For information on starting a caregiver business helping care for seniors in your community, please visit our Franchise Website.
Caregiving can be exhausting and lacking in immediate rewards for family members and friends who support loved ones during a time of need—whether it is for weeks, months, or years. Yet caregiving can also be inspiring and provide a new purpose in life for many people who take that experience and create a product or services to help others.
Read about these “caregiverpreneurs” who might in turn inspire you:
Janska: Jan Erikson was doing volunteer work at a local church doing pastoral care when she met a woman who became such a close friend that Ms. Erikson was eventually her primary caregiver. Although she worked as the director of a local non-profit, Ms. Erikson did not have design experience when she literally dreamed of a garment to make her friend more comfortable. “My first thought was, ‘What in the world am I thinking?’” she recalled with a laugh.
Today Ms. Erikson is the owner of Janska, a company that makes comfortable and colorful capes, leg warmers, “Mocsocks,” hats, jackets, and vests for people in need of warm, soft clothing that is easy to get on and off. Janska products are currently sold in over 900 boutiques in the United States and Canada.
Caregivers with Hope: Peter Rosenberger has been a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, for over 30 years. Gracie Rosenberger was injured in a car accident as a teenager and eventually had to have both of her legs amputated. After losing her legs, she was inspired to start Standing with Hope, an organization that provides prosthetic limbs to people in Ghana, West Africa. Each experience of care built on the next and Mr. Rosenberger is today the host of a weekly radio show, Caregivers with Hope, in which he mixes humor and life experience to provide much-needed support to family caregivers. The show debuted in 2013 and the audience quadrupled in the first three months. He is also the author of, “Wear Comfortable Shoes: Surviving and Thriving as a Caregiver.”
The Caregiver’s Voice: Brenda Avadian, MA has siblings but when social services called and said her father needed help, she was the one to step up—going from California back to Wisconsin—and figure things out. While things didn’t go smoothly after she and her husband moved her Dad to California to be with them—she’s candid about getting “caregiver dementia” in the process--she decided to share what she was learning with others.
Now she’s the author of nine books and an award-winning speaker on the subject of caregiving. Two of her books celebrate the joy of being a caregiver. “We can choose to be miserable, or we can be grateful for the abilities that remain and feel uplifted each day,” she says.
Ms. Avadian contributes to our blog, U.S. News & World Report and other websites and publications regularly.
Homewatch CareGivers franchisee: As a child and young adult, Breanne Stuart helped to provide care for her grandfather when he had Parkinson’s disease and then her father when he had colon cancer. By her early thirties, Ms. Stuart had worked her way up the corporate ladder and was working as a commercial lender when she realized she wanted a more meaningful career. She researched home care businesses and decided to start her own Homewatch CareGivers business. “I knew that this was something that would get me up in the morning on a daily basis because I knew the impact it made on my family’s lives” she said. “Now I can bring that care to other people’s lives as well.”
There are many more examples of people who have had their first spark of an idea through the trials of providing loving care, and who have created a successful business from that spark. Ask yourself if you are doing what inspires you. If the answer is unclear, think about what might help propel you to reach your goals.
If you want to learn more about how to start your own business centered around caregiving, please visit our franchise website to learn more about the Homewatch CareGivers senior care opportunity.