Working with the community... for a healthier community.

A Tale of Two brothers With One Mission

  February 09, 2020

Owners, Bill and Keith Bustin, with their mom, Theresa.

Brothers Bill Bustin Jr. and Keith Bustin were both raised with a spirit of entrepreneurship and ministry. This spirit along with mutual life experiences led the brothers to opening Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg, the first Senior Helpers in the State of Mississippi.

It was through their parents that the brothers became familiar with the determination of seniors to age at home along with the need for companion care to make this goal a reality for many seniors.

In 2004, Bill and Keith’s mother, Theresa, started showing signs of Alzheimer’s. Her Alzheimer’s journey lasted 14 years, and their father, Bill Sr., was able to provide care for Theresa for the first 8 years. Her needs were minimal at first, and Bill Sr. took care of the gaps—like grocery shopping, reminders about activities and appointments, medical care, meals, etc. However, when Bill Sr. was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, their care took a much different turn. With multiple surgeries along with chemotherapy and radiation, Bill Sr. could no longer provide the care Theresa needed. He was sometimes too ill to take care of their everyday needs, and Theresa’s abilities were continuing to diminish as she was requiring assistance with dressing, eating, and other personal care. Both Bill and Keith lived with their parents at different times, but with their own families and careers in other cities, they saw that the need for respite care was real. When Bill Sr. passed away and Theresa entered residential assisted living, brothers Bill Jr. and Keith were pleased with the facility’s safe and comforting environment and attention to Theresa’s care; however, they soon realized that although the facility’s staff was responsive and supportive, their mother needed “one-on-one” attention for a few hours each day. When Theresa passed away in 2018, the brothers knew they wanted to use what they had learned about the need for senior care. The idea for Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg was born.

The brothers were uniquely positioned to begin Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg. Bill Bustin Jr. has spent his entire adult life ministering to others. A graduate of  Mississippi State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bill has served in various church staff positions, including senior adult pastor for 30 years. Bill’s most recent work has been as a chaplain with hospice care.

After graduating from Mississippi State University with a civil engineering degree, Keith worked with the Department of the Navy at ship design headquarters and with the Federal Highway Administration as an engineer. Keith then established a career as an accomplished entrepreneur with over 30 years of success in medical device sales, private lending, technology scouting, and engineering. He has established strong relationships with his clients such as physicians, hospital administration teams, clinical staff, hospital personnel, and pharmacists throughout his career. Keith has always served in his church and on the board of various charities for over 30 years.

The brothers’ backgrounds, along with the challenges they faced with their aging parents, set the stage for them to open Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg.

Senior Helpers is the nation’s premier provider of in-home senior care. Senior Helpers offers tailored home care services ranging from companion care for seniors who need daily assistance to in-depth specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other chronic diseases.

Senior Helpers was founded in 2002 by Tony Bonacuse with the help of Peter Ross after their firsthand experience in caring for their respective family members. Tony and Peter identified a need that was not being filled properly by other companies. They realized that most seniors prefer to age in their own home rather than move into an unfamiliar institution. Unfortunately, the options available to most seniors were very limited. Most seniors did not have access to well-trained, dependable, and affordable in-home care period. This was a mission-driven spark that started national Senior Helpers.

The first Senior Helpers office opened in Baltimore, Maryland, and quickly developed a reputation for delivering excellent in-home senior care with their well-trained staff of professional caregivers. Based on the success of the Baltimore location, the company began to expand. Over the past 13 years, the Senior Helpers family has grown to include a network of more than 300 locally-owned and operated franchises across the United States.

Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg was proud to join the system. Like every other Senior Helpers, Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg is fully committed to the original goal of providing dependable and affordable in-home care with well-trained caregivers. Nothing is more important to Senior Helpers than being the best available resource for seniors and families in Hattiesburg and surrounding area. We are uncompromising levels of care to all of our families.

Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg is prepared for the “Silver Tsunami.” In the United States, there are more citizens over the age of 65 years than under the age of 5 years. Seventy percent of Americans need in-home care at some time during their life. One of eight Americans is over the age of 65, and one of five will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030. More than one-half of seniors live more than 300 miles away from their children. Currently, if you live to age 65, your life expectancy is another 23.5 years.

In-home senior care is desired for several reasons:
  • In-home senior care is much more economical than full-time residential care and can delay the need for expensive full-time residential care for years.
  • In-home senior care can prevent hospitalization and/or full-time residential care by preventing injuries at home and mismanagement of medicine. Most seniors take 9 medications per day, and 125,000 people die each year due to mismanagement of medication. And with in-home care, a senior is twice as likely not to fall.
  • A professional provider of in-home care is preferable to hiring your own private individual. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg is trained to evaluate your loved one and to work with you to be sure that needs are met. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg takes care of all payroll taxes, liability insurance, and worker’s compensation for our staff so that you do not have to be responsible for these requirements. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg performs unscheduled supervisory visits so that you do not have to leave your home or work to check on your loved one and their caregiver. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg performs criminal background and license checks so that you don’t have to if you try to hire your own caregiver. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg takes care of caregiver recruitment, interviewing, hiring, and training so that you don’t have this responsibility. Senior Helpers of Hattiesburg takes care of scheduling; even if your caregiver is sick or has a family emergency, we take care of scheduling so that you don’t have this chore.
From keeping your loved one company to ensuring there is someone around to help take a loved one to the doctor when you can’t be there, there are many benefits to choosing in-home senior care with Senior Helpers. More than 65 million Americans seek to balance the daily demands of work, home, children, and caring for someone who may be living with an illness, disability, or simply aging. In-home care is a safe, affordable option for families that provides them with the support they need while allowing their loved ones to say in the comfort of their own homes and communities.

Comfort of Home
Nine out of ten Americans 65 and older want to stay at home for as long as possible, and 80 percent think their current home is where they will always live. Working with Senior Helpers can allow your loved one to receive the care they need while in the comfort of their own home—preserving their dignity and maintaining a good quality of life.

Professional caregivers enable your senior loved one to enjoy living independently longer. The services offered allow seniors to receive day-to-day help with the personal care they need and assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, and medication reminders. Ultimately, this benefits you by keeping your loved one safe, healthy, engaged, and active.

Personalized Care
Home care services provide meaningful, one-on-one care that helps to build strong relationships between a Senior Helpers caregiver and their clients. Senior Helpers matches our caregivers’ experience, skills set, and personality to your loved one’s needs. Senior Helpers’ schedules are extremely flexible to ensure your senior receives the care they need, when they need it. The result is a consistent, working relationship so beneficial that Senior Helpers’ clients often consider their caregiver to be a part of their family.

Peace of Mind
If you are caregiving from a distance, working with Senior Helpers can help you to feel confident that your loved one is cared for when you can’t be there. Trained and qualified caregivers can assess safety risks and make simple corrections in the home to ensure your loved one is able to get around easily without the potential for injury. Senior Helpers is committed to providing your loved ones with increased care as their needs change to ensure their quality of life and your peace of mind.

Reduce Feelings of Isolation
Research shows that aging adults stay healthier with social interaction. Feelings of isolation are a major problem among aging Americans. A caregiver’s companionship can impact not only physical wellbeing, but emotional health as well. Senior Helpers’ caregivers can become trusted friends for walks, reading, cards, games, movies, meals, and other social activities.

Prevent Falls and Other Common Injuries
Falls are the number one cause of emergency room visits for people age 65 and over. They can easily happen when a senior is attempting a simple household task such as reaching for a high shelf or carrying something down the stairs. Hiring a caregiver to assist a loved one with these everyday tasks can help to prevent accidents that can potentially lead to serious injury.

Senior Helpers Is Senior Care, Only Better
Senior Helpers enjoys an excellent reputation for service in the Hattiesburg community and professional circles. Senior Helpers works with many local doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals who regularly refer their patients in need of help. Senior Helpers is an expert in the home care field and values building strong relationships with clients and their families.

Senior Helpers hires caregivers based on their experience, professionalism, enthusiasm, and compassion for seniors. After a full and thorough screening, Senior Helpers trains, bonds, and insures each one.

For many families, home care can be just the support they need to help manage caregiving responsibilities, while avoiding caregiver burnout. Senior Helpers looks forward to providing your loved one with the help they require to continue living independently at home.

If you have a loved one in need of Senior Helpers’ services, call 601-909-0409 or visit for a free-in-home assessment. Back to Top

February 09, 2020
Categories:  Feature


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