The Private Duty Home Care Advisory Board is made of some of the most experienced and talented leaders in the private duty community. Each of our Advisory board members is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and ensuring our members are well represented and receive the tools, support, and resources you need to provide the highest quality and caliber care and services to your clients and families.
In our reoccurring Advisory Board Profile series we invite you to get to know our advisory board members better through a short Q&A interview, and learn more about why they choose to dedicate their professional lives to the private duty home care community.
Last week, we introduced you to Brittnei Solerno, President and CEO of La Jolla Nurses Homecare. This week, we have the pleasure of sharing a little more with you about Jeff Salter, Founder and CEO of Caring Senior Service.
Tell me about how you would describe what you do to someone you just met.
We provide services that allow any senior to age in place and avoid relocation to a nursing home or assisted living. Those services ranges from simple housekeeping to meal preparation and can involve assistance with personal care.
Tell me about how you ended up working in private duty home care. How did your professional journey bring you to where you are today?
I started working in a home health company at the age of 20 as an office assistant. I discovered that there was a need to bring organization to the challenges of long distance caregiving and no one was really focused on making a career out of non-medical care.
Why choose private duty home care? Why not something else, or some other part of home care?
I was originally planning a career in computer science and thought my little senior care business would just bring me extra income while I was attending college. Turns out, I kept getting clients and couldn’t keep up doing both. I also found that helping families with the challenges they were facing was rewarding. But more importantly, I was able to become an employer and empower women to have stable, meaningful work while elevating the role of caregiver, which had traditionally been considered the bottom rung of a health career. I felt it was the most important rung.
What do you find to be the most rewarding about your job?
Helping provide jobs for caregivers knowing that for every job you create, you help put food on the table, roof over heads, kids through college all while solving a second problem which is helping seniors avoid relocation.
Conversely, what do you find to be most challenging?
That the industry after nearly 30 years is still seen as a lower rung service, when in fact without the work of professional caregivers, seniors would have very limited choices as they become challenged with staying at home safely.
What Is your favorite memory working in private duty home care? Why?
I’ve got so many of them… I’m lucky to have grown my business from a single location, to multiple locations in a single state to now 45+ locations in 23 states. Not only do I get to introduce the profession of operating a senior care business to new owners, but through that process, we are helping thousands of families with care and providing jobs to thousands of caregivers.
What is the one thing that keeps you up at night professionally?
I feel strongly that private pay forces a different attitude towards customer service, and as more payer sources come in, the connection with the client can get lost in the need to create efficiencies and the payer dictates levels of service. Companies that don’t keep their client service and satisfaction front and center can give the industry a bad name.
What made you first get involved with Private Duty Home Care at NAHC?
Years of working side by side with Home Health Care and Hospice Companies provided insight into the benefits of a national association. Somewhere to share ideas, gain insights and learn how others are approaching the challenges is invaluable. Combining that connection with the focus on legislation that benefits care recipients, it was an easy choice to become a member.
What would you say to someone considering becoming a Private Duty Home Care member at NAHC?
We need everyone’s voice and everyone’s opinion. As hard as this business is, the biggest challenges are yet to come. Join now and be a part of the future of home care. Be part of a group yet bring individuality into the discussion. Sure, anyone can go it alone, but it’s so much better to grow from involvement with others in the association.
What would you say to someone who was considering a career in private duty home care?
We need as many people as possible involved in the assistance of seniors. We need more owners, we need more caregivers, we need more people putting their best selves into projects, programs and ideas that can help seniors live long, full, and meaningful lives.
On behalf of everyone at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, we thank Jeff for his detailed and candid responses. We are honored to have him as a distinguished member of the PD Advisory Board and thank him for his dedication, commitment, and passion to the Private Duty home care community.