Published August 21, 2012
Volume 20, Number 8

Senior Helpers Offers Timely Care that Provides Peace of Mind       
Firm Specializes in Providing In-Home Care for a Variety of Purposes, Patients

Senior Helpers’ staff outside their Hacienda offices on Stoneridge Drive.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Where do you turn when you need assistance caring for an elderly loved one? Senior Helpers has the answer. Newly arrived in Hacienda after four years elsewhere in the Tri-Valley, this agency prides itself on tailoring care programs to the specific needs of its clients.

“We are providers of in-home senior care services,” explains Sandy Levine, who, with her son Ryan Elrod, owns and operates the Hacienda office and one in Palo Alto. Their overall goal is to provide families with peace of mind, assuring them that their loved ones are “completely safe and cared for in all situations.”

Divided into two product lines, companion care and personal care, Senior Helpers' services span a broad spectrum: “Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal and companion care, senior care management and evaluation, nurse and companion visits, surgery assistance, sitter services, veterans services, and more.”

Companion care comprises everyday companionship and assistance with daily living activities, from housekeeping and errands to pet care and engaging in hobbies. As Levine points out, social interaction is especially important for loved ones living alone with families far away. Visits and conversation with companions help prevent feelings of isolation and depression.

Personal care helps with more intimate, non-medical care needs, whether due to normal aging challenges, hospital recovery, or sickness. Senior Helpers has a licensed vocational nurse on staff who delivers training to caregivers, for example in handling physical transfers; along with providing a certification program in Alzheimer's and dementia care. In fact, gaining more space to train a growing roster of employees was one of the reasons the agency sought out new quarters.

In addition to equipping employees with the requisite skills, Levine places strong emphasis on making sure the entire care experience goes smoothly. “Our care managers conduct periodic assessments to survey the loved one's care,” she says.

One of the main considerations is that the business is an around-the-clock operation. In this area, Levine's background serves her well. Levine was drawn to the field by her own personal experiences. Having both a sister with MS and a mother who was ill throughout her life gave her the client perspective. Her work at Kaiser as a project manager and in tech support provided the insight into back-end operations, especially the “always-on” nature of the business.

Like many businesses that have found a successful niche, the company is “constantly recruiting.” Levine prefers candidates with “at least two years of experience, perhaps caring for a family member.”

“As a full-service agency, our job is to keep clients and their families from having to deal with the ups and downs,” she notes. “We have someone on staff 24 by 7, so if an urgent need occurs or if a caregiver can’t do a shift, we are prepared.” All employees are thoroughly vetted, including fingerprinting through the Department of Justice and a DMV check, after which they are bonded and insured by Senior Helpers. “This gives our clients a high level of comfort when one of our caregivers comes into their home.”

For more information, visit www.seniorhelpers.com.


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