Springfield based business marks 20 years of growth

Comfort Keepers now has more than 700 offices worldwide, but the home caregivers business got it start in Springfield after a home health nurse noticed clients needed help with basic chores like laundry and cooking.

The company celebrated 20 years in business this week with a ribbon-cutting at its Springfield office and by sponsoring free admission to the Heritage Center of Clark County.

MORE: New Springfield funeral home opens, considers 2nd site on south side

Kristina Butler, who founded the business in 1998, still operates locations locally include Springfield, Beavercreek and Dayton. When it started, Butler was working as a home health nurse for Mercy Medical Center.

The company began franchising the business a few years after it was founded, and Sodexo Inc. purchased the franchising rights to the business in 2009. The business employs caregivers who visit clients in their homes and perform a variety of services, including light housekeeping, meal preparation and companionship.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Unemployment rates drop in Clark, Champaign counties

“At that point it was one of those things that we asked do we have a sustainable business that we think would be something good other people could benefit from if we looked at franchising,” she said.

They had to raise $250,000 in order to start franchising just 15 months after the Springfield location opened. The first franchise opened in Lima, Ohio. That business remains open and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in about a year and a half.

RELATED: Springfield NAACP threats connected with fired firefighter

Elizabeth Bowling, a caregiver for the business, said she’s been with the company for four years and sees about five clients a week. In a typical day, she assists clients with tasks like laundry, grocery shopping or transportation to doctor’s visits.

”The stuff they’ve done in their lifetime, they deserve this,” Bowling said of her clients.”They deserve good care so I try to give the best I possibly can.”

There are similar companies, both nationally and regionally, including Home Instead Senior Care. But at the time, there were few options locally that provided a similar service, Butler said. Numerous home care companies have developed since Comfort Keepers opened.

Most of the business early on was providing companionship like playing cards or just talking, Butler said. As the population continued to age, the business shifted to providing more hands-on care like providing help with baths or changing clothes.

DETAILS: Grievance against Clark County chief deputy: Hiring process ‘tainted’

Some franchise offices have expanded into providing more extensive services like changing dressings on wounds or assisting with tube feedings, but Butler’s locations in the region have focused on more basic services.

“When I sit back and look at the map and I see everywhere Comfort Keepers is today, and I look across the ocean and I see all the countries we’re in and how many lives we’ve touched, those are the things that are surreal to me,” Butler said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

COMMENTARY: Looking to the future of transportation

A recent column on this page discussed traffic congestion and how it happens. In my opinion, traffic congestion in our nation’s urban areas is a classic byproduct of sprawl and our reluctance to regionally manage growth as it relates to the use of land. Dayton is a prime example of this phenomenon, as over the past 40 to 60 years we have consumed...
Man is brutally beaten on street corner after woman spits on him, video shows
Man is brutally beaten on street corner after woman spits on him, video shows

A man is recovering after being beaten Saturday on a busy street corner.  Ismail Godinj, 25, is seen in surveillance video from a nearby deli crossing a street when he is spit upon by a woman on the corner, WCBS reported.  >> Read more trending news  Godinj looks to the ground, then says something to the woman before two men...
Boston officer taken to hospital after being shot
Boston officer taken to hospital after being shot

Boston police responded after an officer was shot in the South End on Sunday, police say. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said the officer was shot in the calf. Police confirmed the officer was taken to the hospital, but his injuries weren't believed to be life-threatening. >> Read more trending news  A suspect was taken into custody...
Student lies under flag to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground
Student lies under flag to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground

Amanda Reallan was waiting in the parking lot to pick up her children from school when she saw an act of patriotism she had to capture a photo of. >> Read more trending news  Three fifth-grade boys were struggling as they removed and worked to fold the American flag when one of them lay under it to make sure it did not touch the ground....
Male reportedly stabbed in the neck in Springfield
Male reportedly stabbed in the neck in Springfield

Police responded to a second reported stabbing in Springfield Sunday. Emergency crews were dispatched on a report of a male with a neck wound from a stabbing in the 1700 block of Mound Street around 7:50 p.m. The two reported stabbings occurred within an hour of each other. We will continue to update this story as more details become available. ...
More Stories