Snapshots of People at Work | Walter Newell, offering home care for the elderly
After 18 years working as a certified public accountant, Walter “Dub” Newell, 41, decided to pursue his dream of opening his own business — FirstLight HomeCare, 1017 Dupont Road, 632-0448, www.eastlouisville.firstlighthomecare.com — in April. The business provides professional, nonmedical, in-home care. Newell is the president and CEO.
Services provided: “We help seniors, and others who need assistance with the activities of daily living and personal care, live independently in their homes. Services can be provided at a private residence, assisted-living facility, retirement community, nursing home, skilled-nursing facility, adult family home or group home. Clients might also include new mothers or individuals recovering from surgeries. Our services are almost limitless but include such things as helping someone get to the dentist, light housekeeping, medication reminders and bathing.”
Gaining a competitive edge: “Our caregivers receive personality assessments that we use to help us identify a match for our clients. Our personalized Alzheimer's and Dementia Homecare Program keeps our clients engaged in stimulating activities tailored to their unique abilities. All of our caregivers receive special training on caring for clients with various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's.”
His experience: Newell has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky and was a partner at the accounting firm of Cotton and Allen. “The business acumen that comes with being a CPA certainly is an obvious benefit. I learned a lot about how to build relationships built on trust as a CPA. This is a business in which seniors and families are counting on you to be their trusted adviser.”
Changing his career path: “I was ready to try something new and wanted something that I loved. After working 18 years in public accounting, I ultimately decided to leave to pursue a longtime dream of being a small-business owner. I wanted a career that would have a larger impact on people's lives. … I have a real passion for the home care industry. I love having the opportunity to help people stay in the homes that many have worked much of their lives to own.”
Plans for the business: “Over the next five years, we plan to open at least two additional territories, with the first expansion planned for 2012, as well as expand into skilled care. We also recently announced the FirstLight Humanitarian Award, which recognizes an individual working with seniors who has had a profound impact on someone's life in a very special way. We are now accepting nominations for the FirstLight Humanitarian Award.”
— Stephanie Caudill