Something Different About Elder Care

At Support For Home, we provide home care services to people who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  In once sense, it is a very competitive industry.  When we started our company, there were over 70 others in the Sacramento region.  There are probably more, now.  There are also assisted living facilities and memory care units that offer overlapping services.

In another way, elder care is the least competitive industry in which we have ever worked.  The level of openness among competitors — the good ones — is amazing. 

We belong to a number of organizations.  Some of those are “naturals.”  The National Private Duty Association (NPDA) is a great nation-wide industry group committed to helping member companies do the right things right.  Statewide, the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) is the standards setting body, with a great certification program that really helps clients and their families choose well.

But, we are not competing with Robin Donnelly’s Visiting Angels franchise in Ohio or Barry Berger’s great company, Accredited, in SoCal.  Sharing information and ideas with them is a no-brainer. 

What we love about this industry is what happens on the local level.  We belong, for example, to two separate Older Adult Coalition groups, one in Sacramento County and one in Yolo County.  Many of the attendees are competitors, directly or indirectly.  But we talk about how to make elder care better.  We all share the passion to support our seniors with respect and integrity.

I’m actually off to a luncheon meeting of the Yolo Older Adults Coalition today, where I will sit down with folks I am competing with every single day for business and we will talk about how to make everything they – and we – do better.  There is just something different about elder care, and we love it.

Best wishes, Bert


4 responses to “Something Different About Elder Care

  1. Interesting insight into the elder care industry. I think it very interesting that you mention competition, because this is most likely the driving force to keep your own facility in tip-top shape. I think it is great that you have a helpful relationship with your competition, since it does benefit you all. Good luck and happy new year!

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  2. Hi Bert,

    I stopped by your blog as you popped up in my news feeds on FB today and saw this post. Thanks for the mention in your article.

    Although I am considered competitive, I share what I do and I’m sure you do too, because to me, it’s not that I get the business (sure it’s always nice to be selected over a competitor), but that the senior gets the quality care they deserve, regardless of whether its from me and my agency. To me, honesty is paramount, and in today’s day, most people, although some squirm at first, would rather hear that, than be given the run around when looking for homecare.

    In my local area though, it’s a shame that because I know the alternative to not living at home and assertively say what that is in my blog, on TV, on radio and in articles (many of the others agencies here do not), that assertiveness, passion and sharing with others can be viewed as competitive, or threatening somehow.

    I for one, no matter what, love hearing others ideas and thoughts and learning from everyone. My learning from others though, comes from reading blogs like yours. It’s in the best interest of everyone, the senior, their families as well as for our businesses to talk and work together. I believe competition is a good thing and does keep us on our toes, but we can all put aside our feelings of wanting to “win” for the sake of the senior.

    There is not a networking luncheon in my local area where we have been welcomed with open arms from the competitor though… you’re lucky to have that.- We’ve been treated like lepers in the past by a local competitor. (They won’t talk to us, they scurry to the other side of the room at events, whisper and laugh as we walk by to intimidate, and use immature scare tactics to send their message of superiority.)

    I called them this past Christmas just to see if we could help with their Christmas program because we didn’t have a program such as that. I told them that we thought their program was great and was a wonderful way to see an immediate result in giving back to our community. I offered gifts, money, gift wrapping, delivering… whatever they needed. I added that I would do any of this anonymously. Our help was not needed, they said. Oh well. I’ll just keep doin’ my own thing.

    But I have you Bert, right? We can help each other. Have a great weekend! 🙂


    • Hey, Robin, thanks for the comment. Yes, there are folks out there who are scared to death of competition — and they should be. The folks who are in this industry for the right reasons, like you folks and us, aren’t afraid of anything except not doing our very best for our clients and for elders in general. Keep it up! 😉


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