When interviewing an in-home health aide, Lorrie Schilke asks the usual questions about education, work history and future goals, yet the most important question might be the one she asks herself: “Would my mother have trusted this caregiver?”
Since 2013, Keeping Good Company Senior Care at Home, LLC has operated on the guiding principle of treating clients as family members. Schilke’s first-hand experience in caring for her parents toward the end of their lives has helped shape this affirmative outlook.
“My mother was in a wheelchair and had a lot of medical issues,” Schilke said. “She didn’t trust a lot of the caregivers she had at first, but near the end there were people that she fell in love with, and it made such a difference. After she passed away, it dawned on us how important it was to have good caregivers.”
Although potential caregivers do not need to be experienced or licensed, Schilke rigorously screens candidates before following up with interviews and hiring decisions. Candidates must pass criminal and motor vehicle background checks with stellar marks and also show compassion for elderly citizens.
Caregivers who are hired are then encouraged to pursue continuing and education and become Certified Companion Aides, a designation that elevates their knowledge and status in the industry, educates them in best practices and focuses their performance on essential care subjects.
Overall, Schilke’s goal is to provide service which allows seniors to feel assisted yet independent in their desired setting.
“We want to promote their independence by helping them with little day to day things, cooking, cleaning, errands,” Schilke said.
Beyond getting to know the professional ability and bedside demeanor of her staff, Schilke takes great care in understanding her clients.
“We start with an in-home assessment and get to know them. Family members are often involved, and we come up with a game plan that’s going to work,” Schilke said. “Getting to know their likes and their dislikes is important. We want to know the little things, too, like what their dog’s name is, and things like that. Then we try to match caregivers up who have similar interests so they can start with a strong rapport.”
Keeping Good Company Senior Care at Home, LLC assesses the caregiver success by using surveys. During a caregiver appreciation day, Schilke gathered all of the overwhelmingly positive client comments and shared them with her staff.
“In that envelope were all the positive comments their clients had said about them. We went around the room, and everyone had a chance to read one or two of the comments.” Schilke said. “People were getting choked up to hear how much clients appreciate the care and how meaningful they are to the families.”
Along with the gratitude of clients, Schilke believes receiving a 2017 Better Business Bureau TORCH Award serves as further proof that Keeping Good Company Senior Care at Home, LLC is doing the work her mother would consider with pride.
“When you walk in the office we have a couple of bible verses hanging around.” Schilke said. “One bible verse says: Do not cast me away when I’m old. Do not forsake me when my strength is gone. I think everyone who works for us believes in that, and has a strong heart. The BBB TORCH Award reflects on the good people who work here.”
Keeping Good Company, 2201 Chapel Plaza Ct., Suite 101, Columbia, MO 65203
President: Lorrie Schilke
To connect professional, trusted, compassionate, and knowledgeable caregivers with seniors who need assistance with activities of daily living and wish to remain in the comfort of their home.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. Keeping Good Company is a winner of the BBB Columbia 2017 TORCH Awards.