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SAGE/2019, a new annual conference hosted by Honor, is where innovators, ideas, and action come together. Join us!

What if we could get the best minds in our industry in one room for a day? What if we could discuss the greatest challenges older adults face—how to age in place safely, maintain health, wellness, and independence, avoid isolation, find affordable care? What if, together, we could inspire new ideas, new solutions, new ways of collaborating—and take action to improve how we age?

Now we can. And you’re invited! Announcing SAGE/2019, a new conference hosted by Honor.

We’re thrilled to launch SAGE/2019, a day-long conference on September 10th in Southern California, bringing together thinkers and doers, innovators and entrepreneurs, academics and leaders in healthcare and home care. SAGE/2019 is about sharing our collective wisdom, working together to develop innovative new solutions for better aging, and driving real change.

Every day, 10,000 people in the U.S. turn 65, with projections showing our population of older adults to triple by 2060. How we care for our aging population is one of the most daunting and important challenges we face as family members, as community builders, as leaders in our industry. And we can’t solve this problem alone.

It’s too vast and too complicated. And the clock is ticking.

To meet this challenge as an industry, now is the time to increase collaboration and explore partnerships within the broader aging community. SAGE/2019 creates an ideal opportunity for us to come together and work together.

Learn more and secure your spot at SAGE/2019.

By gathering a diverse group of leaders to learn and collaborate, we can inspire innovation and action. And it starts with our dynamic speakers. SAGE/2019 will feature speakers from across the care continuum and beyond—physicians, policy experts, technologists, health and home care executives, and many more. They will bring unique perspectives and insights on topics like care management, care integration, social views on aging, how we’ll pay for care, and how advocacy can advance care that maintains dignity for older adults.

Meet a few of our featured speakers.

The SAGE/2019 lineup is packed with thought leaders from across the care continuum. Meet three of our featured speakers.

  • Dr. Christine Cassel, a geriatric medical expert with decades of experience in healthcare. Throughout her career, she has held leadership roles at a number of healthcare organizations including Kaiser Permanente, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and UCSF where she currently serves as the Presidential Chair of the School of Medicine. Dr. Cassel was among 20 scientists to serve on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology during his presidency. At SAGE/2019, she’ll share her perspective on home care integration within the broader care continuum.
  • Trevor O’Neil is an Anaheim City Councilman, business owner, and home care advocate with a diverse background in home care and politics. As owner and operator of Colonial Home Care, former Board Member of the California Association for Health Services at Home, and former Board Member of the Home Care Association of America’s Southern California chapter, O’Neil is a veteran of the home care industry and a public policy advocate, which ultimately motivated his career as an elected official. On stage at SAGE/2019, he’ll discuss the critical role that advocacy plays in home care.
  • Loren Shook, Co-Founder and CEO of Silverado, which operates communities for memory care, hospice, and home care in 55 locations across the U.S. As Silverado’s leader, Shook is a pioneer of new models for senior living that provide a high quality of life for older adults. He serves on the Board of Directors at Argentum, Covenant Health Network, and the American Seniors Housing Association, and on the Board of Councilors at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. At SAGE/2019, Shook will share his insights on creative, new living models for older adults.

Portofino Hotel & Marina, the beautiful venue for SAGE/2019.

Join us—and be a part of the solution.

SAGE/2019 is where innovators, ideas, and action come together. We hope you’ll join us in September, get in on the conversation, and work with us to develop viable, creative solutions to the most pressing problems in aging. Learn more about SAGE/2019, see our beautiful waterfront conference venue, and secure your spot today!

Check back for conference updates and sneak peeks of our speaker lineup over the next few months.

The post Announcing SAGE/2019 – Building Better Ways to Age appeared first on Honor.

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You can convert more leads and referrals to new clients by understanding the influence of online search. Get the complete step-by-step guide.

If you’re looking to grow your home care agency and convert more referrals and leads to clients, the key may be your digital marketing. Why? The way new clients find and research an agency—the awareness and consideration stages of the customer journey—is completely different today from what it was just a few years ago.

What’s so different? Two things:
1) The immense popularity of online search, which today works a lot like 411 directory assistance that our parents and grandparents used.

2) The information that search engines like Google and Bing generate and display on the search engine results page (SERP).

Online search is growing fast.

First, let’s look at the popularity of online search. We all know that consumers who are looking for a caregiver or home care agency—and don’t have a specific referral or agency name in mind—usually go online to begin their research. But you may be surprised by how much online search has increased over the past five years.

According to Google Trends on the date of this writing, the peak popularity of online searches for “home care agency” has climbed 12% over the past year—and surged 58% versus five years ago. We see a similar trend among searches for “caregiver” with an uptick of 8% versus a year ago and a whopping 62% increase from five years ago.

These generic industry search numbers are hard to ignore. But something else has also changed dramatically in recent years—the way consumers who do have a referral or specific home care agency in mind also use online search. Online search is now the main gateway for offline referrals.

Today, nearly all prospective clients pass through the online search gateway on the path to your agency—or your competitor’s agency. Online gateway for offline referrals.

When a family member receives a personal recommendation or referral for an agency, the most common next step is to go online and search for that agency. They may want to learn more about services, double-check the quality of caregivers through reviews and ratings, or just need to find the phone number. Whatever the reason, online search is what nearly all consumers do before calling an agency.

And what do consumers see when they search online for a specific agency? A lot.

  1. Paid ads for home care agencies at the top of the page
  2. Map listings of multiple agencies next
  3. Customer reviews on various online review platforms
  4. Business listings, including the agency they searched for

That’s a lot of information to take in, sort through, and make sense of. It’s filled with distractions and confusing titles, which often become barriers to finding the one agency they searched for in the first place.

Even consumers who are searching for an agency by name will see—and have to get beyond—a big wave of search-related information.

So even if you have amazing relationships with your referral partners, great sales reps and agency reputation, and lots of satisfied customers, you just can’t ignore the power of online search. How do you capitalize on the current online search trend and get a bigger share of the home care business in your area? Understand the basics of digital marketing.

Get the complete Digital Marketing Guide for Home Care Agencies.

Digital marketing and local search engine optimization (SEO) can be overwhelming if you’re just getting into it. But you don’t need to become an expert to see results. You just need to focus on the top three things that consumers see in their search results—and follow these steps to optimize each channel.

Step One: Get Online Reviews

Customer reviews help your business float higher in search results and make your business more credible and appealing. Why are reviews so important? Google loves customer reviews and ratings. They help your site’s domain authority, which means a higher search ranking. And reviews, which stand out on a busy page, are usually the first thing consumers look for before clicking on a listing.

Step Two: Get On the Map

Today, maps appear on the first page of all search results. They show where businesses are located in your area and help potential customers find you. Test Google, Yelp, and Facebook Maps to make sure your agency shows up. And it should—they all list home care agencies on their maps. If yours doesn’t show up, you may need to “claim your business” and verify your current info.

Step Three: Run Paid Ads

Keyword ads can be highly targeted to your service area. But before you spend a dime on advertising, be sure your reviews are strong and your map listings are accurate and optimized. Then, look at keyword ads—the ones that show up on the top of the results page after someone does an online search. If you’re just starting out with paid ads, Google AdWords Express is a good place to start because the interface is so easy.

These three channels all work together to enhance your agency’s online presence and help new clients find your faster. Keep in mind that digital marketing doesn’t replace your in-person sales efforts—it supplements them.

Ready for a deeper dive into digital marketing and the specific steps to optimize your agency’s online presence? Download our free Digital Marketing Guide for Home Care Agencies. We’ll show you how to get reviews, get on the listings map, and walk you through how to budget and create paid search ads. This is the same training we share with Honor Care Network Partners, who grow on average 30% in three months.

The post How new clients find your home care agency has changed. Has your digital marketing? appeared first on Honor.

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An update and look back on an exciting year from Nita Sommers, President of Honor.

This has been a really exciting year for Honor, and we have a lot to celebrate. First and foremost, I want to thank our many Care Network Partners for joining us on this journey—and for trusting us to support their clients, their caregivers, and their business operations. Without our agency Partners, the Care Network would still just be an idea of how to deliver quality care at scale.

If you’re not familiar with the Honor Care Network, it’s a national network of independent home care agencies who, by partnering with Honor, get access to more caregivers, cutting-edge workforce management technology, a complete operations support team, and healthcare systems.

Our Vision for the Care Network

Our initial vision for the Honor Care Network was to make it much easier for our parents and grandparents, wherever they may live, to get reliable, high-quality care at home. We wanted to establish a new national standard for quality, so that anyone in any community who saw “Powered by Honor” would know that it meant high-quality, reliable home care you can trust. And we needed to find amazing local agencies to partner with us to make it happen, forward-thinking agency owners who wanted to work together to drive change and to improve the way non-medical home care is delivered.

In just one year, we’re very close to achieving this goal in our home state, California. With our Care Network Partners, we’re now delivering in-home care Powered by Honor in nearly every major market in the state. And we’re growing fast, in current markets and new markets.

We now have over 225 full-time employees working in our headquarters. Together with our Partners, we’re delivering care in more than 600 cities and towns across California, New Mexico, and Texas. And we have tripled the number of care hours served in the past 12 months.

This has been a huge year of growth for Honor and for our Partners, who on average have grown 30% in just a few months after joining the Care Network. And the best part? As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to maintain our very high quality of care for clients and their families. We closely monitor client satisfaction among Honor clients and Honor Care Network clients, and both rate us at a 4.86 out of 5.0 stars in overall satisfaction. We’re so pleased to know our clients are happy with Honor’s service—and that our Partners are happy with us and this partnership model. In fact, 100% of our Care Network Partners recommend working with Honor.

When we launched the Honor Care Network in Fall of 2017, we knew we had a strong value proposition that would appeal to smaller home care agencies. We had talked to many agency owners around the country and had a good understanding of the challenges and pain points they face, often struggling with caregiver recruiting, retention, and increased back-office compliance and administration.

What we didn’t anticipate—and have been thrilled to see—is that our Care Network partnership model is also very appealing to larger agencies. They too see the benefits of handing their caregiver recruiting and workforce management off to Honor and letting us take over their back office operations. Partnering with Honor offers an entirely new model for growth, allowing agency owners to focus more on new market expansion and relationships with clients and referral partners in their community.

Meet Our Newest Partners

So who is joining the Honor Care Network? Agencies of impressive size, caliber, and reputation in their respective service areas. Here are a few of our newest Care Network Partners. Continuing our expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve partnered with TheraCare in Redwood City and the East Bay. We also have recent partnerships in three new markets: Help Unlimited in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; Indecare in Sacramento; and 4Ever Young Living in Orange County.

Next, we’re focusing on further expansion in new and existing markets in the Southwest. To support that rapid growth, Honor has just opened a new operations center in Austin, Texas to  provide additional capacity to our current operations center in Concord, California. And very soon we’ll be announcing new Care Networks partnerships in a brand new state for Honor.

If you are an established agency owner who believes in the power of collaboration and innovation, we’d love to talk. By partnering and providing care together, we can help more families find the qualified caregivers they need and get the care experience they want. We hope you’ll join us!

Nita Sommers
President of Honor

The post We’re thrilled to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Honor Care Network! appeared first on Honor.

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Honor is expanding in the Southwest—and we’re thrilled to be headed to Austin to support our continued growth there and beyond. We’re hiring!

After launching our pioneering partnership program, the Honor Care Network (HCN), Honor—along with our HCN Partners—has experienced steady growth over the past year. As we planned our next phase of expansion in the Southwest, we realized that to support Honor’s continued rapid growth, we would need to open a new operations center in that region. And fast. The big question: where?

Initially, we explored 24 cities in eight different markets—and quickly narrowed our search to six cities. Then we started a systematic analysis of each city, evaluating a wide range of factors. Our top criterion? People.

We evaluated both the volume and the quality of available professional talent. And by talent we mean everyone in every role on the Honor team who contributes to our care experience, including operations managers, recruiting coordinators, client managers, care advisors, business development directors, software engineers, and more.

Four of our fab new Austin team members—and one big reason they joined Honor.

After months of data-driven analysis, many phone calls, and in-person meetings, one city emerged as the clear winner in every category of our search criteria. Austin, Texas!

We couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We chose to establish our operations center in Austin for its professional talent and also for its thriving, innovative business community. And we love Austin’s culture, which is a great fit for Honor. Austin is an incredibly vibrant city with a strong sense of family and community combined with a tech-driven, entrepreneurial spirit. And then there’s the food and the live music!

To date, our experiences building Honor’s Austin team have exceeded our hopes and expectations. We’ve already hired multiple classes of exceptional people and are consistently impressed with not just their skills and experience but also their passion and commitment to Honor’s mission. And, frankly, we were kinda blown away when we made job offers to the first round of Austin candidates and 100 percent of them accepted—before we even had a permanent office! So it’s already feeling like a perfect fit.

Honor’s Austin operations center, in temporary offices now but soon located near The Domain, will complement our existing Concord operations center, directly supporting our clients and Care Network Partners. We are eager to get settled, get to know and become an integral part of the Austin community, and begin building relationships so we can support families who need care, local agency owners, and care professionals across the care continuum.

If you’re looking for a job in Austin—and have a real passion for fundamentally changing how we care for our parents, join us on this incredible journey. We’re hiring!

Austin Harkness
Head of Care, Honor

The post Weʼre Opening a New Operations Center in Austin, Texas! appeared first on Honor.

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Finding the right caregiver can be much less stressful if you know the right questions to ask.
A resource for families from Honor Home Care.

Locating a home care agency near you is easy thanks to the recent explosion of franchises and independent home care agencies across the country. But finding the right caregiver to meet your family’s needs—and a dependable, well-managed caregiver you can trust—is a much bigger challenge.

Before you agree to work with any home care agency, be sure to ask these questions, taking careful notes. And if you’re thinking about hiring a private caregiver not through an agency, you may want to reconsider after reviewing this 5-Question Checklist.

Your 5-Question Checklist

1. How do you screen your caregivers for safety?
A responsible, credible home care agency in California always conducts a thorough screening and background check of their caregivers before sending them into a client’s home. In addition to Home Care Aide (HCA) mandated certification and Department of Justice fingerprinting and background checks, the best home care agencies go further by screening for DMV driving records, drug-testing, and strict minimum-age requirements.

2. How do you train your caregivers and verify their skills?
Caregivers should have a solid foundation of training such as how to use mechanical lifting equipment, basic knowledge of how to support clients living with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease and how to assist with daily living activities such as bathing, grooming, and hygiene. Ask if the caregivers are tested on scenario-based skills and if any personality tests are conducted to check for temperament under stress or condition-related situations, like “sundowning.”

3. What’s your performance record for on-time arrivals and no-shows? How promptly do you communicate schedule changes to your clients?
Ask your home care agency how it manages late arrivals and last-minute cancellations by its caregivers. Does it guarantee a caregiver replacement? How does it communicate with clients and how often? What is its policy if there is an ongoing tardiness issue with a caregiver?

4. How do you manage caregiver performance?
The best home care agencies genuinely care about the quality of their caregivers and client satisfaction. Ask how the agency motivates its caregivers to provide the best care and client experience. Does it value and know its caregivers’ track record and does it truly care about continually training its caregivers to ensure it has the best talent? Assessing personality and chemistry with clients is also important. And if there is a performance problem, what’s the process for addressing and solving it promptly.

5. How do your caregivers communicate with each other about a client’s condition during shift changes?
Your parent or loved one will likely have more than one caregiver to staff weekly schedules. Ask your home care agency how each caregiver will be notified of a client’s daily condition, how that information is communicated to other assigned caregivers to ensure seamless care, and how families are notified—how often and when.

Finding the right caregiver can be a less stressful experience if you know the right questions to ask. Most home care agencies care deeply about their clients, so initiating a conversation at the start about what’s most important to you in finding the right caregiver can make all the difference.

Looking for care for a family member? Honor can help you find the right caregiver quickly.
If you’re an agency owner, we’d love to tell you about our partnership program and how we can support you and your business. 

The post 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Home Care Agency appeared first on Honor.

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