As the home care industry changes, Scott knew innovation would help his business thrive.Get in touch
Major milestones for home care.
By Scott Stanley
Owner of Caring Hands Caregivers in Cupertino, California
While running Caring Hands Caregivers during the past 11 years, I’ve thought a lot about how technology and collaboration could help improve the home care industry.
I was dealing with issues that a lot of agency owners share. Managing all the back-end operations and staying on top of regulatory changes was becoming increasingly time consuming. Plus, the caregiver shortage was getting worse as the number of professional caregivers available wasn’t keeping pace with the number of seniors needing care at home.
But what if we started sharing best practices with each other, creating some synergy to improve home care and make it more accessible? It would be better for our clients and allow people like me to focus less on daily operations and more on the big picture. I’m proud to say that we were the first agency to join the Honor Care Network to do just that.
When I first heard about what Honor was doing to address home care challenges, I was excited—but also reluctant. Over the years, I saw the industry change drastically. Staying current on all the wage changes, new overtime rules, and local and state legislations is important. But it kept me stuck at my desk more than I liked. I knew having partners to handle those tasks for us would be great, but it felt a little like I’d be handing over my baby to a stranger.
Before partnering, I needed to know I could trust the people at Honor to understand our history and values. I had a lot of questions: How would Honor respond to the way we wanted to run our business? How would they support us, our clients, and professional caregivers? Did we share similar philosophies on how to best help older adults and their families?
We’d built the Caring Hands Caregivers brand and reputation by offering services in a very particular way. For the first few years, we’d provided 24/7 live-in services almost exclusively. We learned crucial lessons about trust and transparency that informs who we are. We were often walking into family struggles during times of crisis with lots of unresolved issues—from anger and guilt to sibling disagreement. Our services weren’t just for the person receiving the care, but also for the entire family.
Joining the Care Network was a milestone for me. My days are completely different now.
After a lot of discussions with the Honor team, I knew it would be a great fit. I was reassured that they respected who we are as a company and that by taking on the operations and caregiver management, Honor would free us up to focus on business development and client care. It was a beta test and, sure, there were bumps along the road. But what’s come out of working together to fine-tune the partnership is truly amazing. We all learned so much about each others’ business models and how to effectively collaborate. Change like this isn’t easy, but when both parties are committed, it works.
Joining the Care Network was a milestone for me. My days are completely different now. Before partnering with Honor, we’d plan out what we wanted to accomplish each day, then come in and be greeted with urgent crises. We’d find ourselves pulled away to handle fire drills, like call-offs. Our To-Do list got pushed aside and we’d spend all our energy resolving last-minute emergencies. When not in crisis mode, much of my time was spent trying to recruit, onboard, train, and retain reliable caregivers.
Now, I have the time to be more strategic. I’m able to think about building deeper relationships in the community, finding new markets, and exploring business growth opportunities. We have access to a quality pool of caregivers and to us, that's huge. Caregivers are going to make or break us as a company. Having quality caregivers we trust and who are good at what they do gives us strategic advantage.
Like most agency owners, I find that working with older adults is the best part of the experience. It’s very satisfying to see the kind of impact we have on their lives. We have one client who was in a catatonic state with only a housekeeper looking after her. Just six months after we took over her care, we started receiving selfies of her and her caregiver dancing and singing together.
Another client of ours is a tech-savvy 100-year-old who likes to check Twitter on her iPad, but just needed some companionship at home. Bringing peace-of-mind to these families who know their loved ones’ needs are being met is the most meaningful part of the job, and I have more time to enjoy that now.
As an industry, our goal should be to figure out how we can continue offering solutions that keep home care affordable for families. We need to keep innovating as technology becomes more accepted within the home. It’s a crucial time to think about how home care agencies can start working together to solve the huge issues we face. What this means is that home care agencies have to think beyond being just a small agency. Together we can meet the challenges of caring for an aging population.
More stories from our Partners
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