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Lifelong Connection With Seniors Inspired This Entrepreneur to Become a Seniors Helping Seniors® Franchise Owner

Growing up, Steffey witnessed firsthand the complexities of caring for an aging loved one. Now he looks forward to providing this service to seniors and their families in the Tri-Cities of Tennessee.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
SPONSORED 8:08AM 07/03/24

DaryRon Steffey, a Store Manager at Walgreens, started working with the brand 18 years ago, while he was still in college. Although he has enjoyed the experience, he recently decided it was time to turn the page on that chapter in his life and start searching for opportunities that would offer him continued growth, both professionally and personally. 

While working in the corporate world, he realized that time is limited and he has missed a lot of time with his family. He wanted to transition to a new role that allowed him to support the seniors in his community, while giving him the flexibility to spend time with his family. Fortunately, he seems to have found what he was looking for as a Seniors Helping Seniors® franchise owner.

Although senior care wasn’t initially part of Steffey’s career plan, he was immediately inspired by the concept when Seniors Helping Seniors® was suggested to him by a franchise consultant. He realized, given his lifelong love and connection with the seniors in his life, that becoming a franchise owner with Seniors Helping Seniors® made sense.

Steffey spent part of his childhood watching his parents navigate the complexities of providing care for an aging loved one. 

“I got to see firsthand the impact caring for someone has on the family relationship,” he said. “My mom quit her job to stay home to take care of my granddad, and my dad would have to come home from work to help handle certain situations.” 

Now, Steffey is looking forward to offering care services to seniors in the Tri-Cities area of East Tennessee, to help ensure that loved ones are looked after without straining family relationships. He also looks forward to providing active seniors with opportunities to continue interacting and contributing in a meaningful way as caregivers.

1851 Franchise spoke with Steffey about his journey into franchising with Seniors Helping Seniors® and his plans for the future. 

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Steffey: I currently am a store manager with Walgreens Pharmacy and I’ve been with them for 18 years. It was an after-college job; I interned with Walgreens while in college.

Everything has a season and, for me, Walgreens has been great. I’ve purchased homes, got married, had my first child, all while working at Walgreens. But now there is limited opportunity to advance from my current position.  For the past three years or so, I’ve been on a quest looking for different jobs or opportunities with other companies, but nothing worked out. I was approached by a franchise consultant and it was something I hadn’t previously considered. I was presented with three different brands, all within the service industry, but I listened to what Seniors Helping Seniors® was all about and I just kept thinking about it. 

Seniors Helping Seniors® could have played a role in familial relationships with aging adults in my family. In my childhood, I was always very close to my grandparents. They were always very significant and wanted me to get to know everyone in my family — to know our roots and know where we came from. But what I saw over time was the struggle many families experience when loved ones age and can’t take care of themselves. In my life, the younger family members tend to be the caregivers.

In elementary school, my grandfather on my dad’s side needed help as he got older. My parents moved him into our house, and  I got to see firsthand the impact caring for someone has on family relationships. My mom quit her job to stay home to take care of my granddad, and my dad would have to come home from work to help handle certain situations. It got to the point that my mom and dad couldn't handle it anymore. Caring for my Granddad was affecting their relationship. They didn't have any time to get away. 

Fast forward to adulthood, when we had our child she was considered “failure to thrive” for the first year of life. She was on a feeding tube for months; she has a genetic disorder. Even though we live in the same city as family, everyone has busy lives, so we would have benefited from more support because being a caregiver is a lot of work.

Having always been close to the seniors in my life, I connect with them easily. I know how beneficial the services we will provide can be.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Steffey: My initial perception was that financially, I couldn’t make it happen. I have a good job and make a good wage, but I didn’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a franchise. But I learned you don’t need to have all this money set aside. There are some affordable brands out there. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Steffey: One of the things that I really liked about Seniors Helping Seniors® is the community within the brand. There are so many connections; there's always someone on the other side of the phone that's willing to help if you are stuck with something, and I've not even opened yet, but throughout the training, everybody has been incredibly supportive. 

A misconception I had was that once I bought the franchise, I’d be on my own. That’s not so, because I’ve learned the brand has a really great support network. 

I have always had a passion for community; I supported the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, for example, and helped with the organization of their fundraiser events throughout the community. I have also been involved with the senior population in my community over the years, helping with timing track and field and swimming events for the local AAAD Senior Olympics events. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to make a big, positive impact on my community with Seniors Helping Seniors®

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Steffey: I hope to provide a quality service that is looked upon in the community as a premier place for seniors looking to remain active and still work for a quality employer, while also providing excellent care for people in need in the community.

I’ve got a lot of years to work still, and this is a great opportunity to better myself and my family. Hopefully this can be an asset to pass down some day.

My territory is pretty large, but I could expand left or right and gain more space. If the opportunity presents itself, then I could see that happening in the future. However, there is room for growth within my territory first. I would just need the right staff and people to do it.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Steffey: Working in the retail pharmacy world, I'm often crossing paths with a lot of seniors. I find that I connect with the seniors and I love to hear their stories. This connection goes way back to my roots because I was brought up spending time with my elders. Some of my most memorable moments from my childhood include sitting on the front porch with some of my senior neighbors.

I worked with a woman who is 83 years old and, up until last fall when she retired, she worked 30 hours a week at Walgreens. And I used to always say she worked harder than I did, and more efficiently than I do. She retired in September and then in January decided that retirement wasn’t all she thought it would be, so she came back to work six hours a week. It's just enough because she still has the benefits of retirement but also the interaction of being with the people that she enjoyed working with. She is one of my inspirations for franchising with Seniors Helping Seniors®. There are older people out there who still want to contribute and help others. They can do that as caregivers.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Steffey: Make sure the brand has good support for you as an owner. If not, then find another franchise.


Seniors Helping Seniors® franchise system was founded by husband-and-wife duo Kiran and Philip Yocom. Kiran, who grew up in India, later worked to advance humanitarian efforts alongside Mother Teresa. After Kiran moved to the U.S. in 1995 and married her husband Philip, the Yocoms felt called to provide loving care to seniors and to cultivate an exchange of gifts at every generational level. Together, the Yocoms founded Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services in 1998, opening the brand up to franchising in 2006. With a mission to be the most respected and rewarding homecare provider in the U.S., Seniors Helping Seniors® locations stand apart from competitors as the only company that prioritizes hiring active seniors to provide care services to their less-active counterparts. Seniors Helping Seniors® service aligns caregivers and care recipients based on the abilities and needs of both by offering a wide range of care services. Seniors Helping Seniors® network has grown to 200-plus locations, 125 franchise partners in 30-plus states and international markets. For more information on Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care, visit