Prior to launching Love at Home Home Care in April 2020, Lake County native Kirston Harley spent four years working as a caregiver for other agencies in Central Florida. Following the death of her younger cousin in January 2020 – who was epileptic and restricted by Cerebral Palsy – Harley was motivated to launch her own business.
“Besides my cousin, I was also very inspired by my grandmas,” she said. “One is diabetic and the other passed away from colon cancer last year. Based on my personal experience and my work as a caregiver, I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is for families to take care of loved ones that are limited in what they can do. I’ve also experienced the rewards that come with helping these people. It’s extremely gratifying.”
When Harley left her last caregiver position, she took a job at a daycare facility to allow her more time to focus on building her own home care business. She spent most of her spare time researching how to start a home healthcare agency, learning the business side of home care and networking.
“It’s been very challenging,” Harley said. “I’m still learning the business side of things and how best to connect with new clients and potential referral sources. I’ve marketed on Facebook, attended networking events and lunches and passed out business cards. I’m focused on connecting with similar businesses and building relationships with those in the industry.”
Love At Home Home Care Is a private non-medical home care agency that strives to improve the lives of children, teens, adults and seniors. Harley is focused on ensuring that families enjoy peace of mind knowing Love At Home’s staff and caregivers are diligently monitoring safety, attending to daily needs, and providing compassionate companionship. What makes Love At Home unique is a true passion for the work and a mutual respect and appreciation for everyone involved.
“Not only does staff treat each other the way we want to be treated, we treat our clients as if they’re our own,” Harley said. “There is no ‘higher level’. We are ALL family. There is LOVE and a true passion for helping others from each and every one of us – and our work truly speaks for itself.”
Harley added, “I truly enjoy seeing the happiness and smiles on the family’s faces, knowing they have peace of mind that their loved one is being cared for in the way they deserve. I also love our client’s smiles and excitement knowing that they’re being loved and cared for like they’re our own. That’s one of the most rewarding feelings.”
Looking ahead, Harley’s future goals for her business are to expand into different counties and states. She wants to help more people experiencing any sort of disability to overcome those hardships. She also wants to open a facility for people of all ages who may have physical limitations, dementia, Alzheimer’s or any disability. She wants to assist these individuals with building positive interactions and activities to improve their lives.
What advice does Harley have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Never procrastinate,” she said. “Regarding the ‘idea’ you have now, turn it into a reality! Time is of the essence and you’ll never know how many lives you’ll change if you don’t act now. Make your dreams a reality.”