Griswold Home Care was founded by the late Jean Griswold in 1982, and we are celebrating our 35th anniversary as the oldest non-medical home care franchise organization in the country. While we operate in a growing industry with many respected competitors, we are unique. We call the characteristics that make us unique our Griswoldness. Those characteristics come directly from Jean Griswold.
About Jean Griswold
Our founder, Jean Griswold, was an entrepreneur who founded and managed a non-medical home care corporation while confined to a wheelchair due to Multiple Sclerosis.
Jean started what is now Griswold Home Care at her dining room table in 1982 in suburban Philadelphia. Her husband, Presbyterian Minister Dr. Lincoln Griswold informed her that an elderly woman in their parish had died because she could not find someone to help her with daily activities. Troubled by the news, Jean pressed for details. She learned that without support, the woman had stopped eating and drinking and eventually passed away from kidney failure. Jean was deeply saddened by what she felt was an easily preventable tragedy. She was driven to act.
From that beginning, Griswold Home Care now operates in 200 locations across 33 states touching more than 100,000 families.
Jean Griswold was an extraordinary leader. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1967 at the age of 36 but continued to work actively in her office until she was 79. She published a book, “Fears of the Elderly” in 2013.
Jean was born in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Douglass College and a master’s degree in personnel and guidance from Rutgers University. She received an honorary doctorate from Holy Family University in 2006. From 2003 to 2004 she was Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She won numerous awards, including the Spirit of Philadelphia Award, the Working Woman’s 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year honor, and the 2002 MS National Achievement Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Jean passed away on January 28th, 2017 at the age of 86. She was an inspirational woman and entrepreneur, and despite her passing, her values live on in Griswold Home Care today.
As the category pioneer, we have a unique position and understanding of the business of compassionate care at a deeper level. Our company was built upon the timeless values of compassion and care. These ideals are still at the heart of all we do. They are the living legacy of a remarkable woman who set out not to create a business, but to help neighbors in need. Jean Griswold’s idea was so powerful that it evolved and grew to become a nationwide organization that now serves tens of thousands of people every day.
At its core, Jean’s values and our Griswoldness are based on one simple, overarching idea:
Dignity – The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
Dignity encompasses every aspect of our company and embraces:
1. The care recipient who seeks to maintain quality of life in their home with the aid of caregivers who help them retain the dignity of independent living in the place they love.
2. The caregiver who has chosen a profession of compassionate care and is deserving of the dignity and recognition for their tireless and often selfless work.
3. The Griswold Home Care Directors, their employees, and the Home Office staff who have chosen to work in a special business of dignified purpose at the intersection of commerce and compassion.
Jean Griswold was an extraordinary woman. Her experiences helped her appreciate the job of a caregiver, and her disability helped her understand the needs of a client.
Though Jean is gone, her commitment to dignity lives on—because dignity is timeless.
That’s our Griswoldness.