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Meet Our Team

We believe every family in the area deserves tailor made in-home senior care with a compassionate touch. That's why we established Home Instead® of Chicago, IL.

Home Instead Caregiver helps senior woman unload groceries from vehicle

Proudly Serving Aging Adults & Their Families

Our Promise

As a locally owned business, our team offers friendly, responsive service right in your neighborhood. Families love our team because we:
  • Do what we say we’re going to do – each and every time
  • Solve care problems using compassionate, person-centered solutions
  • Engage in thoughtful relationships with the families we serve
  • Give back to our community

About Us

Meet Our Home Care Team

Karen Stephenson, President and Owner

Karen Stephenson, President and Owner

Karen Stephenson purchased the Home Instead franchise in November of 2013. She is very active in the office and oversees the leadership of the organization and ensures we provide the highest quality caregiving services. Her time is also spent meeting with new clients, developing community relationships and striving for excellence at every level of the organization. She can be contacted for any questions regarding the quality of our services or if you know a senior in need of guidance and support. Karen comes from a diverse background; she began as a Software Sales Executive and continued for over 16 years while receiving many achievement awards then became the owner of a Real Estate Development and Construction Company for over 10 years. She is now serving in her most rewarding role of CEO/Owner for Home Instead. Karen is passionate about exceeding expectations of clients and Care Pros, and sets an example of leadership in her office and the industry.

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Jackie & Michael Melinger, Owners

Owners Jackie & Michael Melinger both graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign. Their experience includes health care management, human resources, customer service, and quality control. Jackie served as an Illinois Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, holds a Master's Degree in Human Resources from Chicago's Loyola University, and oversees staffing and bookkeeping. Michael oversees client services, and overall administration of the company. Michael is currently on the Board of Directors for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly - Chicago Chapter , the Illinois Department of Public Health's Home Health Advisory Board, spent 7 years on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Chapter of the Home Care Association of America, and serves on the Skokie Health Department's IPLAN Committee. Jackie & Michael became franchise owners in 2001 with Home Instead Senior Care, have 3 children and live in the North Shore. Jackie & Michael also volunteer regularly in various community causes and activities, including nursing home & adult day care pet therapy, Alzheimer's Association support group facilitation, Parent Teacher Association, Youth Athletic Coaching, and the North Shore Senior Center Escorted Transportation Service. In September of 2013, Jackie and Michael were honored by a local senior organization, North Shore Senior Center, with the 2013 Corporate Sponsorship Philanthropic Award for their support of NSSC's programs for seniors and their families throughout the Chicagoland and North Shore Suburban area.

Dionne Elam, Director of Client Care Manager

Dionne Elam, Director of Client Care Manager

Dionne Elam coordinates care needs for assigned clients and utilizes communication with family & medical staff to support the mission of Home Instead. Her position develops and maintains client assessments, conducts QA visits and facilitates introductions between clients and caregivers. Dionne has been working in Social Work for 17 years. She is a Certified Child Welfare Worker and also has experience in mental health. Her favorite season is spring, she loves her pets, and also manages to find free time doing home improvement projects and DIY car repairs.


Gina Sheffer, MS, General Manager

Gina Sheffer joined Home Instead Senior Care in 2004, and has been an important member of our team throughout the years. She has worked, and is knowledgeable in all areas of the business including Recruitment, Client Services, and Operations Management. Gina is now the General Manager of Home Instead Senior Care. Facilitating support and communication, and helping families figure out solutions to tough issues are what she does best. Gina has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Master's Degree in Human Services Administration from National Louis University.

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Larissa Beers, Intake & Care Planning Manager

My name is Larissa Beers and I am the Intake and Care Planning Manager for Home Instead Chicago. I have been with Home Instead since 2019. I studied Culinary Arts at Schoolcraft College and briefly pursued nursing, completing a CNA license. My past career history includes being the Director of Human Resources at a memory care and assisted living community, a Human Resources Consultant and a Business Office Manager. What I love most about working for Home Instead is helping families establish the care that they need for their loved ones, and also meeting new people through marketing efforts in the community. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my son Leo and my wife Faye, baking, trying new restaurants in the city and going for walks by the lake.

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Brittany Watson, Intake & Care Planning Manager

Brittany Watson joined the Home Instead team in June of 2018 as an Intake & Care Planning Manager. Brittany supports our community partners and assists new clients and their families with implementing care. Brittany graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation. Prior to Home Instead Brittany worked at an adult day center caring for individuals with dementia, then went on to work for a Continuing Care Retirement Community where she managed the in-house caregiving agency. Brittany is passionate about assisting others through the aging process, providing education, and connecting people with community resources. In Brittany’s spare time she enjoys the outdoors, gardening, music, art, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Bubba.

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Dottie McGuire, RN BSN, Quality Care Director

Dottie McGuire, RN BSN joined our Home Instead team in November 2016. Dottie's role is to assist and ensure that our clients and their families receive the best quality care possible as our Quality Assurance Nurse Manager. She also helps in providing hands-on training to our CAREGivers on proper and special techniques to assist our elderly clients with transferring and other activities of daily living. One of Dottie's biggest focuses is making sure that all clients and CAREGivers are safe when providing care and assistance. Dottie has decades of experience and has been a registered nurse for almost 30 years. She received her Bachelors of Science in nursing from Rush University in Chicago. Over the past 15 years, Dottie has specifically worked with the geriatric population as a private duty nurse and as a nursing manager with other local Home Health companies in Chicago and the North Shore Suburbs. She has managed and supervised RNs, CNAs, and in-home Personal Care Assistants during those 15 years before joining our team. Dottie has a warm, caring approach and her positive personality is sure to brighten the day of those she encounters.

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Ritika Smith, Intake & Care Planning Manager

Ritika Smith (formerly Sahni) joined Home Instead Senior Care in January of 2011 as a Staffing Manager. Her background and experience include crisis intervention, physical rehabilitation, career counseling, and healthcare management. She is currently pursuing her MBA. In January of 2012, Ritika changed positions because of her passion for the elderly. She is now helping seniors as a Client Care Coordinator. Ritika oversees care and community relationships for areas including Des Plaines, Niles, Norridge/Harwood Heights, Park Ridge, Schiller Park, and Skokie, and the North Side of Chicago.

Our Team

Your Home Instead team in Chicago, IL possesses a heartfelt desire to work with older adults in the community. It is our ultimate goal to forge extraordinary relationships between our clients and their Care Professionals.

We are always looking for the right people that are dependable and compassionate to become Care Pros. We have available home care careers in these cities:

Archer HeightsEdgewaterIrving ParkLakeviewLincoln SquareRavenswoodRogers Park, and West Ridge

Click the button below to apply for in-home caregiving jobs in Chicago, IL.

Home Care Jobs
Home Instead Caregiver wearing mask reading newspaper with senior man at home


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