A Lancaster County company that provides care to elderly patients in their homes is expanding its services to Berks County.
Senior Helpers of Lancaster County, at 1060 South State St. in Ephrata Borough has started offering caregiver services to Berks residents, the company announced Wednesday.
Senior Helpers is a Maryland-based franchise that has locations around the world.
Senior Helpers of Lancaster County is owned by local residents Kent and Rebekah Terry. It is located about 22 miles from Reading, so the decision to expand into Berks County was an easy one, Kent Terry said.
The expansion also reflects the growing senior population and people’s preference to stay in their homes as long as possible, Terry said.
Senior Helpers provides non-medical in-home services such as companionship, personal care and housekeeping.
Caregivers are also trained and certified to provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care through North Carolina-based Teepa Snow, a training agency endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Senior Helpers recently launched a similar care program for people with Parkinson’s disease.
To support the expansion into Berks County, Senior Helpers plans to hire 25 new people over the next year. It currently employs about 83 people.
“We’re looking for people who have a caring heart who may want to have a second job where they can make a difference in someone else’s life,” Terry said, adding that a majority of the positions are part time.
For now, all employees will work out of the Ephrata office, but Senior Helpers hopes to secure a Berks County location in the future, Terry said.
Senior Helpers’ veteran services honor owner’s grandfather
The Terrys opened Senior Helpers in Ephrata in 2013 after Kent Terry’s grandfather passed away while living in a nursing home.
His grandfather, a World War II veteran, had a sharp mind but his body was failing. The family was forced to put him in a nursing home even though he didn’t want to go, Kent Terry said.
To ease the transition, Terry promised his grandfather he would pick him up on Sundays and they could watch sports together at his house. They did that for nine years. After his grandfather passed away, a friend approached Terry about buying into Senior Helpers.
“It was an emotional thing for me – I wish I would have known this existed,” Terry said. “We did not know these things existed for my grandfather, and we struggled as a family financially to manage his care.”
In honor of Terry’s grandfather, Senior Helpers of Lancaster County reached a vendor agreement with the Lebanon VA Medical Center. Under the agreement, Senior Helpers provides home health aides and other services to area veterans.
Kent’s background is in construction management and manufacturing, but his wife has worked in various roles in health care.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got into this business, but it is very rewarding,” Terry said.