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.