Senior Concierge: In-Home Services for Aging Parents

The Detroit News published an article, Seniors Get a Dose of Daily Care, introducing me to the concept of senior concierge services. The  May 26, 2010, article describes a new business set up by Liz Pinto and Frank Gordon in the Detroit area. Their company, Senior Concierge, provides services to relatively healthy elderly adults who want to stay in their homes, but who need additional support and services to remain there. Both Liz and Frank supported  their own parents in various ways, and their experiences provide a window on the services that seniors may require. Clients, while relatively independent, often ask for assistance with rides, house repairs, medication organization, small-scale emergencies such as when the circuit breaker flips, and a variety of other tasks. This business should not be confused with the assistance provided by a home health agency.

My mother-in-law could have used a service like this during the months following her stroke, when she was recovering and still fairly independent. As her speech therapy slowed down, what she needed was about two hours of talking practice every other day or so, and we never could find the right person to do this task.

The article, by reporter Marney Rich Keenan, points out that “… by design Senior Concierge is a two-person operation.” They are not hiring other people for now, instead keeping the operation small and personalized — something I like.

Has anyone had experience with a company of this type?  I’d be interested in billing minimums, as well as expectations for negotiating hours, services, etc.

I searched Google for senior concierge services and senior support services, discovering that this type of business is growing in various sections of the country, not just in the typical retirement areas in the South. Some companies are small and personalized, like the business in Detroit, while others are larger with a range of professionals and other staff.

3 thoughts on “Senior Concierge: In-Home Services for Aging Parents

  1. There are lots of reasons why Seniors can, and will, benefit from help from a service like ours. The first is that we are caring individuals, who had previous professional careers. We are mature, and established in our lives, so we more than likely have the same kinds of values as our senior clients and their families. “We are just like you” is the statement we use…and it is a serious and truthful statement. We extend our clients ability to remain independent, by adding to the efforts of the children who are helping Mom and Dad. In one case, we now help them by ourselves because the family is “mad” because the senior won’t go to assisted living, and is “not talking or seeing them until they move to assisted living” We work for the Senior, not the family, even though we have told them that we do agree that they would be safer in an “assisted” environment. It is about their desire to maintain their independence in their own home.

    In answer to the question about minimums, Senior Concierge has a 1-hour minimum time charge, but most situations are always more than that. We do have some clients who have a regular schedule of two visits per week, and some who use us for help for doctor visits and other activities “on-demand”. So far, there have been few times where we have not been able to accomodate needs.

    As to the types of services, we focus on “doing things for” the senior. Hence, the phrase in our logo: “Helping Seniors live independently”. We do not delve into the world of “doing things to” them. There are plenty of other sevices that handle those areas.

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