A Mishawaka man is looking to help provide assistance to seniors in northern Indiana. Terry Cuzzocrea left a 30-year career in the automotive industry to launch a Seniors Helping Seniors franchise in St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties earlier this year. The company hires active seniors to provide non-medical home care to less-active seniors in their community, and Cuzzocrea says the decision to start his franchise came after having to assist his mother following his father’s passing.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cuzzocrea said the gratification from helping his mother planted the seed for him and his wife to start their own business.
“We came across Seniors Helping Seniors, and this organization checked off every single box for us,” Cuzzocrea said. “It was something that we could make a living doing. We could give back to our local community. The culture of the organization was fantastic from the leadership on down, and we really liked the heritage of the company.”
Seniors Helping Seniors was founded in 1998 by Kiran and Philip Yocom. Kiran Yocom, a native of India, spent time working on humanitarian efforts alongside Mother Theresa.
The company now has about 125 franchisees in 34 states, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Malta.
The northern Indiana chapter of Seniors Helping Seniors currently has six employees, and Cuzzocrea says they are actively hiring more.
“These employees we’re bringing on board have to have a lot of compassion,” he said. “They have to be caring, and they’re the type of people we want to make sure they get something out of this; it’s not just for a paycheck. They’re going to this job for all the right reasons, and that’s to help a senior that needs a little bit of assistance.”
Cuzzocrea says his short-term goal is to generate enough revenue to bring his wife, Becky, on board full-time to help run the business. Looking long-term, he hopes to carry the company into his and his wife’s retirement years.
“There’s no urgency in us retiring, and if we’re enjoying what we’re doing, we may just carry on with this business until we pass away,” he said.
He adds the possibility of expanding the business beyond the initial three counties is something he is not ruling out.
The northern Indiana chapter is the second Seniors Helping Seniors location in Indiana. The other is based in Shelbyville serving that city, as well as Greenwood and the southeast Indianapolis metro area.