreditations, and above all, if previous and current clients have positive things to say about their experience.
  • Availability in your area. The best senior care platform in the world isn't much use if they don't have carers near you. Double-check that their services are offered in your area before you get too involved in the process. Once you've determined that it's available, be sure to ask how long you can expect it to take to be matched with a caregiver: in some areas, it can happen quickly, but in others it may take a month or more.
  • Rates and contracts. It's fairly common for a senior care service to have a minimum number of weekly hours, and pricing tends to start around $15-$20 per hour. Find out if your contract can be canceled or modified whenever you want.
  • Multiple caregivers. Ask if the service will pair you with the same caregiver from visit to visit or if you would possibly be working with multiple individuals. If the senior requiring care is sensitive to change, it might be a deal-breaker if you could possibly see a new face every time.

While it can feel a little sad or scary to look for senior care, it's well worth the time to get the help that allows you or your loved one to keep living life to the fullest. The experts at here at Top Consumer Reviews have done a deep dive into some of today's most popular services, so that you can connect with a reliable service and compassionate caregivers as soon as possible.

The Best Senior Care Services Compare Senior Care Services Compare Senior Care Service Reviews What are the best Senior Care Services Best Senior Care Service Reviews

Senior Care Service FAQ

As people age, it becomes more difficult to do tasks like housework, driving, cooking, getting up and down stairs, or following a medication regimen. Senior care is when a team or individual assists with fulfilling the needs of an elderly person. They help keep them safe and able to continue living a fulfilling life.
Someone is normally considered a senior by the time they reach the age of 65. This is mostly because 65 is when many people retire and when government benefits kick in. Most people don't consider themselves or loved ones a senior until they are at least 70 years of age or older.
Senior care can include anything that will benefit the individual needing assistance. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but might involve doing laundry, running errands, home organization, housekeeping, transportation, and more. Almost anything that will help the elderly live a productive life can be performed through senior care.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an inability to take care of yourself and your home like you used to, it's time to get help. It is a wonderful thing for family and friends to step in and do what they can, but over time this can become burdensome and may not always be reliable. Hiring a senior care service ensures that help is always readily available when needed without having to rely on other loved ones all the time.
Every person's needs are different, so you will be the one who decides how often a caregiver is needed. Sometimes they might visit a couple times a week to take care of grocery shopping or other essential duties around the house. Other times you need round-the-clock assistance and would hire a live-in caregiver to be there 24/7. There are many professionals with a range of flexibility who are available when you need them.
Most of the time, senior caregivers are over the age of 21. Depending on the agency you go with, the requirements they set for their candidates may differ slightly. You are able to set your own criteria for a caregiver and find someone who matches that. Some examples of qualifications include being CNA certified, first-aid certified, passing a company's senior care course, a nursing degree, experience working in a healthcare facility, and others. There is no such thing as a senior care license, so you'll find that the backgrounds and qualifications of candidates vary from person to person.
When hiring a caregiver, you will usually be able to choose from a range of professionals with different backgrounds. For experienced caregivers who will be performing regular duties, the cost will be higher than a new CNA looking to get started in their career field. Most senior caregivers come with their own hourly rate, which will play a part in deciding who you choose to hire. It's not uncommon to see hourly rates between $10 and $30.
Senior care companies make it easy to narrow down the list of available caregivers in your area. Using their online website, you'll be able to choose how soon you need to find a caregiver, your desired qualifications, the hours you need assistance, where you live, what you're willing to pay, and other important factors that will help filter through the pool of candidates. From there you can read bios of different caregivers and get a feel for who would be a good fit for you or your loved one. Some companies let you meet the caregiver or give them a trial run before hiring them on.

Compare Senior Care Services

Select any 2 Senior Care Services to compare them head to head

  • Right at Home
  • Visiting Angels
  • Home Instead
  • BrightStar Care
  • Home Helpers
  • Comfort Keepers
  • Always Best Care
  • Great AuPair
  • Synergy Home Care
  • Care
  • Sitter City
Right at Home vs Visiting Angels Right at Home vs Home Instead Right at Home vs BrightStar Care Right at Home vs Home Helpers Right at Home vs Comfort Keepers Right at Home vs Always Best Care Right at Home vs Great AuPair Right at Home vs Synergy Home Care Right at Home vs Care Right at Home vs Sitter City Visiting Angels vs Home Instead Visiting Angels vs BrightStar Care Visiting Angels vs Home Helpers Visiting Angels vs Comfort Keepers Visiting Angels vs Always Best Care Visiting Angels vs Great AuPair Visiting Angels vs Synergy Home Care Visiting Angels vs Care Visiting Angels vs Sitter City Home Instead vs BrightStar Care Home Instead vs Home Helpers Home Instead vs Comfort Keepers Home Instead vs Always Best Care Home Instead vs Great AuPair Home Instead vs Synergy Home Care Home Instead vs Care Home Instead vs Sitter City BrightStar Care vs Home Helpers BrightStar Care vs Comfort Keepers BrightStar Care vs Always Best Care BrightStar Care vs Great AuPair BrightStar Care vs Synergy Home Care BrightStar Care vs Care BrightStar Care vs Sitter City Home Helpers vs Comfort Keepers Home Helpers vs Always Best Care Home Helpers vs Great AuPair Home Helpers vs Synergy Home Care Home Helpers vs Care Home Helpers vs Sitter City Comfort Keepers vs Always Best Care Comfort Keepers vs Great AuPair Comfort Keepers vs Synergy Home Care Comfort Keepers vs Care Comfort Keepers vs Sitter City Always Best Care vs Great AuPair Always Best Care vs Synergy Home Care Always Best Care vs Care Always Best Care vs Sitter City Great AuPair vs Synergy Home Care Great AuPair vs Care Great AuPair vs Sitter City Synergy Home Care vs Care Synergy Home Care vs Sitter City Care vs Sitter City
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