Neighbors helping neighbors — that is a familiar chorus in Shelby County, and one local woman is helping seniors, both clients and employees.
Angela Gibson owns a Seniors Helping Seniors franchise, a senior home care agency that keeps seniors in their own home, and she hires active older folks to, in turn, help seniors within the community.
The company started in Pennsylvania and has been in business more than 20 years with 240 locations across the nation. Gibson bought the franchise in November and opened her doors Feb. 1. Although Gibson’s agency is in its infancy, she plans to work with Shelby County individuals and families and also surrounding counties.
“My goal is to hire from 80 to 100 caregivers through the year,” she said.
As with any business these days, it is challenging to find employees, but she thinks there are enough people who care about others and who need anywhere from full time to part time employment within their community.
Seniors Helping Seniors does not provide medical care. Instead, the company focuses on companionship and help with non-medical needs.
“We focus on hiring active seniors in the community for the betterment of both the hire and the client,” Gibson said.
SHS clients get a friend closer to their own age. “They understand aging better than younger people,” she said.
Beyond companionship, SHS provides dementia and memory care.
Gibson, 44, has been in IT health care roles for 18 years. Her last stop was Humana, where she led a team and grew it from three to 150 people in six months.
Gibson owned a consulting firm to help small businesses, was a leader over quality engineering and IT work, and worked with businesses to solve problems through technology. She also owned a saddlebred farm in Simpsonville and still has horses, although she no longer breeds. She owns 26 acres and has 21 mostly retired saddlebreds. The oldest is 32. Some are rescues, others she raised from colts.
The problem of not owning her own company was work-life balance. Gibson is a single mom to a 6-year-old daughter.
“I want to show my daughter the best way to live and to create a work-life balance, to serve the community but not work 80 to 90 hours a week,” she said. “My daughter would never see me.”
Gibson went through finding care for her grandparents and wasn’t thrilled with the options.
“There is a gap in care, and seniors have a much better when they stay at home,” she said. Gibson uses Care Matcher to connect client needs and choices with employee preferences.
Seniors may fear that they cannot get a job when they are older, Gibson said, but not so with Seniors Helping Seniors. That is another reason she hires older people, in the Seniors Helping Seniors that means 40 and above.
“Most companies like this hire younger people in their 20s and 30s. We’re trying to bring those who are more knowledgeable, who have seen aging in their own life.”
Gibson’s own mom, 75, moved into an apartment she built on the farm.
Gibson moved to Shelby County in 2005 and lives in Simpsonville off KY 148.
“I love the Shelby County area. It’s a good blend of a farming community and neighbors who care about each other, and it’s close enough to get the benefits of Louisville and Lexington,” she said. “My neighbors are amazing.”
Gibson previously lived in Kansas City, New Orleans, and Denver.
“I stay here because of friendly and nice people, and the weather if pretty good.”