A friend of mine said it might be cheaper to hire someone through an ad in the newspaper. Should I do this?
Outwardly it is often cheaper to hire an independent caregiver from an ad or even from an employment agency, but ultimately it could be the most expensive decision you have ever made. While there are many good, independent caregivers there are also risks involved First of all, this person will probably not be bonded should any of your valuables turn up missing. They will also likely not be insured for liability within your home so if the caregiver is injured while in your employ, you would be liable for medical care and any disability. Furthermore, if the person is not reporting their income, you may be held liable for payroll taxes by the government. As well, you could be liable for unemployment benefits should you ever discontinue your relationship with that caregiver. In addition to all this, you would have the responsibility of finding a replacement if the caregiver gets sick or otherwise cannot be there for you. And finally, there is no guarantee that they are properly trained to provide professional, trustworthy service to you or your loved one. At Safe at Home Senior Care, this is provided as part of the caregiver’s employment by us.
Are you a local or a national company?
Safe at Home Senior Care is locally owned and operated. It is a family business that was founded by Steven C. Glenn who had over 30-years of experience working with seniors and adults with disabilities. Mr. Glenn passed away in April 2014 and prior to his death, turned the business over to his step-son, Ryan Colligan who operates as the Director. Ryan Colligan is continuing Mr. Glenn’s legacy and remains passionate about the safety, dignity and independence of seniors.
Can I change my services and/or my schedule after I sign the service agreement?
Yes. Simply call our office with any changes you would like to make. Our philosophy is to make the schedule work for the family. You come first. Your needs, your requests, your schedule. We will do everything possible to make sure the schedule you want is the schedule you get. In addition, we will make periodic reassessments to determine if the level of care should be increased, reduced or stay the same. We will then discuss our recommendations with the client and the family to determine the best course of action.
Do your caregivers get additional and specialized training?
All of our caregivers receive continuous training using a comprehensive, nationally recognized program, specifically tailored for in-home caregivers. The topics covered range from basic skills to infection prevention and control, to bathing, personal grooming, as well as the body mechanics of lifting. We also have certificate training available for all caregivers doing Hospice service and specialized training in dementia care.
Is Safe at Home Senior Care a Registry/Referral Service?
No. All caregivers are employees of Safe at Home Senior Care
May I receive your services in other settings besides my home?
Yes. Safe at Home Senior Care provides services in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities and other settings.
Some other companies I’ve called have quoted me a low base rate, but then they add on additional charges if the coverage I need is on a weekend, or if it is after 5 p.m., or if it is less than an 8 hour block. Do you do this?
No. Once your rate is determined, it is always the same whether you are receiving service on days, nights, weekdays or weekends. We feel that this is the simplest fee schedule for our clients, their families and us to understand. There are no hidden charges. This way the client is never surprised. The only exception is if you receive service on a major holiday (i.e., Christmas, Easter, etc.), in which case a higher rate is charged for that day.
What is a live-in situation and why would I want to consider it for my parents?
The live-in situation is a great option for clients who would like the security of having someone with their loved one at all times.
A live-in companion works directly with the client 8-10 hours per day, has free time to themselves in the evening (but remains in the residence), and sleeps at night. Typically, the live-in rate is less than the cost of hourly around-the-clock care. While the live-in option is an excellent alternative for families that need someone around continuously, but do not need around-the-clock care, the caregiver is expected to get up and help with bathroom needs during the night.
Will someone from your company come to my home to conduct an initial assessment?
Yes. Safe at Home Senior Care conducts an initial needs consultation in order to get to know you and see how you like things done in your home. Information regarding your health issues, the services you require and your emergency contacts will be obtained at this time We refer to this initial visit as a consultation because we are interested in providing you as many of the alternative options as possible so you can choose what is best for you or your loved one..
Transportation and Schedules
Can your caregivers provide transportation?
Yes. Our caregivers can drive to doctors’ appointments, senior centers or any other place. If driving your vehicle, there is no extra charge to your hourly or daily rate. If you require the caregiver to drive his or her own vehicle, you are billed a standard per-mileage rate.
How does your scheduling work?
You choose the hours you need. We provide as little as three hours per week or up to 24/7 live-in coverage.
How quickly can services be provided?
Generally services can be provided to meet the needs of the client, certainly within a 48-hour period and often the same day if necessary. We are very responsive to your needs and it is not always possible to predict when care will be needed. Since we always try to match the caregiver to the client from a personality standpoint, the more notice we have the better a job we can do for you.
What areas do you serve?
We serve all of Santa Cruz County including: Aptos, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Capitola, Corralitos, Davenport, Felton, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Mount Hermon, Pajaro, Rio Del Mar, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Soquel, Summit, Watsonville.
Will I be able to reach a supervisor at any time?
Yes. Safe at Home Senior Care provides access to an on-call supervisor 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Do I need to sign a contract?
Safe at Home Senior Care has a service agreement that must be signed prior to beginning services. This agreement can be cancelled, for any reason, with 2-weeks notice.
How is billing handled?
Clients are sent an invoice bi-weekly.
What are the costs for your services?
Because all services and schedules are tailored to the needs of the client, the cost of service for each client is determined at the initial consultation meeting, when we meet with the client and/or the client’s family to determine the appropriate level of care. There is no charge for the consultation visit. In general, however, our rates are hourly or per-shift for overnight and 24-hour live-in shifts.
Will Medicare or my private insurance reimburse for your services?
No. Safe at Home Senior Care is a private-pay caregiver service. Medicare, Medicaid or other health insurance plans do not cover in-home care, since our duties are non-medical.
Will my Long Term Care Insurance cover your services?
In most cases, Long Term Care Insurance does reimburse for our services. We will be happy to work with you to determine the eligibility requirements of your particular insurance company. We have become quite adept at understanding the terms of various LTC policies and have been able to assist our clients in getting through the red tape. For former US servicemen/servicewomen, the Veterans Administration offers a homecare benefit called the “Aid & Attendance” pension. Ask us for more information.
Are your caregivers experienced?
Absolutely! They are all experienced and receive additional training upon being hired. We have excellent caregivers and Certified Companion Aides who truly have a passion for providing care and they are OUR employees, thoroughly interviewed, screened and background/referenced checked (state and national), trained and oriented, bonded and insured. Many of our caregivers have nurses aide training as well. In addition, we look for caregivers who have had the life experiences of raising their own children as well as caring for their parents or grandparents at some point in the past. We feel that these experiences are invaluable and one of the guiding philosophies of our founders is that they will never hire someone that they wouldn’t have felt comfortable placing with their own parents.
May I meet my caregiver before our first day together?
Yes. Safe at Home Senior Care arranges for an introduction by our Client Relations Coordinator for you and your caregiver to meet prior to beginning services.
Why should I choose your service over another in my area?
Safe at Home Senior Care has achieved an excellent reputation as a top-quality caregiver service. We are the ONLY Diamond Certified home care agency in Santa Cruz County. This is a distinction we are very proud of. We have achieved this distinction 4 years in a row based on high customer satisfaction ratings from current and former clients. As a result, our growth has been due primarily to word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients and their families. We remain in close contact with our clients, families and caregivers to ensure your satisfaction with all aspects of your care. In 2015 we will be celebrating our 10th year of serving the community and there is no other agency that is as responsive, compassionate and as flexible as Safe at Home Senior Care. We take pride in having the finest, best trained and most responsible caregivers in the industry.
Will I always have the same caregiver?
Safe at Home Senior Care makes every effort to send the caregiver with whom you are familiar. If your regular caregiver is unable to work a scheduled shift due to illness or some other emergency, we will provide a suitable substitute. Naturally, we will keep you informed of any changes. Our goal is to establish a long-term match between client and caregiver, and to keep the same caregiver with a client as long as the client is satisfied. This is based upon our experience that developing a strong rapport and trust with your caregiver is a vital component to a successful home care experience. In short, we want to avoid the “revolvingdoor” of caregivers. However, for very practical reasons this is dependent on the level and frequency of service. We always want to have, at least, one back-up that you know. In the case of 24 hour live-in care, there may be up to three caregivers since we try not to schedule more than two consecutive shifts. For your protection, our caregivers must be fresh, rested and healthy.