Feb 23, 2023

Sunbound Asks: Nicole Haney of Papa's Place Adult Day Care Center

Nat Miller

This week on Sunbound Asks we had the pleasure of sitting down with Nicole Haney, owner and founder of Papa’s Place Adult Day Care Center, an official Sunbound partner located in Reed City, Michigan. We had an amazing time welcoming Nicole to the blog, and covered a wide range of topics from how her background in nursing led her to found Papa’s Place, to all of the ways that Papa’s Place innovates to make senior care more effective and affordable. To learn more about Nicole and Papa’s Place, as well as to learn about how Sunbound can help pay for your or your senior loved one’s care at Papa’s Place, request a Sunbound demo here or check out our interview below.

Q: How long have you been working in senior care?

A: I have been in the senior care industry since 2007. 

Q: How’d you get into the senior care industry?

A: I went to nursing school and found that working with seniors was the area that I enjoyed the most. I first started working in a hospital setting, then for a hospice company. After that I transitioned and did investigations into senior abuse and neglect, and from there went into running an assisted living home. And then I stepped out of the role at the assisted living home to start Papa’s Place.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working in senior care?

A: In traditional healthcare a lot of things are determined by what insurance will pay for. In the home care industry, it’s not necessarily based on what the insurance company requires. Home care doesn’t cost a lot out of pocket, particularly because many of our clients will come through Medicaid-funded waiver programs. When you take away the payment pressure our clients are able to really participate in their own care and we can be free to really tailor their care to their needs, and meet them where they’re at. A huge part of the reward of working in senior care is being able to keep seniors in their home where they want to be and where they can have a high quality of life.


Q: What’s your favorite memory from working in senior care?

A: When I worked in hospice we had a client that was terminally ill. For a number of reasons her and her life partner hadn’t gotten married yet (the main reason being financial as getting married would have negatively affected their benefits). But both her and her partner really wanted to get married. So myself, a couple of other nurses, and our pastor ended up pulling together an entire wedding ceremony for this couple. We reached out to the community and got all sorts of support. For example a local college catering company donated a full catered dinner, and a bunch of people donated dresses for the bride (we even had a dress sent up to Michigan from Florida!). The chaplain did the service, and we were able to invite the people who were closest to her. It was so amazing being able to give her and her husband that ceremony before she passed away.


Q: What advice would you give a family that is looking for at-home senior care or adult day care?

A: To trust your full care team. A lot of times family members have been the senior’s primary caregiver for a long time, and so sometimes it can be hard to let someone else come in and take over. What we’ve found to be true, however, is that generally the senior will react better to receiving care from a stranger than from their family member. So try and start senior care early and really utilize the experience that the care team has. A lot of family members aren’t caregivers for their primary career, but we are. A family caregiver might have adapted to doing things a certain way because they can get them to work, but a lot of time we can come in and show even easier ways to do things so that receiving care isn’t so physically or emotionally taxing for the senior or their family. It can sometimes be hard to let go of that control, but it’s so important for both yourself and your senior loved one to really trust and utilize your full care team.


Q: Do you have a favorite tip for how a family can talk to a senior parent about at-home senior care?

A: I tell families to be honest. It’s difficult a lot of times for seniors to acknowledge that they’re losing some physical ability and that they’re losing some of their independence. But what I have found with almost every senior I’ve worked with is that no one wants to be a burden on their family. If the family can have an honest conversation about why they need help caring for a senior because they don’t know how to provide senior care, that can really help the conversation. This helps show that senior care doesn’t just help out the client, it helps their family as a whole. I’ve often found that seniors are more willing to accept help if they know it’s also helping their family members.


Q: What’s your favorite new trend in senior care?

A: Two things come to mind! One is that I think that adult day care is going to be the next big thing in senior care. There’s a push to age in place, and I think more people want to stay home and also that more people are seeing that it’s possible to stay home longer. Adult day care provides that opportunity for seniors to still get out of the home, to get inclusion and social interaction, and also allows their family members to still work because they don’t have to give up their job to become a caregiver. It’s also extremely affordable because you aren’t paying the hourly rate for home care services. The other trend is a program that we’ve recently rolled out at Papa’s Place called Peace of Mind Visits. A lot of home care companies have a 4-hour minimum for visits (and also charge hourly!). But a lot of people don’t necessarily need 4 hours of care. They might only need someone to come in and do a couple of tasks a day, like reminding them to take their medication. With our Peace of Mind Visits we visit our clients Monday through Friday and charge a weekly fee, with each visit being as long as it needs to be. Each week we have a specific care plan, so for example every Monday and Thursday we’ll help with bathing, and every Tuesday and Friday we’ll help with groceries and food prep. This helps us see our clients every day to provide care, without billing them for costly hours of unnecessary work.


Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about care?

A: I wish people knew how important senior care is and the benefits that senior care can have for full families (not just seniors). I truly believe that home care can be the difference in someone continuing to live at home safely and not having to consider a placement option they might not want. The sooner that senior care services are in place, the sooner we can get to know the person and understand their baseline so that we can recognize when bad things are happening or have hit a critical point. With seniors, for example, chronic issues like UTI’s or not eating and drinking enough can be huge problems, and they can lead to even bigger problems like falls or hospitalizations. If a senior has someone providing care on a regular basis, they can help prevent those things from ever happening.


Q: If you weren’t working in senior care, what else would you be doing?

A: Probably running a dog rescue. So it’s a good thing I’m in senior care because I wouldn’t be married otherwise! I foster Great Danes, so I would probably have a whole lot of foster Danes if I wasn’t working in senior care.


Q: What senior care resources would you suggest for our readers?

A: I think one of the most important topics that the senior community should be aware of is the different federally-funded Medicaid waiver programs that are available in every state. Our first step with clients is often to help them get set up with a Medicaid waiver. These programs can help seniors get care sooner, and it’s a great idea for people to look up any Medicaid programs that may exist in their state.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make paying for senior living and senior care more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and senior care and is on a mission to make senior living and senior care more affordable for everyone.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

image caption

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Libero lorem augue neque sed vitae odio consectetur viverra adipiscing. A in viverra sapien, pharetra. Ut nibh fringilla duis sed tellus et eleifend sed feugiat. Ut cursus cursus commodo enim tortor ante etiam. Ultrices adipiscing urna, dignissim viverra integer. Sed dui leo praesent mi, bibendum ultricies diam pharetra. Sed sit facilisi libero, ornare sagittis facilisis purus. Enim, commodo nulla erat amet at ut. Felis, rutrum fringilla consectetur enim consectetur nunc odio. Semper et ipsum, sit fringilla. Auctor arcu, purus mauris arcu massa placerat proin ut. Nunc sit hendrerit enim id ut in aenean amet sagittis. Eget odio integer in pellentesque pulvinar netus.
Adipiscing sit aliquet in massa aliquet ligula auctor gravida arcu. Nisi, at adipiscing consequat, morbi. Varius fringilla non massa lacus cras. Lectus morbi eget vel vel semper.

Read More


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more