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Monday, December 11th
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.
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.
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.
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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