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About Us

We Provide Exceptional In-Home Care Services in Barrington, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, and Surrounding Areas

Tom and Lisa Merlin and Joy Schaefer

Tom and Lisa Merlin and Joy Schaefer


Long-time friends, Lisa and Tom Merlin and Joy Schaefer met in the late 1970s while working with the Chicago Area District of Boy Scouts of America. Lisa and Tom were married in the summer of 1985. They share their Des Plaines home with their daughter, Ashley; son, Ryan; and dog, Sadie. The Merlin family enjoys entering their custom 1956 Chevy Bel Air in Classic Car Shows during the summers. Lisa and Tom are active participants in their children’s activities.

All three partners are rooted in the traditions of family businesses. Together with Tom’s parents, Lisa and Tom co-owned a successful dry-cleaning and coin-laundry business for more than 25 years. Tom was responsible for day-to-day retail and wholesale operations. Lisa and Tom have additional expertise in the field of residential and commercial mortgages as owners of a mortgage brokerage. Joy Schaefer enjoyed the challenges of participating in family entrepreneurship. After graduating with an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, Joy joined her mother’s party design studio. After operating the business for 27 years, Joy accepted an offer to sell that business in 2008.

When the opportunity became available to purchase an existing Home Helpers franchise, Lisa, Tom, and Joy decided to pool their collective business skills. They have found that running a successful in-home healthcare business, requires the same personal care and hands-on operational approach they had utilized in their previous customer service-orientated businesses. The chance to help seniors and their families maintain or improve their quality of life by remaining in their homes using quality caregivers has been an uplifting benefit.

  • Our purpose is simple – to be there for you and your family to make life easier, happier, healthier and more enjoyable – each and every day!
  • Seniors
  • Individuals recovering from injury, surgery or illness
  • People facing lifelong challenges and continuing care needs
  • Working families who need help with mom or dad

Home Helpers Home Care of Barrington has received the Home Services Agency license required by the Illinois Department of Public Health as of September 2008. We are proud members of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce and the DBR Chamber of Commerce Tom and Joy have both taken the course of study and passed the examination to become Certified Senior Advisors. We have also taken the “Best Friends Approach” train-the-trainer course offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.

The experience of owning and managing Home Helpers of Northeastern Illinois has been a richly rewarding experience. We strive to relieve the stress that can come with making a decision about who is going to fill in when a family caregiver can no longer provide the service their loved one needs and deserves. Through our free in-home consultation, we can evaluate the situation and match the client’s requirements with a customized care plan. We have become the source of caregiving we wish we knew about when we needed help with aging parents. We hope we can spare our future clients the anguish of not knowing who to turn to when they need help. Home Helpers of Northeastern Illinois is just a phone call away from helping out at home, wherever our clients call home, be it an independent or assisted living facility or that bungalow they have owned for decades.

Call us at (847) 750-3016 if you need care in other cities, and we’ll gladly help you.

Hear From the
Families We Serve

  • Thank you, Home Helpers of Barrington for your prompt response. My husband and I appreciate all your help on such short notice.

    - Chris C.
  • I would like to thank you again for the wonderful service you and your staff provided for my mother during the last few months of her life. I am certain that she enjoyed several months of living that she would not have had without the service you ...

    - George N.
  • Overall it was a positive experience. The caregivers did their jobs. We would use and or recommend Home Helpers of Barrington should the need arise.

    - Bob S.
  • The Caregivers that we had for my mom went above and beyond. They cared for her as if she were their family. I would definitely recommend Home Helpers to others. The Caregivers were helpful, responsive and overall a 10 across the board.

    - Sharon
  • I enjoy the caregivers that have helped me get to and from my appointments. We have been very satisfied with Home Helpers of Barrington and the caregivers you provide.

    - Jeanne G.
  • I would recommend Home Helpers of Barrington. The caregiver I have is well equipped for her job. My caregiver is a good match for me because of our similarities. We think alike and have similar backgrounds religiously. The caregiver shows her ...

    - Margaret E.
  • Dad enjoys Nana the Live-in caregiver so well. We see the connection they have and it makes us comfortable knowing that dad is safe and sound in his home. Your office staff is always available to help answer any questions that I may have. You have ...

    - Peggie
  • For almost two years now, Home Helpers of Barrington has been providing supplemental care for my elderly father in Lake Barrington, who has severe memory loss. They have been both reliable and flexible. When I’ve had a last minute need (or just a ...

    - Laurie
  • Since my husband and I don’t have an easy time getting out, it is nice to have someone to talk to and socialize with. The Home Helpers caregivers will also sit with my husband and talk with him about things that are going on around the world.

    - Linda H.
  • Patricia is like family too us. Thank you, Home Helpers for matching a caregiver to my specific requests.

    - Marian L.
  • I made a good selection when I hired Home Helpers of Barrington to replace the other that failed to help my wife with 24/7 Live in care. Your caregivers are excellent. They’re compassionate and know their job well. They listen to my wife’s needs and ...

    - Fred W.
  • Your service and people are the reason that we’ve trusted you to help my wife when I’m not available at home. I can count on you to help knowing my wife is safe. Thank you.

    - Scott N.
  • Wednesday morning I received a very lovely bouquet of flowers! They are beautiful! Thank you so much. It felt like yet another loving way Home Helpers was taking care of me. We are so grateful for the loving care given to my Mother the past two ...

    - Robyn S.
  • The friendly people of Home Helpers of Barrington couldn’t have been better to work with during a very difficult situation. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for senior home care services!

    - Jeff T.
  • The Caregivers were dependable and were always giving great care. The office staff was always quick to respond anytime I called. The Caregivers took care of Ron as best as possible. I felt good about all of them and never was disappointed. God Bless ...

    - L. Errico
  • The two ladies that you have come 3 times a week are so helpful, and they make me feel special. I always can count on someone to answer the phone. Thank you for going out of your way to help me with the things that I can’t do myself.

    - Norma K.
  • Although our time was short with your caregiver, he was wonderful, and I would highly recommend him and your company. Knowing he was there during the night brought comfort to the house.

    - Kristin
  • My Mom for the last 3 years has enjoyed all the caregivers that have made it possible for her to reside safely at home. Your agency has always answered any questions and made yourself available when your services were needed above the regular ...

    - Paulette
  • Your service allows me to be able to take a break, so I can go golfing to stay healthy and active.

    - Ken M.
  • Home Helpers is reliable, and they will come when they say they will. They are very helpful. The caregivers are trustworthy, and they listen to me.

    - Billie L.
  • Our entire family had a great experience with Home Helpers of Barrington. I live in an entirely different state and although we tried to go the private caregiver route we found that it was quite difficult hiring, scheduling and making sure we had ...

    - Brian W.
  • I like that they are all professional and seem to know what they are doing. They help me get changed and out of bed each morning, keep the house clean, get the laundry done, and are always after me to stick to my diet. They all seem to care and I ...

    - Phil S.
  • They are very caring and I can depend on them. I fell and fractured my shoulder and they have helped me with everything around the house. One of the caregivers even took me shopping. They are very helpful. They are very respectful, help me get ...

    - Luane E.
  • Both of Diane’s caregivers from Home Helpers of Barrington were exceptionally helpful and went beyond the expectations of a caregiver. We considered them part of our family and they acted accordingly. Our family would highly recommend both caregivers ...

    - Don B.

We're Here to Help

You have an
urgent situation

You need support you can trust immediately.

We will
come to you

With our FREE In-Home Care Assessment and Home Safety Assessment we can help you through this tough time in the comfort of your own home.

You have a loved one who is in declining health

You want to keep them in their beloved home, but need to know their needs are being cared for.

We'll help you with a plan

With our Cared-4program, we create a customized plan specific to your loved one's needs.

Intro to In-Home Care Intro to In-Home Care
You need additional

You have been providing care, but need additional help who can care for your loved one with the same passion that you do.


Our Caregivers are trained and insured. We'll be part of your family, help with the day, and celebrate your loved one.

Our Caregivers Our Caregivers
caretaker wrapping blanket around a senior

Dependable Caregivers

We are among Northeastern Illinois’ most trusted and respected provider of in-home care and support for people in their homes, retirement communities, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities – wherever you call home.

You need to be able to count on the people you’re trusting with your family member’s care. Our certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home care aides, and other trained and qualified caregiving staff provide dependable, compassionate care. Many of the in-home caregivers on staff are specialists, such as certified Alzheimer’s care specialists, which helps to ensure the best possible in-home care for your loved ones.

All employees must pass a 7-year national and state background check and a drug test, and they must also hold a valid Illinois driver’s license. Home Helpers is bonded and insured.

The Home Helpers Mission

We strive to be an extended family when the family can’t be there. Our goal is to make life easier by delivering the same exceptional care we would expect for ourselves and our families. We will provide services to support any individual wherever they call home.

At Home Helpers, we help your family make the best care decisions. As one of the nation’s leading home care providers, Home Helpers can be trusted to provide the best comprehensive senior care services. We have the benefit of national resources, with local ownership and management.

Contact Us
  • Our Senior In-Home Care Services are available in:
  • Barrington, Lake Bluff, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Wauconda, Fox River Grove, Hawthorn Woods, Huntley, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Inverness, Carpentersville, Kildeer, Cary, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Prospect Heights, Grayslake, Long Grove, Woodstock, Illinois.

Our Blog

  • Maintaining a Positive Outlook as a Caregiver
    Maintaining a Positive Outlook as a Caregiver Read More
  • How Seniors Can Stay Connected During the Coronavirus Outbreak
    How Seniors Can Stay Connected During the Coronavirus Outbreak Read More
  • How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
    How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Read More

Awards and Associations

  • 2019 Entrepreneur Franchise 500
  • International Franchise Association
  • Home Care Association of America