Gahanna native Paige Luft recently started Home Helpers & Direct Link of Westerville to provide nonmedical home care to senior citizens, new mothers and anyone needing recuperative care in northeast Columbus.

Gahanna native Paige Luft recently started Home Helpers & Direct Link of Westerville to provide nonmedical home care to senior citizens, new mothers and anyone needing recuperative care in northeast Columbus.

Luft, a 1999 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate, said she wants to help fulfill the need for in-home senior care ,with more than 70 million Americans reaching age 65 in the next two decades.

"Everyone wants to stay home rather than go to a nursing home or other facility," she said. "This will help fulfill that need."

Luft's Home Helpers & Direct Link franchise offers such services as transportation, personal care, companionship and meal preparation.

The Westerville resident currently has five employees, and she anticipates adding staff as the business expands.

Home Helpers of Westerville, launched late last month, covers northeast Columbus including Blacklick, Gahanna, New Albany, Northland (the Minerva Park and Sharon Woods areas) and Westerville.

Free, no-obligation assessments are available, in prospective clients' homes.

"We can go in for as little as three hours all the way up to 24-hour care, based on what the client and family need," Luft said. "We can tailor to what best fits their needs."

She said the services are privately paid or through long-term-care insurance.

"Some people can get veteran benefits to pay for these services," Luft said.

When she was 16, Luft began working as a resident assistant in a local assisted-living home. From there, she continued to work in the senior-care field because of the personally gratifying nature of the work.

She discovered Home Helpers and decided to make the switch to owning her own business, she said.

Founded in 1997, Cincinnati-based Home Helpers is one of the nation's leading senior-care franchises, specializing in comprehensive home care services for seniors, new and expectant mothers, those recovering from illness or injury and individuals facing lifelong challenges.

Home Helpers is affiliated with Direct Link, a national provider of medical alert units, including 24-hour personal emergency-response systems, an automated medication dispenser and vital-signs monitoring units.

In addition to Luft's previous work in senior care, she has a certificate of completion in gerontology from Ohio State University. She is a certified dementia practitioner and serves on the board for the Central Ohio Geriatric Social Worker Association.

"I've always been in the long-term-care field," Luft said. "I love caring for seniors. This opportunity came about, and it's the next great step for me."

For more information, visit newalbanyhomecare.com.