Four years ago when Tia's mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer
an elderly family member who had been living with her for the past 20
years was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease- a disease that both
she and her siblings knew very little about at the time. All they knew
was that cousin Dorothy was getting more forgetful, was easily agitated,
and would get lost going to places that she had been many times
before. As Tia's mother's health declined, her demand for attention
left little time and energy for Tia's family members to keep an eye on
Dorothy and attend to her needs. As a result, Dorothy was moved out of
my mother's home. The separation was devastating for both Dorothy
and Tia's mother. Had she'd known about, or had been introduced to
caregiver services provided through companies such as Home Instead
Senior Care, Tia would have gladly paid for someone to come into her
mother's home and help Dorothy with meal preparation which was her
livelihood, but she was restricted from using the stove because she
would forget to turn the gas completely off. Tia's family would have
benefited from having a caregiver remind her to take her medications and
engage her in companionship activities while they cared for her
mother. This would have allowed Dorothy to spend quality time with her
best friend, before Tia's mother's passing 6 months later.
Tia's husband, Richard Harrison is a native of Omaha, Nebraska where
Home Instead Senior Care, Inc. is headquartered. He went to high school
with the president of the company, Paul Hogan. When Richard and Tia
were introduced to franchising opportunities with Home Instead Senior
Care, Inc., they knew from personal experience the value of caregiver
agencies. Richard, a baby boomer himself, was excited about the fact
that the adult children now looking for care for their elderly parents
are going to be looking for service for themselves in 15 to 20
years. According to Mature Resources, an Internet magazine for boomers,
the first baby boomers started the American "age wave" by turning 60 in
2006. However, they are going to be better informed than their parents,
have long-term care policies in place that will cover the costs for a
portion of their care, and what the policies don't cover they will be
able to afford because they are better educated with higher incomes.
In short, the explosive growth potential of the senior market is what
attracted Richard and Tia to this business, but the fact that we are
helping seniors age with dignity in their homes, and giving their adult
children peace of mind is what drives them to do what they do.
Prior to purchasing our Home Instead Business, Richard worked in
workforce development for Metropolitan Community College in Omaha,
Nebraska. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and
master's degree in public administration, both from the University of
Nebraska at Omaha, where he worked for 10 years in Admissions.
Tia received her bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in Mass
Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. She has over 15 years
of corporate public relations, newspaper, radio, and television
broadcasting experience. In addition to on-going training they receive
from Home Instead Senior Care, Inc., the two are actively involved with
the Home Care Association of America, the Chicago and national
Alzheimer's Association, Parkinson's Association, and the local Council
on Aging. Richard serves on the board of directors and chairs the
membership committee for the Oak Park/River Forest Chamber of
Commerce. Tia is Vice President of Communications and President Elect
for the West Cook Chapter of Women In Communications, Inc.
Renita Ward joined our team in 2005, she is the gatekeeper who recruits and hires the CareGivers that provide the direct care to our clients. Renita takes the hiring process seriously and personally to insure we are hiring the right people to carry out our mission. Additionally, Renita oversees training activities.
"I am continually struck by the professionalism, high level of caring and exemplary caregivers that I have met from Home Instead. My mom couldn't live without them, and neither could I.