Ten years ago Anthony Acevedo saw the future. While he and his wife, Mirian Montano, held management positions with a large bookseller, he knew that the business climate at the time was unstable and that his position would eventually be downsized. With Montano’s family already in the home health field the two looked to what they knew and decided to take the leap to work for themselves. “We looked at different businesses in the ‘home care’ arena but found that Visiting Angels stood out as being the most altruistic company offering services to adults and the elderly,” says Acevedo.
Today, Visiting Angels of Miami serves families across Miami-Dade, finding quality home care help for everything from Alzheimer’s and Dementia care and private duty care to assistance with running errands, shopping and hygiene. But finding the right caregiver isn’t always easy, nor is putting trust in a stranger to care for a family member. We sat down with Acevedo to explore the mechanics behind this sensitive industry, his recruiting methods and why he loves his work.
Where do you recruit your home care workers and what do you look for in terms of personality traits?
We ask that those who register with us be a Florida certified nurse assistants with at least a minimum of two years’ experience in the field. The state of Florida also requires that each individual have a digital FBI level background screening. Many of our best caregivers recruit their co-workers or friends in the field. The caregivers feel that our staff is working hard to give them great opportunities to work with good families.
Above all we look for compassion and caregiving as a vocation, not just a job. It may sound simplistic but having elderly parents, we look to see if this person could take care of them, if needed
What are the main concerns of your clients and how do you address them?
Most families want to know if the caregivers are experienced, background screened, reliable and can communicate well. We do a lot of work to recruit caregivers who meet those criteria, however, the clients all have an opportunity to meet and interview each candidate before services begin. We find that our “choose your caregiver” policy has worked well. Most of our caregivers stay with families for a year or more.
Are you employing any new technologies or systems within the industry?
We use the iPad and cloud-based software to ensure that the caregivers and the families are on the same page with schedules and care plan issues. We also utilize an industry-based satisfaction management company called Home Care Pulse to survey our clients and caregivers monthly on our overall performance as a service provider. We’re proud to say that our office has won “Leader in Excellence” and “Provider of Choice” awards the last three years.
What makes you most proud of your work?
Families reach out to us to find a way to keep their loved ones at home. We provide that solution by sending experienced, qualified, caregivers that they can choose to assist them. Most times that support is enough to give their loved ones the safety and quality of life. It also gives the primary family caregiver some respite and peace of mind so they can take care of their own health. When families tell us that they both appreciate that an “angel” is there to help, we know we’ve done our job well.
What do you see for the future of the business?
We know that a “senior tsunami” is coming, in terms of the baby boomers hitting 65 by the thousands on a monthly basis. We’re hopeful that the workforce can keep pace with the increasing demand. We remain confident that our Visiting Angels Miami office will be able to recruit and register the best and most caring individuals in the area.
Visiting Angels of Miami is located at 8501 SW 124th Ave, #310A, Miami, FL 33183. For more information, call 305-728-3153 or go to www.visitingangels.com/miami.