Peter Ross and Tony Bonacuse founded Senior Helpers franchise in 2002 after they personally experienced the limitations of home care options for the elderly and committed to creating something greater. Though the segment was crowded, Ross and Bonacuse knew the need for senior care wasn’t going away, so they set out to establish a concept far and beyond what was currently available to the growing consumer base.
“When we started our business, we were just like everyone else,” Ross said. “We employed compassionate, professional caregivers who were expertly trained to provide clients with great care and fantastic service, but we were the same as our competition.”
In the years since, Senior Helpers has established itself as the premier mission-driven, for-profit enterprise in the home care segment. The brand is an unmatched franchise opportunity in the non-medical senior care field as a result of strong leadership, a commitment to clearly-defined values, an ever-innovating service offering and unmatched, ongoing training programs that support franchisees and caregivers."
The Senior Helpers mission is simple: focus on what a person can do. This is a key differentiator for the brand because as a person ages, there’s often a lot of focus on what they can’t do – drive, communicate as well or walk as well, for instance. Senior Helpers’ caregiving strategies and techniques aim to combat these notions, giving independence back to their clients, wherever they are in their journey. For example, the Senior Helpers Senior Gems program celebrates the capacities of their clients at each level of care and is just one example of the brand's commitment to affirming care.
“Our philosophy is more than just caregiving; it’s about enriching the lives of the people we are caring for,” said Senior Helpers Sr. VP of Franchise Operations Mari Baxter. “Many of our competitors treat clients more like children than adults. Our caregivers know their job isn’t just to take care of a person, but to help them feel like they felt before they needed care.”
Senior Helpers puts its philosophy into practice by caring for clients on-site so they can age in place. The brand focuses on safety, enrichment, and caring, providing a high level of support that makes the brand stand out in the segment beyond its specialized dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s treatment programs.
Led by Ross, whose role as president of the Home Care Association of America provides him with the access and ability to advocate on behalf of the industry as a whole, Senior Helpers is on the forefront of the home care segment when it comes to innovation.
“Peter is a thought leader in the industry and also happens to be at the helm of our business,” Baxter said. “Beyond being our CEO, he's in a role where our competitors look to him to dictate the trends of the industry. He advocates on behalf of all of us at a national level.”
With such strong, innovative leadership in place, it’s no wonder Senior Helpers’ network of 300 franchise locations and over 18,000 caregivers has become one of the strongest business opportunities in the segment. The brand has taken extensive measures to ensure its franchisees and their employees deliver the utmost care to their clients through detailed, ongoing training programs at every phase of the business.
“Training starts the second day after you sign your franchise agreement,” Senior Helpers VP of Training Christina Chartrand said. “We hit the ground running with online materials and a variety of other resources. Part of the process is receiving tools like a manual, welcome kit, and a call from a franchise operations manager who provides a list of tasks franchisees must get done before arriving to initial training.”
Chartrand said franchisees are given access to Senior Helpers’ proprietary online training courses to build a deep understanding of how the business works before attending a 10-day training that covers technology, customer service, operations, marketing and more.
“It’s a very well-rounded training to get their business open and lays the foundation for the continued support we provide,” she said. “We put a lot in place to help our franchisees and those that have been around for a long time attest to the benefits of this emphasis.”
That continued support, Chartrand explained, comes via a specialized franchise operations manager whose sole job is working with new franchisees until they launch their business. Next, franchisees are put in contact with another specialist, who works with them on taking their business to the next level. Tools such as a detailed manual, a supportive intranet and an extensive franchisee network add further depth to the training programs Senior Helpers has in place.
“Making sure our franchisees treat their clients like family members is crucial and the reason we are growing at record speed,” Baxter said. “We are an employer of choice for our caregivers and that has to be demonstrated at every level. We offer many training sessions throughout the year for our franchisees to keep current on industry standards, ensuring they pass this training on to their staff to deliver an exceptional level of care to their clients.”
The expertise among the brand’s leadership team and throughout its franchise system has served as the catalyst for Senior Helpers’ continued growth. Coupled with its core focus on franchisee success, the brand is poised to add to its sustained success in 2019 and beyond.
“Our corporate team knows that we are here to serve our franchisees, and that leadership and messaging really comes from our CEO, Peter Ross,” Chartrand said. “He firmly believes in transparency and sharing information with our franchise system, and that’s really important for any brand. I’ve been in franchising for a long time, and this philosophy doesn't exist on corporate teams elsewhere.”
Built on compassion and empowerment, Senior Helpers recognizes you get what you give. From the top down, the brand’s spirit is imbued in its every action, internal as much as external.
“This is a demanding, 24/7 business, but its rewards exceed its exhaustiveness,” Baxter said. “Not only do people make a great living, but they're also giving back and connecting with people. This business is hard work, but when you’re willing to put your energy into it, it grows into something powerful.”
To learn more about Senior Helpers franchise opportunity visit https://www.seniorhelpersfranchise.com/