By Joanna Dodder Nellans

Carol White was inspired to start a home caregiver business when her mother was diagnosed with dementia.

Building upon her personal experience, teaching background, MBA and corporate knowledge, White opened Home Care Assistance (HCA) of Prescott. HCA offers non-medical in-home care that’s tailored to each client, including seniors and people with issues such as multiple sclerosis and mental illness.

HCA is the only home care agency in Northern Arizona with an on-staff nationally certified Geriatric Care Manager; Chris Knack is a licensed mental health therapist with master’s degrees in agency counseling and school counseling.

This level of staff expertise allows HCA of Prescott to offer clients a suite of innovative science-based services to help them stay in their homes. An AARP survey found that nine in 10 seniors prefer home to institutional living. Yet by age 65, one in 10 seniors has developed Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

“They want to maintain autonomy, but they recognize they’re not able to do things they want to do,” Knack explained.

“We just help them do it safely,” added his wife April, HCA’s general manager.

HCA franchises are located throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They offer proprietary HCA programs such as the Balanced Care Method that promotes a healthy diet, physical exercise, mental stimulation, socialization and sense of purpose. The Cognitive Therapeutics Method is an activity-based program that promotes brain health. And the Transition Home Package helps clients transition back home from the hospital with effective rehabilitation and education.

HCA’s newest programs are the “Best Friends Approach” and “Music & Memory.” In the latter initiative, caregivers help clients pick out their favorite songs and install them on an iPod.

“The music allows people with dementia to get access to their memories. It really can be incredibly therapeutic,” Knack explained.

“It all comes down to quality of life,” White concluded. Sometimes it’s just helping with the simple things. One client, for example, loves to bake bread but can’t stand up long enough to do it, so a caregiver helps. HCA also helps family members better understand the client’s needs through educational materials and on-site assistance. And the “Family Room” online portal lets family members track caregiver tasks and coordinate care.

HCA of Prescott caregivers are carefully screened for skills and compassion, then receive specialized training. They are HCA employees instead of contractors, so HCA maintains all liability.

HCA managers formulate initial client assessments and list recommendations for care so clients and families can make informed decisions. Then managers visit homes on a regular basis.

HCA has clearly found the right formula. Statistics from a third-party company (Home Care Pulse) led to its U.S. Best of Home Care awards (both as a provider and employer) for the last three years. This year HCA of Prescott also won the coveted Leader in Excellence Award that puts it in the top 4% of all U.S. home care agencies. The awards are based on client and caregiver ratings.

For more information visit Home Care Assistance at 377 N Montezuma St #110, Prescott, AZ 86301; call (928) 771-0105 or visit their website at