As a senior caregiver, you love helping others. It’s just part of your personality. Everyday, you bring a smile to a senior’s face. Even though you take care of routine tasks, like preparing a delicious meal or organizing a closet for a senior client, you do so with grace and kindness.
Senior home care providers, simply because they tend to focus on keeping their clients happy, often neglect the business side of caregiving. Here are a few tips to help you boost your income as a senior care provider:
1. Offer “Safeguard Visits.” Many seniors do not require assistance with everyday activities like meal preparation or housekeeping. Often a regular scheduled visit, once or twice a week, to check that everything is okay will be sufficient. The safeguard visit is especially appreciated by a senior’s adult children who often live too far away to visit often, but still want to make sure their parent or parents are doing well.
2. Offer shopping and errand help. Many home care clients require some help with errands, such as picking up groceries or prescriptions. As many are unable to drive, you can help by driving them to medical appointments, church, shopping or social activities. Remember to notify your insurance agent if you plan to use your own car for this, so they can add additional coverage if needed.
3. Offer bill-paying help. Many seniors have mild to moderate memory issues, and could benefit with help in paying bills to ensure that bills are paid when due, as well as scheduling appointments with their service providers – everyone from the dentist to their pet’s vet.
4. Fill your schedule. To ensure that you have steady work and a full schedule, you may want to require a minimum 4 weeks of service for new clients, as well as a 2 week cancellation notice, so you have ample time to find a replacement client when the time comes.
5. Get organized. If you’re like most of us, routine office work, like bookkeeping, taxes and invoicing are at the bottom of your to-do list, to be postponed as long as possible. One solution – use an online service that does it all for just a few dollars a month. I like Outright.com, and use it everyday. Their program allows you to do your monthly bookeeping/accounting in just minutes, do a profit and loss report at tax time, schedule your jobs and clients, then send them an invoice based on the schedule built into the program. It’s so easy, even if you know nothing about accounting, taxes or invoicing.
6. Do a home safety check for all your clients. Falls at home are a top cause of injuries to elderly adults. Most falls are caused by hazards that are easy to overlook, but also easy to fix. By finding these hazards and taking simple steps to correct them, you can help your senior clients avoid falls and the potential for broken bones and head injuries they can cause.
Using a basic checklist like the one found in How To Start a Senior Home Care Business, or the more thorough 120 point checklist found in our Senior Home Safety Consulting book, you can identify potential hazards and find solutions for your senior clients that will keep them safe at home. Most clients are happy to pay extra for this important home safety checkup, as it could save them thousands in medical bills, to say nothing of the emotional stress of recovering from a fractured hip or head trauma.