MUNSTER — Amanda Gonzalez had her 80-year-old client stretch his hamstring.
“How’s that?” asked John Pellar, who was using a walker.
“Bring that heel all the way down,” she said. “Count to 15. You want to feel that stretch.”
For the past several months, Gonzalez not only has helped Pellar physically rehabilitate from a hip fracture but provided companionship and emotional support during his recovery. The two talk and laugh, look at family photos, fill out crossword puzzles.
Gonzalez is a caregiver for the Northwest Indiana branch of Right at Home: In Home Care & Assistance, which has seen quite a bit of growth since opening in the Region a little over a year ago. The business now employs about 90 caregivers and is always hiring more, said owner and president Marc Sokol.
“I think the biggest factor is the quality we provide,” said Sokol, a Region native whose father and mother were a pediatrician and social worker, respectively. “We strive to provide what we constantly refer to as the gold standard in home care for Northwest Indiana seniors.”
Right at Home, based in Merrillville, provides non-medical home care, from shopping to transportation to bathing, for seniors and adults with disabilities in Northwest Indiana. It has also added to its office staff over the past 12 months and plans to expand into another suite in its building later this year.
As the population in Northwest Indiana grays and elderly residents choose to live independently, businesses like Right at Home will play a bigger role in the future.
“Really the goal is to keep people where they want to be,” said William Ogden, a manager with Right at Home’s corporate office. “And people want to stay at home.”
As for Pellar, who has multiple sclerosis, he credits Gonzalez’s caregiving with helping him get out of the house again.
“We hadn’t been to dinner or anything,” said his wife, Claudia. “This weekend, we went to Teibel’s.”