PARAMUS, N.J. — A caregiving company priding itself on quality at-home assistive services for the elderly, the sick, and people recovering from surgery, has recently announced its expansion into Paramus and the surrounding area.

Homewatch CareGivers, a home care company with over 200 franchises across 34 states, Canada, and Central and South America, consists of certified professionals whose objective is to provide older residents with customized care to better their quality of life and help enable them to remain independent and healthy within their home. 

“We try to work with people to meet their needs,” said Paramus Franchise Owner Pascal George. “We’re living in a challenging environment with issues affecting us due to Covid-19 and caregivers are hard to find. Many of them got sick and are not able to work and take care of their own children.”

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Homewatch, which has an office in Paramus, will serve clients in the borough along with Westwood, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Washington Township and surrounding communities in northern Bergen County. George describes the company as having the capacity of a large company with the feel of a mom-and-pop shop. The idea for the venture was inspired by George’s personal affliction with watching his mother, who lives in his native country France, endure Alzheimer’s disease, or senile dementia, a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die and results in a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills, thus disrupting one’s ability to function independently, according to the Mayo Clinic.   

“My mother had Alzheimer’s, she needed help and was institutionalized,” explained George. “Something clicked in my head, ‘I can’t really help my mom, she doesn’t know who I am when I call. In this line of business, I can do some good and pay it forward."

He continued, "I decided to open Homewatch CareGivers of Paramus so that my team and I can provide the highest degree of quality care to other people’s family members and give them a sense of peace knowing that their loved ones are in the best hands.”

George, a University of Pennsylvania alum, emigrated to the United States from France in 1982. He began working for teaching hospitals in Brooklyn before transitioning to blood centers in the New York Metropolitan area. He has worked for a stem cell startup and was part of a team who manufactured the first Food and Drug Administration-approved dendritic cancer cell vaccine, a therapeutic strategy to prolong survival in cancer patients, for clinical trials.

“I got to a point where I was looking at what I wanted to do next, and I did not want to work for a corporation,” explained George of the venture. “I had been a CEO [of Central Jersey Blood Center] and used to being your own boss. I was looking for something that would allow me to continue to help people, but also be independent.”

When he saw an advertisement for a franchise opportunity with Homewatch within the last year, he knew the description fit what he was looking for as the next endeavor in his long and spiritually rewarding career. Though it wasn’t the best time to begin the franchise given the Covid-19 pandemic that ensued in the months that followed, George said he’s seen a recent uptick in interest for these particular services.

“I think more people are seeing the value of home care these days, so we’ve seen more interest since the last couple of months as people are coming out of a pandemic," he said. "Considering their options, they’re more likely to talk to us and see if they can maintain a loved one at home rather than send them to an institution.”

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, HomeWatch Caregivers observes health and safety protocols in clients' homes including daily screenings for Covid-19 symptoms, George said. 

In addition to providing home care services for senior citizens, Homewatch CareGivers of Paramus also arranges for care for those living with chronic illnesses, recuperating after an illness or surgery, and clients who prefer to age in their own homes under the supervision and care of highly-trained caregivers.

Homewatch CareGivers has a franchise support center that provides support and expert advice to help franchisees establish what company officials call a “thriving enterprise on a localized level.” 

“Our whole mission is to help people live independently,” said George. “When functionality is reduced — the elderly, post-surgical recovering as it relates to older people — we subscribe to the philosophy that we help them combat old age, helplessness, loneliness and boredom.”

Apart from helping clients with meal preparation, helping them dress for the day, and taking them to doctor’s appointments, caregivers also play games with them, forge genuine relationships, take them to a senior center for afternoon activities, and they might even ask them for a dance! 

“Every time we open a new location, we have the opportunity to touch people’s lives,” said Jennifer Tucker, chief operating office at Homewatch CareGivers. “I know that Pascal will make an outstanding new member of our organization, and his commitment to service and the local community will make their business a trusted partner for residents in the Paramus area.”

For more information about Homewatch CareGivers of Paramus and its at-home assistive services, go to hwcg.com/paramus/ or contact Pascal George directly at pgeorge@homewatchcaregivers.com.