Franchise owner offers unique signing bonus: Donations to charity
Posted on August 27, 2021
Stock photo | Pixabay
WAKE FOREST — It seems like everyone is hiring right now, and many businesses are offering signing bonuses to be more competitive.
One senior care company is offering to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association when prospective employees accept a job.
Seniors Helping Seniors of Raleigh/Wake Forest is offering a traditional $150 signing bonus over 90 days, but it’s also giving $50 directly to the local Alzheimer’s Association in the name of the newly hired caregiver.
“I’m a champion advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association locally. It’s close to my heart,” said Kathy Uvegas, who owns the local franchise. “It’s a win-win to me that corporate has now a national campaign. It touches me locally because it’s personal to me.”
Uvegas has participated in both the Triangle Alzheimer’s walk every year and attended advocacy day for the last three years, she said.
The unique signing bonus is just one way Seniors Helping Seniors hopes to help the community. The company provides in-home care for seniors from companionship to home health aid services, Uvegas said. But it does so with a twist.
“We prioritize hiring active seniors to provide the care services,” she said. “The caregiver is giving to the client, but is also receiving a lot back in the process of providing this care to another senior.”
The company matches caregivers and clients based on their abilities and needs, while trying to allow seniors to age in place with dignity and respect.
However, like most businesses, Seniors Helping Seniors has a shortage of caregivers. Some of that is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve found that our pool of quality caregivers has just dwindled,” Uvegas said. “COVID has forced some of our workers to not work at all. Some of our workers are looking for other jobs that don’t involve being face-to-face with another human.”
For in-home caregivers, COVID-19 has also increased the demand. Some people have decided to keep their loved ones at home instead of sending them to an independent or assisted living facility. Seniors are also living longer, meaning there was a larger pool of people looking for home care before the pandemic.
“This need is rising across all facets of home care and health care, so you’ve got a lot of employers all looking for the same type of workers,” Uvegas said. “You have fewer quality caregivers out there, and you’ve got this increased demand.”
When companies can’t find caregivers, they’re forced to place families on waiting lists. This places the burden onto a family caregiver, Uvegas said.
“With agencies not able to hire new caregivers, that’s going to put the burden more on that family caregiver,” she said. “That isn’t a new need. ... But at the end of the day, it does put a lot of burden back on the family caregiver if we can’t get the workers in place to provide for people in need.”
She hopes to see more initiatives at the federal and state level to help hire caregivers and provide relief for family caregivers. Medicare Advantage and Project Care already help some, but Uvegas wants to see more government programs.
While people are on waiting lists, Uvegas urges them to be patient and not jump to Craigslist or Care.com to look for help.
“The danger is that they’re not licensed caregivers,” she said. “In the state of North Carolina, home care has licensure rules that we all have to follow to protect our clients.”
Seniors Helping Seniors and other licensed home care agencies run background checks on potential caregivers. They also have liability insurance and provide training to their employees. Private caregivers may not have those things, according to Uvegas.
“I just ask for patience,” she said. “Let us do our due diligence and get them the quality caregiver they need.”
To learn more about Seniors Helping Seniors, visit www.seniorcareraleighnc.com.