Gil Atanasoff - As Executive Director, Gil oversees all business activities for Senior Helpers. He is dedicated to improving the lives of our clients, and hiring caregivers that meet their specific needs. Gil has over 17 years of experience in a number of industries, including the last eight in healthcare. He is passionate about helping seniors live independently, and is grateful to work for a company with the same goals. Gil looks forward to helping more people and their families by continuing to grow Senior Helpers throughout Dane county and the surrounding areas.
Tanya Sutton - As Director of Operations for Senior Helpers, Tanya works diligently to oversee both office operations and client care. With more than 15 years in the healthcare industry in a variety of settings, and a Certified Social Worker, her passion is ensuring that the clients, families and community partners are provided with excellent care while caregivers are supported. She believes that integrity and passion for service = success in business. Tanya loves training caregivers and community partners in topics such as Caregiver Grief, Stress Management, Customer Service, Hospice and Dementia. She enjoys working with the office and caregiver teams to brighten our clients' lives and help them enjoy quality of life in their homes.
Marion Chapin – As Education and Training Director for Senior Helpers, Marion ensures excellent training for the caregivers as well as support for the community. With over 30 years of home care experience, Marion has a passion for helping seniors remain safe and independent in their homes. She has dedicated her life to seniors and making sure they are cared for with respect, kindness, and expertise. During the day, Marion enjoys visiting our current clients, providing assessments for new clients, and communicating with care givers and family members, offering education and support where needed. In addition, Marion works with Tanya and Pat, our RN, to provide training workshops for our caregivers, such as our Senior Helpers' GEMS program for seniors with Alzheimer's and Dementia, Reducing FallRisks, and Understanding Hospice.
Pat Leonardt - As Supervising RN for Senior Helpers, Pat is able to provide specialized medical assistance and nursing assessments for our clients. Along with Marion, she visits our clients to assess their changing needs, updates Care Plans, communicates with families and caregivers, and provides medication management when needed. Pat assists Marion with the Alzheimer’s and Dementia training and also works with our office staff to coordinate other valuable training for our caregivers, such as Performing Safe Transfers, Caring for Seniors with Parkinson’s, Infection Control, and many other topics.
Patsy Harper - As a Registered Nurse for Senior Helpers, Patsy is able to provide specialized medical assistance and nursing assessments for our clients. Patsy focuses on assisting our VA clients by assessing their changing needs, updating their Care Plans, communicating with families and caregivers, and providing medication management when needed. Patsy also assists our Supervising RN, Pat, to provide valuable training for our caregivers on topics, such as Infection Control, Performing Safe Transfers, Bathing and Dressing, and many other topics.
Leslie (Lizzie) Gernon - As a Case Manager for Senior Helpers, Lizzie works with clients to ensure that their needs are being met. She also provides assessments for new clients, and communicates with caregivers and family members to offer support where needed. Lizzie has worked in the healthcare industry for over 30 years in a variety of positions. She began her career as a volunteer in a nursing home and continued her career with seniors as a Recreational Therapist, Marketing Director, and Executive Director for memory care communities as well as a Sales Manager for an assisted living. She proudly serves on the Advisory Board for the Alzheimer's Association, South Central Wisconsin Chapter.
Lyndsay Wild- As Client Services Coordinator for Senior Helpers, Lyndsay provides support to the Client Services team and trains caregivers to ensure they are able to provide excellent care for our clients. Lyndsay has a Bachelors in Business, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and a CNA. She feels so lucky to be a part of the Senior Helpers team and finds helping people in our community to be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Betsy Calabresa- As Lead Scheduler for Senior Helpers, Betsy supervises all client and caregiver schedules. Along with Paige, she is in constant communication with our caregivers to arrange quality services and care for our clients. By looking at each caregiver's skill level, location, character traits, and previous experience, Betsy diligently seeks to find the best match for each client, ensuring each client's needs are met. She feels fortunate to be a part of such a caring and rewarding environment.
Paige Zezulka - As Scheduling Assistant for Senior Helpers, Paige works with Lauren to manage all client and caregiver schedules. She maintains communication with our caregivers to arrange quality services and care for our clients. Paige previously worked for Senior Helpers as a caregiver so she understands the needs of our clients and is able to fill-in as a caregiver when needed.
Denise Rabbitt - As Human Resources Assistant for Senior Helpers, Denise assists with reviewing applications, conducting interviews and skills testing, confirms records of work history and references, and participates in new employee orientations to ensure that we hire the best care givers in the industry. Denise has 25 yrs. of Human Resources and Safety experience and administers other programs within these areas and coordinates our LTC insurance claims. She is very proud of the work that Senior Helpers does for our clients and the value we place on our Superior Caregivers.
Brittany Hanson - As Recruitment Manager for Senior Helpers, Brittany is responsible for seeking out new caregivers to join the Senior Helpers - Madison team. Brittany can be found recruiting at local universities and tech schools, as well as job and community centers, job fairs, and numerous other local organizations and events. Brittany creatively utilizes the vast world of internet job postings and social media to catch the attention of potential caregivers while also focusing on caregiver retention and recognition through a weekly newsletter, encouraging ongoing training, and discussion forums. Brittany is extremely passionate about the Senior Helpers mission, and sets out everyday to spread the word about what we do.
Andrea Merkes – As Executive Assistant for Senior Helpers, Andrea provides direct support to Dennis and Lisa by assisting with payroll and invoicing, inquiry follow-up and handling computer support needs in the office. She is responsible for determining health insurance eligibility and maintaining it. She assists in whatever area is in need whether it be scheduling, HR or client services. Her dedication and diligence to accuracy ensure that tasks are done in a timely manner and that no detail is missed. She feels great reward in being a part of the SH team and the exemplary care that is provided to the clients.
Colleen Whittow - As Office Coordinator for Senior Helpers, Colleen helps to ensure the office is running smoothly. Her friendly voice on the phone facilitates communication between clients, caregivers, office staff, and the community. In addition to managing our call center, Colleen assists HR and is an integral part of keeping the office highly organized.
Eileen Stearns - As Team Coordinator for Senior Helpers, Eileen undertakes a wide-range of responsibilities. She assists with care giver training and as a stand-in care giver in emergencies. Her superior caretaking abilities provide comfort and peace to our clients and their families while her dedication in the office ensures that even the smallest tasks are managed well. Besides assisting our schedulers, Eileen works with the HR team, screening applicants and completing reference checks.
Krysta Weinberger - As Office Administrator for Senior Helpers, Krysta supports a wide variety of office operations from managing caregiver documents to assisting with billing. Between handling and directing incoming telephone and in-person traffic, Krysta works diligently to assure great communication between all facets of the business. As a recent graduate of UW- Green Bay, Krysta is excited to start her career in such a positive and impactful establishment.
Dennis Fleischer – As Owner, Dennis coordinates the business operations of Senior Helpers. As a young man, Dennis acted as a caregiver to his grandfather and is happy to be able to work in an industry that helps people in need. Dennis’s vision is to provide affordable, quality home care for seniors. His compassion for seniors and strong business experience has allowed Senior Helpers to continue to grow in Dane county and the surrounding areas.
Lisa Fleischer - In her position as Executive Administrator, Lisa is responsible for accounts payable, invoicing, and payroll for Senior Helpers. Alongside Dennis, Lisa is proud to be part of a business that enables seniors to remain safe, happy, and independent in their homes by providing the best home care possible.
Senior Helpers was founded by Tony Bonacuse with the help of Peter Ross after their firsthand experience in caring for their respective family members. From their experience, Tony and Peter saw a huge gap that was not being filled properly by the other companies providing care for the elderly in the market. In dealing with these other caregivers, they found that either they couldn’t get caregivers to answer their inquiries or that the companies that would respond left something to be desired in their level of professionalism. It was clear to them that someone needed to address these deficiencies – the result being Senior Helpers.
Using Peter as a sounding board, Tony set out to create an organization that would be a trusted leader in senior care, and that would provide the type of professionalism he found to be lacking in other organizations. Tony opened the first Senior Helpers office in Baltimore, MD in 2002 to gauge the potential need for such an organization. As it turns out, there were many others who identified with the services and needs that Senior Helpers filled. Senior Helpers began building a reputation for itself as a professional organization with a dedicated staff of caregivers. The Baltimore location was a success and it was evident that other locations could be, too. Expansion began in 2004 with Peter joining Tony full time, opening an additional office in Orange County, CA.
With the success of the Senior Helpers system on both coasts came increasing demand. Tony and Peter began to look into franchising as an option to bring Senior Helpers to the next level. After building a strong reputation over the years, SH Franchising, LLC now enlists the help of quality franchisees to expand on this success, while still maintaining the strong reputation for which Senior Helpers is known.
For our basic level of care, caregivers provide services such as companionship, meal planning and preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders, and other general assistance. For sitter services, caregivers sit with and monitor a client during their hospital or facility stay. The caregiver can then follow the client home to provide a smooth transition.
For our advanced level of care, our professional and experienced caregivers provide basic companion care plus assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and ambulation assistance. These services are initially assessed and regularly monitored by either an on-site care coordinator, Social Worker or RN depending on the regulations of the state that the office is located in.
Our caregivers are available to provide 24-hour coverage, as long as they can sleep for eight hours per night and receive appropriate breaks. Live-in care can be provided for a minimum of two consecutive days, up to seven days per week indefinitely.
Peace of Mind Visit
Our unique Peace of Mind Visit program is a short visit each day to help clients with, among other things, bathing assistance, meal preparation, medication reminders, getting out of or in to bed, and “check-ins.”
We know it can be challenging for families when a member is discharged from a hospital. This service ensures that clients are guided through the outpatient surgery and recovery period. We are available for help prior to surgery and will accompany a client each step of the way through full recovery, including transportation to follow-up doctor visits.
Our caregivers monitor clients in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, continuing care retirement communities, etc., to be there when the family cannot, etc.
Respite care is a unique program to assist families by providing care for a short period of time, such as vacations.
We have a professional, process-oriented staff ready to serve our clients and their families.
When a prospective client contacts a Senior Helpers office, they set up a complimentary initial assessment at the client’s location to discuss the client’s needs and formulate a care plan. If necessary, a staff member, Social Worker or RN (depending on the State regulations) will conduct a full nursing assessment to gauge the client’s status and clarify the care plan.
They determine the most appropriate caregiver for the client using the assessment information and the caregiver matching process. Service starts on the pre-determined date. Follow-up is conducted immediately after service begins and on a periodic basis to ensure excellent care delivery.
Our mission is to ensure a better quality of life for our elderly clients and their families by providing dependable and affordable care. We are a trusted and respected organization that takes a responsible role in supporting our clients and their families, our employees, and our community.
Our vision is to be your community’s leading home care company, setting a new standard of care and customer service for our industry.
Integrity Without Compromise
We believe in demonstrating the highest levels of honesty and integrity in all interactions with others. We will not compromise this value for short-term gain or convenience.
Improve Quality of Life
We believe that our work in home care is about helping our clients and their families improve their quality of life during the aging process, maintain peace of mind, and enjoy independence in their own homes.
Open & Effective Communication
We believe that clear communication and open dialog are critical to building and maintaining positive relationships and creating exceptional experiences for others.
We believe that to be successful in a dynamic and competitive business like home care, we need to maintain positive habits of thought in all that we do. We encourage our team members and remind ourselves to think and act positively in every situation.
We believe that we can advance in our industry by continuously seeking opportunities to improve. We believe that it is important to constantly assess our current reality by examining facts and data. Our willingness to embrace the facts will help us grow and create exceptional experiences for our stakeholders.
We believe in the sanctity of human life and in celebrating the joy of life. We will foster this by creating opportunities for our clients, caregivers, employees, and franchisees to live a life that they can celebrate!
Senior Helpers has taken a bold step by telling the world that age does not erase hopes and dreams. And by implementing the Virtual Dementia Tour companywide, Senior Helpers has further demonstrated its commitment to those it serves. Senior Helpers is proud to support Second Wind Dreams® on this mission by encouraging donations, raising awareness, and sensitizing the world to dementia as a corporate partner.
What is the Virtual Dementia Tour?
Learning to create a positive environment for those with dementia can only come from attempting to walk in their shoes. Created by P.K. Beville, a specialist in geriatrics, this valuable, easy to follow experiential tour is designed to instill hope in professional and family caregivers, providing them with a tool to move from sympathy to empathy and better understand the behaviors and needs of their loved ones and patients.
Interested in learning how you can bring the Virtual Dementia Tour to you?
Contact us today to help us and you learn more about changing the perspective on aging!
"Until There’s a Cure, Take The Tour!"