You would think that with all the competition in the non-medical home care that somebody out there would be doing things the way Living Assistance Services does…but nobody seems to. It is probably because our Director, David Porter, strives to maintain a system that is personalized, with the emphasis on building relationships. And not just with our clients, with our caregivers, too.
Many agencies are successful in getting clients but how long do they actually keep them? Keeping clients is a matter of providing personalized service, not just signing people up. Our track record in keeping clients far surpasses our competitors. They may keep their clients for merely a few days, weeks or months while we keep ours for years. How do we do it? “Relationship building”.
Here are some of the key steps taken by Living Assistance Services to ensure strong relationships with clients:
First, we go to the home or hospital with at least two carefully selected caregivers to meet with the client and/or care recipient and their family. This allows the care recipient to personally interview and select the caregiver that they are most comfortable with. Some of our competitors will do the same thing, (if they are pushed to do so by a client), but no one presents this as a standard policy in their literature the way we do.
Perhaps most importantly, we stay in very close contact with our caregivers, clients and/or care recipients via weekly telephone calls, letters or email correspondence. As often as possible, the Director will conduct personal visits to the homes of clients and/or care recipients. This system seems so simple, yet it is amazing just how many agencies do not bother to do it and, accordingly, fail to discover problems until it is too late.
We have learned that most clients require services for a long time and they will stay with us as long as they know that we will be responsive to their individual needs and that they will always receive top quality service. If a client does not know anyone at an agency on a personal level or if they always reach someone different when telephoning, (as they do with so many of the big agencies), they are going to look elsewhere for assistance. We make sure that our clients know us and are comfortable calling us anytime, for any reason, instead of feeling like they have to call someone else.
Be sure to ask other agencies how long their average client stays with their agency. Do not accept a “hip-pocket” answer. Ask if they actually keep these statistics. If they do not, it will tell you a lot about their priorities. If their answer is “less than a year”, you are not dealing with an agency that truly understands “relationship building”.
Pauline Lyons, CPCA
VP and Director
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care