Living at Home for as Long as Possible

Elderly people wanting to live at home for as long as possible need to be their own advocate, long before other family members see a need to take over decision making, says Lucretia Ristin, co-owner with Mark Podemski of Comfort Keepers, 4855 E. State St., Rockford. The company also has a Freeport office, both of which serve patients in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

“People should be thinking about their care options long before they need help,” Ristin says. “Most of the time, we see a family member step in and take charge because their loved one seems to be losing their ability to be independent. By the time the kids take over for their parents, it’s too late. If a parent is being realistic about their needs and is making plans for the future, others are less likely to interfere.”

Being realistic means knowing what you need, whether from growing older, being temporarily or chronically ill, growing tired of the workload, feeling lonely or depressed, or losing interest in self-care, Ristin says.

Comfort Keepers’ caregivers assist people with all non-medical needs such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship, bathing, grooming, mobility assistance, bathroom needs, laundry, and transportation to appointments, shopping, events and more.

Caregivers work full time or part time and have to pass an extensive background check, drug test, and show they are caring and empathetic individuals, Ristin says. Plans at Comfort Keepers within the next year include opening an office in Janesville, Wis., and adding private duty nursing to their services.

Right now, Comfort Keepers has a plethora of caregivers who are ready to help.
For more information, go to or call (815) 229-9100.