Home isn't just shelter from the rain, but a catalyst for memories. And since the elderly cherish the most memories, it's especially tragic when they're forced to move into expensive, if not suspect, nursing homes. No one knows this better than Paul and Lori Hogan, founders of Home Instead Senior Care.
Since 1994, their Omaha, Nebraska, franchise has helped older people stay at home by offering in-home care, including limited assistance, supervision, light housework and companionship. And there is an added twist: The services are nonmedical, making them pleasantly affordable for those who can manage their own physical needs but still require some assistance.
How did the company come about? Paul cites the demographics of the time: "I targeted [the] huge void in any type of nonmedical senior service." And like most entrepreneurs who've filled a void, they've experienced phenomenal success: Home Instead now claims 244 service offices in 41 states, and 1999 revenues hit $45 million.
Relatives usually contact the franchise, sometimes just for temporary respite. Caregivers are screened, trained, bonded and insured-and usually become friends with their clients, leading to a more permanent relationship. Or, as Lori puts it, "It's almost like watching a flower bloom."