Why don’t you quote exact fees in your marketing materials or web site?
Angels does not quote fixed rates because the fees can depend greatly on the type of service being requested and there are many factors which can affect pricing. Rural areas require longer travel times, the fixed & variable costs are different, and the most effective pricing will always try to be arranged and offered. Most services are based on an hourly rate, which will include travel time; there are no travel time add-ons; but please understand that in rural areas the trip to/from someone’s home can be 50 miles round trip and an hour of driving. Many service companies today charge you from when they leave their store to when they get back, we try not to be that extreme.
If a service is not required immediately, and another client has a request near the same location – if both calls can be served on the same day, then time is saved on travel, auto expenses, etc., and the quote can reflect this efficiency. If a service is requested on a daily or weekly basis and paid on a monthly retainer contract, then the Angel providing the service can plan other calls around this repeat call, time is saved, and the hourly rate can be more reasonable.
We request a 2 day notice for service so that an Angel can be available, and the most efficient use of their time is reflected in the pricing. Sometimes clients may be asked if the service time can be shifted, to accommodate overall scheduling.
Are any of your services paid for by public assistance funds? Like the home health care, or the meals-on-wheels programs?
No, at this time Angels For Elders is a private-pay company, and has not sought approval of payment from public assistance programs, but will do so in the future. Some elders may not qualify for the “free” services subsidized by government agencies, and it seems there are never enough of these services to go around.
Many programs, such as Meals-On-Wheels, are free because they are provided by volunteers from churches and other local organizations. You should use the free services wherever they are available, but if they cannot provide many extra personal services that you may desire, Angels is there to help out.
My mother lives alone and I am 4 hours away. I cannot see her as often as I would like to so that I can check on her – make sure she is eating properly, living in a clean environment, taking her medicine, and getting to the doctor.
You may want to arrange for Angels to check on her periodically/weekly to do some of the things you’d like to be there to do for her – make a pot of homemade soup/stew; buy groceries, clean up the household a bit, do the laundry, drive her to the doctor, and chat with her to see how she is really doing. Often parents don’t want to bother or worry their children, so they will fib over the phone about how they are really doing. Angels will carry out your specific requests in checking on your parent for you. Please understand that as a licensed non-medical personal assistance service we cannot be responsible administrating of her medicine; we will follow your or her instructions to remind her to take her medication at a certain time, but that is all.
My dad lives alone and is in good health, but is lonely and depressed, and I worry about him being alone. I live 3 hours away and have many family and career demands. What can Angels do to help me with him?
Since Angels live in the same area as your dad, maybe you would like us to find some local activities which he could participate in – seniors social clubs, churches, day-trips sponsored by local organizations, classes, hobbies – things which you may not have time to find/research in his area. There are many small programs today for elders but they are not widely advertised. Angels can also provide transportation for him to get back and forth to these activities, plus a small fee for any telephone or research time we may have provided.
Or, you may just want to have Angels check in on him weekly to see if he needs help with anything around his house/apartment. You should discuss your providing Angels’ services so he feels that having someone in to see/help him is a treat, and not spying or intrusion. Many elders become withdrawn from the outside and outsiders. If you order a pot of homemade stew (or other dish) to be delivered weekly he might look forward to the Angel visit and a cheery ‘hello’ from someone. You may want to use our monthly retainer program to provide several hours of attention to him weekly.
Your brochure mentions cooking. How does Angels provide meals for elders?
Under our homemaking service, our caregivers can prepare meals as needed.
As the owner of Angels For Elders, what are your specific qualifications for conducting this business of caring for the elderly?
My business background includes a BBA from the University of Houston (major: accounting), CPA, and CCM professional certifications and several responsible, corporate positions on my resume totaling 25 years of business experience. My last position was as Assistant Treasurer of Seagull Energy Corporation in Houston. My longest employment term was 14.5 years with Gerald Hines Interests in Houston. I believe these positions reflect my level of stability, responsibility, and maturity. To further enhance my professional qualifications for this business, I completed a Texas Basic Certificate in Gerontology at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. It is my personal goal to provide a high level of service at a reasonable price, and to run a company with an overall first-class reputation.
My personal qualification for caring for the elderly is that I have always wanted to serve them, felt a natural empathy for them, and a desire to improve their position in society. I was fortunate enough to get to spend a great deal of time with both of my grandmothers when I was growing up, and I was aware at a very young age that they were very special people.
Your information points out that you do not provide medical services. While my mother is in relatively good health, she does require a wheelchair to get around. Are you in a position to handle someone like her?
It all depends on what services are being requested. We may not have the type of vehicles which can transport her or that she can get easily into and out of by herself. If she can move herself into and out of her wheelchair and get into a vehicle, we can probably serve her transportation needs. If she just needs some small services such as housecleaning, cooking, shopping, there is no reason we could not assist her. Each case is evaluated individually for our capabilities and services.
My dad just had surgery and we do not want him to be alone while recovering. He does not require a nurse to be present, does your company provide sitter services?
Yes, Angels can provide a sitter, which means that someone is present to help him if he needs help with something such as – getting to the bathroom, fixing his meals, waking him in the night to take medication, and acting as some company to alleviate his boredom. It is understandable that you do not want him to be alone, for we ourselves would not like to be at home all alone while recuperating from surgery. If he is resting well at night, you may just want someone there for a few hours each day, to make sure he eats something, does whatever exercise the doctor has prescribed, and to visit with him. These hourly rates are less than licensed nursing care rates.
Does your company provide skilled/licensed nursing care or nurses?
No, at this time we are not placing direct nursing care providers, or any services which require a license to perform defined duties. We may do this at sometime in the future, but currently do not carry insurance which would cover this type of home health care.
How many years have you been in business?
Angels For Elders started up in the summer of 1999. A full-fledged business version of the company was rolled out in October, 1999, with web site, marketing, full-services, insurance, etc.
Do you have to be elderly to use this service?
Absolutely not! We can also be “Angels For People”. We all need a bit of help sometimes with the busy lives we lead. Angels can provide personal services for anyone, but our main focus is on the elderly as their needs can be so great, and our ability/capacity to reach all markets is not that large at this time.
Do you work holidays?
If bookings/requests are received well in advance and we can find Angels who will be available, we can serve you. It depends on several factors.