Each month, we have an FAQ session related to some of Seniors Helping Seniors' most frequently asked questions. This month, we sat down with Jeff Roolf, CEO of SHS here in Denver, CO.
Jeff, if you could tell me what services does Seniors Helping Seniors provide?
We provide a long list of non-medical services referred to as “assistance with activities of daily living” including things like, meal preparation, companionship, light housekeeping, laundry, transportation to errands or Dr.’s appointments, companionship and much, much more.
Awesome. Thank you. Can you tell me a little bit about your selection criteria and process for finding caregivers? Specifically how you do it.
Our agency seems to be a magnet for like minded mature, caring individuals who want to help. We are connected throughout the community with organizations and facilities that work with seniors and share our information, We do go through an extensive screening process and background check. A lot of our care providers come from a medical profession, have retired but want to stay connected and help people. They want to have a purpose but they don't want the heavy schedule and the stress that they had with their medical career. We provide a great opportunity to stay active and connected, with a schedule that works better for them, and also in an environment that's less stressful. It works very well.
If somebody was looking for in-home care in your area, and they were asking about pricing ... What are the costs going to be? What would you say?
Our pricing varies depending on the services provided and the amount of time that is needed and at this point ranges from $18.50 up to $25 per hour based on those factors that I mentioned. Once we have met and assessed the client an exact rate is established. If Clients needs change and more hours are needed, the hourly rate can go down.
Tell me a little bit about what makes you guys different, compared to all other in-home care companies, you know, across the country?
Seniors Helping Seniors is focused on relationships and keeping people together. It is common for us to hear from new clients that another agency “had a different person showing up each week” or “I was a bit put off by the tattoos and piercings”. Somebody can have the skills to provide the service but be a horrible match. We look at people and personalities not just employee skills and services requested. We ask; “will they enjoy spending time together”? That's important to us. The whole reason that Seniors Helping Seniors exists, is that we've identified that a more mature care provider - someone at least closer to the generation of the care receiver, is going to have an easier time establishing rapport, and developing a relationship. We focus on both sides of the senior equation - then do everything in our power to keep good matches together.
More specifically on the cost associated, cause I know that ... I mean, a lot of this ... This is something I'll take out, but a lot of the searches online are related to the pricing. Do you offer integration with third party payers, like Medicare and all that stuff?
Seniors Helping Seniors offers an excellent value for in home care. Our hourly rates are lower than other reputable, licensed agencies and our care providers stand head and shoulder above those of the competition. We accept long term care insurance or private pay. Usually Medicaid, or Medicare will not pay for non-medical services, and our agency is not set up to take Medicaid, or Medicare.
Jeff, can you kind of elaborate on the matchmaking piece of things? Do people have a say as far as who specifically comes into the house?
Every senior we work with will have complete control over who comes into their home! We will always do an in-person introduction to ensure that all parties are completely comfortable before services start. Since our priority is to put people together to form a long-term relationship, the two co-owners of this agency, Jeff and Stacy, do every new client assessment and every new hire interview. We get to know people. We have a list of questions that we ask to identify personality types, attitudes, preferences, and commonalities. Then we put people together based on that information ... It's a process that has been working extremely well. We are continuing to match people based on a long list of factors and criteria.
Do your potential clients need a physicians authorization for your services?
No. There's no physicians’ authorization needed, but we do coordinate care with medical agencies, doctor’s offices and hospice companies. A lot of times, a medical professional will recommend a certain amount or type of care and we work with them to make sure that we're providing what is best for the client. We will do everything possible to keep them as healthy and happy as possible.
Where exactly do you guys service in your area? What geography do you guys cover?
We cover Jefferson County Colorado exclusively, which includes Lakewood, Littleton, Arvada, Golden, Westminster and Wheat Ridge. We also work in all of northwest Denver.
What's Senior Helping Seniors' relationship with assisted living facilities? Do you work inside those? How would you partner with one?
We have many clients who live in assisted living facilities who want to augment the services provided. Sometimes they have specific preferences on how those services are provided and they like the Seniors Helping Seniors way of doing things. It's common for us to move with someone, help with the packing and organizing and help them in the transition. Then we will provide specific services that will enhance the care they receive in assisted living. It's common for a facility to have some sort of an ala carte menu so a resident can add on services, and sometimes they would just prefer to have those add-ons done by our senior care providers, especially if there's been a relationship established, or if there's resistance to new faces, which is pretty common with seniors.
We have found that with a senior care provider, that resistance is not quite as great. It is also common for us to take people out of the facility for activities, or excursions, and fun things they enjoy. Sometimes it's just companionship, and we do puzzles, games, or activities that would be engaging to that senior.
What is the Seniors Helping Seniors biggest differentiating factor compared to other In-Home Care companies out there?
The only other thing I would like to touch on is what differentiates us ... We are focused on the total well-being of seniors. We offer alternatives like pet and music therapy. These are not formal types of “therapy” but we do use music in our relationships, and it has been a blessing. We have also seen great results with simple visits from our trained support dog, Olive the Pug. She has brought smiles and laughter to many faces who hadn’t expressed joy in some time. It’s this kind of continuing focus on our prime directive of enriching the lives of the people we work with that differentiates us.
Thank you, Jeff.