Glenna Yaroch’s career journey is interesting and inspiring. She started out with a big heart and a genuine purpose in life to help people. “I love helping people, especially seniors,” Glenna says.
Glenna's 20-year occupation as a physical therapist opened her eyes to a gaping need for our elderly population. When Glenna provided physical therapy services to seniors at home she recognized all kinds of challenges that weren’t being addressed - grocery shopping, garbage disposal, loneliness, and more. Glenna was touched personally by the senior care conundrum as well.
“I watched three elderly grandparents struggle to stay in their homes. I watched my parents deal with it too,” she recalls, noting that her gut told her there must be a better, more compassionate way to help our older generation.
Glenna did her homework and “stumbled upon” Home Instead Senior Care, which was founded in 1994 with one mission: To enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. It has grown to over 1,000 franchises that provide in-home senior care.
As soon as Glenna discovered Home Instead Senior Care, she hopped on an airplane and flew to Omaha, Nebraska to learn more. It was love at first sight.
“I knew immediately that this business was for me,” Glenna says.
A conversation with Glenna is enlightening. It is clear that she was preparing for this next step her entire life. When Glenna was only 10-years-old she wanted to be a babysitter but she was a bit young for that. Instead, she created a successful neighborhood pre-school at her house (where her mom was present) for 25 cents per child, including Kool-Aid and Oreo cookies. Now that’s resourceful!
Glenna embarked on her second career by becoming a Home Instead Senior Care franchisee in June 2002. She opened her first location in Livonia, Michigan, where she was starting from scratch. As Glenna explains it, 16 years ago the home care business wasn’t a recognizable concept. Although she didn’t have competition, the community needed to become educated about this type of service.
“It was up to me to go out there and build the business.” Fortunately, Glenna was able to reach out to the many contacts she had made in the healthcare industry during her years as a physical therapist. By leveraging those relationships, Glenna’s business grew because of old fashioned word of mouth referrals.
Today the home care business is a well-known industry. In fact, Glenna now has some 400 competitors. The education process has transitioned to making sure potential clients understand what makes this Home Instead Senior Care location different. That’s why it is critical to find the best caregivers who share Glenna’s empathy and work ethic.
What are the most important traits Glenna looks for in her caregivers?
“They need to be incredibly compassionate,” she responds, while noting that she also looks for integrity, problem solving skills and initiative.
Potential caregivers also go through a rigorous process of background checks, drug testing, reference checks, fingerprinting, and a behavioral assessment. Glenna emphasizes that although many skills can be taught, the caregiver must be the right personality fit for the client and their family.
In 2016, Glenna bought a second franchise in Waterford, Michigan. A year later she decided that it was not only difficult to split her time between two locations, but it made more sense for her personally to focus on just one. She sold her original location in 2017 and now operates solely out of Waterford, serving the surrounding communities. There is pride in Glenna’s voice when she discusses the business she has grown and the compassionate reputation she has built.
“It’s very personal to me,” Glenna says. “The client is number one. We get connected and think of them as our family members.”
"It’s very personal to me...The client is number one. We get connected and think of them as our family members."
- Glenna Yaroch
When Glenna started her business, she ate lots of Ramen noodles and macaroni. “I only had Plan A so I had to make it work,” she recalls. “You have to love what you do and give it more than 100 percent...Be passionate about your dream. It’s not work because you love it.”
“Miriam Rosen is my hero. I mean that,” Glenna says of the chair of McDonald Hopkins’ Labor and Employment Practice Group. Glenna is eager to describe Miriam as her “business partner” because she has repeatedly helped Glenna’s organization with a wide range of day-to-day policies and procedures. “She calms me down, gives me a plan and it works every time.”
Glenna credits Miriam and a team of McDonald Hopkins’ attorneys with giving her peace of mind. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, Antoinette Pilzner, a member in the firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group, guided Glenna through it. Patrick Karbowski, a member in the Real Estate Practice Group, helps Glenna with the purchase and sale of businesses, real estate, and leases. And Michael Witzke, chair of the Estate Planning Practice Group, advises Glenna and her husband.
“Everyone I have worked with is outstanding,” Glenna says. “I always brag about McDonald Hopkins.”
To learn more about Home Instead Senior Care, visit their website - homeinstead.com/408.