Toombs started working with the Andersons over two years ago. She was there to help take care of their daughter Eleah, 51, who has Down syndrome. Toombs then started to take care of Betty and James once they began facing health issues of their own, the Andersons said.
“She’s like family to us,” James said.
Toombs said being a caregiver is a tough job, but it is very fulfilling.
Aunt Mae’s was started by owner Sam Banerjee in 2006. Banerjee said he wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives.
“I don’t think there is really any other business where you are directly helping people, and that really appealed to me,” Banerjee said.
The business offers all forms of nonmedical home care, including bathing, light housekeeping, errands, laundry, help getting to and from appointments, dressing and more, Banerjee said.
While most of Aunt Mae’s clients are seniors, service is available to people of all ages. Aunt Mae’s clientele includes children recovering from surgery, seniors with dementia who need someone to look out for them and anyone needing a little help in day-to-day life.
The business also offers companionship. These services include caregivers accompanying clients on walks, playing boardgames or cards, conversation, light exercise, or just providing some basic company.
Banerjee said the quality of the caregivers is what sets Aunt Mae’s apart from other home care services.
“Finding quality caregivers is always a challenge, but we do not compromise on standards,” Banerjee said.
Potential caregivers are put through a rigorous vetting process, including six background checks, reference checks, a trial period and training, Aunt Mae’s Administrator Shannon Nelson said. Aunt Mae’s is also contracted with the state of Texas as a licensed personal assistance service and, in turn, is able to accept Medicaid from clients, Banerjee said. This is unique among most nonmedical home care services, he said.
“A lot of people don’t realize ... that Medicare does not cover nonmedical home care,” he said. “So really, unless they already paid for a long-term care insurance policy—which, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about—they are stuck paying out of pocket, and it can be expensive. The other option is Medicaid.”
Aunt Mae’s also accepts private pay in addition to Veterans Affairs insurance.
Banerjee said Aunt Mae’s’ reach continues to grow across the metroplex. Its service area covers the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area and matches clients with caregivers that live close to them.
“What makes us unique is the fact that we care,” Banerjee said.