Friend's Illness Behind Home Care Startup

May 31, 2013 // Franchising.com // BLOOMINGTON - Three Bloomington-Normal business people have taken what they learned in caring for a dying friend to develop a home care business for Central Illinoisans in need of non-medical care.

Jim and Gaye Aaberg and Betsy Boge have opened Synergy HomeCare of Central Illinois for people who need assistance with activities of daily living, including eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, mobility, food preparation and medication reminders.

Clients include older adults, people with memory loss or in hospice, individuals recovering from surgery and mothers on bed rest, said the Aabergs and Boge. Goals for clients include greater independence, consistent care, improved safety, reduced hospital readmissions and, in some cases, quicker recovery, they said.

But Synergy also was organized with a goal for clients’ family members and friends.

“We’ll deal with the disease so family members and friends can still have a relationship with the person rather than a relationship with the disease,” Jim Aaberg said.

The Aabergs decided to open the business after their experience in helping to care for George White, a 54-year-old Bloomington man who died in July 2012, a year-and-a-half after he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“George was a townie and he had a lot of friends,” recalled Jim Aaberg, who also owns Aaberg Claim Professionals. The Aabergs, Boge and other friends helped care for White in the final year-and-a-half of his life.

They were glad to do it “But the disease became the focal point of the relationship,” Jim Aaberg admitted. “It really put a burden on friends and family.”

“There are other agencies that provide medical care,” Boge said. “That’s not what we’re about.”

“The gap,” Gaye Aaberg said, “was among people who want to live independently but need help with activities of daily living. That’s not the job of the medical provider.”

The Aabergs bought a Synergy franchise for Central Illinois. Boge — who worked for State Farm for 23 years — joined them as community liaison director and Debi Calhoun signed on as operations manager.

About Synergy HomeCare

While the business is based at 2407 G.E. Road, Suite 2, Bloomington, the focus is what Synergy caregivers provide in the homes. The state has licensed Synergy as a non-medical home care provider and Synergy already has hired 16 certified nursing assistants as caregivers.

Fees charged by Synergy depend on the level of care needed but the average is $22.50 an hour, Jim Aaberg said. Synergy works private pay only.

SOURCE Synergy HomeCare

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