35 years ago today, April 26, 1982, the late Jean Griswold began what today is known as Griswold Home Care. Jean, who had been suffering from multiple sclerosis since the 60s, sat at her dining room table in Erdenheim, Pennsylvania and began making phone calls to a group of caring individuals within her community that could help older adults and disabled individuals stay safe in their homes. The idea came as a result of a tragedy that happened to an elderly widow who was a member of the church where her husband, the late Reverend Doctor Lincoln Griswold was the pastor. The parishioner could not find help after a friend, who was helping her, fell and broke her hip. The woman was terrified at night and fearful of having a heart attack. Although her family lived nearby, she was, left alone, did not drink enough fluids, and as a result, her kidneys failed and she passed away.
This incident inspired Jean Griswold to start “Overnight Sitting Services” in her home. Jean did not have a vision of a creating a thriving business, or a business of any kind. She did not do demographic studies or research showing the growing need of care over the next century. She merely saw a need in her community and acted. Her first caregivers were seminary students who stayed nights with the elderly. Born of compassion, Jean Griswold began an organization now recognized as the World’s Oldest, Non-medical Home Care Company and one of the first to offer 24-hour service to older, disabled, or at-risk individuals.
Word of this new service spread, largely by word-of-mouth. Jean’s reputation grew and requests for care came from distant locations. Additional offices were opened to meet the growing need in new communities. Each new office served a local community; using Caregivers who knew the area and who could better service neighboring Clients in their communities. Only individuals who shared Jean Griswold’s philosophy of providing excellent service were welcomed into her network. Through the years, our name has evolved to Griswold Home Care.
35 years after Jean began making calls from her home in Pennsylvania, Griswold Home Care has helped more than 100,000 individuals and families throughout the United States. Our values remain unchanged from our beginning in 1982. We believe that dignity is timeless, and our mission is “to give people the help they need to live in the place they love”.
Today we celebrate our 35th anniversary; but more importantly we recognize Jean’s compassion and the company’s humble beginnings. Though Griswold Home Care now competes in a growing industry with many respected competitors, we remain a little different as we retain our “Griswoldness”. We were fortunate to have Jean as our founder, leader and inspiration. To this day, our company carries her name and her values. That will never change. As a result we are challenged daily to live up to the highest standards of compassionate care. Jean wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Thanks to all for your support over the first 35 years. We look forward to an endless future of providing care for those in need for years to come.