About Senior Helpers


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.

Our Focus

  • Dependability of Service
  • Continuity of Caregivers
  • Peace of Mind for the Family
  • Quality of Life for the Client
  • Independent Living in the Home

Our Services

Companion Care

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.

Personal Care

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. 

 Live-In Care

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.”

Transition Assistance

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.

Sitter Assistance

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

Respite care is a unique program to assist families by providing care for a short period of time, such as vacations.

Our Process

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.

Senior Helpers Mission Statement, Vision, & Core Values

Mission Statement

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.

Core Values

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.

Positive Attitude

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.

Continuous Advancement

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.

Celebrate Life

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!


Meet Our Team

Fran Graves, CSA
Owner/Director of Client and Caregiver Services

Fran Graves is the owner and Director of Client and Caregiver Services of Senior Helpers of Northern Nevada. After putting her professional career on hold to raise a family, Fran became involved in caregiving and finding assistance at home for both her grandparents and in-laws. During that time she found a lack of quality and compassion in the services provided. She also fell in love with helping seniors and with the senior community. Fran decided to get involved and provide the quality care and services seniors need and deserve.

Using her business background, education and personal experience providing care and support for her elderly loved ones, she opened Senior Helpers. Her goal is to always provide compassionate, professional, and personal service. Fran works with every client and family to develop a care plan to meet their individual needs. She is involved in the hiring and training of all caregivers to insure only the most qualified and compassionate caregivers are introduced to Senior Helpers clients.

Fran is also a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), completing a full regiment of course work to increase her expertise in all areas of senior care including health, financial and social issues facing our aging population.

Fran works closely getting to know all Senior Helpers clients and caregivers.She feels it is very important that Senior Helpers not only match a caregiver's skills with a client's needs, but their personality as well. Clients need to have a companion come to their home that they enjoy. That is why Fran feels knowing every member of her caregiving team and every client is an integral part of the service she provides.

Fran is proud to be one of a select few CSA's in Northern Nevada.







Charlie Graves
Owner/Director of Operations


Charlie Graves oversees and is responsible for all back office operations. He is in-charge of all payroll and invoicing. His education and over 30 years of experience in business and IT allows Senior Helpers to operate smoothly and insures all clients accounts are handled promptly and professionally.



Brandy Frietas
Manager of Client Services

Brandy Frietas is Senior Helpers Manager of Client Services. Brandy comes to Senior Helpers with a wealth of experience working as a licensed CNA in both local homecare and in clinical hospital settings. Brandy’s degree in Business Administration and business experience is also an asset in her position.

Brandy meets with all Senior Helpers clients on a continual basis to insure that all their needs are being met and that they are receiving the quality assistance they expect and deserve. Brandy continually reassesses all Senior Helpers clients to make sure that we are aware of any changes, so that they can be addressed in a timely fashion and appropriate changes can be made to their care plan. Brandy is always available to clients and their families to discuss any needs or concerns and insure that Senior Helpers clients always enjoy the caregiver they are matched with for their care.

Brandy and Senior Helpers Caregiver Manager Paula work together to design and present monthly ongoing training available to all caregivers to continually increase their knowledge and expertise in all areas of caregiving.



Paula Lawton
Manager of Caregiver Services

Paula Lawton is Senior Helpers Manager of Caregiver Services. Paula joined the Senior Helpers staff adding her years of experience hiring, training and managing employees in a variety of professional environments.

Paula is responsible for insuring that our caregivers are properly trained and supervised and that they have appropriate training on an ongoing basis so that they continue to provide exemplary care and service. Paula visits with caregivers at our client’s homes to insure they are following each client’s personal care plan and that are providing the level of service our clients deserve and expect. Paula also visits with our caregivers privately so that they have the opportunity to share any concerns or changes they see with our clients that they may feel uncomfortable sharing in front of the client.

Paula and Senior Helpers client Care Manager Brandy work together to design and present monthly ongoing training available to all caregivers to continually increase their knowledge and expertise in all areas of caregiving.



Alyson Castro
Administrative Receptionist

Alyson Castro is Senior Helpers Administrative Receptionist. Alyson is the first friendly voice you will hear when you call Senior Helpers. Alyson has years of excellent experience working in a fast pace office environment. She also has a background in medical assisting.

Alyson is responsible for not only answering our phones but greeting visitors when they come into our office. Alyson supports caregiver management by assisting potential employees with applications, processing of new hiring paper work and other administrative duties involved in ensuring are caregiving staff stays current on all their requirements.



Stephanie Szudajski
Scheduling Coordinator/ Client Support

Stephanie Szudajski works with both clients and caregivers insuring that their schedules meet their needs and requests. Stephanie gets to know each caregiver individually so she can make exactly the right match between caregiver and client. Getting to know our caregivers before we assign them to a client enables Senior Helpers to ensure not only the right skill mix for our client but also that a genuine bond of trust develops between client and caregiver. When a client trusts their caregiver they are more comfortable accepting help.

Stephanie works with Senior Helpers clients on a continuous basis insuring all their care needs are met, any requested adjustments to their scheduler are made and that they feel comfortable and are enjoying the caregiver they are spending time with. Stephanie has worked as a Senior Helpers caregiver providing excellent care for our clients. She understands exactly what our clients need and what support our caregivers need to provide the excellent care our clients deserve.