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Making the most of accidents

Chicago area in-home service assists seniors, compassionate care

Published: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 9:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 9:27 a.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Chicago area In Home Personal Services employee Robert Caldwell helps build a client's excitement for the Friday horse races with exercise therapy equipment. In Home Personal Services is a senior care agency offering in-home, non-medical care to older individuals who prefer to stay in their homes as they age, rather than moving in with family members or moving to an assisted living facility.

LAKE BARRINGTON – When Patty Barten’s mother had an accident last March, she knew her mother would need full-time help.

For about a year prior to the accident, Barten, a Tower Lakes resident, had utilized In Home Personal Services on an hourly basis to help her mother, Jane Cohn, with day-to-day needs, like remembering to take her medication. Following the accident, it was necessary for Barten to arrange full-time care for Cohn at her Lake Barrington Woods apartment.

“I was impressed with the caliber of people I saw and the relationship they had with their clients,” Barten said of In Home Personal Services, which operates throughout the Chicago area.

Barten went from part-time care for her mother to full-time, live-in help from In Home Personal Services.

In Home Personal Services is a senior care agency that offers non-medical care that allows the elderly to stay in their homes and gives their families peace of mind.

Cohn’s caregiver Rona Salado provides help for whatever Cohn needs, like medication, meals, help getting up in the middle of the night, travel to social events, doctor appointments and more.

“She’s really become a very best friend to my mom and really to me as well,” Barten said. "It provides the one-on-one care I wanted for my mother so she’s safe, she’s happy and she’s healthy.”

Barten said Salado is in constant contact with her, so the two can monitor Cohn’s care.

Michael Collura, president of In Home Personal Services, has been working with seniors since he was 15-years-old, starting at a nursing home where his mother got him a job. His mother, Patricia Livesay-Smith, founded In Home Personal Services in 2001 and incorporated it in 2002.

“The quality of the life of the individual is what really matters,” Collura said. “We are able to adapt to the certain individual’s needs.”

In Home Personal Services also purchased Bowes In Home Care in 2010, offering in-home medical care. Between the two companies, In Home serves almost 1,200 seniors daily. About 200 employees and more than 120 active independent contractors are utilized between the two companies.

In 2009, In Home Personal Services created the Matthews Center, which offers an expansive and high-quality training program that all of In Home’s employees must go through.

“You must have a genuine desire to care for the elderly,” Collura said of employees – regardless of whether they are a caregiver or an accountant.

Barten can see the difference a positive attitude makes.

“[Salado] is amazingly wonderful at encouraging my mother in a very positive and supportive way,” Barten said, adding her mother is involved in many activities at Lake Barrington Woods. 

Barten said when it came to care for her mother, who is in a wheelchair, it was important that her caregiver was properly trained. In addition to Salado’s training through Matthews Center, she has also been trained on all of Cohn’s other equipment.

“The family member is very important and we’re encouraged to participate and talk about the care we want,” Barten said.

Collura said about one-third of their clients reside in Lake County, with about 80 individuals that receive some sort of assistance living at Lake Barrington Woods.

For information on In Home Personal Services, visit

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