Life for some of us can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to caring for our elders.
Sid Jay knows that firsthand. He is owner to the 2009 award-winning small business, Home Instead Senior Care - a locally owned nonmedical franchise, offering in-home care to seniors who need companionship and personal assistance from caregivers.
The clients can receive care from locations in Concord, Salisbury and Lexington; care also is provided in Cabarrus, Rowan, Davidson and Davie counties. Home Instead Senior Care is a licensed business that provides personal needs to seniors who can no longer care for themselves.
"It's a matter of trust," says Jay.
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A first step to care requires a certified nurse to go into the client's home and assess the patient. Thereafter, they choose the best caregiver who suits the needs of the client. Three services are offered: personal care (which is the hands-on activity of daily living), companionship (considered the heart of the business) and home helper (assisting clients with cleaning needs).
There is no contract. Services are offered for a few hours to around-the-clock care. Standard charges are $15-$18 per hour, with $2 more for personal care and $2 less for companion services.
"It's not the check; it's the recognition of providing care to somebody," said Jay, 57.
Some in-home care providers don't believe in one-on-one relationships with clients, he said. "We believe in the total opposite."
Jay learned about Home Instead in 2003 after leaving the textile business.
"I never had much time off; it had been time to leave the rat race," he says.
Jay realized his parents and in-laws were approaching their late 70s and early 80s and wanted to stay at home. His idea was to find a business that provided in-home care to seniors.
"My mother in-law found an ad for Home Instead out of Omaha," he said. After researching companies that provided the same care, Home Instead made an impression.
Rights of the business were sold to him after he bought the franchise using savings. The business was incorporated in 2003.
In January, the Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce awarded Jay a 2009 Small Business of the Year award for both Cabarrus and Rowan counties.
In the next decade, demands will increase for senior care. More Baby Boomers will begin to age.
"The challenge is maintaining good quality service for more people in the years to come," he said. Jay has some advice for anyone thinking about buying a franchise.
"Don't get discouraged, your passion for the business will carry you through the hard times," he said. "You have to immerse yourself in this business, while realizing it takes a lot of time and personal money to get into it. So be prepared to eat peanut butter and crackers for a few years until you get the business going."