How did you get started in home care?
I have been running my own home care agency for the past 11 years. As an accountant, I enjoyed most of my work experience but I wanted to find a career that was more rewarding for me personally. I had heard about home care when my mother was looking to hire an agency to help my grandmother; however, there was not an agency close enough to offer the services she needed. As I researched it further, I found very few options for seniors wanting to continue living in their own homes. I decided this would be a great opportunity to make a living caring for the senior generation, and started my first agency in September of 2004.
How is your agency embracing technology to give you a competitive edge?
One of the biggest changes in the past 11 years has been the use of technology in our agency. We began keeping track of schedules by using Excel spreadsheets and writing paychecks by hand. We eventually purchased scheduling software that made us so much more productive. Now we use ClearCare that incorporates telephony and background checks along with client access to the Family Room. This has allowed us to communicate better with clients, especially those who have family living in other states. We can make changes to schedules in a matter of seconds. It has also dramatically reduced the amount of paperwork. Care logs are now kept electronically and potential caregivers complete an online application that is linked to our scheduling software. We also use a VOIP system that keeps all of our offices connected. Phone calls can be redirected to other locations or mobile phones with just a few clicks of a button through an interactive website.
What is your secret sauce to hiring quality Caregivers?
One of the greatest challenges in this business is hiring good quality dependable caregivers. If there is a secret to this, please...someone share it with me! We have found that the best way to obtain good staff is to ask your existing staff if they know any caregivers who would be interested in working for us. Rarely do they refer a unqualified candidate. We can even eliminate unqualified caregivers early on in the hiring process using ClearCare's integrated employment screening. We obtain most of our caregivers the same way we obtain most of our clients...through word of mouth.
What are your hobbies in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my family. I have a son in college and a daughter in high school. I am in the "expensive years" of raising children! We are all about making memories, and boy have we! We try to take as many little trips and vacations as we possibly can. My wife and kids and I are all certified SCUBA divers and love to dive together. Unfortunately this requires some travel as Central Illinois is far from any oceans.
About 4 years ago I treated myself to a new fancy camera and took up a new hobby. I really enjoy photography and continue to learn about the many different techniques and visual effects that are possible. My daughter is on the yearbook committee at school and they end up using a lot of my photos in the yearbook. I am an amateur, but I must be doing something right! Digital technology is awesome. I delete way more pictures than I take. My theory is take a ton of pictures and surely some of them will turn out ok.
If you weren’t already a ClearCare home care hero, what super hero or super power would you have?
As far as a superhero, I'm going with Super Man. I think the ultimate power would be the ability to fly. The super strength would be great too. As I age, I'm realizing that my mind is young but my body is not. I'm a do-it-yourself kind of guy, but my wife tells me that my projects are taking too long. I'm slowly changing to a pay-to-have-it-done type of guy.
Interested in learning more about ClearCare’s Ambassador Program? Email Tiffany Beddow at firstname.lastname@example.org