The past five years has seen a significant amount of legislation proposed and passed by the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress that will have far-reaching consequences on how seniors age the next 10-30 years. Right At Home offers seniors and disabled seniors options for skilled care to keep them at home. Proprietors Dan and Jill Parker are now in their sixth year as local franchise operators.
When Ethel (Nana) walked to the end of the court to post a letter and got lost, her adult daughter and husband suspected dementia was setting in. But after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, she requested family promise to care for her at home.
“We gladly made that promise, not really understanding the challenging commitment we were making,” said Dan Parker, son-in-law.
Fast forward to 2008 and Dan moves to Sacramento, pondering job prospects. Franchising is on the horizon, after consultation with FranChoice. His idea was manufacturing, relying on past experience, but wife Jill had another idea: in-home care for seniors and disabled adults.
“At first I did not think that senior care would be a good fit for me, after all, what did I know about senior care – I was a manufacturing guy? Then I thought back to our experience with Nana and the satisfaction, although it had been very challenging, that had come from the knowledge that we had kept our promise to keep her home and care for her,” Parker said. “Then I thought about all of the aging veterans, I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy, that we would be able to help stay in their homes.”
The couple chose to work with Right at Home, a non-medical provider of home-care service based in Omaha, Nebraska, launching service March 1, 2008. With a projected shortage of caregivers (home and facility) the next decade and aging Baby Boomers as well as Affordable Care Act provisions contributing to the need, Parker says anyone aspiring to work in health care should have job security. He says he anticipates a personnel shortage for some time.
“It takes a high level of effort and discipline to make your way through the process of getting a license to be a LVN, an RN or a physician. Many are choosing to begin their career in the care-giving field and it does give them hands-on training with providing care for patients,” he said. “Given the schedule flexibility often offered by home-care agencies, it can also provide a source of part-time income while in pursuit of their educational requirements. Because of the growing need, many companies in home care are beginning to provide higher levels of training to attract care workers in a competitive employment market.”
Carol Terracina-Hartman is a freelance writer based in Sacramento. She covers all things environment. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Service Award from the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. See her work at Examiner.com.