Seniors Helping Seniors

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Spring Event!

Another Spring Event!

"Spotlight On Seniors" Health & Fitness Expo

Tuesday, April 26th 8:30 - noon
Kentwood Parks & Rec Building, 355 48th St. SE, Kentwood
Many sponsors will be at this event offer health screenings and other information for seniors in the Grand Rapids Area. If you or a loved one have any in-home health care needs, stop by and visit the Seniors Helping Seniors booth and get a free gift while you are there!
Mention you saw this posting and get a free T-Shirt!

Monday, March 28, 2011

MetLife Report on Home Care Costs

Market Survey of LTC Costs
From MetLife

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The 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living Adult Day Services and Home Care Costs
When we are speaking with potential franchise partners (and new clients), one very common question is "How much do you charge those receiving your services?" Every year, insurance giant MetLife publishes findings about the costs associated with Long Term Care (LTC) for seniors. This is a survey done at the national level, but it also includes numbers at the state level. The services provided by Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services fall into the Home Care Category. Below are excerpts from the section about Home Care. You will also see in the report that for many of the services provided by Seniors Helping Seniors in Michigan have rates of $15/24/19 (high/low/average cost.

The desire for families and friends to remain at home, or “age in place,” has created a diverse and dynamic home care service industry and a variety of service providers.  Aging adults may choose to live on their own for many years. For people who develop chronic illnesses and other conditions, aging in place often demands outside services, which can allow them to live as independently as possible in their own homes. Most home care is non-medical care provided by paraprofessionals. 

Ongoing home care services, considered to be custodial or supportive care, are usually provided by individuals such as home health aides, homemakers, and companions. Home health aides are trained to provide hands-on care and assistance to people in their homes who need help with ADLs (bathing, dressing, transferring, eating, toileting, or continence). They are also able to help with needed tasks such as cooking, shopping, and laundry.

Homemakers or companions provide services that include light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation, and companionship. This type of care is often appropriate for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia who may be physically healthy but require supervision. Homemakers and companions are not trained to provide hands-on assistance with ADLs such as bathing and dressing.

Back to the question of what we charge our receivers....each franchise partner will set their rate based on their local market. We do, however, provide guidelines and suggestions. One benefit of our business model is that we are using senior caregivers who are not only motivated by money - so in some cases we have a lower hourly rate than other home care agencies. Not that we ever want to compete on price - we compete on loving, caring, compassionate service along with all the benefits of having one senior help another senior. But our business model allows us to offer our services at a competitive rate.

You can read the full report by clicking here. E-mail us for any questions relating to in home care for yourself or a loved one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Zoom Zoom

Don't you love it when you get something new?
A couple weeks ago one of the magnetic car signs on the side of my car decided to take a different exit than me while going down 131 south. Both my parents, sister and grandmother also lost magnetic car signs on the highway over the past year.

So, we decided to upgrade to the vinyl signs on the car which in my opinion look MUCH better - what do you think?

Two vehicles are done and we still need to put the signs on 3 other vehicles. Very soon you will see all our vehicles with the new signs driving through the greater Grand Rapids area....honk and wave if you see us!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choosing Independence

 Lynn Albanelli (left) of Seniors Helping Seniors works with Grady Williams of New Hudson. / Hal Gould |
 Staff Photographer

Company pairs up seniors and helps them stay in their own homes

By Diane Gale Andreassi

Grady Williams probably would not be able to live in his own home without Seniors Helping Seniors.
“They help me do certain things I can't do, like keeping the house up,” according to the 80-year-old New Hudson resident.

In addition to helping him with cleaning and other chores, Kim Fischer also takes him to bingo and brings him puzzles that they do together.

The concept behind the nationwide franchise is to link senior caregivers with seniors who need non-nursing help tailored to their specific needs to maintain a desired level of independence. Often, instead of going to a nursing facility, the client stays in their familiar setting and is able to keep their pets and all their belongings.

“We provide seniors with the ability to choose an independent lifestyle in their own homes, for as long as possible, with the dignity and respect they deserve by finding caring seniors to help each other,” according to Lynn Albanelli, who co-owns and is partner with Jim Ludwig to provide Seniors Helping Seniors in west Oakland, Washtenaw and Livingston counties. Albanelli was a caregiver for Ludwig's wife when she was dying a few years ago.

On the giving end, Seniors Helping Seniors is for seniors who want to stay active; supplement their income and find other seniors who want to receive a service they can provide.

“It is senior aged people who have the heart of a volunteer who want to help their peers stay in their homes,” Albanelli said.

The character of the seniors providing services as well as the seniors receiving services is checked to help ensure the security and safety of all the people involved. Some of the services include providing companionship, homemaking, personal hygiene, 24-hour care, house repairs, medication reminders, bathing assistance, yard work, transportation, shopping, travel planning, respite assistance, Alzheimer and dementia care, as well as helping with pets.

“We also approach it from a budget conscience approach,” Ludwig said. “There is no hour minimum. We try to set a plan of care that works around their needs and their resources. We're willing to fill-in one or two hours or 10 hours here and there — whatever is required. We take people shopping or take them out for a drive.
“The givers and receivers tend to grow to be very good friends,” he added. “Our care is provided to seniors in need, by seniors of the same generation. We often hear our receivers say how comfortable they are, because they relate so well with each other.

“It's a tremendous organization, and we hope to provide care to as many seniors as we can,” Ludwig added.

Williams' caregiver, Kim Fischer, said she got involved with Seniors Helping Seniors, because she “needed something to do.”

“I was new to the area and wanted to get out of the house,” she added. “I got hooked up with Grady and you become friends with the people you take care of. I feel like I'm checking up on him and giving back to my community. And I do get paid.

“I feel like I'm helping him stay in his home,” Fischer said. “I have another gentleman I take care of and we just chit chat.”

Seniors Helping Seniors is for the “providers to get as much out of it as the receivers,” Ludwig said. “Lynn and myself are sort of like matchmakers to give people who need help to people who will provide it in their own home environment, assisted living or nursing home.”

Seniors Helping Seniors was co-founded by Kiran and Philip Yocom 13 years ago. It grew from Kiran's personal mission to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. Before coming to the United States from India, Kiran worked with Mother Teresa for 14 years. Currently, Kiran serves as the organization's chairwoman and Philip is president/CEO.

“It's typically for folks who don't have all the abilities they used to have,” Albanelli said. “We want to help these seniors and keep them in their homes.”

Ludwig said it's important, though not mandatory, for those providing care to be senior citizens because, “they are more in-tune with the people they're providing services to. The loving, caring, compassionate component of this business is integral.”


Currently, Ludwig and Albanelli have seven receivers and four employees. “I have also been the person in my family who takes care of everyone,” Albanelli said. “I started in the computer field and I was able to stay home and help my husband with his cement company.”

She also comes to the job with knowledge of where senior care can be improved.
“I was taking care of Jim's wife, Carol, as one of her primary caregivers and I had taken care of mother-in-law who had diabetes,” Albanelli said. “I could see where care was lacking.”

“I really want to help people and this was the perfect opportunity for me to do that,” she said. “It's funny. A lot of people say, ‘You're not a senior.' But, they are so comfortable with me. They want me to be with them when their regular provider can't be.”

One client was depressed after losing his life partner. A Seniors Helping Seniors provider visited three days weekly to talk and try to help fill the void. Seniors Helping Seniors are also available to visit people in assisted living facilities if there is a need that is not being met.

“Another woman just wanted someone there as a companion,” she said. “We match the providers with the assisters. They want to help the seniors in the community and make their lives easier. I have never met so many people who just wanted to help people. It's amazing.

And the people receiving the care “are just so grateful and thankful,” Albanelli said. “They just want someone to talk to. It makes me feel so good that I can bring a little light to their day.”
Ludwig worked for 30 years as a landscape architect when his wife was stricken with a debilitating disease. Albanelli helped with her care.

A few years ago Ludwig attended a franchise fair in Novi and he kept returning to the Seniors Helping Seniors booth where he learned there are 130 franchise partners in 35 states.

“One thing led to another and I purchased a franchise,” Ludwig said.

For more information, contact Seniors Helping Seniors at (810) 229-6400 or visit

For franchise information contact Dave VanderLinde Jr @ 616-916-6160 or 

Read Article

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Creating Confident Caregivers

Do you have some clients or family/friends that are helping take care of someone with a memory loss?

Are they wanting to know more dementia and its effects on the brain?

The “Creating Confident Caregivers” classes are designed to help caregivers learn more about dementia, manage behaviors, improve caregiver skills, handle everyday activities more easily and take care of themselves to better care for their loved ones. 

There are still several openings in the “Creating Confident Caregivers” classes that start March 16, 2011.  Classes run from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, March 16, March 23, March 30, April 6 and April 20, 2011.  The March 16th series will be held at Red Cross (1050 Fuller N.E., Grand Rapids).  Lunch is provided, and COMPLIMENTARY RESPITE CARE IS PROVIDED while the caregivers are attending the classes.  Mileage reimbursement is available for those caregivers traveling from outside Kent County.

These classes are offered through an 18 month grant from the Administration on Aging.  They are provided through a partnership between AAAWM, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the G.R. VA Outpatient Clinic. Seniors Helping Seniors In Home Services can provide the free Respite Care. Call our office for more information about this class.