Meet The Team | Senior Helpers of Charleston
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Serving Charleston and surrounding areas.
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Serving Charleston and surrounding areas.
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Meet the Charleston/Mt. Pleasant Office

More than 90% of seniors want to age in their own home with dignity but getting the right type of care can seem daunting. At Senior Helpers Charleston, we believe that getting the best care for your loved ones should not be complicated. Amy Petersen-Smith opened the Senior Helpers Mt. Pleasant office because of her passion for helping others and her interest in the growing need for in-home care services. Amy is committed to delivering the best possible in-home care to seniors in the Lowcountry community.

We take in-home care seriously and make it a priority to provide the highest level of client service possible. We have built an exceptional team of care professionals, each committed to remaining at the forefront of the in-home care industry through our proprietary ongoing training and education programs.

Our History

Our History

Senior Helpers was founded in 2002 by Tony Bonacuse with the help of Peter Ross after their firsthand experience in caring for their respective family members. Tony and Peter identified a need that was not being filled properly by the other companies. They realized most seniors would prefer to age in their own home rather than move into an unfamiliar institution. Unfortunately, the options available to most seniors were very limited. Most seniors did not have access to well-trained, dependable and affordable in-home care. This was the mission-driven spark that started Senior Helpers.

The first office opened in Baltimore, and quickly developed a reputation for delivering excellent in-home senior care with their well-trained staff of professional caregivers. Based on the success of the Baltimore location, the company began to expand. Over the past 13 years, the Senior Helpers family has grown to include a network of more than 300 locally owned and operated franchises across the United States.

Senior Helpers of Charleston is proud to be a part of the Senior Helpers family and like every other owner, we too are fully-committed to the original goal of providing dependable and affordable in-home care with well-trained caregivers. Nothing is more important to us than being the best available resource for seniors and families in our community. 

Amy was drawn to Senior Helpers because she wanted to bring a sense of peace to families. Knowing your loved one is being taken care of by friendly, trained, and compassionate care providers all in their comfort of your loved one’s home will provide that for you.

We have been lucky to serve hundreds of seniors in our community over the years, and we are committed to continuing to provide uncompromising levels of care to all our families.

Our process

Our process

The first step in the process is a complimentary, initial in-home care assessment with a Senior Helpers consultant.  This assessment can help you understand the true needs of your loved one, and your options. Together we can discuss their needs, our senior care services and determine what’s best for your entire family.

We will cover:

  • Your family's specific goals
  • Your loved one's daily plan design and schedule
  • Pricing and payment methods
  • Implementation process
  • Ongoing communication and follow-up plan
  • Create a unique LifeProfile and Smart Care Plan

Kim is the best caregiver Mom has ever had!! She makes our family a better one. Also, she brings joy to Mom (and the rest of us too), which is priceless. Thank you for matching her with us!!

Meet the Charleston Team

Amy Petersen-Smith

Amy Petersen-Smith

Owner

From a young age growing up in the Midwest, Amy’s grandparents and parents not only instilled a strong work ethic but that caring, respecting, and giving back to your elders was just the natural way of life. She started this mission early in life as a first grader, volunteering with her grandpa at the church. She always enjoyed hearing the stories and jokes told by the “young fellas” and picked up a bit of wisdom along the way. She later went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and spent the last 25 years in executive management for various human service companies; including the last 9 years with the corporate office for Senior Helpers before moving to Charleston. She and her husband, Barry realized the value of being able to help seniors remain independent at home after her grandma had a fall and was forced to move out of her home for her own safety. They have seen the struggle that so many families experience in trying to keep mom or dad at home, where they want to be, because life pulls us in many directions. We cannot provide that care all the time nor have the energy it takes to care of an aged loved one and manage your own lives. Amy and Barry decided to take this value and bring the convenience of living with assistance at home to your loved one in Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley Counties with Senior Helpers. Their mission is to bring you a sense of peace knowing your loved one is being taken care of by friendly, trained, and compassionate care providers all in their comfort of your loved one’s home. In her free time, Amy enjoys running, swimming, biking, taking her dog (and office mascot) Brutus to the beach, watching college football (especially her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes), and cooking for friends and family.

Allancia Sorhaindo

Allancia Sorhaindo

Director of Nursing

Allancia is a United States Air Force Veteran, with degrees in Financial Management, as well, as Nursing. She has also served for the United States Navy as a civilian where she worked in Project Managment for the United States Marine Corps on Emergency Response Systems. Allancia also achieved a certification from the Academy of Lymphatic Studes as a Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist. Her values are very much aligned to her military background which include integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. Her passion for nursing started as a young child as she went to visit her grandmother in and out of nursing homes. Shortly before she started nursing school, her mother who raised her was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Allancia became her mother’s caregiver where her passion for home care developed. After her mother passed away, she promised to continue to make a difference in the community sharing her love for people and nursing. Allancia is excited to be a part of the Senior Helpers team and looks forward to being a part of the owner’s vision for the Center of Excellence.

Julie Wise

Julie Wise

Client Services Manager

Julie attended the State University of New York at Fredonia where she graduated with a degree in social science.  She worked for the Broome County Department of Social Services, and later at the Broome County nursing home as a social worker.  She then worked as social worker at the veterans home in Chenango County, New York, and later returned to the 383 bed Broome County nursing home as the Director of Social Services.

Julie received her Masters degree in healthcare administration at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Julie married her husband, Rob, who is an emergency physician, relocated to New Hampshire and was a stay at home mom to their three children.  Julie received a parental involvement award in education from the state of New Hampshire.

Julie and family relocated to South Carolina to escape the harsh New England winters.  Julie reentered the workforce, became a certified dementia practitioner and is happy to be working once again with the elderly.
 

Kim Schneider

Kim Schneider

Family Care Director

Kim grew up in New Orleans, LA but spent most of her career in New York City. Looking for a lifestyle change she relocated to the Low Country in 2017. Most of her career has been in executive positions with large retail brands. When relocating she decided to focus on finding her next career where she could make a difference. Her nature is to nurture and has much compassion for disadvantaged children and seniors. As you care for them, in turn, they offer such a rewarding purpose in life. Part of the caregiving phases for her father, she knew he was most comfortable at home and found a true respect for all the contributors who assisted in fulfilling that agenda. She is grateful that she can feel compassionate about being a participant in the process of the transitioning phases in so many unique and individual lives. At the age of 14 Kim’s family lived across the street from a senior care facility and made frequent visits to see the elderly to either read short stories, listen to their story or just hold their hand for a few moments. Kim learned very early on, everyone needed love. Due to many social restrictions lately, Kim has chosen to try a new hobby and she has a new perspective and respect for anyone who can hit a golf ball in under 3 swings!

Natasha Grieves

Natasha Grieves

Lead Scheduler

Natasha was born and raised in Portland, Tennessee which is just north of Nashville, Tennessee. Natasha loves Mexican food & her favorite place for vacation is the Smoky Mountains. She has 2 children. Mathew is her oldest & Vayda her youngest. She was a stay-at-home mother until her youngest left for kindergarten. Once her youngest started school she decided to work outside the family home. Her heart’s always been drawn to the senior population. She was employed as a caregiver & was quickly recognized as being very skilled at that job. She was brought in by her employer to work as caregiver & office personnel. She was even sent to train new caregivers as needed with things like ADL’s & on Hoyer use. While in the office she handled all the LTC paperwork, answered the phones, assisted with scheduling, etc. She was labeled a “Jack of all trades!” Here at Senior Helpers, she is the “Master Scheduler.” She loves getting to know our clients & our caregivers. She loves what she does & feels blessed to have such a rewarding job.


“If you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever” – Stephen King

Claire Landefeld

Claire Landefeld

HR Coordinator

Claire grew up in Maryland and raised one daughter until she flew south to join Theresa and Jon (hubby) and her golden grand daughter Eva to enjoy warmer weather and family. After a long career in luxury retail she was looking for something more meaningful and came across Senior Helpers which has become a great fit for her to finish out her career. Claire has settled in Ladson and looks forward to helping the company grow, serving clients with their needs of care for their loved ones.

Our Nurses

Kim Appis

Kim Appis

RN

Kim comes to Senior Helpers with a nursing background in adult progressive care and post-surgical nursing. She is dedicated to the safety and comfort of her patients, delivered in a professional and compassionate manner. Kim considers every individual and family situation unique and knows that listening to their wishes is paramount in providing top notch care, especially in the home. When she isn’t busy being a nurse she loves practicing yoga, being on the water, running on the beach, and enjoying nature.

Emma Ashcraft

Emma Ashcraft

RN
Healthcare Leadership Council Meeting in South Carolina

Healthcare Leadership Council Meeting in South Carolina

Senior Helpers attended the Healthcare Leadership Council meeting with Congressman Joe Cunningham in South Carolina.  Those in attendance felt that the meeting was productive and look forward to an ongoing relationship with his office. Pictured here (L to R): Brian Feldman, HLC;  Alexis Johns, MUSC Boeing Center; Patti Horne, Change Healthcare; Rep. Joe Cunningham (D/SC); Amy Petersen-Smith, Senior Helpers; Sarah Piwinski, MUSC Boeing Center; Walker Smith, Bon Secours Health System

And of course the Congressman’s dog which was a welcome first for a Congressional meeting!
 

Areas We Serve

Senior Helpers Charleston provides a full range of senior home care services for you or your loved one - from companionship and housework help, to more complex care services, including disease management, Live-In and 24-hour care services.

Senior Helpers Charleston serves the cities and towns of: 

  • Charleston
  • North Charleston
  • Hanahan
  • Awendaw
  • Mt. Pleasant
  • Isle of Palms
  • Sullivan’s Island
  • Goose Creek
  • Huger