Jacqueline M. O’Quinn (“Jacquie”) has a real passion for helping seniors and others in need of care assistance enjoy rich and fulfilling lives. She was a Caregiver for her own parents for ten years.
She witnessed first-hand the challenges associated with finding Caregivers who would treat clients the way they wanted their own families to be treated. She is proud to open the first FirstLight HomeCare franchise in Missouri.
FirstLight HomeCare creates a new standard in non-medical, in-home care customized for seniors, new mothers, adults with disabilities and those recovering from illness, injury or surgery. The demand for high-quality in-home care is at an all-time high, with more than 12 percent of
Americans over 65 years old and wanting to remain independent for as long as possible.
Gus: Can you talk about how looking after your parents prepared you to open the first FirstLight HomeCare franchise in Missouri?
Jacquie: Caring for my parents helped me to see, understand and accept that this is my true calling in life. I believed that I would retire from ‘Big Law’ and although I had the money, title, and power, I didn’t have joy. I LOVE what I do now. I know at the end of the day that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life and I sleep well at night.
Gus: What advice would you give to someone interested in investing in a franchise model business?
Jacquie: Do your due diligence! There are many franchises out there. Most of them boast that their focus is on people, but when you dig deeper, their focus is on the bottom line—period. I started with 20 franchises, down to five, three and then without a doubt or any regrets, decided on FirstLight HomeCare. The executives at Corporate share my passion to help people, but more importantly they share a spiritual base that is the foundation of everything.
Gus: Finding the right Caregivers is crucial to the success of your business. Can you elaborate on what you look for when hiring Caregivers the importance of the hiring process?
Jacquie: The Caregivers hold the most important position in my company. I am extremely selective in the hiring process because I didn’t have good results with the caregivers sent from agencies for my mom. The main criteria is they must have a caring heart. They can be taught the specifics of the job, but they can’t be taught to love. In addition, we perform background checks, criminal checks, license checks, reference checks, drug screening and conduct personality assessments. All the caregivers are insured and bonded.
Gus: What are some trends in the home care industry that you’re excited about?
Jacquie: I’m excited about the technology and products that are available to help people remain independent. We offer the medical alert systems and medication systems that don’t require a land-line. We also offer Fall Detector Pendants, Telehealth Base Units, Glucose Monitoring, Pulse
Oximeter, Blood Pressure Monitoring, and there are special adaptive transmitters available for
individuals who cannot use a standard help button.
Gus: FirstLight HomeCare is known for its innovative approaches for senior care. Can you talk about
how you’re able to offer customized care that goes beyond the in-home traditional model?
Jacquie: One of our many programs is the Readmission Rescue Program. This program creates a
personalized patient-focused strategy for those suffering with some of the more common medical
conditions such as COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes Mellitus Type I and
II, Cerebrovascular Accident, TIA, CVA, Acute MI, Pneumonia and Congestive Heart Failure. The
patient, family members and caregivers are educated and the caregivers are trained to observe,
measure and monitor key indicators of a declining condition. This allows us to be proactive instead
of reactive and prevent hospital readmissions.
Gus: Can you talk about your plans for expansion over the next year?
Jacquie: I was born and raised in Alton, Il so, God willing, I will expand my business to Illinois in
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