MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota woman is trying to make sure every caregiver the state gets a well-deserved break.
One in four adults in the US is living with a disability, and there are more than 3 million children living with disabilities too.READ MORE: Maple Grove Man Convicted Of Murder In Wife's Shooting Death
WCCO found out how a local family is trying to make sure other caregiving families can find much needed respite.
Life is good for the Longs, a Cottage Grove family of six. But, life can also be hard as Melissa Long, mother to four explains, “we are always on guard in our household.”
Their oldest son Jared is on the Autism spectrum.“We love him so much,” she said. He also has epilepsy and regularly has seizures.
“My husband and I have been on this autism journey for 18 of our 20 years of marriage and so we need a break occasionally,” she said.
And that’s where Melissa Danielsen stepped in – a Twin Cities entrepreneur on a mission.
“It could be an aging parent, a spouse with a disability, an aging teenager with autism, having a care solution that’s available for all ages,” she said.
After watching their late brother suffer through daily seizures, Danielsen and her sister started Joshin – named for their brother who loved to joke around.READ MORE: ‘Our Business is Down Over 50%’: Deadly St. Paul Bar Shooting Impacts Surrounding Businesses
“We had to be there for him 24-7 and we really wouldn’t have it any other way, but you get tired, right, you get tired,” Danielsen said.
Joshin pairs families like Long’s with caregivers who have at least six months experience working with people with special needs.
Emily – a special education teacher – was the perfect fit for these kids – and their parents.
“We were able to go away for one night to a local hotel and just spend time together for our anniversary. It was very special for us because we’ve never been able to do that,’ said Long.
Long says she feels stronger: “It absolutely makes us better parents, better caregivers to all of our children.”
And after years of searching, they got the break they need thanks to an entrepreneur who understands.
“Our biggest hope that people take away with Joshin is a sense of relief, that they can sigh, that they don’t have to worry and wonder,” Danielsen said.
The rate for a Joshin caregiver varies, the family and the sitter negotiate a rate.MORE NEWS: None Hurt After Shots Fired Inside Plymouth Movie Theater
For more information, click here.