Caregivers America is taking over the reins of Quality Personal Care, 23 Main Road, Lehighton (Franklin Township) on Oct. 1 and no one could be happier about the impending acquisition than Barbara Graver, owner of Quality Personal Care.

The purchase affects 64 local employees, most of whom reside in Carbon County. According to new owner Paul Bartoletti, all of the former employees are being offered jobs by Caregivers America.

Graver started Quality Personal Care in 1997 to provide non-medical in-home referral services to residents who needed help with personal grooming, laundry, light housekeeping, running errands and transportation to doctor appointments.

Graver has been in the personal care business for 33 years, beginning in September 1979 when she worked for Gnaden Huetten Home Care. In 1990, she started In Home Referral which she operated until 2004.

Graver also operated Quality Home Care since 1997, which she has continued to operate until the present time.

She plans to retire, by vacationing in Fort Myers, Florida, then possibly applying for her dream job of selling dresses at Macy's.

"I also want to join a gym," she added.

Graver is pleased to be working with Bartoletti.

"Mr. Bartoletti has a home care heart," she said. "I've known him for a long time and I am grateful that everyone will have a job."

Graver said she often thought that if she would ever sell her business, she hoped Caregivers America would want it.

"They will provide good care for my clients and my employees," she said.

Most of the former Quality Personal Care employees attended a goodbye/welcome banquet held Thursday at Faith Alive Church, Bowmanstown.

While Graver had the opportunity to say goodbye, Bartoletti, and his daughter, Mia Bartoletti, had a chance to say welcome. The dinner gave their new employees the opportunity to meet the new owners, fill out an application and learn how the new company will do business.

One change will be that employees will be linked to a computer system by telephone to report their hours and services rendered, which will nearly eliminate time sheets and streamline the billing operation.

Bartoletti also noted that Caregivers America goes beyond the services provided by Quality Personal Care. He noted that Caregivers America has 1,400 employees, which does not include the 64 employees of Quality Personal Care he will incorporate. They have three locations in New York and 11 locations in Pennsylvania.

Bartoletti said he entered the personal care business 10 years ago and after listening to his clients, realized he was in the wrong business because each had a desire to remain in their own home.

"I built my business on my mother's needs," he confided. "My mother is 93 and still lives alone in her home."

He said he first offers handyman services, which might include installing a ramp and small repairs around the home. He then wanted to know that his mother could reach help and began offering a Medic alert button.

As she aged, she needed help with monitoring her blood pressure and medications. Through this service, clients are checked every two weeks for their blood pressure.

He also learned his mother had failing eyesight.

"She simply could not see the cobwebs (to clean)," he said. "Then we began offering meals, baths and other personal care services."

Bartoletti said that clients range in age from infants to seniors. Home-care Services offers basic activities of basic living to more complex nursing, therapy and behavioral support. In addition to offering caregiver services for housekeeping, cooking, transportation, laundry and personal care, they provide skilled nursing and therapy in the comfort of a client's home.

The company also offers nursing staffing for local hospitals and nursing homes and hospice care. He also offers medical supplies, such as medical beds, wheel chairs oxygen and more.

Assisting with the merger was Cliff Panneton of BMI Mergers and Acquisitions of Reading.

For additional information about Caregivers America or Quality Personal Care, call (610) 377-4443.