Jenni Showalter thinks that people in need deserve better.
After working in home-care service for eight years, Showalter says she’s seen far too many incompetent employees—at one point, she said, she was unable to find a single person on an entire agency’s staff that she would trust.
“A lot of the employees I’ve met, I was grossed out by. I don’t know if they really have training,” Showalter said. “I want to hire people that are really good, that are trained in every area, that know what to do.”
Hire them, that is, for Huge Hearts HomeCare—a new service operating out of a La Grange office at 639 S. La Grange Road, Suite 3, run by Showalter and offering hourly-rate care to the elderly, recovering persons or anyone else who needs a non-medical helping hand while living in their home.
Huge Hearts employees will do everything from helping with personal care and grooming, to getting groceries and running errands, to just doing well being checks and keeping a person company, Showalter said. It could be for one hour a week or five hours a day; whatever is required.
Many elderly people need the assistance if they want to keep living in their home—and many do.
“It’s their own respect, for themselves. They feel like they’re in control of their lives,” Showalter said. “In their house, they keep their respect, they keep their independence, they keep their memories, everything. … It’s a great way for people to keep on living their life as they want.”
Having just started, Showalter has only two employees, but is hiring for more (and has plenty of applications). All her employees go through eight hours of training and must pass quizzes and drug tests.
Showalter, who lives in Cicero caring for her own elderly grandparents, said that the real test for employment with Huge Hearts is: Could a potential staff member take care of her own grandma and grandpa?
“Whoever we hire, I want to be able to put around my own family,” she said. “If I need someone to be there when I can’t be there, I want it to be people from this company. … If I don’t want them in my house, they will not be working here.”