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Comfort Keepers celebrates 20 years of helping seniors

SALISBURY — Wednesday morning, the Salisbury Civic Center was rockin’ and rollin’ to the music of The Old Rockers, a band of local veterans, as Comfort Keepers celebrated 17 years of local business and 20 years as a national chain.

Comfort Keepers offers nonmedical senior care including personal care services such as bathing and hygiene and mobility assistance. The company also offers in-home companionship services such as meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and errands, medication reminders and incidental transportation. Comfort Keepers also offers 24-hour care.

“Her aid is the best,” said former truck driver Ken Baggett, who accompanied his neighbor and friend Muriel Knowles, a patient of Comfort Keepers. When asked why she uses Comfort Keepers, Knowles said, “Because of the professionalism. The way they care for their clients really stands out.”

A big reason Comfort Keepers has found success is because of the franchise owner, Lori Eberly. All morning long, people referred to Comfort Keepers as “Lori and her team,” showing how crucial she is to the business.

“When we opened, this was a new industry and we were the first in the area,” Eberly said. “Since then, others have come and gone, but I think one reason that we have been successful is that I am still very involved in the day-to-day, and I can make sure things go right.”

Patients vouch for Comfort Keepers’ service.

“I can call them any time and I’ll get them right away. I can’t say enough good things about the ladies who come,” said Marla Blake, a former Veterans Affairs employee who has used Comfort Keepers multiple times.

“We regularly do surveys that come back with 95 percent or higher satisfaction,” Eberly said.

Patients’ families also are pleased.

“When my father needed care, I researched and considered other companies, but Comfort Keepers was really the only one that made sense,” said George Klutz. “After seeing how Comfort Keepers took care of my father, I really can’t imagine using anyone else if I ever need care.”

Phyllis Klutz, coordinator for the Rowan County Senior Games, said Eberly is a strong supporter of senior independence and has been a sponsor of the Senior Games every year since the franchise opened.

Eberly said strict requirements and background checks for all employees is important.

“We’re looking for people who aren’t just looking for a paycheck,” she said. “When we have openings, we get over 200 applicants and we only hire about 10 percent. There’s no shortage of need for our care, but we simply don’t have enough workers to fill the demand.”

Melody Reid, head of business development, has been with Comfort Keepers for eight months.

“I can tell you that this is the best position I’ve ever had,” said Reid. “We care for people and show compassion, and we always put the customer first.”

“Part of our philosophy is to be interactive with the patient. Do things with them, not just for them,” said Eberly.

The Comfort Keepers office is at 512 Klumac Road. The phone number is 704-322-3240.

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