It’s something no one likes to think about, but suddenly they must: an aging family member needs regular care, right away.
“There’s usually some precipitating event,” says Wes Lower, who with his brother Brad owns Homewatch CareGivers of Cincinnati North. “Dad fell, can you help; or, Mom got lost on the way home from Kroger, can you help?”
“You don’t need us until you need us,” Brad Lower says. “And then you need us now.”
From their offices over Half Day Café in Wyoming, the Lowers provide in-home assistance, personal care, and companionship for ailing individuals who wish to remain living in their homes. This can range from short visits to let family members have a break, to round-the-clock attention for clients with dementia or chronic illnesses. The Lowers say they make it a point to match families with the perfect caregiver for their needs. “We work hard to help people on a personal level,” Brad says. “We provide care plans tailored to each client.”
“We set out to serve our friends’ parents, and our parent’s friends,” Wes says, “and to treat everyone else as though they were.”
Neither brother anticipated home health care as a line of work. Each spent many years in the business world. Brad says, “This is an encore career for us. We looked around and said, ‘we’ve been successful; now we want to be significant.’”
While looking for the next opportunity, they recalled their own experiences years before, when their mother struggled to care for their father during the illness that took his life. “She did a yeoman’s job, but it almost broke her health,” Brad remembers. “At the time, they weren’t familiar with the options for home care.” We thought, ‘there’s got to be a better way.’
After researching the industry, the Lowers settled on Homewatch CareGivers as the company that best matched their vision: less transactional, and more relationship-focused. They started a franchise, and took over an existing client base from another local company that was leaving the business. Now they serve clients all around Cincinnati, although Wyoming is the heart of their territory, which centers on the northern suburbs.
The work can be challenging, of course, and the brothers no longer keep entirely regular hours. Emergencies happen when they happen. “The phone rings all the time, any time,” says Wes. “If a client has a particular need, we’ll do what it takes to resolve it.”
“I’ve gone and shoveled out clients when they’re snowed in,” Brad says, “and Wes has picked up caregivers when their car won’t start.”
Wes laughs. “Below us is the Half-Day Café. We’re like the all-day, all-night café!”
But in the end the rewards more than make up for the difficulties. “It’s a calling, more than a job,” Brad says. “Every day we wake up and make someone’s life better.”