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Help is Here

With their unique concept, a couple is helping seniors in more ways than one.

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This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After working with Mother Teresa in India for 14 years, the desire to help other people comes naturally to Kiran Yocom, 50. When she came to America in 1995, the needs of the growing aging population called out to her. So with the help of her husband, Philip, 54, she started the nonprofit Seniors Helping Seniors in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1998.

As the name suggests, what differentiates Seniors Helping Seniors from other in-home care companies is that seniors are both the ones receiving the care and the ones providing it. The Yocoms see themselves as filling not just one need but two, letting more able seniors stay active and supplement their incomes while they help less able seniors remain independent. "And when we match the right seniors, they become friends," Philip adds. "So we look at ourselves as providing not just companion care, but also companionship."

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