NORTH CANTON  Instead of leaving home and going to a nursing home or assisted living, a better solution for many in North Canton and surrounding areas is Home Instead, which helps clients continue to live at home.

Home Instead, 805 N.Main St., recently went through an ownership change on Oct. 1 when Tonya Fusko purchased the business from Paul Hubble, who brought the franchise to North Canton.

"I had known Paul since the business opened," said Fusko, a graduate of Canton South High School. "I had previously been an executive director of an assisted living facility and had used Home Instead. When I found out that he was looking to retire, I knew that I wanted to stay in the health care field. This was a good fit."

Fusko added that since taking over the business there has been a learning curve.

"This transition actually started in May," said Fusko. "We just completed the transition in early October. There has been a learning curve with the bank. … I am lucky that I have 26 years of experience in health care. I am not new to the medical side. I believe the transition has been easier for me.

"Paul helped me through the transition. We worked well together. I would say that was the result of knowing each other for 10 years. "

Fusko said each Home Instead franchise is independently owned but there are more than 1,100 franchises across the country. The corporation opened 22 years ago with the home office in Omaha, Neb.

"Even with the ownership change, clients will not notice any changes," said Fusko, who enjoys golfing and riding her motorcycle in her spare time. "There is good potential for growth in North Canton with an aging population. If we get more care givers than we can add additional clients.

"All of our home givers are bonded, insured and are drug tested. We also do a background finger check that covers all 50 states through the FBI."

Fusko said the company provides basic house care for non-medical home care. Fusko said Home Instead can help with transportation and with daily routines such as help them get in the shower, getting dressed, cook and cleaning.

"This is second nature for me," said Fusko, whose background is in marketing. "If a client calls to start service, I will come out to the house and due a consultation. Then I will match the needs of the family with client care specialist."

Fusko said she is looking for additional caregivers and offers a flexible schedule. She will match caregivers hours to client’s needs adding some caregivers can only work while their kids are in school and others are best later in the evening. She said interested caregivers should call the office at 330-305-9500 or visit the website www.homeinstead.com and fill out an application.

"I want clients to know that I am a part of this community," said Fusko, a 21-year resident of North Canton. "I am a ‘Hands-On, Deal with the Owner’ type of person. I have always been like that. I will continue to be involved in chamber events, the Rotary Club, Alzheimer’s Walk, Tree set-ups and Be a Santa to a Santa."