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Monday, December 11th
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:
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.
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.
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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