Tom and Lisa Merlin and Joy Schaefer
Long-time friends, Lisa and Tom Merlin and Joy Schaefer met in the late 1970s while working with the Chicago Area District of Boy Scouts of America. Lisa and Tom were married in the summer of 1985. They share their Des Plaines home with their daughter, Ashley; son, Ryan; and dog, Sadie. The Merlin family enjoys entering their custom 1956 Chevy Bel Air in Classic Car Shows during the summers. Lisa and Tom are active participants in their children’s activities.
All three partners are rooted in traditions of family businesses. Together with Tom’s parents, Lisa and Tom co-owned a successful dry-cleaning and coin-laundry business for more than 25 years. Tom was responsible for day-to-day retail and wholesale operations. Lisa and Tom have additional expertise in the field of residential and commercial mortgages as owners of a mortgage brokerage. Joy Schaefer enjoyed the challenges of participating in family entrepreneurship. After graduating with an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, Joy joined her mother’s party design studio. After operating the business for 27 years, Joy accepted an offer to sell that business in 2008.
When the opportunity became available to purchase an existing Home Helpers franchise, Lisa, Tom and Joy decided to pool their collective business skills. They have found that running a successful in-home healthcare business, requires the same personal care and hands-on operational approach they had utilized in their previous customer service-orientated businesses. The chance to help seniors and their families maintain or improve their quality of life by remaining in their home using quality caregivers has been an uplifting benefit.
Home Helpers of Northeastern Illinois has received the Home Services Agency license required by the Illinois Department of Public Health as of September 2008. We are proud members of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and the DBR Chamber of Commerce Tom and Joy have both taken the course of study and passed the examination to become Certified Senior Advisors. We have also taken the “Best Friends Approach” train-the-trainer course offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.
The experience of owning and managing Home Helpers of Northeastern Illinois has been a richly rewarding experience. We strive to relieve the stress that can come with making a decision about who is going to fill in when a family caregiver can no longer provide the service their loved one needs and deserves. Through our free in-home consultation, we can evaluate the situation and match the client’s requirements with a customized care plan. We have become the source of caregiving we wish we knew about when we needed help with aging parents. We hope we can spare our future clients the anguish of not knowing who to turn to when they need help. Home Helpers of Northeastern Illinois is just a phone call away from helping out at home, wherever our clients call home, be it an independent or assisted living facility or that bungalow they have owned for decades.