Making a choice about who cares for your loved one when you are unavailable can be difficult.
Fortunately for East County, there is HomeLife Senior Care (HLSC), a privately owned company with a decade of experience in ministering to those with limited mobility.
“We do the activities of daily living,” said Angela DiNicola, president of HLSC. “We do everything that you can think of that you would do on a day-to-day basis that is nonmedical. We do bathing, meal prep, housecleaning, grocery shopping, running errands and companionship.”
This kind of daily help can allow aging seniors to stay safely in their homes. Brentwood resident Dorothy Goesch is 91 and has been an HLSC client for five years. She said she and her husband both preferred having caregivers come to their home, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility.
“I like it fine,” she said of her experience. “I really have appreciated all the care I’ve been given. They help me with my shower and they fix my breakfast and sometimes do extra work, taking things out to the garbage and even watering my plants. It’s been a very nice relationship.”
Angela and her husband, Vinny DiNicola, founded their business together in 2010, after Angela inadvertently became a caregiver for some elderly gentlemen when the couple lived in Nevada.
“It just sparked this passion in me to want to provide good care for people,” she said. “I didn’t necessarily want to continue to be a caregiver, but I had a good feeling after talking to people about what a good company looked like.”
The couple moved to California and began researching caregiving organizations. They came across many franchise opportunities, but Vinny said they envisioned owning their own company. Eventually, they found an organization called Seniors Choice, which provided support, training and materials, but did not own any part of the business.
“We are voluntary members of their association,” explained Vinny. “The high standards they have in their training and how to properly run an organization that cares for the elderly in the privacy of their own homes — they have that model down.”
With Seniors Choice as their support network, the DiNicolas launched their business. They now have a team of over 100 caregivers and staff, and Angela said she couldn’t ask for better people to work with.
“Our team is incredible,” she said. “They have hearts of gold, and they want to serve seniors and go above and beyond.”
She said there have been times when her staff has stepped in to help the company’s clients recently, due to a shortage in caregivers. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the caregivers in higher risk categories have had to remain home, leaving gaps in scheduling. None of the company’s clients have been left alone, though, thanks to a dedicated staff.
HLSC’s clients include seniors who need help or company during the day, individuals who have had a hospital procedure and have temporarily reduced mobility, and even those who require round-the-clock care. Caregivers offer a wide range of services and are able to complete or assist with any nonmedical task.
“Meal prep and making sure seniors eat well is one of our big things, because dehydration is a big problem,” Angela said. “We have some clients who have Alzheimer’s, and they forget to eat. They often end up in the hospital because their family is working or doesn’t live nearby.”
Since the pandemic hit, business has changed a bit. Office staff are working remotely, Angela is providing personal protection equipment to caregivers, and extra steps are taken to ensure no one is endangering vulnerable clients.
“Caregivers wear a mask the entire time they are in the home, and they maintain distance in the home,” Angela said. “We don’t require our clients to wear masks, that’s up to them. When the caregiver first gets there, they wipe everything down so it’s all clean and disinfected and do the same when they leave.”
Caregivers also go over a daily checklist before beginning work each day to ensure they aren’t experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
HLSC is currently looking to hire new caregivers. Interested parties can apply at https://homelifeseniorcare.com/.
HomeLife Senior Care is located at 6440 Brentwood Blvd., in Brentwood. For more information, or to apply to be a caregiver, call 925-240-5770 or visit https://homelifeseniorcare.com/.