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Home Instead

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As the Baby Boomer population ages, society is facing an unprecedented number of senior citizens who need elder care. Consequently, the U.S. home care market is expected to grow to $225 billion by 2024. Here, Dianne Cunningham, owner and president of Home Instead in Erie, Pennsylvania, shares her insights on this growing population segment and how the company is responding to their care needs.

Tell us how Home Instead got started.

Home Instead was started in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. Founders, Paul and Lori Hogan, created this business of helping seniors age in place until the end of their days in honor of Paul’s Grandma whom they cared for in their own home until she passed away. Her wish was that they help others stay at home, rather than be cared for in a nursing home. Thus, the name “Home Instead” Senior Care was born.

Why did you decide to bring the company to Erie and northwest Pennsylvania?

Over 20 years ago, Carolyn Matters and her family brought the Home Instead Senior Care business to Erie. Carolyn’s daughter had been working for the company which had already been established in the Pittsburgh area. Daughter Holli’s work with seniors inspired her to compel her mother to bring these types of non-medical services for seniors living in Erie County. Home Instead Senior Care opened its doors in June of 2002, at which time I joined the company. My husband Bob and I bought the company in 2009.

What services do you provide today?

As a state-licensed agency, Home Instead has always provided non-medical services including companionship, meal planning and preparation, housekeeping, med reminders, and errands/transportation. Over the years, we have added personal care services including toileting, bathing, and grooming, etc., and we retrain our staff in those services on a yearly basis. This retraining includes firsthand experience in providing bed baths; safety concerning client ambulation; as well as the use of Hoyer lifts and other medical equipment.

Finally, we offer specialized services in Alzheimer’s and Dementia care as well as Hospice services. The goal again, is to keep our seniors living comfortably at home, wherever home is, until they end of their life’s journey. Respite for the family is our staff goal; and we take pride in the dedicated support and effective communication to our client’s family members.

How can Home Instead’s services benefit employers and their employees?

As stated before, respite for family members is a vital part of what we do. Home Instead is committed to excellent Client/Care Pro matchmaking and assuring that all shifts are filled. Employers appreciate that their employee can be at work enjoying peace of mind that their loved one is well-cared for.

We also help employers and their staff with support programs including family Alzheimer’s/Dementia training.

What’s next for Home Instead?

Our staff looks forward to continuing to develop a strong roster of Care Pros. We strive for high standards of care while ensuring that our staff remains second to none. For example, we stay committed to our monthly background checks; and company paid “shadow shifts” for training of Care Pros in new assignments.

We are expanding our staff as we prepare for the upcoming Expanded Services program, which is a nurse- directed initiative in providing more medical services such as wound care and medication management.

What’s the best way to learn more about the company?

Call us! We can be reached at 814/464- 9200. You will be directed to a Client Care Liaison who will listen to your concerns and initial needs and will provide direction to you and your family about “next steps.” You also will want to visit homeinstead.com/ eriepa for detailed information about our services.