Ben Solomon, 47, will be celebrating his 10-year anniversary with Right at Home in October 2014. Since joining the in-home care industry in 2004, Solomon has achieved great success with his business, and is an active advocate in the industry.
Since the beginning of 2014, Ben has been the host of a radio show, Right at Home Senior Care Living, which airs every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. on KIXI 880AM Radio. Ben invites industry experts to discuss issues and educate the audience about the resources available and regulatory changes.
Ben grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and studied politics and Soviet studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. After graduating in 1988, Ben moved to a small mountain community in northern Japan to teach English and cross-cultural education for two years. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1991, Solomon went on to receive his M.B.A. (with a concentration in Japanese business studies) from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Following his postgraduate education, Ben went to work in marketing for Cascadian Farm, an organic food-packaging company, and temporarily relocated to Japan to work for its subsidiary dairy business.
In 1993, Solomon was presented an opportunity to do business development in Asia for HealthComm International, a health and nutrition company based in Tacoma, Wash. Over the course of eight years, Ben worked with physicians, naturopaths and homeopaths, and also was exposed to people with chronic health conditions. Through this experience, Ben became motivated to move into a profession that focused on helping others.
However, the moment that ultimately inspired Ben to enter the healthcare industry was an encounter that he and his wife had while out for a morning walk in their neighborhood. One Saturday, the couple came across an elderly man who had fallen on his way to the mailbox, and was crawling on his hands and knees to get back to his house. After discovering that the man’s caregiver would not be returning until Monday, it hit Ben that, had the man fallen inside his home, it could have potentially been days before he was helped. “It made me realize how many people out there are vulnerable, and many are hiding their declining health from their families,” he said.
How did you learn of Right at Home?
I wanted to open my own business and was looking into franchises because they offer structure and support. Also, I wanted a career that involved helping people, and had learned about the home-care industry through my previous profession. I started researching opportunities and came across Right at Home.
Why did you choose an opportunity with the brand?
I talked to Right at Home Franchise owners and found that they were all like me—they were all professionals who were looking to start a second career. I also met with Brian and Allen from the head office, who had only been franchising for a couple of years, and they were genuinely interested in me and the partnership. I felt that Right at Home was the perfect partner to be married to, because that’s essentially what a franchise agreement is.
What success stories do you have to share?
One of our caregivers, Alieu Mbye (Ah-lee-oo), was a semifinalist for Caregiver of the Year. He has been serving one client since 2007 and another since 2009. The first client is a gentleman who was neglected by a caregiver in his home. His family didn’t think that he had long, but they wanted him to live to see his youngest daughter get married. It has now been seven years with the same two caregivers, and some of his grandchildren and great grandchildren don’t even know their grandfather without Alieu by his side. The other gentleman was in his late 40s at the time, and going through a divorce as well as leukemia. He had his personal and health struggles, and almost didn’t make it a couple of times. The one constant in life has been Alieu.
Please list any nonprofit organizations, community groups, volunteer activities, etc. you are/have been involved with:
I am a board member for the Washington Chapter of the Home Care Association of America. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the best care possible to our clients.