Senior Resources » Home Care » Independently-Owned Home Care with Shawn D’Amelio

Independently-Owned Home Care with Shawn D’Amelio

Shawn D’Amelio is the director of business development for With A Little Help, a locally-owned home care company. With A Little Help has 150 caregivers who provide in-home care, and their average age is 48, so they have some life experience. They not only know how to cook a meal but appreciate the value of sitting down and eating that meal with the senior. They help with fun outings, doctor’s appointments, shopping, help cleaning the house, changing the bed, and they build a friendship with the senior. They help with the challenges and light housekeeping so the senior loved one has energy for the fun things.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. Everyone, we have a brand new special guest here on the show, a Lady Bay in the name of Shawn D’Amelio and you are the director of marketing, is it, Shawn, from with a little help, parcare business development. Director of Business Development, I am you know, that’s much more of a prestigious title. Sure, and Sean, I have to say I love what you do for the community and I’ve known about your company for so long and it’s just such a privilege to have you here. Aren’t on the show. I’m you know. I have referred you probably people to you probably for the last several years because I know the good word you do. And one of the reasons why I’m so glad you’re here is because you guys are independently owned and a lot of things in the home care industries. You’ll see franchise us and people will see, you know, radio commercials on because they have all this corporate backing right. And then there’s the you know, the independently owned, the people that are here in the community, and they may not be as visible, but obviously there’s a difference and may not be hugely different to a commuter, to a consumer, but to me it speaks to the commitment that you guys have to seniors and why eyes am so much of a support of independently own home court care agency. So, Shawn, I I’m just I had to get that out because I think that’s really important. So tell us a little bit about with a little help. Okay, with the little help is a locally owned business. We’ve been in business since nineteen ninety nine, so we’re going in our nineteenth year and it was started by a woman named Marcia Ives who originally had an idea that with a little bit of help, people could stay in their home. So she was thinking, well, I’ll just put three little ladies in my car and we will go to the post office and go grocery shopping and maybe catch a movie while we’re at it. I love that. I know it’s a great and here we are nineteen years later and we have about a hundred and fifty caregivers to go out and provide in home care two different people and we’ve served hours and hours and hours of care and that’s so, you know, valuable. And when we say in home care, it’s like for for listeners out there in home care can make such a difference. As we’re celebrating aging in place in the month of April and talking about how can a senior live at home for as long as possible, and I you know, I always say, you know, retirement living companies as well want a senior to be as independent as long as possible. Nobody’s trying to push anybody into anything, but there’s an element of certainly sometimes mom or dad may need some help at home. That right. You know, some of the signs that you know I always say, is look in the refrigerator. Yeah, they’re a good start. The MULDI Turkey usually, yeah, exactly, or the chair walking. Our little things like that tell us a little bit. How about how you help seniors? Yeah, we can. We first of all, I’d like to say we we help by starting with the people that we hire, because we hire amazing caregivers. The average age of our caregivers forty eight, and I think that’s important. That’s because, yeah, I think it’s important, because they have a little life experience. So they go in they don’t not only know how to cook a meal and work with somebody to prep that meal, but they understand the value of sitting down and needing that meal with somebody, and that’s important hugely. Yeah, you know, but we can do everything from help with taking somebody to a doctor’s appointment, taking them grocery shopping, meal preparation for the week, lighthouse keeping outings, just fun outings. We’ve taken somebody to the tulips, we’ve gone to the Arboretum for walks. So important, so important, and it’s that socialization piece. It’s having that ability to have somebody come in that they can build that friendship with as solutely. Absolutely everybody needs something to look forward to it and oftentimes will hear time and time again, I don’t want anybody to help me, I don’t need care. But the first time they have somebody in and they start to make that connection and I’m telling you, thirty days later they don’t want anybody else and they can’t wait for them to get there. Life is getting just a little better, a little peppier getting up and getting dressed, having something to look forward to. It’s makes a big different having purpose, having purpose exactly it’s like to get up in the morning and to say, Oh, I have Janey coming to help me today. EXP or we’re get she’s going to help me clean the house and get my you know, my fut refrigerator cleaned out or you know, something to do that. Oh, I’m going to have my bed changed. Yeah, and all of a sudden it’s not too much of a burden on you know, on on that right right as alone. Well, let me tell you, I think changing the bed as a burden. If I do, you think, I think changing the bed of being very challenging and I always try to say, let us help you with the challenging things so that you have more energy for the fun things, that we can come in and do some of those lighthouse keeping things, making the bed, doing some laundry, going up and down the stairs to the basement, to the to the washing machine dryer. It doesn’t have to be so challenging. It doesn’t. Just a little bit of support sometimes goes a long way, because it goes gives you the energy to do all the things you want to do for fun. You know you’re what you’re saying is so true and for a son or daughter that may work for all time and worries about your parent or thinking about now I have to go over and instead of being the daughter, I have to now take care of x y Z. Exactly. Parents, you know, it really helps to preserve that relationship between a it’s one of the things I always say, you know, when somebody’s really challenged with the idea of having somebody in to care for them, I say think of it as a gift to your daughter or your son, because it really is. And there many times the parents understand that they don’t want to be a bear a burden. What they really want to do is they just they don’t want to be a burden. They just want to leave their live their life and be left alone. Yeah, right, but if they can think of it as something they can be given to their child, is a little bit of ease off their plate to not have to worry about taking them grocery shopping or not have to come in and do the laundry clean the house. It makes them feel good too, because they ultimately want to do something good for their Chan exactly. And we are talking to the lovely Shawn D’Amelio from with a little help and Shawn. What areas do you guys serve? We cover all of King Snohomish and Pierce County. That’s awesome. And so you have pretty wide range and net. What’s your do charge by the hour? Tell us a little bit about how you charge. We it depends on what you’re getting, but we charge. We do charge by the hour typically all we put all of our prices on our website. Good they’re very transparent. We hide nothing. Go to our website, it’s you’ll be able to see all of our pricing structure and it’s quite transparent and and we’re prods. Yeah, and you guys are independently owned, when we are. To me, makes a huge difference and you know I’d look to talk to you about what does it mean to be independently owned? You know, when you’re a locally owned company, you find ways to really support your community, really support your the vendors. I’m trying to say vendors, but you’re not only supporting your community, but you’re supporting the people that have small businesses in your community. And you know, one of the things that, with little help, does is puts on a conference. We put on it each one teach one conference in September, September, thirteen and fourteen, and at that conference we have vendors that are all local vendors and we have our caregivers. We invite every home care company in the state of Washington to send their caregivers. We invite social workers and care managers and nurses from around our communities. Are Hospitals that are participating in great education and I think it’s just really important that we stay local. It’s how we support our communities and stay stay focused on who we are. And it starts to me is the roots of a of a of a independent caregiving agency is because of a commitment to a senior and our seniors. I’m I found so many people like your founder story that when you go with an independent it starts with that purpose. It’s not just because they bought a franchise right, right, absolutely, and not that there’s not wonderful franchise’s, I’m not saying that, but there is just I to me there’s an element of feeling of you know, there’s a there’s a strong foundation there of a commitment to the community and then understanding of the culture of that community, which I think is important. Yeah, the decisions are made in house. They’re not made at some corporate office. They have no idea what the caregivers are being challenged by. You know, the other night we put on a training at our office where we had four different speakers come. We had about forty caregivers sitting in our office. We did dance therapy, music therapy, dementia training, we did transfers and body mechanics. So we know what our caregivers are having challenges with. Were the ones in the office helping them solve problems. Huh. It’s a huge thing to be local and and and all the vendors that came in, all local vendors, and you yourself. You’re like a big wig with the Home Care Association here and stay Washington. Thank you. I don’t know that I’m a big WIG, but I I it’s been one of the things that’s been one of my biggest pleasures. I’m now the vice president for the Washington Home Care Association and for or three years in a row I put on our statewide conference for home care for the Washing Home Care Association, and it was a great conference. And at that conference I really did find I bloomed because I really found that it’s where we can provide education. We can provide education that will help support seniors across the state and I really found a purpose in providing education and the difference it can make for for the people who are leading and helping the caregivers to provide education, as well as for the communities between our home care companies. Many of those companies I didn’t know the owners, the people that were working side by side with me, and now if I can’t cover something, I know that I can reach out to randy who were yeah, I mean right down the street. You know, it’s like I know I can reach out to her and say, Hey, do you have somebody that has can cover this? It’s a rare thing that we can’t do it, but you know, we have relationships. Is, yes, wonderful thing. Yes, well, it’s. Like I say, it’s been such a privilege having you on the show, Shawn. How do we reach you? You can call our office at two zero six, three five, two seven, three nine nine, or you can go to our website, which is www dot with a little helpcom you know, I’m so glad your hair and key. You know, I hope you’ll come back and see us again. I hope so too. Thanks so much, Suzanne. Thank you


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Originally published April 21, 2018

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