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Comfort Keepers serving clients across southwest Minnesota

Allison (left) and Lisa Hubers have established a Comfort Keepers franchise in Pipestone. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

PIPESTONE -- A motherdaughter team of caregivers in Pipestone is making it possible for people to remain in their own home, and out of the assisted living or nursing home setting, a little longer.

Lisa and Allison Hubers established a Comfort Keepers franchise in their community last November and have now expanded to serve clients across southwest Minnesota, from the South Dakota and Iowa state lines as far north as Morris and east to Windom.

Comfort Keepers, with more than 550 franchises around the world, focuses on providing services to seniors and adults in need. Caregivers offer everything from homemaker tasks like cooking, cleaning and laundry to transportation to doctor appointments.

"I had different friends whose parents were needing more help and they were looking for services," said Lisa. "We saw it as a real opportunity. We're trying to fill a need that's maybe not being met."

Lisa said the services offered supplement programs available in the region.

"We have quite a few personal care clients who we help with bathing and special needs," said Lisa.

Comfort Keepers also provides respite care for families.

"Sometimes a few hours a week make a difference between staying in their home and staying out of assisted living," she added.

Comfort Keepers is a private-pay service, said Lisa, adding that some health insurance companies will cover their costs.

The Hubers have a combined 20-plus years of experience in patient care. Lisa began working as a licensed practical nurse in 1981, later earning her bachelor's degree in nursing. She worked in acute neurology at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., and then moved into rehabilitation care.

Allison, who graduated earlier this year from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., with degrees in business administration and gerontology, worked as a nursing assistant for seven years. During her last year of college, she worked for a Comfort Keepers franchise in Sioux Falls.

The Pipestone franchise serves a population base of 175,000 in southwest Minnesota. It has grown to include 13 caregivers -- most of whom are based in Pipestone.

As the company expands, the Hubers are looking for more people to serve as caregivers and provide private care to individuals.

"We're just starting to branch out," Allison said.

Persons interested in working for the Hubers should be a certified nursing assistant, although that isn't required. National background checks are conducted on prospective employees.

For more information on Comfort Keepers and the services offered locally, call (507) 562-HOME or visit www.comfortkeepers.com.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

(507) 376-7330
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