On behalf of my brother, his wife, my partner, my children and myself; we send our thanks and love to those from Senior Helpers that came to know and care for our Mother. Those individuals provided a network that made Mom's life possible these last several years. Without help from Carolyn and Mary, Mom would have experienced a very DIFFERENT closing of her life. Mom confided in me that she came to know her helpers as friends and depended on their visits and company.
I found working with your excellent staff a blessing for my piece of mind during all phases of Mom's fight through her Leukemia. Any one of you deserve all of our admiration and blessings - THANK YOU for your services and friendship, thank you all!
My heartfelt thanks to all the schedulers that acted so promptly to plug any "care holes" that may have occurred with Mom's declining health in the last year. Thank you all, so much, so necessary a service you provide. Michael
Thank you for working this out with us - I was starting to panic. Over the past 2 years, we have worked with 3 different agencies. You were BY FAR the easiest and most pleasant to work with. Thank you for everything and for helping us to keep my dad at home for as long as possible. I will continue to refer people to you. Dawn
Thank you for all of your assistance and compassion for her over the years. She very much appreciated your assistance and how it still made her feel independent and strong and able to get out of her apartment. All the best, Rosemary
Hi, Lisa, thank you very much. Can't tell you how much I've appreciated your hard work and professionalism in a very difficult business. If it's any encouragement to you, please know, you guys have done an absolutely spectacular job for me and my needs with Dad. Sincerely, Judy
Our experience with Senior Helpers has been outstanding. Liz has received excellent care from your staff. She has out-lived most of her relatives and close friends. She has no children to visit her, so she really enjoys your staff coming each day to care for some of her needs.
I certainly appreciate the flexibility and urgent response when Liz has had health issues. Liz has been visually impaired for several years and has functioned very well. She now enjoys your caregivers in the evening reading to her or singing with her, playing trivia, helping her with dinner and keeping her engaged in conversation until bedtime. They also meet her evening physical care needs. Thank you for your excellent care. Sincerely, Barbara
All the thanks to YOU! You have allowed me to have my mother with me. This has been one of the biggest gifts ever for our entire family. I hope you know how much you all have impacted my entire families’ life!! Please pass this on to your staff. Blessings, Mary
Senior Helpers certainly gave our family a peace of mind while they cared for our Mom. The staff was kind, considerate and very accommodating. Thank you :) Alka
I have loved the service I receive from Senior Helpers. They help me with all of the little things that I can’t seem to get to anymore, which allows me to stay in my home! Thank you! Pat
Mom and Dad began using Senior Helpers when Mom was discharged from rehab after breaking her hip. At first my parents were reluctant to have a caregiver come in to their home but soon they were able to see and embrace the benefits. Their primary caregiver became like family to them. With all of their children living out of town, it made us all feel better to know someone was right there watching over Mom and Dad. Prior to his passing, my father required round the clock care and Senior Helpers was there to meet our needs. The caregivers have been great companions and personal care aides for my parents. We have been using their services since July of 2008 and have been well pleased. Sincerely, Shirley
I am writing you this evening to commend Senior Helpers on your hiring expertise. My management team at my former employer (a multi-specialty medical group) hired not only on skill but equally on compassion/customer service. You outdid yourself with the hiring of Anita. What comes to mind after merely four+ hours with Anita last week ... she's one in a million, and she's my Mom's (and our family's) guardian angel. Not long after our initial greeting, I couldn't help but wish that she could be a care giver and advocate for all seniors as they are so deserving of our time, focus, assistance and compassion. I felt Anita was already part of our family and like a sister to me. Quite an impression and an accomplishment considering our brief encounter; however, that speaks to Anita's demeanor, her graciousness, her ethics, her willingness to go above/beyond, her kindness, her compassion, her outlook, her gentle nature, her caring smile and her ability to add levity at any given moment to lighten things up. Thanks so much! Lynn
All the thanks to YOU. You have allowed me to have my mother with me. This has been one of the biggest gifts ever for our entire family. I hope you know how much you all have impacted my entire families life !! Please pass this on to your staff."
By Marie Marley
+Alzheimer's Reading Room
I’ll be honest about this right up front. This is going to be an article promoting a business –Senior Helpers. I’m writing this because I believe it’s critical for every family looking for an in-home caregiver to know about this company. It’s a company that really cares about people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
“Why are you so impressed,” you may ask? “Why are you endorsing this company?”
I’m not doing it just because it provides high quality care. I’m endorsing it because it provides exceptional care to people with dementia.
It’s very simple. Senior Helpers is the only in-home care company I’ve ever heard about that provides truly extensive training to its caregivers on how to interact, communicate and engage with people who have dementia.
Other companies may do this, but Senior Helpers has turned it in to one of their specialties.
The thing that impresses me most is that a few years ago Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder (as well as President elect of the Home Care Association of America), took the extraordinary initiative to spend the time, money and effort to form a long-term partnership with Teepa Snow, nationally renowned dementia care specialist, to devise specialized training for his employees.
Ross didn’t have to do that. His company was already flourishing.
As I stated in a recent article I published here about Snow, she is an occupational therapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience in the field of geriatrics and dementia care and also had the personal experience of providing care to family members with dementia.
Snow consulted with Senior Helpers in developing “Senior Gems,” a system that classifies dementia patients into six categories, each named after a gem.
“This system incorporates Teepa’s heart and soul,” says Christina Chartrand, Vice President of Training for the firm. “It takes her entire philosophy about caring for people with dementia and puts it into a simple step-by-step format caregivers can easily understand and implement.”
The “Gems” table shows the basic characteristics of people at each level and provides tips for interacting with them.
Caregivers at Senior Helpers receive extensive training in the care of people with dementia. Chartrand, responsible for developing all training materials, works with Snow in fulfilling her duties.
Each new employee attends a one-day training class that includes watching a DVD by Snow, discussion and role play.
Topics covered include 1) normal aging vs. dementia, 2) how dementia affects the brain, 3) an introduction to the Gems system, 4) techniques for success, 5) creating a positive environment, and 6) meaningful activities and how to integrate them into day-to-day life.
Trainees also receive “Quick Gems” training that has a DVD on each of the six “Gem” levels and a one-page guide on each. Before being assigned to a client each employee has some supervised assignment as an introduction to dementia care. This could include something as simple as driving a client to a doctor’s appointment or preparing a meal.
Ongoing education consists of additional classroom training, including role play, and self-study materials, primarily DVDs and written materials.
In addition, the company is preparing to roll out a new coaching program. As part of this program caregivers experiencing difficulty with a client will be able to consult – either in person or by phone - with a dementia care expert to talk through the problem and arrive at a solution.
“We use a train the trainer approach,” Chartrand says. “We train representatives from each franchise how to train their caregivers to provide the best care possible to people with dementia. This is how we assure that each franchise makes dementia care a top priority.”
In my previous article about Snow I gave a couple of examples from the “Senior Gems” table. I’m going to put another one here because it illustrates the depth of training undergone by Senior Helper’s caregivers.
Emeralds are most comfortable when doing familiar tasks. They like to engage, help others, and want to feel like they have a purpose. They get lost in past life, past places, past roles. They get emotional quickly and lose important things and think someone stole them.
Bring them things that they love – photos, clothing items, music. But be prepared to see them not interact with these items as intended. Don’t set them up for failure- their judgment will be off. If they love chocolate but are diabetic, just bring one piece. Engage in activity during their most rested time.
“Too many people focus on what people with dementia can’t do,” says Ross. It’s almost like putting them in prison. We turn that around and turn can’t into can. We focus on what the person with Alzheimer’s still can do.”
Senior Helpers, founded in 2002, creates customized home care plans that change as the person with dementia changes. “We focus on creating a positive environment for every patient,” says Ross. “This makes the lives of the caregiver and the patient much easier and more enjoyable.”
In addition to providing in-home care, Senior Helpers monitors clients in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and continuing care retirement communities. Ross states, “We can be there when the family cannot.”
The company also provides respite care to assist families by providing care for a short period of time, such as vacations.
A final important fact about Senior Helpers is that it has nearly 300 franchisees in the US, Canada and Australia. So chances are there might be one near you. Wouldn’t you love to have a paid caregiver with this depth of knowledge and experience about dementia helping you out in your home?
If you’re planning to hire an in-home caregiver, check first to see if there is a Senior Helpers located near you. You won’t regret it.