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Monday, December 11th
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."
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.
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.
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:
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.
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