Libertyville woman finds ‘critical need’ for home-care services
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:11AM
Jeannine Mattson, 59, of Libertyville is the owner of Assisting Hands Home Care of Libertyville, which provides clients with help so they can remain active as they grow older. Her staff helps folks with shopping, bathing, meal preparation and more. She attended Wisconsin’s Carroll University for a communications degree, the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a bachelor of science degree as well as her certification in physical therapy. She got a masters degree in education from National Lewis University. For 32 years she worked as a clinical therapist in Lake County hospitals, outpatient and rehabilitation facilities.
How did you realize you had the skills to run your own business?
I first became aware after taking major roles in new clinic startups to include design, operations, procedures, hiring and planning. My experience as a clinician, manager and teacher, as well as personal maturity, allowed me the wisdom and freedom to weigh the financial risk and potential rewards. As I got better at listening to my patients report the need to have some personal help in order to live independent lives, I began to realize the real possibility and magnitude of their need.
How is your work different from what you anticipated?
My work is a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. Sometimes clients and their families are in denial of needs until a crisis occurs and care in the home has become too difficult for non-medical management. They tend to procrastinate for many reasons: mom and dad are not accepting of the care, families have difficulty with a mutual consensus, lack of funds to pay and clients who worry about outliving their resources.
What are the rewards about offering your services?
Rewards are caregivers who do more for their clients without being asked and caregivers who love to share with us information about how their clients are doing so if modifications of customized care plans are needed, we can do so quickly and efficiently. We appreciate caregivers that exhibit heartfelt enthusiasm in what they do.
How is it helpful for your company to be located in Libertyville?
Libertyville has been most beneficial for me because it has been home for me and my family for more than 30 years. The Green Oaks, Mundelein, Libertyville and Vernon Hills Chamber (GMLV) is a wonderful group with so many opportunities for networking that I can hardly keep track of them.
Do you find that people need Assisting Hands because of necessity or because it is more convenient?
People appropriate for Assisting Hands may start out needing help with every-day tasks that have become challenging like housekeeping, meal preparation and errands. The reality is, many of our clients find they need help dealing with the effects of diseases and disorders they had not anticipated and find themselves needing more involved personal care assistance for grooming, hygiene and mobility problems.
Is this what you expected to be doing when you graduated from school and started a career?
This is definitely not what I expected to be doing. I had no idea that there would be such a critical need for these services in our culture. There is a huge need to educate families about the importance of home-care service early on to prevent stressful family dynamics in the care of loved ones.