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Home Instead Senior Care Complaints & Reviews - Avoid like a plague

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Home Instead Senior Care

Posted:    Ralf

Avoid like a plague

Complaint Rating:  77 % with 162 votes
Contact information:
Home Instead Senior Care
United States
homeinstead.com
First and foremost, to potential clients, don't hire this agency. They never checked ANY of my references. For all they know, I could have lied about all my former work experience. They sent me on the job with ZERO training and without giving me any kind of orientation or even introducing me to the client- their exact words were 'wing it.' Maybe this is because they could tell from talking to me that I am brilliant. But I had NO experience other than babysitting my grandmother occasionally in her final years, and the first thing they did was send me to a nursing home to be with a woman in extreme pain who had just had a SPINAL FUSION. Also, they pay their employees less than half what they charge you ($22.50/hr and up). Get someone from craigslist and pay them $15/hr. These people are a bunch of hacks.

This is, by far, the worst company I have ever worked for. In all their ads, they put in big bold letters '$$$$ $500 bonus for 12-hour shifts $1500 bonus for live-in $$$$' I worked for them, 5 days a week, 12-hour shifts- no overtime-- for 13 straight weeks. As of 6 months later, I have received $25 of that $500 bonus. I called TEN times about it. Most of the time no one returned my calls. When I did talk to the payroll supervisor, I got promises that of course were not kept.

Also, my first ever job was a one-day twelve hour shift on New Year's Day- I was supposed to get paid time and half. Never got the 'half'. No one returned my calls from the payroll office.

Their staff is terrible. I was given ZERO notice that my 60 hour a week job was ending- I found out from the client on the last day, even though the agency had known for quite some time what was happening. I found out, basically, when the transport van came to take her home from the nursing home. They never called me. I had to call them to verify. Then, while waiting for another job, they staffed me on another temporary job. This person needed VERY personal care- which is not supposed to be part of the job description-- and then the crowning glory was, a week after this job ended, they called me and told me that the live-in- whom I was relieving-- had told them she thought I was sleeping on the job. I assured them I had been awake the entire time (overnight). They told me they'd 'investigate further' and then never called me again- even though I had been in constant daily contact with them (when unstaffed) for close to 6 months, working overnight with no complaints whatsoever of sleeping on the job (with plenty of nursing staff at the home to tattle on me) and the three clients I had been with LOVED me and made a point to tell the agency for me.

That was 4 weeks ago. 10 additional unreturned phone calls in the meantime. I had been a model employee- I was called in several times on my 'weekend' and agreed to fill in to help them out, working 72-hour weeks twice- always on time, never left them in the lurch, and just like that, they didn't even have the decency to fire me.

These guys suck. They'll be hearing from one of the many lawyers I have in my family.
Comments United States Home & Garden
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 8th of Jul, 2009 by   TLCaring -2 Votes
I am sorry to hear you had such an unfortunate experience at your office. Please keep in mind every office is independantly owned and operated therefore not all locations operate like your did. I suggest you take your complaint to the BBB to see if you can resolve the dispute peacefully and professionally. As for the agency in our area I can honestly say every reference is checked, all backgrounds are done annually and everyone is paid the stated amount for services provided.

Relative to cost of services, please also keep in mind private pay clients go to people like Home Instead Senior Care because they bear the burden of cost when it comes to hiring, bonding and insuring the caregivers. Out of the $22 or so dollars your agency charged, the majority of it is the employee wage, then the insurance, bonding, rent, office employee wages, admin fees, and other costs of doing business (there are many). After everyone else gets their cut, the franchise owner then gets what's left over. Please don't be misled.

Good luck to you on your next endeavour. :)
 8th of Jul, 2009 by   barb4365 -3 Votes
Yeah, I agree with the above statement. Sounds like you just had a bad experience. Call the better business bureau people or a dispute resolution place. I've heard good things about this company.
 9th of Jul, 2009 by   DoTheRightThing +1 Votes
Avoid Like The Plague, I'm so sorry to hear that you had such terrible experiences from this company. How awful! I do know the standards are to get cases filled with any BODY, trained or not, as this is how they all make their money. They are ALL franchises that are spun off from ONE model and they are networked together. Sounds like they got rid of you after you continued inquiring when they knew you were looking to receive what they advertised and what they told you how much you were going to be paid. The old slight of hand trick is what they pulled on you and they probably did this same thing to many other employees who have probably left their employ with the same disgust of this company that you share with them.

File a wage claim with the state and federal government or talk with an employment law attorney. I am not an attorney but one may talk with you (usually a free consult) and agree to help you on contingency (you pay NO money out of pocket but if and when you win your case your attorney is paid from a % of the proceeds that are won that your employer has to pay and then the employer will have to pay sizable penalties, too). If your employer has a fairly large number of people who do the caring work you described, an attorney will probably be very interested in finding out about how many more employees that have not been properly paid as well and a class action law suit could become a reality. Sounds like there seems to be an issue with false advertising as well. Wouldn't want to be an employer when an attorney gets involved in the mess you described. There could even be more issues that you don't know about that can easily be uncovered by an attorney going over things with you.

It is so sad that a company that is supposed to be all about caring for people does this kind of stuff to good caring people like you.

TLCaring sounds like a business owner so don't be misled by what they wrote and Barb4365 could very well also be the very same person or another owner at another location. "Sounds like you just had a bad experience." - ??!! Seems like these two posters were only trying to do damage control and to cover this stuff up. The franchise owners all probably stick together and say the same thing if they don't want anyone to know whats really going on. Seems these people all need a reality check.

The BBB does NOT get involved with the issues you talked about above for your pay that they advertised nor are they the ones that handle problems like the lack of background checks, but this is huge concern for safety for the elderly.

To file a complaint on the other things you mentioned, PLEASE do contact your state human services or senior or elder care office or hotline. Until something gets reported to the right people that can and will do something about this company's practices, nothing will change and more people could be placed in harms way, both the elderly as well as the employees.

You may also be able to get unemployment but be sure to document everthing and first check with an attorney before filing. Sounds like the company wil say they fired you for sleeping - as they'll try to say you did willful misconduct though it may not even be true and they will try to say this is the reason (and they may come up with other bogus stuff too) about why you shouldn't get unemployment.

You were right to voice your personal experiences with this company on this board to help protect others.

Thank you for caring to do the right thing here and in future for others as well as yourself. Take care.
 7th of Aug, 2009 by   Thingswouldbebetter +4 Votes
I have to agree with the first post. I finished "training" on a Thusday. Was called that night at 9pm to work Friday, Sat and Sunday, 14.5 hour days. I did even though I had put I did not want to work weekends, especially on Sundays. But was afraid to turn it down. I worked 39.5 hours in 3 days. I got home at 8:45 PM Sunday. I recieved a phone call at 9 pm asking me to work Mon-Sat. I explained I could not do that as A: I was going out of town on Thursday, they knew this, as it was ON my avaliablity schedule I had given them. B: I had just worked 39.5 hours in 3 days and I needed a break to get some things done and spend time with my family. They were not happy. Kept saying you can do this. You can do this. If I had worked even part of those days I would have worked 65 plus hours in 6 days. As it is now I have heard of employees working 106 hours in a week. WHO IS MAKING the money here???? They pay us $7.00 an hour. Sure isn't us!!!
I rarely get advance notice on working. I many times get a call on Sunday night after 8 PM to work at 5;45 am on Monday. This past time the hours I was quoted to work were totally wrong. Once I got to the clients home, she was surprised to see me, she thought someone else was coming. I was told by the client what she needed and it wasn't the hours I was quoted she asked me to call the office and relay the message. She stated she would do so as well. I did so. I spoke with 2 people in the office telling them what the client had said.
I was "scheduled" according to the office to work on Wed, but the client told me I was not needed. On Wed I recieved a call from the office asking me where I was. I told them I was told by the client I was not needed. THE office said who did you talk to. I told the person calling that the first person I talked to WAS HER!!! She asked if the scheduling person ever called me, I said YES she did. She said well you are needed so go on over there now. I said I could not! Since I was told on Monday by the Client I was not needed I made other plans!!!

The final straw was according to our handbook if pay day is Monday then payroll is processed on Thursday, making direct deposit availabe on Friday. Well, no money in account and office says no wasn't processed on that day. We can't pay you on Friday, Payday is Monday. I explained that is NOT what your handbook says. Which is it.

When ever this office staff calls about jobs they are rude and don't understand if you say no you can't work, you can't work.

It's all about the money for them. NOTHING ELSE. I will never recommend them for anything.
 17th of Aug, 2009 by   One Awesome Broad +4 Votes
I am wondering from a family member's perspective, what happens when the senior no longer needs the same level of service. My parents had 24/7 care due to my mom's condition and my father not being able to handle her on his own anymore (they did not want to move into assisted living). My mother passed away a couple of months ago and there has been no effort made to reassess my father's needs for in-home care. He will need perhaps several hours a week, but he has regained his independence and his health. I cannot pull the plug on the amount of hours as he signed the contract, but I have questioned the actual need. A live-in housekeeper would cost less and all that is being done now is what I would call companionship care and I don't think my father really understands that aspect. For some reason, he seems to be under the impression the 24/7 care is still needed. I have requested that the team and the manager do a reassessment of his needs now that my mother is gone and I am now waiting to hear back from them as to when or if they will do that.
 18th of Aug, 2009 by   curious Jess +1 Votes
One Awesome Broad-

It sounds like you need to talk to your dad and have him change his own schedule. I know that offices will only schedule what a client requests. It sounds like he just wants more care than you think he needs. That really isn't Home Instead's fault though. They are just doing what their client wants, and unfortunatly you asking them to do a reassessment will not do anything unless he wants one too because it is HIS service and he is getting what he requested. You should just have him call to reduce his number of hours and that will solve your problem. I hope this helps :)
 18th of Aug, 2009 by   Anonymous1985 -3 Votes
I would love to hear all sides of this story, sounds like an employee that is acting out for possibly not fufilling his job duties in full. Such as remaining awake while on overnight shifts. Perhaps instead of pointing the finger people should cleary try and see how they can be better at their job. I work for a HISC and I love it, i am always treated decently and FAIRLY. I guess the reason being is i do my JOB, when i screw up i take fault. I dont push it back on the owner.
 26th of Aug, 2009 by   Knb815Knb -4 Votes
I work for Home Instead Senior Care and you need to check your facts. We are a franchise each office acts independently and the office i work in does training. I know this because i am the Recruitment and Retention coordinator. We also run background checks, 2 different kinds. you need to study a little more before you start slandering companies.
 28th of Aug, 2009 by   Nicole from IE +2 Votes
I believe the way HISC operates, I was employed as Recruiter and I saw many bad things. The only training is reading the training books and the info u get at orientation. I always told the owners the staff needed more training, they said it is Corporate rule. When I reviewed Caregiver files they did not have background checks. This is corporate America, it is for profit, the money is what counts. I believe the founder has a big heart for this business, but some owners do not. I witness the owner call a client to collect a payment and the client said My mother is passing away . let me say goodbye. The client died a few hours later. I could no longer work in this office, I resigned.I do believe there are offices that do operate the office with thorough training and with a heart, do not get me wrong. The rates are outragous, especially if the Caregiver is with no experience. I need care for my parents while I was on vacation, I did not hire HISC, I called a competitor.
 19th of Sep, 2009 by   DoTheRightThing +3 Votes
Wow...seems to be some honesty ffrom Nicole about the training as she also was a Home Instead recruiter and the "G" word that stands for greed about what she has witnessed while working for a Home Instead and this seems to have been repeated by others here that have also worked for this company as well as others that have used their services. Can't get a change in the schedule or get less services when they are not needed seems like a greed situation on the company's part and this does not make sense about this company really serving the person's need, now does it?! For Anonymous1985...the person who originally posted and shared their personal experiences clearly stated that they did not fall asleep when caring for their client...clearly sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder, can't read or both -maybe you were the one who promised the original poster all of those bonuses and then didn't pay them - or you are an owner??!! for knb815knb...of course your answer smacks right to the point that you clearly have a vested interest and cannot speak for all offices and the best learning part thats been stated here has been others that don't have a favorable point of view about Home Instead's practices based on their own personal experiences as they've used their services. I do find it interesting that these past employees will not use this company or even recommend it to anyone. For anyone considering any home care, do you checking and if something does not seem right or you or your concerns are not getting taken care of - please file a complaint. Do not be afraid to tell of your experiences so that things can either be made right or you can make the necessary changes. Others here will be grateful for knowing about your personal experiences and you deserve the best.
 7th of Oct, 2009 by   loran +3 Votes
I worked for HISC for about 6 weeks in Albuqueruqe, NM. It was the worst experience of my life. They were the most poorly run operation I ever encountered. I was sent out on assignments 2 days after I was hired and before my "training" (what a JOKE) was finished. All I was, was a warm body. Their claims of being the 'best' is a crock. Thankfully I am a competent person. I quit after HISC screwed me over out of 3 ongoing assignments. I wouldn't hire this company to take care of my relatives if they were the last Senior Care givers on the planet. I literally told them to f*** off when I picked up my last pay check and I'm the most professional employee anybody would ever hire. Unbelievable.
 7th of Oct, 2009 by   loran +4 Votes
FURTHERMORE, I was sent out on assignments for clients who clearly needed more highly skilled caregivers than HISC had to offer; ie. bipolar clients who were manic, clients who needed help with "bathroom clean ups" which was clearly outlined in the handbooks that we were not supposed to do. I had to notify the staff about several clients who needed assistance beyond the scope of what the caregivers were legally not supposed to "help with." There was one person in our office who was willing to help me and truly listen. He had to go over the head of my supervisor, who clearly did not like that at all. The franchise I worked for was so poorly run it was a joke. It has been a year since I quit and I still have bile in my throat thinking about the experience.
 22nd of Oct, 2009 by   RayAnn  Best Advice +4 Votes
They have sent us people who can't shower my father, lie about showering, can't change a diaper (put on backwards) and sit around and watch TV instead of working. I found out that one caregiver was doping my father with Benadryl so that they wouldn't have to deal with his dementia. They don't do any background checks and when you complain about something they act like the Client is the problem. Horrible, horrible experience as well. There has been one caregiver whom they've sent us who has integrity and works hard.
 20th of Nov, 2009 by   nsmomma -3 Votes
I have been a proud employee of Home Instead Senior Care for 6 years. During my time with this company, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of owners, staff persons, caregivers and clients. With hundreds of international franchises, it would be impossible for one company to satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. So, to the credit of the previous posters, I am sorry that your impression of our organization is poor. That being said, of the hundreds of people I have met that are affiliated with this group, I have yet to meet one who valued the bottom dollar over the company mission which is to treat others with dignity and respect and to build value in our service to others. Home Instead Senior Care and it's huge network of owners and employees strive day in and day out to help seniors remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible and to enhance the quality of life for those we service. I can only speak to the hiring/training practices of the franchise that I work for, but I can assure you that in our office every caregiver candidate is thouroughly screened, exceptionally trained and is afforded on going support from people who truly value the service they are providing. I have experienced the services on a personal level myself, having used HISC services for my own family a number of times. If you are reading these posts, please understand that in every business, there will be times when someone for whatever reason had a bad experience but know that the overall nature of this business is to provide the highest possible level of care to every senior who needs help in his/her home.
 20th of Dec, 2009 by   How Honest Are You? +3 Votes
The business model of HISC is such that, for a very modest start-up, business men and women can "buy into" the trust and reputation earned by other franchises. What will naturally result is a wide variety of competency levels, concern for employees, and greed-as-motivator. It surprises me that those who are defending HISC on this board are not more concerned to do something about the poorly run fanchises that give the whole corporation a bad name. It is because there are really more than a few of them?
Several of the complaints are serious and convincing. It does not make sense to me that someone who cared about the company and about seniors would be willing to dismiss such serious complaints merely as "not satisfying 100%" of people, or as a "bad experience." If the overall nature of the business is truly to provide the highest possible level of care, then allegations such as the ones made on this board would be taken seriously and investigated. The willingness of HISC employees and owners to be dismissive of such complaints and allegations is a very bad sign to me. It reeks of cover-up.
 29th of Dec, 2009 by   ibelieveinkahrma 0 Votes
After reading all of these posts, I am sorry to see that I am not alone. I too had no experience, and was put out into the field with zero training which I was extremely hesitant about especially since I was dealing with Alzheimers patients. In the couple of months that I did work for them, all of my paychecks were missing hours. After months of being told they were looking into it, the check was in the mail, etc. I could not take it any longer and left. The final straw was them lying to me, and saying that there were several shifts I did not show up for which was an OUTRIGHT LIE. The ironic thing is that my client was billed for these hours, and was nice enough to share their statement with me so that I could legitimately and legally support my case.

I realize that every office is different, but the one I dealt with was terrible. People that go into this line of work do so because they truly enjoy it, and not for the money. To take in excess of $22/hr from the client and then refuse to pay the caregiver less than $9/hr for their service is pathetic. Although it is easy to find a job that pays minimum wage, it is not easy to find exellent caregivers, which I consider myself to be. I'm sad that the high turnover at places such as Home Instead hurts the clients who truly need consistent and competent care.

People that go into business to take advantage of the elderly and their families are the lowest of the low, and we all know what they say about kharma...
 4th of Jan, 2010 by   whocanwetrust +3 Votes
I am just learning that Home Instead (who we have employed for the last 14 months) has not sent anyone to my mothers home for almost a month. They did not call us, or anything. The director stated "until you are ready to up the hours, we will not be going out there because we can't accomplish all that we need to do in that amount of time" Not once did anyone call us with that information...just stopped sending my mothers caregiver out. The only reason I found out is because I called them to see if my mother was okay because her phone just rang and rang. (I live 500 miles away) This seems to be a bit strange from an agency that is designed to "take care of the elderly" I will be taking some advice from another post and reporting this to state agencies.

This has me so angry that I am not even mentioning the previous "double billing" (my mother wrote a check for her groceries, then they billed her on her statement, like they had paid for them! Over 500 dollars...lucky we caught it) Also not mentioning the many other mistakes on bills and time, always being told that they had a bookeeper problem! I am so ANGRY, but also very sad that the Home Instead sevice that we trusted with my mother, has let us down...let us down EXTREMELY!

My advice...look elsewhere for your lovedones care.
 28th of Jan, 2010 by   Button +2 Votes
Home Instead does not pay well. When they charge you $25/hour the caregiver gets $10. In 2010 in California that is not a living wage. Also, unless the caregiver is willing to do 24/7 work they are given only part time and HI actually has the nerve to be upset if you supplement your income doing something completely unrelated. They want you to be totally reliant on them.

By the way, if you want 24/7 help, hire more than one person!!! Come on people, imagine living like that. You never get to go home from work. And sitting there watching tv with them is NOT a break. It's still work. You would rather be home relaxing watching what you want or going out somewhere (not grocery shopping). You can not relax if you are at work. I suggest 2 caregivers so they don't get burnt out.

Also, if they don't find the caregiver work, they tell you that you can't file for unemployment insurance. Lie! They also refer to being fired as "self-termination" in an effort to keep caregivers from filing.

Why do I work for them? Considering that I have a college education you'd think I could find something better. Nope. I'm desperate.
 28th of Feb, 2010 by   logical and sensible +1 Votes
in response to the 2nd entry by TLCaring: you stated that home instead senior care gives "most" of their hourly cost to the employee, which is the biggest lie i've ever heard. caregivers typically make about a third of what the company charges AND there isn't even a guarantee of a raise after one solid year of working! they make a very vague statement about potential raises, saying that it depends on your annual review, which to me sounds like an easy excuse to never increase the pay.
a majority of franchises pay their employees LESS than 10 dollars an hour, and they charge the families at least 24 dollars an hour. do the math! many families would benefit from hiring an individual with excellent personal references. this person would charge 15 dollars an hour, and everyone would benefit: customer pays less, and worker makes more. merry maids operates the same way: they charge a horrendous amount per hour for the client, and yet their employee pay is horrendously low. it's just another corporation ripping off both parties.
 3rd of Jun, 2010 by   MegF05211 -1 Votes
If you are so brilliant you’d understand that they pay you so much less then what they charge do to the fact they insure and bond you. They have to pay for a background check, among other things.

If you were in a nursing home I highly doubt you had to wing it – the nursing home has a staff, you should have asked one of them what to do. To work in this type of field you need to have the ability to work independently. If you need a supervisor over you 24/7 telling you what to do and when to do it find another job.

How is you going in on a weekend being a model employee?? You could have said no when they called – you chose to go in and you got paid!!

Good luck with the lawyer thing – last I checked places had to do something wrong to get sued.

What an absurd post. It’s people like you that make these agencies life hell – always have a drama and can’t do anything on your own.

Good luck in life, I think you'll need it.

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