We continue to ask ourselves, ‘What would we want for our parents or ourselves when it comes to care?’ This is the driving influence in how we run our home care agency.”
—Mike Doepke, co-owner, Caring Hearts of Hinsdale, Illinois
October 16 is Boss’s Day. It’s not a widely celebrated holiday, but it does provide an impetus to think about the leaders in our professional lives whose efforts have made a difference to us. This year, I’d like to take the opportunity to appreciate some of my colleagues at Caring Hearts who have inspired me over the years.
All of the local owners at Caring Hearts have unique stories and experiences, but they share a common thread. Each has answered the calling to make lives easier for the families in their community. These compassionate men and women have seen firsthand how family caregivers have their sense of choice and control taken from them as loved ones’ needs escalate. The ever-increasing prevalence of this Caregiving Dilemma has motivated each Caring Hearts “boss” to become a leader of a team of outstanding in-home caregivers at each of their home care agencies.
Local Caring Hearts Home Care agencies do extraordinary things in their communities. Here are just a few of their stories.
Bringing a community together
Last year, Kathy Petrick, owner of Caring Hearts of Elgin, Illinois, decided to work with a few churches around town to organize area seniors to write holiday cards to soldiers. What started off as a simple idea soon grew to more churches calling to join the effort than they could handle!
Looking out for our clients
This past February, a heavy snowstorm hit Little Rock, Arkansas, causing school and work cancellations throughout the region. Most people stayed indoors, but as anyone who has an elderly, ill or recuperating family member knows, care needs never take a day off. That’s why Sam Sellers, the owner of Caring Hearts of Little Rock, personally visited clients to make sure they were taken care of.
Personal experiences lead to joining the home care industry
Once we reached the point in our lives when we could contemplate owning our own business, we were motivated to buy a senior care franchise because of our experience with caring for our own parents.”
—Al Lust, owner of Caring Hearts of Otsego, Michigan
Many of us at Caring Hearts were drawn to this job by personal experiences. My family members’ illnesses threw me into a caregiver role at a young age, for instance, and many franchise owners have had parents or other loved ones go through extended-care situations. These experiences left us with a true appreciation for the challenge presented by caring for a loved one. Helping an elderly parent to continue living at home, where the majority of people want to live, can quickly drain your energy reserves. We are here because we want to help families avoid caregiver burnout, restore a sense of choice and control, and be able to enjoy being a family member again, rather than just a caregiver.
Hiring the best caregivers, and treating clients like family
We seek out people who are compassionate about caring for the elderly. If you find the right people, they don’t need a lot of leadership. What they need is a clear understanding of the particular needs of the client, the training and confidence to be able to carry out the care plan and respect from their peers and staff.
One of our greatest joys is when our caregiver becomes ‘a part of the family.’”
—Mike Doepke, co-owner of Caring Hearts of Hinsdale
Mike and his wife Mary joined the Caring Hearts family after deciding to start their own business. Mary’s father had a stroke during this time and she had to return to New York to help care for him. In the three weeks she was gone, Mike realized that his background in business and her background as a nurse made them a great fit for this industry. Since then, they have built a respected business in the Chicago area. Their team of great caregivers is the best in the region.
Helping others fills Caring Hearts local owners’ lives with satisfaction
As with any business, running an in-home care agency can be difficult at times. But our owners feel a great sense of accomplishment when they know they’ve helped families in need.