Seniors Helping Seniors Opens Stonington, CT Location

January 16, 2008 // Franchising.com // - Wyomissing Hills, Pa.--To help meet the growing demand of older residents of New England who want to remain in their own homes and stay as self-sufficient as possible, Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services (SHS) has established a new franchise at Stonington, Conn.

The new franchise will serve all of eastern New London County including clients in Stonington, Groton, Norwich, North Stonington, Griswold, Ledyard, Voluntown and Preston. Services will also be offered throughout Washington County in Rhode Island from Westerly east to Narragansett.

Seniors Helping Seniors--which has four master license holders and some two dozen franchise partners in Connecticut, Massachusetts Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia--is a national caregiver organization and the only one that matches seniors who need in-home care services with seniors who provide them. New England franchises are also located at Granby, Fairfield, Waterford and Branford, Conn., and on Cape Cod, Mass.

The newest franchise is owned and operated by Ms. Maria Kodman Cerino, Stonington, who has more than 20 years of management experience in the healthcare, insurance and banking industries. Born and raised in Connecticut, she received BA and BS degrees from Salve Reigina University, Newport, R.I.

Most recently, she worked as deputy director supporting enrollment for the HUSKY Program that covers Connecticut children without health insurance. Her experience also includes developing group insurance products for long-term care and retiree health services.

Cerino and Karen Wasserman, who runs a Seniors Helping Seniors franchise at Waterford for central and southern Connecticut, will hold a joint grand opening for their franchises on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. It will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 35 Governor Winthrop Blvd., New London, Conn. Please RSVP by calling 860-535-9968.

Much of the inspiration for Cerino's decision to open a Seniors Helping Seniors franchise came from her own experience caring at home for her late husband, who developed Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) at the age of 43 and was eventually confined permanently to a wheelchair. "I was thankful that I was able to care for him with help from loving family, friends and neighbors, but there are more and more people, especially seniors, who are not be able to care for an ailing spouse, relative or friend," she said.

Said Cerino, "Because there are so many people losing their mobility as they age, having someone to help out with even the minor things makes a huge difference in the quality of life. It helps the person who is aging, it helps the spouse or family caring for them, and we've found that it also helps the person doing the helping -- it is so rewarding to be involved with a program like this, providing hands on assistance and developing a win-win relationship.

Daniel Jan and Namrata Yocom, Seniors Helping Seniors' master license holders for New England, said they are pleased to welcome Maria as a franchise partner. "She comes to our Seniors Helping Seniors community with many years of healthcare and business experience and a deeply personal knowledge about what it means to be a caregiver. She will make an excellent franchise partner, one who is dedicated to providing the Seniors Helping Seniors brand of loving, giving, caring and compassionate service and one who will fulfill our mission in serving eastern New London County and southern Rhode Island," said Jan.

Added Cerino, "That's why I love the concept of Seniors Helping Seniors, I want to make things easier for families who need a little extra help. "

Philip Yocom, and his wife, Kiran Yocom, co-founded Seniors Helping Seniors In-Home Services (SHS), which began as a non-profit organization serving Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania. That first non-profit organization today encompasses more than 250 senior providers helping more than 600 senior receivers. In 2007, Seniors Helping Seniors provided more than 16,500 hours of service.

Philip Yocom said, "What began as a heartfelt mission to fill a need that was not being served by our local community is now being recognized as a prime business opportunity being fueled by the fastest growing demographic in our society."

He said, "We want the existing Seniors Helping Seniors organization and any future franchises to be the first place that seniors in need of non-medical services and those seeking extra income call."

"We will support Maria and all of our master licensees and franchisees with all of the expertise we have gained in running Seniors Helping Seniors. We'll also provide marketing, sales, management, and technology support."

He added, "We believe we have found a practical, cost-effective way to help seniors remain independent and to continue contributing. As we grow nationwide, we remain committed to providing our brand of loving, giving, caring, compassionate service."

For more information contact Maria Cerino at Seniors Helping Seniors at maria.shs@snet.net or call her at 860-535-9968. For franchise information, e-mail Philip Yocom at philip@seniorshelpingseniors.com .

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