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When someone we love needs extra help in their older age, we would go to the ends of the earth to find them the best place and people to care for them.
As much as we would love to have time 24/7 to provide everything they need, we often must resort to getting outside help for our elderly friends and family members in order for them to get the full attention they deserve. Not only might they need medical care, but also help with their finances, personal hygiene, shopping assistance, and help getting around.
Saturday, January 16th
Care was founded in 2006. They recognize that when seniors receive quality care, hospital stays decline as well as healthcare costs. Care matches families with caregivers to help with children, pets, tutoring, household duties, and elderly family/friends. Families can list a job description of what they are looking for in a caregiver and receive responses from qualified candidates. Users can browse the different caregiver profiles and decide who will be the best fit for their friend/family member. Care has easily won our first place spot among senior care services.
Care has over 140,000 care providers on their platform with an average of 5.5 years of experience. The average rating for these caregivers is a 4.7/5, which is fantastic. Care has also earned an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
Choose what you're looking for
When you create a profile, you will be asked to select who is needing care (parent, friend, extended relative, grandparent, and so on), how much experience you'd prefer your caregiver to have, when you require assistance, and if you're looking for companion care, live-in home care, or hands-on care. Users can choose other qualifications they would like to see in a caregiver such as CPR certified, comfortable with pets, a non-smoker, certified nursing assistant, and others.
Matched with caregivers
You'll also be asked to provide your zip code in order to be matched with caregivers in your local area. From there you can put in the hours you need help, what you'd like to pay per hour, and specifics on what type of care is needed. Needless to say, you'll be able to really narrow down caregiver candidates before even browsing through them. We like how specific Care is when it comes to matching families and caregivers.
3 membership plans
Before being able to browse and contact the caregiver(s) that you are matched with, you'll have to choose the paid membership plan you want to use. They include:
The urgency of when you need a caregiver will likely determine the membership plan you choose. If you want to really take your time to find the perfect match, you might want to subscribe to Care for a few months. It may be the case that you aren't happy with the candidates right from the beginning and you need some time to wait for more to come along. Also keep in mind that your needs could change and you'll need to adjust the specifications of the caregiver you're looking for.
Examine your potential caregivers
It is easy to browse the different caregiver profiles and read about their experience, hourly rate, availability, skills, education, and biography. You'll see a photo of them along with ratings from others they have worked for in the past. There is plenty of information on each candidate to give members a good idea of whether or not they are a good fit without having to contact each one of them.
Care's strengths include the affordability of their services, a huge database of caregivers, and the way they let you narrow down results to help find the best fit. There is a lot of information to be found through Care, and we expect that most users will find what they are looking for here. We recommend them as the best senior care search service we have found.
Comfort Keepers was started back in 1998 by a woman named Kris Butler. As a nurse working in home healthcare, she realized that there was a need for patients to get help with non-medical needs. Whether it be getting a ride to an appointment, doing laundry, or just having a friend to talk to, Comfort Keepers provides solutions to help seniors with these needs. They are a well-respected and recognized organization that helps thousands of seniors each day.
Wide range of senior care services
Comfort Keepers has locations in 46 states. To see if they have one near you, the easiest thing to do is just type in your zip code and view specific locations. From there, you can contact your local office to find out the cost for any of the following services they offer, including:
Offices individually owned and operated
Because each Comfort Keeper's office is individually owned and operated, the cost for services will vary by location. None of these prices are listed on their website, so you'll have to contact them directly to find out current rates. You can reach them either by phone or email.
If you do have a Comfort Keeper's office near you with the services you are looking for, there is still the need for a caregiver. During the initial conversation and an in-home visit with someone from Comfort Keeper's staff, they will document the services required and preferences for a caregiver. From there, they identify the best fit among their employees and arrange a meeting between the client and caregiver to create and review a plan of care going forward.
Lack of online caregiver browsing
The Comfort Keeper's website is good at explaining the services they offer. However, to get more specific information about their caregivers or prices, you really have to contact your local office directly. We understand why this is the case, seeing as how each office operates independently and may offer different services. We do wish there was an easier way to at least view profiles of the caregivers and do more research online before having to go directly to the company. This is something Comfort Keepers lacks when compared to our highest-rated site.
The Better Business Bureau gives Comfort Keepers an A+ rating, which is great. The reach of their company and continued growth is a good sign that they provide quality senior care and are used by thousands of individuals around the world. Although we wish there was more transparent pricing and detailed, location-specific information online, we still see the good things Comfort Keepers has to offer. They are a good option for anyone looking for senior care who lives near one of their locations.
Visiting Angels is a network of franchised elder care agencies that was founded in 1998. Their commitment is to help seniors continue to live at home while having their health and day-to-day needs cared for. The Better Business Bureau gives them an A+ rating, but we found concerning reports from families who have used their services, saying that the caregivers who came to their home were lazy, dishonest, and unprofessional.
Incidents may be isolated
Because Visiting Angels is franchised, bad experiences with some branches and staff members do not necessarily reflect on all locations or the company as a whole. However, reported issues from clients seem to be met with a lack of concern by some franchises, so Visiting Angels corporate should hold their franchisees to a higher standard.
Visiting Angels has over 600 locations in all 50 states. By entering your zip code, you can see the location nearest you and begin filling out information about what you're looking for. This primarily includes contact information, a mailing address, and if you're interested in a free in-home consultation. Once this form is submitted, Visiting Angels will review the information and contact you to move along the process.
Senior care services
The types of in-home care provided by Visiting Angels includes:
Easy to work with
The cost of any given care service will depend on a few factors. Caregiver rates are determined hourly, so Visiting Angels will work with you to determine your budget and then create a schedule that will stay within that budget. Most locations accept insurance coverage to help offset the total out-of-pocket costs for families. Once you've determined a schedule and plan of care with the Visiting Angels franchise near you, services can usually begin in as little as 48 hours.
Great amount of helpful information
Visiting Angels has a great deal of helpful information on their website. If you want a walkthrough of what in-home care looks like, how to get started, how to care for someone with Alzheimer's, how Visiting Angels helps with fall prevention, or what end of life care options are, it can all be found online. Their resources are valuable for anyone who needs information on where to begin with caring for their elderly loved one.
We recommend checking if one of the 600+ Visiting Angels locations is near you and scheduling a free consultation to see if this is the right service for your family. Be sure to bring up any concerns and questions you may have during the meeting and get answers as to how they handle negative situations, should they occur.
Visiting Angels is not our first choice for senior care, but they have a good Better Business Bureau rating, plenty of areas around the United States that they serve, and also good feedback from clients about their quality of care that make this provider worth a look. We see a lot of potential here for families needing a good resource to care for their senior family member, so we recommend learning more about the services they offer near you.
Right at Home provides in-home care for both seniors and disabled adults. They began in 2007 with the goal of helping these individuals maintain their independence by caring for them in their own space in whatever way they need.
Independently owned franchises
Right at Home operates through independently owned and operated franchisees. Because of this, not all services are available in all locations. Interested parties need to check with their local office to find out what services they provide.
List of senior care services
The full list of services offered by Right at Home (depending on location), include:
4 step process
There is a specific process that Right at Home follows in order to create a custom plan for their clients. This process is done in four steps. The first is an initial call and meeting. Here, they will find out the basic needs and set up an in-home visit to gather more information, get to know the client, and provide information to the family about how their services will be a benefit. From there, a custom care plan is created to cover how a caregiver will meet specific needs. They will then search for the most appropriate caregiver to implement the plan going forward. Caregivers will keep extensive notes on the services they provide and ensure the custom care plan is followed.
Online information would be nice
We wish there was a way to view more information about their caregivers online. Rather, you'll need to either fill out the contact form available on their website, or call them to find out if they have a location near you and what their staffing is like. There are over 500 franchise locations around the US, so you'll find services in most states, but they can't guarantee the number or availability of caregivers.
Ratings vary by location
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Right at Home an A+ rating. This is great, but also keep in mind that a rating like this does not necessarily reflect each individual franchise that may run quite differently from another. There are a slew of negative reviews online from different clients about their experience with specific offices and caregivers, but again, a few frustrating experiences with Right at Home offices may not reflect all of the franchises.
We recommend that you gather a list of important questions and concerns, call your local office, and get a feel for their services. Their many locations and professional website, combined with a long list of services, suggests that you should explore what they have to offer.
Great AuPair was founded in 2001. They are an international job matching service that connects senior care assistants, nannies, tutors, housekeepers, pet sitters, and others to families who need their services. There are thousands of professionals for hire on their site from all over the world, so it will require a lot of narrowing down to find a match for your needs. The website may appear a bit wordy and overwhelming initially, which might deter some users from taking the time to browse through their caregiver profiles.
Number of caregivers can vary greatly
Although there are thousands of caregivers (both foreign and native) for hire through Great AuPair, when you give your specific location, the results may be quite slim. You'll provide information like the zip code you live in, desired availability, full or part time, live-in or live-out, age range, gender, languages, years of experience, certifications, and more. From there, the list of qualified candidates who meet your criteria will appear.
Online browsing of potential caregivers
Users can view the profiles of caregivers and decide if any of them meet their current needs. A photo can be viewed along with detailed personal information like height, weight, age, if they have a passport, and other qualifications can be viewed. Caregivers may have listed the types of special needs they are experienced in working with, tasks they are able to perform, match preferences, availability, and personal lifestyle details to give insight as to if they are a good match for the senior needing assistance.
List your needs
To sign up for Great AuPair, you'll essentially be taken through a series of questions to get a clear idea of the type of care you're looking for. In the end, you'll be creating a job posting of sorts for caregivers to reach out to you - in addition to you reaching out to them. For full access to the contact information of the caregivers on Great AuPair, you'll need to pay for a membership. The cost for full access for 30 days is $60 and the cost for 90 days of access is $120.
Broad based service with few results
Great AuPair has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which is a good sign. However, their website caters to so many types of services that we can't know that this A+ is necessarily a reflection on the senior care branch of their company. When we browsed caregivers in our local area, there were only a couple people who were qualified, so we imagine there will be many people who aren't able to find a caregiver match here. Their website does not provide many resources beyond candidate searching, and even that can be quite a lengthy process.
Try another service first
Surely there have been many that have found caregivers here, but it is not as great of a resource as our higher-rated sites. We recommend you try another service first.
Sittercity primarily focuses on childcare for families, but also offers caregivers for special needs, companionship, and pet care services. The business was started in 2001 by parents who wanted to help other parents take back some freedoms and have the flexibility to work, run errands, or even go on date nights without their children. Sittercity has been featured by Good Morning America, Today, The New York Times, Scary Mommy, and Forbes.
Although there is much more focus on childcare at Sittercity, families are able to post a job on their website to find a senior care companion to fit their needs. There are 25 cities listed that have services available for families, so there will definitely be many people who are not able to use the services of Sittercity.
Senior care options
For those who have Sittercity services near them, the list of care options include:
To post a job to find a caregiver, you can either sign up with Facebook or email. At this point, thought things got a little confusing. You're asked to give information about the schedule you need a caregiver for, a start date, the number and age of your children, rates, and a description of the needs of your family. What does the number and age of children have to do with senior care needs? We were puzzled by the fact that the job descriptions seem to only work for childcare, which is frustrating.
Although it does not seem that Sittercity puts much emphasis on helping families find senior caregivers, they are still happy to charge you to put it to the test. You'll need to pay to have your job posted and all the caregivers have access to contact you. Subscription plans to their services can be purchased for 1 month at $35, 3 months for $49, or 12 months for $98.
Even though the Better Business Bureau gives Sittercity an A+ rating, this does not impress us enough to give them a high rating. We were disappointed when we realized that they really push for users to find childcare rather than assistance for seniors. They refer to all their employees as "sitters", which seems like a strange term for someone taking care of an elderly individual.
Better choices out there
Overall, we feel that Sittercity is a weak option for anyone needing constant, quality care near them for a senior member of their family. Needless to say, it will be in most people's best interest to look elsewhere for this.
It is important for many elderly people to feel self-sufficient while also having people there to support them. This can be a hard balance, so senior care services might be as minimal as periodic in-home visits to help with medical needs, take care of shopping trips, or complete housework. Other more intensive senior care services might look like a live-in senior facility where residents have their meals prepared for them, attend planned activities, and have little personal responsibility besides just relaxing and enjoying life.
To find the right care services for your loved one, looking around online is going to be the fastest, most reliable option. It could take months to go from company to company or facility to facility to meet all the staff members, learn what they have to offer, gather pricing information, and get a feel for the quality of care they provide. Thankfully, you can browse through the many senior care websites available to gather all the information you are looking for and compare them within a matter of minutes.
There are quite a few senior care services to choose from. Before committing to a company to take care of the special, elderly person in your life, we suggest you consider the following things:
To help you find the best senior care, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of options. We hope this information helps you feel confident about the care your loved one will receive!
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