Saturday, January 12, 2008

Okay, Here's the BIG NEWS...

My sister and I decided to open a home care agency!!! Years ago it started with my sister saying that we should open a home care agency (shortly after I began working as a nurse...maybe even after I had begun as a nurse case manager) and I thought, "Oh, no...it is a huge headache!" (all the paperwork, compliance, etc.) Since then, there have been a kajillion times that my husband has said that with all the years I have been in home care and having experienced nearly aspect of home care possible, AND with the booming need for home care with all the baby boomers getting up there, I really should consider opening my own agency. Well, one day my sister and I were just chatting and she brought up the home care agency idea and somehow it just took! By that night we had our first business meeting, since then we've done hours and hours of research, poured over names for days, came up with a name that we both just said, "That's it! That's our name!", checked it out in the home care directory and business directory for our state...the name wasn't yet taken.. and we've since tweeked and jiggled it, have pulled together all of our dreams and visions, and I think we are really onto something. All we are waiting on now is approval from the Department of Health, which should be middle to end of next week.
I have worked in home care since 1991. All along I have just kind of quietly observed and observed from one agency to the next, noticing some really good things and then noticing things that I would feel are a glich or gap in the system. It's a terribly remote, fragmented job. It's difficult to truly supervise those that are out working with these vulnerable people. Because of the huge need, between seniors starting to need minor assistance to remain safe and independent in their home, to young children with special needs, to young adults with debilitating disabilities...many agencies grow so big so fast they suffer huge "growing pains". Inevitably the clients and staff begin to feel neglected...Well, adding all the factors together, we decided that we would do everyone the most justice to just focus on one area and specialize in it. I feel strongly about catering to the needs of Seniors. They have worked hard all their lives and deserve to be treated with much respect and dignity. The first link that starts to break down are the simple tasks that become too hard for them to safely perform on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, we have decided to service the Seniors with light housekeeping, laundry, light meal prep, and grocery shopping. Those are the areas that,with arthritis, overall increasing weakness, balance issues, etc. (and not to mention Minnesota ice in the winter) make it begin to be difficult to stay safe and independent in their own homes. Oh, I could go on and on about this but would probably fill this whole page with such information and not be finished, so suffice it to say we are extremely excited, have some essential people very excited for us (our husbands and kids, a banker-we went in without a business plan and just asked him what he would like to see from us in terms of numbers and business plan and we left with him backing us already without a business plan), and truly feel like we will make a go of this, having the hayday of our lives providing high quality services to those that deserve it the most, our Seniors!!! I will keep you posted! :)

10 comments:

Driving With the Brakes On said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful idea, and with all of your experience, it sounds like you are well on your way. When we lived in San Diego my husband and I worked for a doctor housecall service - 99% elderly, 99% Medicare, many were homebound or lived in assisted living facilities . . . we were always desperate to run across a home health agency that was run well and with conscientious staff who would treat our patients with the respect they deserved - they are few and far between. Best of luck!

Darla said...

Thank you so much! I'm a tiny bit nervous too but am surprised that I am soooo ready for it! I thought I would be more overwhelmed. Can't wait!!!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Sounds like a great idea, good luck with this new adventure {owning your own business}. We worked for 9 months in an adult foster home. Interesting work, we came to love those little old ladies.

Christine said...

There is such a need for qulaity care for seniors. This would be wonderful if you can line everything up to make it happen. Blessings. :)

Shellie said...

That is cool! I'm excited for you! And it sounds like you will be a great asset to the Seniors in need of your services.

Christine said...

Hi Darla,

Yes, I attempted the email again-- three times. Each time it came back fail to send. DO you have a different email?

Joni said...

Darla, I was just looking at your blog name (or whatever it's called), and thought you should instead say 'A red race car in the slow lane' or something to that sort. You always have something new and exciting going on! And I'm glad I'm in on the newest venture right alongside you - I have a feeling that our business will lift off the ground soon. Just have to work out the final details, and then once it gets going we'll have to smooth the bumps which we can't anticipate yet! I'm excited! I hear school kids arriving with hoops and howls - better brace myself for the burst of the front door, and flying jackets, mitts, boots ... for the noise, hungry tummys, etc ...!!!!

onthegomom said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!! What an amazing, wonderful plan! I wish you and your sister (and your families) the BEST of luck!

Oh and I noticed you mentioned being in Minnesota. I am right below you, in good ol' Iowa :-). We are practically neighbors!

Cecily R said...

Congratulations!!! That is just so great.

I feel like a toad for not being around forever...I just realized I'd saved your blog address in the wrong favorites folder! Not that it's a great excuse or anything, but I'll be around more often I promise!

Darla said...

Christine-I sent you an email with another email address. Let me know on here if it doesn't work for you.
Joni-I have to grin at the other blog name you suggested. If you picture both titles, they almost look the same, don't they...neither let you go very fast, although you might wish to! I am quite sure this business is going to go too and am so excited that you're doing it with me. As you know, I would have it an entirely different direction, and I'm sure it wouldn't be nearly as good as where you have fine-tuned it! CAn't wait now to run flyers around tomorrow!
Cecily-I'm glad you stopped by again. I'm not so sophisticated to have anyone's blog name in a favorites place so I have to resort to clicking into my posts and looking for someone's name if I want to go to their site. I should kind of pull my head out of the sand and get this a little more organized..do the blog roll thing or something! :)
Thank you all for the encouraging comments! I can't wait to keep updating this as we see how things go!