With her 13 years of experience helping to run her husband’s medical practice, Julie Burket was a perfect fit to start up her own healthcare franchise right here in Central Oregon, and she has opened her own branch of Right at Home.
Right at Home of Central Oregon, a franchise of the Nebraska-based company, is an in-home care and assistance agency for seniors, the disabled and people coalescing from injuries or surgery.
It offers companion care and personal care. Companion care includes: safety supervision, errands, shopping, light housekeeping, help with home chores, entertainment and
Personal care includes: grooming assistance, hygiene and dressing, bath and shower assistance, toileting, medical reminders, driving to appointments, nutrition support, meal preparation, serving and clean-up, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, Parkinson’s and dementia care.
It was a natural move for Burket to pursue a Right at Home franchise, given her family’s strong business background and the work she’d done in the medical and dental practice of her husband, Dr. Bradley Burket. She worked in the office, helping out with insurance matters and accounts payable. Other than that, she’d been a stay-at-home mom for the past 16 years – raising four kids and an assortment of animals – and she was ready for a new challenge.
“I have always related well and enjoyed my connections to the elderly,” Burket said. “As I searched for a business I could engage in now that my kids are in school, this franchise opportunity seemed the perfect match for my professional experience and skills. It is my intention to restore peace of mind to individuals and families as we offer a solution to their need for quality, reliable, affordable and respectful care for elders and those with disabilities.”
Burket became intrigued by the idea of Right at Home because her brother owns a franchise of the company in Portland. He told her that there would be “a huge growing need for this type of service with the population aging.”
Indeed, statistics say that by 2050 there will be more seniors than children under 15 for the first time in U.S. history.
The state has recently cracked down on who is eligible for a license for such a business, Burket added, and now requires owners and operators of in-home care agencies to have a “health-related background” and management experience. This tougher screening process will benefit both the consumers and the business owners, Burket said.
“It will weed out a lot of people,” she said.
The process of getting a license was arduous, Burket said, but her experience qualified her to become a franchise owner.
Burket is just as thorough in her hiring process as the state was in granting her a license.
“I want to be an agency that’s tough to get a job with,” she explained. Her employees must have clean background and driving record checks, as well as one year’s experience in caregiving. Once hired, employees go through a state-mandated orientation process and must be bonded and insured.
“They must prove they’ve actually had some training and knowledge,” Burket said.
They also can receive continuing training through Right at Home University.
Right at Home’s service area covers Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Madras, Prineville and Sisters, and Burket has already hired about 40 employees. Since getting her license about six weeks ago, she’s started introducing herself around town to the other agencies along with nursing homes, assisted living facilities and healthcare providers.
“The response has been great,” she said. “Everybody’s been really receptive in the industry.”
The best part of the service she provides, she said, is the fact that it allows seniors to stay in their homes for a longer amount of time.
“Some people get to a point where they need one-on-one care,” she said.
Her philosophy is to get to know each client well and to create a personalized care plan based on individual needs. Her goal is to keep her clients safe and happy, all while creating jobs in the region and helping to contribute to her family’s income.
“I feel very positive for the future,” she said.
Right at Home operates in more than 240 locations across the country. Available services range from several hours a week to round-the-clock care, and fees range from $19-20 an hour.
Burket brings a wealth of relevant experience to her work as Right at Home of Central Oregon’s owner/agency administrator, including expertise in personnel training and development and communications skills developed as a television journalist. She received her bachelors degree in speech communications from the University of Oregon and Portland State University.