By Lajeune Hollis
Deeper View Homemakers and Companion Services (DVH), based in Waterbury, Connecticut, was launched in 2018 after co-owners Josephine Ahiati, a Registered Nurse and Solomon Darko, a Licensed Professional counselor identified a trend in caregiving companies that a significant number of the caregivers are people of color and immigrants, but the caregiving business owners are mostly Caucasian.
“We were once immigrants ourselves,” shared Darko, “hailing from Ghana, in West Africa. We can relate better to the workers and understand their needs which would be helpful in providing quality services.”
DVH offers top-notch, affordable, and reliable home care services for clients in the comfort of their own homes. Services include but not limited to homemaker, companionship, personal care assistance, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, medication reminders, doctors’ appointments. These services are rendered hourly or 24/7 Live-In.
“If you want to open your own business, your number one goal should not be about money. It should be about passion, because if it is about passion, you will never give up."
As a mental health clinician, Mr. Darko noticed that many caregiving businesses are not addressing the mental health needs of their caregivers and their clients in the way he deems necessary. The mission is to change that paradigm.
Along with Mr. Darko, Miss Ahiati emerged as unique and caring business owner by engaging in conversation with the elderly clients they serve and the caregivers who joined their team. She gets to know them on a personal level, especially those who are first and or second-generation immigrants.
While momentum was forging ahead, the pandemic put a halt on much of their support. Accessing loans was difficult. With nowhere to turn, the pair was forced to use their own savings for a protracted period of time to keep their business afloat. What compounded the difficult season was a need to reduce their fees to stay competitive while offering competitive salaries to attract the best of the best caregivers.
Darko and Ahiati rose to the challenge and got creative to stay top-of-mind with prospective clients. “We try to find other organizations to collaborate with, like Alzheimer’s Association,” explained Ahiati. “We also pass flyers out at local churches, hire quality caregivers who perform well and regularly talk to the families of our clients to get feedback from them.” Deeper View Homemakers and Companion Services is a member of the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce.
Referrals mostly come from “A Place for Mom”—a service to help those looking for support or to care for their loved ones. DVH team also rely on word of mouth, phone calls, social media, nursing home referrals, local churches, current clients, former clients, networking, as well as referrals from the state of Connecticut Homecare program.
While running a business requires cash flow, Darko believes that passion for what you do comes first. They continue to help those facing extreme challenges due to the pandemic and offer their business on a sliding fee scale or, in some cases, at no charge. They truly live out their mission of “compassion and affordability is our hallmark.” According to Mr. Darko and Ahiati, “If you want to open your own business, your number one goal should not be about money. It should be about passion, because if it is about passion, you will never give up”. You also have to be personally involved to build the business and have to be receptive to suggestions or advice and information from those people who are your clients or your mentors in the field, not forgetting to be creative.”
Ms. Ahiati emphasized the need for people of color or minorities to do their research before embarking on opening their businesses.
Things are looking up now for Deeper View Homemakers and Companion Services because for Darko and Ahiati, chasing their passion—rather than chasing dollars—is their priority and believe it would be the key to the success of their business.
Find Deeper View Homemakers and Companion Services at www.dvhomemakers.com ( dvhomemakers.com ), by calling 860-510-3959 or 860-500-8226, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at this link.
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