Seniors Helping Seniors

C.J. Girod, president of Seniors Helping Seniors of Southwestern PA, with his  mother and co-worker, Barbara Green. Seniors Helping Seniors offers  personalized care and companionship for senior citizens by  people in their age group. /Photo: John Schisler

After spending nearly 25 years in the financial services industry, C.J. Girod wanted to find work that he could feel good about, something he was passionate about, and a job that made him excited to get out of bed each morning.

Girod, Marlin Drive, always wanted to own a business and, many years ago, thought about delving into the senior care industry. His interest in senior care came from his upbringing, where he was taught to respect older folks and “treat them like gold.”

That stuck with him as he circled back to the idea of entering the senior care realm last year. As he looked at different ventures, he came across Seniors Helping Seniors, and immediately knew that he wanted to bring the business to Pittsburgh. In November, Girod opened a franchise.

Seniors Helping Seniors of Southwestern PA offers a wide range of services from companionship to homemaking, laundry, meal preparation, transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping and even light home maintenance and yard work, along with personal care. It even offers dementia care.

“It’s a care-first mentality,” Girod said. “It is a business, but profits and growth, all of that is secondary.”

“We provide compassionate and reliable care to seniors who need a little help to remain independent and age gracefully and safely in the comfort of their own homes,” he said.

“We place a great deal of importance on companionship,” Girod said. “If you think of folks in their 80s and 90s, as they continue to age, their social circles continue to shrink. Our caregivers are active seniors themselves, so they can relate. They have some common interests. We provide new energy and lift their spirits.”

Seniors Helping Seniors hires mature adults who are looking for some “walking around money.” But mostly, they’re looking for folks that want to do good and help others.

Girod’s mother, Barbara Green, a nurse for 50 years, serves as the company’s care manager. She sees the benefits of the company for people as they get older. Over the years, she’s seen older folks get lost in the shuffle.

“Seniors Helping Seniors’ mission and values gets back to what old people need,” she said. “It’s just like having a friend. They can really look in your eyes and understand what you’re talking about. Social interactions are vital for folks as they age. This helps with that.

“Being able to go to lunch, it’s important for people to laugh and have a good time.”

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