Homecare Franchises On Front Lines of Virus Battle, Says Best Life Exec
Beth Trivett, who works for the Hendersonville, Tennessee, ComForCare franchise, received the Caregiver of the Year award for 2019.
"They're like soldiers and it's war time. They suit up and go and they don't even think twice. We're very pleased and impressed with the passion and compassion they have."
Those are words from Sean Kajcienski, COO and CRO of Best Life Brands, the parent company of homecare franchises ComForCare and At Your Side. Reached earlier this week, he was praising the 13,000 caregivers across those systems, and noting his industry is growing, not contracting like so many others.
"As the outbreak really took off, we did have a concern that we'd have caregivers that would be less interested in going into the home to care for the patient. We did not see that drop-off. It's amazing," he said, detailing changes at the brands because of the virus.
The franchises have added a pre-screening before every shift, of both caregiver and client, to check for symptoms of COVID-19. Extra training on how to use gloves, masks and gowns is ongoing.
As for homecare workers who often provide light housekeeping services: "So we talk to them of doing disinfectant practices of high-touch areas" like phone receivers, doorknobs and faucet handles. "Those are areas that can pick up significant germ load," he said.
Best Life Brands was among several groups that successfully lobbied for homecare workers to be included in the federal guidelines of "essential" healthcare workers, a designation they had not received in the past.
He notes high demand for homecare employees. "We know there's a massive base of service workers that are either on furlough or laid off and many of those fit the criteria for helping others in the home," he said. "We would love to have a lot more people join our industry, join our company. We're hiring across the nation."
Franchise sales, too, are expected to rise across all of the Best Life Brands, he said, also including Care Patrol and Blue Moon Estate Sales. "I think we'll have our best year ever in franchise sales. Between the three brands, we'll grow at 80 new franchises this year."
The cost of a ComForCare/At Your Side franchise is $79,275 to $150,400.