I had an opportunity to interview SYNERGY HomeCare owners, Peter and Shannon Sakellariou, to learn more about how they got into home care and their journeys caring for seniors. They shared both the joys and challenges working in the industry and their visions for the future.
1. How long have you been working in the elder care industry?
Peter started working with seniors 9 years ago when he served as a hospice chaplain. He visited with clients in their homes or at facilities, listening to their concerns and offering support.
2. Why did you decide to start SYNERGY HomeCare in Greater Boston?
Through his hospice chaplaincy experience, Peter saw up close the environments in which seniors were living their final days. He saw how difficult it was for some and how much more comfortable they’d be in their homes. As a chaplain, he also didn’t have much time with each client. The idea of home care was inspiring: to provide services that helped people stay in their homes–or get one-on-one attention wherever they lived–and to be a resource for all different needs. We have gotten to know our clients’ histories, their families, and how to make their lives more comfortable and secure. And Peter has been on hand many times with his hospice experience to provide that support to Synergy clients.
3. What motivates you to work on behalf of seniors?
Shannon has been a teacher for more than 20 years, so she’s a real people person. She enjoys getting to know each client, as well as the caregiver team. It’s so satisfying to see the sense of relief and peace of mind on a client’s face when they start services. They know that they have a whole team of people who are working for their well-being. Both Peter and Shannon have received so much joy getting to know clients, and it’s meaningful to them to know that their efforts truly make a difference in their lives.
4. What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
The hardest part is when we have to say we can’t meet needs. Sometimes we aren’t able to match a client with a caregiver for specific hours, as hard as we try to constantly expand our caregiver team. Also, we are a non-medical care agency, and sometimes we aren’t able to provide the skilled nursing services that a client needs.
5. Where would you like the business to be in the next 10 years?
We are pleased that Synergy’s reputation has really grown and we get calls all the time saying, “I’ve heard about you. Someone recommended you to me.” Our goal is that we can continue to grow our business so that we can always say yes to clients who need our services. This means expanding our caregiver team and providing them with more training opportunities and other incentives to build their job satisfaction, as well as increase our community outreach.
6. How have your previous work experiences prepared you for your current position?
In addition to Peter’s hospice experience and Shannon’s (and Peter’s) teaching experience, we both care deeply about service to others. We met in Albania where we both were working with the Orthodox Christian Church there to teach and to organize and lead youth activities, as well serve the community in other ways. For us, home care is an extension of this service in a new way.
7. What does success look like for SYNERGY?
Success for SYNERGY is happy clients, happy caregivers, and happy office staff. The word “synergy” means working together, and we really see that the whole team is important to provide care that satisfies the clients.
To learn more about SYNERGY HomeCare, give us a call at 781-762-1114.