Nurse Goes Into the Home Care Business

A new in-home care company headed by registered nurse Pauling Sanders opened in San Leandro in September.

Synergy HomeCare Eastbay provides non-medical service and companionship for people of all ages.  Sanders, who has been a registered nurse for 35 years, has a carefully selected staff of 40 multilingual, multicultural on-call caregivers.

“The population is aging,” adds Sanders.  “Many people live away from their family members, and they have to be able to trust their caregivers.”

Synergy HomeCare is an Arizona-based company with 80 franchise locations in 31 states.  Sanders has spent over 20 years working in health care quality improvement and says she was drawn to Synergy because of its focus on quality and its use of technology.

For example, caregivers must call the office from the client’s home telephone with in 15 minutes for their scheduled arrival time. If they do not, ca computer alert system is triggered and a staff member calls the home to make sure nothing is wrong.  Another advantage for out-of-town relatives is the clients personalized care plan may be accessed by computer from anywhere at any time.

Synergy offers three levels of care.  Companionship provides services such as respite care, medication reminders and bedtime assistance.  Homemaking can include light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and grocery shopping.  Personal Care may include Alzheimer’s care, assistance with bathing and restroom use, etc…

Synergy also offers a unique four-hour service called “I Want to Go Home,” which provides transport home from a hospital or other medical facility such as dialysis, rehab or ambulatory surgery centers.  The service includes helping the client settle in at home, fixing them a meal if desired, and calling a family member before departure.  The cost is only $88 plus mileage and is available to clients over age 18.

Synergy’s services may even be provided in nursing homes or assisted living communities and can include transportation to and from appointments and family functions.  The company also cares for younger, disabled and housebound people, including respite care for those with autism.

Assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Synergy works with insurance companies and the VA to verify coverage prior to starting.

The majority of Sanders caregivers are certified nursing assistants, medical assistants or emergency medical assistants.  (They provide reminders to take medication, but may not administer them.)

“We make sure we have good people as caregivers.  They undergo a nationwide background check, and we require them to dress professionally and be CPR and First Aid certified.  Our caregivers are bonded and insures and we also do random drug testing,” says Sanders.

The company also requires its employees to take a TB test and be vaccinated for hepatitis.  In addition, random quality assurance checks are made at the clients’ home to make sure all is well.

“Clients like that our staff can handle emergencies,” says Sanders.  “We also understand that they may be in a difficult time of transition if they are not longer able to drive.  Though it may be initially hard for them, we eventually win them over.”

Synergy HomeCare Eastbay is located at 400 Estudillo Ave, Suite 206, and covers San Leandro, Castro Valley, and Oakland.  Call 352-6900, e-mail [email protected]or see a complete list of services