On a crisp January morning in 1982, Jean Griswold sat at her dining room table in Pennsylvania and began making phone calls, gathering a group of competent, caring people to help older and disabled individuals stay safe in their homes. Inspired by a growing need in her community, Jean Griswold began an organization now recognized as the world’s oldest, multi-national, non-medical home care company and one of the first home care services to offer 24-hour service to older, disabled, or at-risk individuals at highly affordable prices.
The idea for Griswold Special Carecame as a result of a tragedy that happened to an older widow who was a member of the church where The Reverend Doctor Lincoln Griswold (Jean’s husband) was the pastor. Although she was affluent, the parishioner could not find anyone to help her when a friend who was assisting her fell and broke her hip. The woman was terrified at night, fearful of having a heart attack when no one was there to help. Although her family lived close, the woman, left alone, did not drink enough fluids. As a result, her kidneys failed and she died.
This incident inspired Jean Griswold to start Overnight Sitting Service in her home. Word of this new service spread like wildfire, largely by word-of-mouth. As the demand rose, around-the-clock in-home care was initiated and services were expanded to include personal care and homemaking. Overnight Sitting Service was renamed Special Care Services ot more accurately describe the company’s services. Eventually, the name became Special Care, and more recently Griswold Special Care.
Today, Griswold Special has over 130 non-medical home care offices throughout the United States and in three countries, referring more than 9,000 caregivers. In the nearly 30 years since its inception, caregivers have helped more than 65,000 individuals and families. Griswold Special Care’s home care service has been profiled in Forbes, Success, and Entrepreneur magazines and on NBC’s Today Show. Jean Griswold personally has received numerous regional and national awards and honors for her outstanding service and remarkable achievements.