Mike Gerakios' Home Helpers Franchise Helps People Remain Independent

Friday, September 02, 2011

Serve and protect are more than words on the side of a patrol car for Mike Gerakios.

They're the story of his life.

Gerakios, whose father was a FEMA first responder, grew up seeing the difference a handful of people can make in the lives of many.

He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in business, but was drawn to law enforcement. Gerakios spent time as an emergency medical technician while attending Rio Hondo Academy. He graduated from the academy in 2005 and landed a job as a patrol officer with the Los Angeles County Police Department.

In 2009, while answering a multiple-alarm call at L.A. County/USC Hospital, Gerakios slipped and injured his knee.

"Basically, I blew it out," he said. "Following surgery, it took months before I could get back on my feet, and of course going back on patrol duty just wasn't possible. So I retired, reluctantly." While rehabilitating his knee, Gerakios became the primary in-home caregiver for his grandmother, who suffered from diabetes. That experience brought a career move into focus.

"I decided I wanted to do something to help seniors, and really all those who need in-home care," Gerakios said. "I did some research and really liked what Home Helpers, a senior care franchise, had to offer." Home Helpers, with corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, specializes in nonmedical, personal care and companionship for seniors, new mothers and those Advertisement recovering from a serious illness or injury. Gerakios was awarded a franchise for the East Pasadena-Monrovia area.

"They are one of the leaders in the industry and I was impressed with their support structure and emphasis on uniformity of care," Gerakios said. "I know there are a lot of horror stories out there about franchise operations but I consider myself very lucky to have hooked up with Home Helpers." In particular, Gerakios sees in-home care as a great alternative to nursing homes, which can be both expensive and lacking in one-on-one care.

"It's about helping people, being there for them," he said. "That's want I have wanted to do all my life. It's been a perfect fit." In a related move, Gerakios also markets Direct Link personal emergency responders. And, continuing a business he started while in college, his SOS Kits are pre-packaged emergency preparedness products.

"I am amazed that here in earthquake country so many people, and businesses, still don't have emergency provisions on hand," Gerakios said. "Look at Hurricane Irene over the weekend. Or the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year. It can happen to you, and you need to be prepared." Gerakios is one year into his new businesses, and says everything is going great.

"I'm not in this to make a fortune," Gerakios. "It's all about service. Helping people just seems like a natural thing to do. It's been very rewarding." As for his aborted career in law enforcement, Gerakios still has hopes of getting back in uniform.

"The knee is much better. It will never be 100 percent, but I think it's something I can work through. Right now, I am trying out for a position on the Pasadena Police Department's K-9 team.

"Ideally, I can land a job in law enforcement and continue with my other businesses. It's all about protecting and serving."

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Home Helpers
10101 Alliance Road, Suite 300
Blue Ash, OH

Phone: 513-563-8339, ext. 135
Toll Free: (800) 216-4196
Fax: (513)563-2691

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