For Seniors Serving Seniors Founder and CEO John Sammons, his life’s work is also his way of doing God’s work in the world. After 40 years as a pastor in Baptist churches, the 77-year-old retired ten years ago and wound up with a new mission: caring for seniors who need help to get through their days.
Together with his wife Kay (who serves as the director of Adult Care), son Joey (president and head of day-to-day operations) and daughter Fionna Samuels (VP/office manager), Sammons oversees SSS’s 90 clients and 450 caregivers, who work at various shift levels across Central Arkansas. An additional 15 senior clients attend adult day care in the downstairs of the business’ Sherwood headquarters, which offers a wide array of activities including puzzles, singing and dancing, two meals a day, and snacks to attendees as their families work or attend to daily personal business.
“When I left Marshall Road Baptist Church in Jacksonville, I said I’m not going to retire, I’m just going to go back home and see what God had for me,” recalled John Sammons. “I loved older people, and worked with older seniors in church. I contacted a lady in Florida that does training and certification of caregivers that want to start a caregiving business. My wife and I, and our son Joey, spent a week with her and started Seniors Serving Seniors.”
Seniors Serving Seniors offers home care for families 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to accommodate families with all kinds of assistance needs. All caregivers are given thorough Arkansas State Police background checks and ongoing drug tests in addition to being fully licensed, bonded and insured.
The caregivers range in age from 21 to 71 and cover shifts ranging from a minimum of four hours a day to eight-hour shifts (the most common) and 12-hour shifts for the five clients who need full-time services, all at a rate of $21 an hour. The caregivers can only provide non-medical care, meaning they can’t administer shots or nursing, but can do housekeeping, laundry, rides to and from their doctors and run errands for them.
Through it all, the company proudly maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Word-of-mouth and internet marketing provide a steady stream of clients, although many have used the service long-term.
“We provide the training for all our caregivers to be certified,” explained Kay Sammons. “We started out small with in-home care, but now I’m more involved with the day care now and just love it, because my mom would be 104 and bored now. We just keep them engaged to make sure their physical, mental and emotional needs are met so they can continue to not just exist, but to have a good life.”
For John Sammons, the biggest reward of his work with SSS is being able to love both his clients and his caregivers.
“The biggest reward is being able to love people. Because that’s who I am; I’m a pastor,” he said. “Being able to be involved in their lives during their later years and help them have a good life. Our slogan is ‘WE Care,’ so it is being able to care for people and love people and help people live.
“All these ladies we hire, we’re providing a job for them, an income so they can actually take care of their family. It’s twofold: My clients take care of them because they need help and we take care of our staff by paying them fairly.
I’ve been a businessman, a pastor, a lover of people, and I’m trying to help people get along in life.”
Seniors Serving Seniors is located at 3170 E. Kiehl Ave., Ste. A, Sherwood, AR 72120. Call (501) 920-6217 or visit www.ssscare.com.
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