It’s been a celebratory week for us here at FirstLight Home Care, as we announced the signing of our first franchisee as well as four additional planned openings in the coming months. Tammy Iuso, 56, who will provide care to clients in the Orlando, Fla. market, is as passionate about providing in-home care as we are.
Tammy’s story is an interesting one. As a first generation Cuban, she has personal ties to the caregiving field since her father was struck by an illness more than 10 years ago. Like many children of elderly or disabled parents, she had difficulty finding a trustworthy caregiver who could provide the constant companionship he needed. When Tammy researched us, she immediately connected with the “Culture of Care” that we are proud to uphold, which integrates trust, open communication and solid relationships to help us build a franchise family that works together. Family, of course, defines a need for in-home care service and the more we can foster that sense of community and connectivity among our care providers, the faster we will grow our network of care.
The wheels are already in motion. In addition to caring for clients in Florida, franchisee Michael LaVell is scheduled to starting serving the Oakland County, Mich. area by late summer or early fall while franchisees Liza Burns and Kim Motter will be serving the south Dayton/northeast Cincinnati area by late summer as well. Things are certainly starting to get busy!
Speaking of being busy . . . I have been doing quite a bit of reading this week on ways to balance caregiving while working a full-time job. The Family Caregiver Alliance with the National Center on Caregiving estimates that one out of every four U.S. households is involved in caring for a loved one age 50 older—and given the rising rates in the Baby Boomer population, the numbers are only going to increase. Consider that nearly 34 million American workers are caregivers for their parents or loved ones. Many sacrifice free time and face added workplace pressures to make up for time spent with a loved one or client.
Thankfully, there are an increasing number of professional options for those choosing to become caregivers, including those who may start working for FirstLight in the coming months.
• Now more than ever, companies are offering flexible work hours—or even remote working options—to those who qualify. This allows people to strike a more optimal balance between career and care.
• The Federal government has extended support to working caregivers through the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), which grants employees up to 12 weeks a year of leave.
• Work-funded counseling and support services can always help caregivers manage the emotional stresses that may ensue from constant work between the job site and a home.
Professional flexibility for caregivers will be essential as we look to expand our business in the coming years. We are excited to be taking the first steps of what will be many more to come! Congratulations to Tammy and all of our future franchisees!